OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart sued yet again for alleged gender discrimination

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Nashville, Tenn. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is facing its third regional gender bias lawsuit since the Supreme Court rejected a nationwide class action filed by female workers in California and Texas.

Three female employees sued Wal-Mart in federal court in Tennessee on Tuesday, claiming discrimination against female workers in the company’s Region 43 which consists of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi.

Wal-Mart paid women less than men in comparable jobs and blocked promotions for female workers, the women alleged.

Wal-Mart Randy Hargrove dismissed the validity of the action, saying it is no more suitable for nationwide class action than the one the Supreme Court already rejected.

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More retailers jump on the Merchant Customer Exchange bandwagon

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Dallas — The Merchant Customer Exchange announced Tuesday that Bed Bath & Beyond, Dillard’s, Dunkin’ Brands, Gap, Sheetz and Wakefern Food Corp. are among those joining the existing lineup of merchants who are committed to creating a seamless mobile-commerce solution.

“We are seeing tremendous interest from merchants of all sizes,” said Dodd Roberts, MCX executive. “Merchants recognize mobile payment adoption will be limited until it can be used where consumers regularly shop. MCX offers unmatched scale, representing merchants with more than $1 trillion in annual sales across nearly every merchant vertical.”

According to Gap Direct president Toby Lenk, the retailer joined MCX in order to offer its customers a “mobile-payment choice that provides the highest levels of convenience, value, and security.”

Development of MCX’s mobile platform is underway, with initial focus on offering consumers and merchants a mobile-commerce solution that seamlessly integrates payments with a wide range of offers, promotions and services through virtually any smartphone.

Among those retailers that are already part of MCX are Wal-Mart Stores, Target, Sears Holdings, 7-Eleven, Best Buy, CVS/pharmacy, Darden Restaurants, Lowe’s and Publix.

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Feb-04-2013 11:29 am

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Feb-04-2013 11:29 am

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Google: Mobile-friendly sites sought out by consumers

BY Allison Cerra

New York — Smartphone and Internet users actively seek out and prefer to engage with mobile-friendly sites, but such sites must meet certain expectations in order to convert users from visitors to consumers, according to a Google study conducted by independent market research firms Sterling Research and SmithGeiger.

Surveying 1,088 U.S. adult smartphone Internet users in July, the "What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today" survey found that as nearly 75% of respondents said they prefer a mobile-friendly site to a traditional website and two-thirds (67%) are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site, 96% of consumers said they’ve encountered sites that were clearly not designed for mobile devices. Additionally, 79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will search for another site, and 61% said they would move onto another site if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site.

What’s more, half of respondents polled said even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile friendly.

Additional findings included:

  • 48% of users said they feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile friendly;
  • 36% said they felt like they’ve wasted their time by visiting those sites;
  • 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company;
  • 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business.

View the full results.

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