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Twistee Treat sees improved hiring with JobOn video recruiting

BY Dan Berthiaume

Orlando, Fla. – Store expansion is a wonderful thing, but effectively keeping up with recruiting and hiring the employees who staff new stores is not always easy. Twistee Treat, a rapidly growing, 15-store specialty ice cream retailer, is using video HR technology from JobOn to facilitate hiring and recruiting at remote locations.

“We’re a small growing company and needed a solution where instead of an executive traveling sand spending 10 days in a market interviewing people, there would be a better way,” said Corey Balzer, president, Twistee Treat USA, in an interview with Chain Store Age.

Using the JobOn application, Twistee Treat lets applicants answer prescreening questions by video. Applicants can review their answers and rerecord ones they don’t like before submitting them. Applicants can use an iPad or smartphone as well as a PC.

“For everyone except the manager, it’s normally their first job,” said Balzer. “Applicants are nervous and young and have never been through the interview process.”

Twistee Treat corporate recruiting personnel review the video applications and select the “best of the best” submissions for follow-up in-person interviews. The retailer has been using JobOn for three years and installed a variety of software updates that provide features such as better contrast on videos.

This year, Twistee Treat has also started using a more in-depth JobOn video application to recruit managers. As the retailer expands to new markets to Dallas, it plans to leverage JobOn to make recruitment easier and more cost-effective.

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Report: Kingfisher to shutter 60 B&Q stores in United Kingdom

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Europe's largest home improvement retailer, Kingfisher, plans to close about 60 underperforming B&Q stores in Britain amid a 7.5% decrease in annual profit, Reuters reported.

Currently, B&Q operates some 360 stores.

In other news, Kevin O'Byrne, CEO for B&Q U.K. and Ireland, will leave the company on May 15, the report said.

Kingfisher, the third largest home improvement in the world behind Home Depot and Lowe’s, also operates stores under the Screwfix banner in Britain and Castorama and Brico Depot banners in France.

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IHL study links in-store WiFi to increased customer loyalty, sales

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — Deployment of in-store Wi-Fi had the most significant positive impact on retail sales and loyalty of any technology initiative, according to a survey by IHL Group. Almost half of the participating retailers claimed increased customer loyalty due to deploying in-store employee Wi-Fi, with an associated 3.4% increase in sales. One-third of retailers (28%) reported increased customer loyalty due to deploying in-store customer Wi-Fi, with an associated 2% increase in sales. And 21% of retailers reported an increase in customer dwell time in their stores due to deployment of in-store Wi-Fi.

One of the key findings that emerged from the study data, noted IHL’s Greg Buzek, is that the “greatest bang for the buck for increased loyalty and sales is the deployment of Wi-Fi to store associates for use with mobile devices.”

“This allows them (the employees) to get more item information and save sales otherwise lost as well as replicate the experience of their best salespeople across the chain,” he explained.

The results highlight the importance of a creating a connected, flexible workforce untethered to point-of-sale stations, according to IHL.

Additional key findings of the study, Impact of Store Networks and Wi-Fi on the Customer Experience, include:

• 40% of IT budgets are now allocated to deploying new and innovative systems, compared to historic measures of 15%-30% of budget.

• Nearly 70% of specialty retailers are designing their next point-of-sale system based on a central order management system, which will put up to five-times more load on the network and will require a WAN infrastructure refresh.

• Per the increased push towards WAN, 34% of participants plan to update their WAN network security within 12 months, and 34% also plan to update their WAN bandwidth optimization to take advantage of changed software architecture and enhanced customer experience options.

The IHL study was done in partnership with experts from cloud-managed Wi-Fi solutions provider AirTight Networks. Click here to download the complete report.

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