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Industry News - May 7th 2010



M-Commerce Optimized for the iPhone

A new M-commerce solution from Volusion offers brands a free, simple way to optimize their online stores. Volusion M-commerce allows shoppers to browse and research products through a mobile-optimized version of the retailer’s online store. All Volusion customers, including small retailers that may not have access to mobile-optimization capabilities, can enable a setting in the software in for optimized mobile browsers. Shoppers whonavigate to any of Volusion’s customer sites using an iPhone will automatically have access to the mobile-optimized version of the retailer’s site. Volusion M-commerce is optimized for the iPhone and will be available for additional smartphones in coming months. 


Virtual POS Touch Screen

An interactive projector, Light Touch from Light Blue Optics, transforms a flat surface into a touch screen. Users control the projector and interact with multimedia content and applications by touching the projected image. The projector runs Adobe Flash Lite, creating an inter active and fun new application platform. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity enable device-to-device communication and connects directly to the Internet, social networking sites, and the POS. The technology includes an infra-red touch sensing system that transforms the projected image into a virtual 10" touch screen.


Skecher's Eye-Catching Digital Displays

Skechers USA debuts its new flagship store in Covent Garden, London. The store showcases signature Skechers looks, blue florescent acrylic wall displays and table tops, LCD screens, color-changing LED lighting, and light box graphics.  A living catalogue, the store features a broad range of Skechers athletic, casual and dress styles for men and women. The company's best-selling Shape-ups fitness footwear collection is prominently featured in its own shop-in-shop, promoted with graphic images and four LCD screens playing Shape-ups instructional videos


Movie Gallery Announces 1,000's of Store Closures

Movie Gallery plans to close more than 1,000 stores over the next couple of months. The company, which includes the banners, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy, plans to close the remainder of its 2,415 U.S. outlets, according to The Wall Street Journal over the next couple of months, but will continue to operate its Canadian operations. 

In the company statement, the company said restructuring includes the liquidation and closure of a number of Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy store locations. "We are closing these stores because they are not profitable and because funds from liquidating them can help us moving forward," the company posted in the statement.

The Wilsonville, OR-based company filed a reorganization plan for the first time in October 2007, when it operated 4,430 stores. On February 2, 2010, Movie Gallery filed Chapter 11 for the second time. The action enabled the company to restructure its debt while continuing to operate the business, according to a company release.


Xtra Mart Adds Outdoor Kiosks across 80 Locations

Xtra Mart convenience stores add NCR'S outdoor BLOCKBUSTER Express kiosk across 80 locations. Xtra Mart customers can now rent movies conveniently through NCR's BLOCKBUSTER Express-branded kiosks, which offers standard DVDs for only $1 a night with no membership required. 

Customers use their credit card at the machine and are charged $1 per night until they return the DVD to any BLOCKBUSTER Express kiosk - not just the kiosk where they rented the DVD. The kiosks are stationed outside Xtra Mart locations, allowing customers to rent a movie any time day or night.

"Xtra Mart is constantly striving to provide premium services and products to our customers. Installing DVD kiosks outside our stores accomplishes just that," said Robert Sanft, category manager at Xtra Mart. "We knew that we wanted to partner with a company that was as dedicated as Xtra Mart to providing customers with fast and reliable access to products and services."

NCR's outdoor kiosk is a secure and weather-protected DVD-rental kiosk with a capacity for more than 900 DVDs each. Kiosk deployment will begin in May and is expected to finish this summer.


Target's New LED Solution Cuts Energy Usage 60%

Target is cutting back on its energy usage by installing a high-performance light-emitting diode (LED) solution from GE Lighting Solutions in refrigerated display cases in 500 stores. Putting more energy-efficient lighting in reach-in freezer and cooler door cases will cut energy use by approximately 60 percent compared with older fluorescent systems. Target converted 150 stores in 2009 and plans to convert an additional 350 stores in 2010


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