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Industry News - October 28th 2011



Stop & Shop Expands Targeted, Location-Based Mobile App to 45 Stores

Building on a successful three-store pilot, Stop & Shop will expand the availability of its SCAN IT! mobile shopping app to an additional 42 stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut by the end of 2011. The app allows customers to use their smartphones to scan, tally and bag groceries, and sends them targeted offers based on their in-store location and purchase history.

Shoppers at the Ahold-owned chain can anticipate potential savings of $250 to $500 annually based on receiving eight to 10 targeted coupons per shopping trip.

First introduced in June for the iPhone 3GS and 4G devices, the SCAN IT! Mobile app is now also available for several Android devices, which will double its reach to customers. The software was developed in partnership with Modiv Media. Stop & Shop is transitioning from the retailer-supplied SCAN IT! mobile devices currently in use across 350 of its stores.

"We are excited to introduce our in-store mobile shopping experience to more Stop & Shop stores and Android customers, given the positive feedback we've received from customers that have used SCAN IT! Mobile," said Stop & Shop New England division president Mark McGowan in a statement. The app "allows customers to scan their own items, bag as they go, and see a running total of their purchases, making the shopping experience even more valuable for our on-the-go customers."

Cumberland Farms Improves In-Store Communications

Cumberland Farms selected Gilat Satellite Networks' Spacenet to upgrade and manage its communications infrastructure for over 600 stores across 11 states. The solution will utilize DSL service to deliver higher network performance and a VSAT satellite overlay to maintain business continuity at each site. Spacenet will install the award winning Prysm Pro network management device at each location to monitor and manage this hybrid network.
"Cumberland Farms constantly assesses and revamps its strategies to improve each customer's experience and make it an enjoyable one," says Dave Banks, CIO of Cumberland Farms. "Specific enhancements this time around required an optimization of our network performance and improved support of our in-store applications. The enhancements also allow us to have a separate network at the stores for non-PCI compliant devices and partners, which is very important as we bring in new technologies. Spacenet's expertise in managed network services made it the ideal choice, giving us the flexibility we need while boosting network efficiency and reducing our overall costs."
Using Spacenet, Cumberland Farms will upgrade its existing broadband services to higher speeds while providing VSAT-based business continuity and multicast capabilities. This upgraded network will provide Cumberland Farms stores with a cost-effective, redundant communication network which will support their advanced retail application needs from PCI compliance to POS and inventory tracking as well as back-office applications.

Amazon Tests Lockers in NYC Rite Aids

Amazon is expanding its test of shipment lockers that it started last month in its hometown of Seattle to New York City. According to published reports, the online retailer is testing the buy online/pick up in store lockers at Rite Aid, Gristedes, and D'Agostino locations throughout the Big Apple.
The retailer began piloting in-store pick up lockers at a 7-Eleven location in Seattle in early September. Since the initial pilot, tests have expanded to the UK and now Manhattan. Customers can see if they are near one of these pick up locations by checking their Amazon address books and see if they are able to "search for a locker location" and add it as a shipping destination.
When the package arrives at the in-store locker location, customers will receive an e-mail notification and a barcode on their smartphones. When they go to the store to pick up the package, a scanner on the lockers will scan the barcode and give customers a PIN code to punch in to receive their package.


Barnes & Noble Adds 1M Products to Online Marketplace

Barnes & Noble expanded its BN.com Marketplace with the addition of over one million new products to the catalog as well as new online partners. The bookseller has also added five new categories on the third-party seller site: Home and Gift, Consumer Electronics, Arts and Crafts, Toys and Games, and Baby.
"The expansion of BN.com Marketplace is an organic extension of our consumer value proposition," says John Foley, president of e-commerce at Barnes & Noble. "If shoppers are buying cookbooks from BN.com, it's natural to offer them cooking supplies at the same time. If shoppers are buying new baby books, it's natural to offer them baby supplies as well, and so on across all of our categories. In this way, we can offer our valued customers a one-stop shopping destination."
BN.com Marketplace supports more than 10,000 retailers in the books and media categories. New online partners include Wayfair.com, Right Smart, UnbeatableSale.com, School Specialty, Abe's of Maine, Delivery Agent and more.
By expanding the Marketplace, Barnes & Noble is offering customers a wider product selection for the holiday season. A majority of products from new partners will have free standard shipping year round.


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