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Whole Foods Market puts CIO on exec team

BY Marianne Wilson

Austin, Texas — The importance of technology is highlighted in a promotion at Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods has promoted Jason Buechel from global VP to executive VP and CIO. As an executive VP, he is now a member of the executive management team at the company.

“Technology is essential to our customer experience, our team member experience, our ability to compete, and our ability to effectively deliver return on invested capital,” said Glenda Flanagan, executive VP and CFO of Whole Foods Market. “Jason has made significant contributions to improve our front- and back-end technology, and we believe it is essential for this vital element of our business to be represented at the executive decision-making level.”

Buechel retains responsibility for all aspects of information technology at Whole Foods Market.

Since joining Whole Foods Market in 2012, Buechel has continuously improved the company’s information technology infrastructure, launching several new major platforms and initiatives such as Workday, One POS, the company’s pilot Affinity shopper rewards program, and delivery partnership with Instacart.

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ModCloth makes the leap

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Another retailer is going from clicks to bricks.

Online apparel retailer ModCloth, best known for its retro-inspired indie fashions, has opened its first physical store, albeit a temporary one, near its headquarters in San Francisco’s Union Square.

Called Fit Shop, the 2,250-sq.-ft. space is serving as a test for permanent stores, and also as a showcase for the company’s first-ever house label, ModCloth. The pop-up features more than 100 styles of apparel in various sizes. Goods are available for in-store try on, and then can be ordered online, with the help of staffers, with free two-day shipment to the customer’s home.

The changes come under new leadership. In January, Matt Kaness, formerly chief strategy officer for Urban Outfitters Inc., joined ModCloth as CEO after co-founder Eric Koger stepped down. (Koger’s wife and ModCloth co-founder, Susan Koger, remains chief creative officer.)

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BestBuy.com teams up with American Express

BY Gina Acosta

Minneapolis — Best Buy is moving further ahead in its quest to make shopping across platforms as easy as possible for consumers.

The retailer, in partnership with American Express, has integrated new technology that allows Amex card members enrolled in the Amex Membership Rewards program to use their points for online purchases on BestBuy.com.

In addition card members can use their membership rewards points for all or part of each online purchase and either pick it up in one of Best Buy’s stores or have it delivered to their doors.

“In our stores and online at BestBuy.com, our customers expect choice and flexibility from us on how they pay for and receive the consumer electronics they want,” said Mary Lou Kelley, president of e-commerce at Best Buy. “We are excited to partner with American Express and allow card members the ability to convert their Membership Rewards points into the latest and greatest consumer electronics products and services.”

The technology enables eligible Amex cardholders to easily use rewards points for all or part of their BestBuy.com purchases, and allows them to check their rewards points balance before they check out on BestBuy.com. There are no codes or registration needed. Best Buy will also offer all customers shopping on BestBuy.com – including Amex cardholders who choose to use points for their purchase – the option to get their purchases quickly with same day pick-up in store, as 70% of Americans live within 15 minutes of one of Best Buy’s 1,400 U.S. locations.

“Our card members love shopping at Best Buy and we wanted to provide them with more value, choice and flexibility each time they check out,” said Leslie Berland, executive VP, Global Brand, Marketing & Digital Partnerships at American Express. “We worked closely with Best Buy to integrate this seamless experience that further enhances the utility of our world-class Membership Rewards program in a powerful, new way order.”

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