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Zappos Drops Free Overnight Shipping

BY CSA STAFF

Henderson, Nev. Zappos has dropped its free guaranteed overnight shipping and price-matching initiatives.

“We decided to remove our price protection policy from Zappos because we didn’t feel it was consistent with our goal of making Zappos customer service-focused as opposed to price-focused,” CEO Tony Hsieh wrote on his blog this week.

Hsieh said most customers who took advantage of the pricing guarantee would have saved more by purchasing more deeply discounted shoes on 6pm.com, the discount shoe site Zappos acquired last year from eBags.com.

“Regarding our decision to stop advertising and promoting free overnight shipping on Zappos, it’s actually simply just that: a decision to stop advertising and promoting it, not a decision to actually stop doing it,” Hsieh wrote. “This means that the vast majority of our customers will still get their orders as quickly as they used to (usually overnight). The only difference is that we made the decision to not advertise or promise it, because we found that our customers were happier when they were surprised by the fast shipping.”

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CEA president urges auto industry innovation

BY CSA STAFF

DETROIT Citing a huge increase in auto-based technologies, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) president Gary Shapiro encouraged the auto industry to adopt a universal standard for car connectivity in a speech before the Detroit Economic Club.

 Shapiro told automakers, “the technology industry is your opportunity,” in a Feb. 25 speech and suggested the auto industry needs to work with electronics manufacturers to adopt an open standard for connectivity in cars.

“Just as Google, eBay and Amazon created new jobs and new businesses, the next mobile wave will create new jobs and economic growth,” said Shapiro. “The auto industry is squarely positioned to take advantage of this wave.”

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Fiala nominated as ICSC chair

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK The International Council of Shopping Centers has announced that Mary Lou Fiala, president and coo of Regency Center, Jacksonville, Fla., has been nominated by the ICSC board of trustees to serve as the association’s chairman for the 2008 to 2009 term.

Fiala has been an active member of ICSC for 11 years and has served on ICSC’s board of trustees for the past five years. She is also only the third woman to chair ICSC in the association’s history.  

“With experience on both the retailing and development side, Mary Lou’s background is ideal to serve as the head of our association in the coming year,” said Michael P. Kercheval, ICSC’s president and ceo.  “As the retail real estate industry continues to face challenges domestically and internationally, our members need to know how to embrace those challenges for all angles.  Mary Lou broad knowledge base and vast industry knowledge makes her uniquely qualified to articulate and guide this process as head of the world’s largest retail real estate association.  I, along with our board of trustees, look forward to working with her during her chairmanship.”

Fiala joined Regency Centers in 1998, bringing more than 18 years of retail and management experience to the company. In her role as president and coo, Ms. Fiala is responsible for the operational management of Regency’s retail centers nationwide.   Prior to working with Regency, Fiala served as managing director of Security Capital Global Strategic Group.

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