TECHNOLOGY

Jersey Mike’s steps up its digital experience

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A fast-growing sandwich chain is upgrading its in-store experience to better connect with its core customer — Gen Z.

Jersey Mike’s, in partnership with World Wide Technology (WWT), is investing in new technology solutions that will meet the expectations of its digitally native customers. By investing in mobility, kiosks, a new point-of-sale solution and loyalty enhancements, the sandwich chain will be able to seamlessly reward customers for store visits, deliver frictionless, faster service, and anytime-anywhere ordering, according to the company.

The new technology will enable the company to embrace digital disruption, remain competitive in today’s tech-driven environment, and scale as the company grows. Jersey Mike’s will add the upgrades in 2019.

“Despite being a 62-year-old company, Jersey Mike’s continues to be an early adopter when it comes to technology,” said Rich Hope, chief marketing officer, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. “We look forward to partnering with WWT to enhance our overall digital offerings to provide a seamless ‘Sub Above’ experience for our customers, franchise owners, and employees.”

Jersey Mike’s, which is based in Manasquan, New Jersey, is on pace to operate 2,000 stores by late 2019.

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TECHNOLOGY

Untuckit makes its move to mobile POS

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Untuckit is giving its stores a mobile makeover.

The fast-growing brand, whose signature shirts are made to be worn untucked, is adding a mobile POS system from Melbourne, Australia-based Proper Business Solutions, a move that will streamline front end transactions across all stores. The iPad-based system, which includes rugged cases and a universal adapter that enables the device to wirelessly interact with Verifone payment terminals, will enable associates to process in-store transactions, as well as place online orders for customers.

The new system will be available in all 40 stores in the United States, as well as 15 new stores expected to open this year, the company reported.

“We’re a fast-growing retail brand who always looks at how we can provide the most compelling experience for our shoppers, especially as we drive more foot traffic into our physical stores,” said Jason Lerman, director of operations, Untuckit. “The Proper Business Solutions were a natural fit to make our mobile POS systems come to life and equip us with the necessary hardware to match our software and take the pain and inefficiencies out of the point-of-sale process.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Target adds a twist to its newest accelerator program

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Target is in search of new start-ups that can “make the world a better place.”

Called Target Incubator, the program is aimed at Gen Z entrepreneurs that run businesses that benefit people or the planet. This could be a product, service, technology, or even a new business model, according to Target’s website. Unlike the discounter’s other accelerator programs however, Target Incubator will have a virtual learning component.

Participants, which must have a majority (51%-plus) ownership in their company, will submit materials — such as a pitch deck, formal business plan, or launch schedule — on the retailer’s application portal by Oct. 29. Following a round of interviews, eight companies will be chosen on Dec. 5, and receive a $10,000 stipend from Target.

These candidates will also be required to complete one hour of virtual programming each week from late April through June, 2019. Then two members from each of company will relocate to Target’s Minneapolis headquarters for eight weeks from June through August. During this period, candidates will work with mentors from Target and other businesses, as well as attend tailored workshops, learning sessions, and team-building events, the site reported.

“We designed this new incubator for the Gen Z entrepreneur to provide them with a platform to test, learn and ultimately flourish,” the website said. “We want to support the next generation of innovators, change makers and leaders in a way that matters. They see the world differently, and therefore recognize solutions to problems differently. And we already see that they are taking action with new businesses.”

Target Incubator is the newest program in the discounter’s accelerator portfolio. The retailer also offers Target + Techstars, a program aimed at uncovering new tech start-up companies, and Target Takeoff, which is focused on supporting emerging businesses that solve problems in areas where the discounter hopes to grow its business.

This year’s Target Takeoff focused on beauty solutions. The program kicked off with a week-long retail boot camp at the company’s headquarters in April, and concluded in May, with startups participating in a product showcase with Target leaders.

The next Target + Techstars program, which launched in July, included 10 new retail tech companies that presented their concepts at a demo day on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

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