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Industry News - February12th, 2010



Walmart Cuts National Brands, Boosts Private Label

In a move that could signal future shifts, Walmart cut Hefty and Glad bags packing from its food storage shelves in an effort to consolidate brand offerings and boost its private label products. Walmart has instead consolidated nationally with one food bag brand, SC Johnson's Ziploc, and its own private label, Great Value.

This story, which was reported by Adage.com and Consumergoods.com, has sent shockwaves through the consumer goods industry and has sharply boosted ads by national brands to support these products. 

Faced with the threat of mass de-listings, the bag brands increased ad spending 78 percent from the year-ago period in 2009, according to Kantar Media. Adage.com reports that Hefty had the biggest increase, hiking spending more than sevenfold to $23 million. Glad increased spending 58 percent to $57.9 million and Ziploc 37 percent to $31.5 million through November compared to the year-ago period. 

Consumergoods.com also reports that Pactiv Corp., the Hefty brand owner, has agreed to take over all private label manufacturing for Walmart's Great Value trash and food bags. It is unclear if the disposable food storage container segment will be affected.

What It Means to Walmart and Consumers
Since most national brands count on Walmart for a large chunks of its sales, this could have a major impact for future business models. This also indicates Walmart is boosting its private label development which it has been perfecting for the past several years. 

Walmart's decision may also aim to accommodate a growing consumer need for less expensive options in a troubled economy. The lack of a brand presence on shelf and sales of less expensive private label products will undoubtedly have a big impact on margins at Pactiv Corp. reports Consumergoods.com. Whether or not Americans will stick with store brands if the economy improves is a key question and consumer trends will most likely prompt Walmart to reevaluate assortment decisions in the future.


Star Micronics TSP143U Printer Achieves SAP Certification

Star Micronics America announced that its TSP143U (USB) printer has achieved SAP-certified integration with the SAP Point-of-Sale (POS) application. Tier-one retail customers utilizing SAP POS can now add the TSP143U (USB) printer to their point-of-sale solutions.

The SAP Integration and Certification Center has certified that the TSP143U (USB) integrates with SAP POS via the point-of-sale hardware (POS-HW) 1.0 integration scenario.

"Star Micronics is honored to announce an additional certification for the TSP143U from a business software leader like SAP AG," said Michael Hanson, vice president, Star Micronics America, Inc. "The TSP143U is one of the most popular thermal POS printers on the market today, due to its futurePRNT capabilities, design and cost structure. The SAP certification further adds to the TSP143U attraction for retailers."

The TSP143U (USB) is the POS industry's first all-in-one receipt printer. All the parts and software are included in one box, including an internal power supply, interface cable, power cable, complete mounting kits and a paper roll. To bring end users the "future" of receipt printing now, Star also includes a full set of software utilities enabling users to redesign receipts without modifying existing applications


Amano USA to Acquire Accu-Time Systems

Amano USA Holdings, Inc. (AUH) announced its plans to acquire Accu-Time Systems, Inc.,(ATS) based in Ellington CT. "Amano and ATS share a common vision and the combination of our products and people provides an enhanced value proposition to our customers," said Mike Lee CEO of AUH. 

ATS is a developer, manufacturer, and supplier of biometric and non-biometric terminals to the Time and Attendance and Workforce Management industry in the USA and more recently into Europe and other export markets. The company has a strong reputation and tradition of innovative and reliable solutions to its growing customer base of business partners.

The acquisition of ATS will provide a synergistic effect to Amano's sales channels for time and workforce management. We can also look forward to continuing growth in our businesses by leveraging the innovation that ATS brings to Amano.

In joining the Amano Group of companies, ATS will gain greater access to overseas markets and benefit from the global engineering and support infrastructure that Amano can provide. ATS's valued business partners will share in these benefits of greater market coverage as well as technical resources of a larger group.

ATS will continue to be led by its Founder and President Peter DiMaria, and his management team.


Websense Aligns Global Channel Sales with New Leadership

Websense has appointed appointment of Matt Hynes to the newly created role of Vice President Worldwide Channel Sales, effective immediately.

As Vice President Worldwide Channel Sales, Matt reports to Didier Guibal and is responsible for leading and growing the Websense global channel sales efforts which includes value-added resellers (VARs), direct marketers and federal resellers. In 2009, the Websense channel sales team successfully grew its incremental business with North America channel partners by more than 50 percent and saw record growth in excess of 170 percent among its top performing channel partners.

Matt brings more than 20 years of sales experience and 12 years of channel expertise as a senior executive at publicly-traded IT companies, including security and enterprise software providers McAfee, Sun Microsystems and ArcSight, where he was most recently vice president of worldwide channel sales.


Surprise Resignation for CEO of SAP

In a surprise announcement, SAP CEO Leo Apotheker resigned this weekend. The CEO post will now be shared by Bill McDermott, SAP's sales boss and product development chief Jim Hagemann Snabe who have been named co-chief executive officers of the company.

The announcement comes shortly after SAP shares fell 6 percent to a six-month low. Late last month the software giant's announced that 2009 sales fell nearly $1 billion, to $10.7 billion. Profits slipped for the second straight year, even after the company cut 4,000 jobs.

In a story by Joseph N. DiStefano for The Philadelphia Inquirer, an analyst for Cowen & Co., Peter Goldmacher says, "Ultimately, they (SAP) will be acquired."

In a conference call announcing the new CEOs, SAP Chairman Hasso Plattner, acknowledged SAP had "lost here and there the trust" of workers and customers in the past year as it cut staff and tried to raise prices. Plattner however defended the future of the technology company and its prospects: "SAP will become a multiple-product company. We are a public company, and profit is everything, but in order to be profitable it needs to be a happy company . . . again."

SAP currently employs 48,000 worldwide, including 2,000 at its U.S. base where McDermott has worked since joining the company in 2002.


The Pantry Installs Fuel Management At 1,600 Sites

The Pantry adds a suite of KSS products to provide day-to-day fuel price management and optimization at more than 1,600 retail locations in the southeastern United States. The Pantry plans to use the PriceNet, PriceNet Web, KSS Analytics, KSS Mapping and KSS Visualizer solutions.

The convenience store chain adds the suite of products to help respond more quickly to changing oil prices. The Pantry sells gasoline at most of its locations; additionally, commercial fuel is available at about 80 travel center sites. Its primary operating banner is Kangaroo Express.

“We selected these KSS solutions because we wanted a higher level of efficiency around our execution of fuel price changes. Having a system that provides enhanced market responsiveness will enable us to improve our overall performance around fuel volume and margin," said Keith Bell, SVP, Fuels Operations & Construction for The Pantry. “We are convinced that these KSS solutions offer our stores a 'best practices' approach to fuel pricing."


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