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Vornado CEO Steven Roth resigns from Penney board

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Steven Roth, chairman and CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, resigned from the board of J.C. Penney as company plans to sell its stake in the chain.

In a filing on Friday, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Vornado said it will exit Penney in the “not-too-distant future. The company owns about 6.1% of Penney’s shares.

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Study: Images on mobile devices drive young consumer purchases

BY Dan Berthiaume

London — Four-in-10 (40%) of customers age 18-34 have taken a mobile photo of an in-store product so they could purchase it online when they got home.

Other data from a new study conducted by digital advertising technology provider WeSee indicates that 45% of adult consumers younger than 35 would like the ability to take a photo of a product with a mobile device and then directly link from that photo to a site where they can purchase the product. WeSee research also indicates that:

  • 32% of consumers age 18-34 want the ability to upload a product image and view similar items.
  • 65% of these consumers consider viewing the shape and style of a product as “important” or “critically important.”
  • 37% of these consumers would like social networks to link directly through to sites where items from images are available to purchase.
  • 33% of these consumers want information on where to purchase apparel worn by celebrities.

“Retailers must move outside of purely text-based descriptions of items to help shoppers find what they’re looking for,” said Adrian Moxley, founder of WeSee. “Younger generations of shoppers are much more visual in the way they use the web and are very mobilized, particularly when it comes to shopping and sharing purchase ideas with friends. There are countless ways in which visual technology can be integrated into the purchase journey, for instance ‘drag, drop and shop’ and the incorporation of digital imagery into the purchase journey creates a sophisticated, multi-layered visual, social shopping experience.”

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Report: Trader Joe’s ending part-timers’ health benefits

BY Dan Berthiaume

Monrovia, Calif. – Trader Joe’s will reportedly stop offering health benefits to part-time employees next year.

According to Bloomberg, employees who work less than 30 hours per week will no longer be eligible for corporate health benefits as of Jan. 1, 2014. That date is when the U.S, Affordable Care Act mandates employers start offering all full-time workers affordable coverage.

Part-time employees will receive a $500 stipend to assist them in purchasing health insurance on their own. A statement from Trader Joe’s indicates the company thinks most affected workers will be able to obtain their own insurance at little or no extra cost due to the stipend and federal tax credits that will become available next year.

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