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Walmart launches new mobile apps

BY Marianne Wilson

Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart has launched new applications for the iPhone and iPad designed to give its customers tools to plan their weekly shopping trips, as well as a new way to access Walmart both in-store and online.

The two free applications are the first of several mobile products to be rolled out from the recently formed @WalmartLabs group under Walmart’s Global eCommerce unit. The iPhone application features new updates that include smart shopping lists with integrated access to manufacturers’ coupons and support for QR code scanning. Walmart’s first-ever iPad application allows customers to browse, search and purchase items online, as well as the ability to browse the inventory of their local store from the comfort of their home.

"Today, mobile allows us to have a similar personal relationship with our customers that Sam Walton had with his customers 50 years ago when he opened the first Walmart store," said Gibu Thomas, Walmart’s senior VP of mobile and digital. "We can greet each of our customers by name, guide them through our stores, and give them product recommendations and real-time savings — all from their mobile devices."

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Walmart enhances shopping experience with new mobile apps

BY CSA STAFF

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Walmart is looking to offer shoppers ways to access Walmart both in-store and online with the launch of new mobile applications for iPhone and iPad devices.

Walmart said the free apps are the first of several mobile products to be rolled out from the recently formed @WalmartLabs group under Walmart’s global e-commerce unit.

The updated iPhone app includes such new features as:

  • Voice: Users can add items to shopping list by speaking, typing or scanning bar codes;

  • Budgeting tools: Users can calculate total price in real-time as specific items are added to mobile shopping lists;

  • Manufacturers’ coupons: Users can view applicable manufacturer coupons for products carried in local Walmart stores;

  • Product information: Users can gain access product details, including customer ratings and reviews, as well as local product availability and prices;

  • Sharing: Users can email shopping list to friends and family; and

  • Store Item Finder beta: This feature will display in-store aisle location of products in select stores across the country.

Meanwhile, the new iPad app features the following attributes:

  • Touch-optimized shopping: Users can browse, search and purchase favorite items by combining traditional ways of shopping with the unique capabilities of the iPad;

  • Browse My Store: Users can select any local Walmart store to see product availability and detailed information specific to that store; and

  • Extended inventory: Users can shop and purchase Walmart.com merchandise, in addition to viewing local store inventory.

"Today, mobile allows us to have a similar personal relationship with our customers that Sam Walton had with his customers 50 years ago when he opened the first Walmart store," Walmart SVP mobile and digital Giby Thomas said. "We can greet each of our customers by name, guide them through our stores, and give them product recommendations and real-time savings — all from their mobile devices."

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More stores in Macy’s pipeline, 3Q comps up 4%

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI —Macy’s Inc. reported that earnings were 32 cents per diluted share forthe third quarter of 2011, ended Oct. 29, compared withearnings of 2 cents per diluted share in last year’s third quarter, or 8cents per diluted share in last year’s third quarter excluding expensesof 6 cents per share associated with the repurchase of debt.

"A number of factors contributed to this excellent third quarterperformance. We continue to move forward in the execution of thosestrategies that have created a culture of growth at Macy’s – includingMy Macy’s localization of our assortments and shopping experience;omnichannel integration across stores, online and mobile; and MAGICSelling and associate coaching programs to strengthen customerengagement. Bloomingdale’s also enjoyed a strong quarter, both in storesand online, as customers have continued to respond to bridge anddesigner merchandise. In addition, third quarter results benefitted froma strong credit performance due to improved portfolio quality," saidTerry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO ofMacy’s Inc.

The company reported that sales for the third quarter increased 4.1% to $5.85 billion fromtotal sales of $5.62 billion in the third quarter of 2010. Same-store sales were up 4%.

For the fourth quarter, Macy’s said it expects same-store sales to be up 4% to 4.5%. This translates to same-storesales for the second half of 2011 to be up 4% to 4.3%,and full-year same-store sales to be up between 4.8% and 5%. This compares with guidance provided at the beginning of theyear for 2011 same-store sales to be up by approximately 3%.

Macy’s Inc. said it is increasing its full-year 2011 earnings guidance to $2.70to $2.75 per diluted share, including fourth quarter earnings guidanceof $1.52 to $1.57 per diluted share. Previous 2011 full-year guidancewas for earnings of $2.60 to $2.65 per share,and compares with initial guidance of $2.25 to $2.30 per diluted shareprovided at the beginning of the year.

Macy’s Inc. operates about 850 department stores in 45 states,the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdales. That number is set to increase, as the company announced plans to to open three new Macy’s stores in the Bronx borough of New York City, Bay Shore, N.Y. and Victorville, Calif.

The Bronx location will be a three-level, 160,000 sq. ft. store inside the Mall at Bay Plaza. It is expected to open in fall 2013 orspring 2014.This will be Macy’s second storein The Bronx (joining Parkchester), and its first new location withinNew York City since Queens Center was opened in 1995.

The planned two-level 200,000 sq. ft. Macy’ in Bay Shore will replace the existing Macy’s at the South Shore mall and is expected to open in fall 2013.

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