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Industry News - November 4th 2011



H&M Drives In-Store Traffic with Mobile Ads

Fashion retailer H&M is promoting the new Versace pieces in its collection through a mobile advertising campaign. The campaign aims to drive in-store and Web traffic and allows the retailer to collect customer data for future marketing campaigns.
The chain is using mobile banner ads to promote the new campaign. When consumers click the ads, they can sign up for H&M's online newsletter, boosting the retailer's newsletter subscription numbers and web traffic and allowing it to obtain customer information and remarket to those who have subscribed in the future.
This is not H&M's first venture into mobile marketing as the retailer promoted its new collections through the MyTown iPhone application last year. The application was a game that allowed players to unlock rewards and earn points by checking into brick-and-mortar locations. Addtitionally, H&M marketed its spring offering "The Garden Collection" via a multi-channel mobile campaign that not only drove in-store traffic but traffic to its mobile site as well.

Books-A-Million Shuts 21 Stores, Opens 41 in Former Borders

Books-A-Million announced it will open 41 stores in former Borders locations across the U.S. in early November. The store openings come as the bookseller recently shuttered 21 underperforming locations in the third quarter.
"We have been working diligently in the last several months to find ways to keep a number of former Borders sore locations in operation under the BAM! Brand," says Terrance Finley, president and COO of Books-A-Million. "These 41 stores will also benefit local economies by providing and sustaining jobs in and around our new locations. To BAM! it's about forging a lifetime partnership with all bookstore lovers."
Books-A-Million is not the only bookseller benefitting from Borders' fall. Last month, Barnes & Noble acquired Borders' customer database of 48 million customers for $13.9 million.
Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2011 and began to administer the liquidation process in July. In total, the retailer is closing close to 600 locations and selling off all its assets including property, stock and store contents.

VeriFone Acquires Mobile Solutions Provider Global Bay

VeriFone Systems has purchased Global Bay Mobile Technologies, a leading provider of next-generation retail mobile solutions, as part of its strategy to extend the power of mobile into the retailing and payment arenas. Terms of the deal, which closed effective November 1, were not disclosed.

Global Bay has worked with retailers across North America, Europe and Asia, providing mobile applications that leverage existing POS, e-commerce and traditional store systems with applications including Mobile POS, Clienteling and Store Inventory Management. Pacific Sunwear's recent deployment of iPad tablets in 400 of its stores leverages the Global Bay iPad Retailing App.

"Global Bay's mobile retail applications complement our vision to deliver rich commerce solutions that open up new opportunities for merchants to engage their customers in deeper, more meaningful ways that will generate increased profitability and shopper loyalty," said Jennifer Miles, VeriFone EVP North America in a statement.

Global Bay co-founders Sandeep Bhanote and Nimit Sabharwal will take positions with VeriFone. Bhanote, Global Bay's CEO, has been appointed general manager of VeriFone's Mobile Retail Systems business, and vice president Sabharwal has been appointed senior director of operations. Global Bay's entire management, technology, sales and support staff will continue in their present roles within this division.

"VeriFone understands the profound and transformative impact that mobile technology will have on the future of retail," said Bhanote. "Together we will maximize delivery of cutting edge mobile solutions that will change the face of retailing as we know it."


Macy's Upgrades Herald Square Flagship for $400M

Macy's announced plans to invest in a four-year, $400 million upgrade of its flagship store in Herald Square in New York City. The upgraded store will have expanded selling space and be equipped with more technology, including interactive product directories and streaming videos as well as an app for the outlet. Work will begin in early spring 2014 and continue in phases through the fall of 2015.
"The excitement, size and scale of this remodel reinforces our conviction that Macy's Herald Square is and will remain a retail store in a class by itself," says Terry J. Lundgren, CEO of Macy's. "It is our company's most productive store, and experience shows that improvements in this location consistently result in higher customer traffic and sales volume. While we will be creating a modern, customer-centric shopping experience for customers at Herald Square, we also will be careful to preserve and restore the historical integrity of this landmark building."
Key elements of the remodel project include:
• Infusing technology and new media into the shopping experience throughout the store. This includes interactive store directories, a system to stream live video feeds of Macy's events nationwide, digital product information, an enhanced shoe locator system, new signage and a new mobile app to guide customers as they shop.
• Creating a new "mstylelab" presentation of juniors and young men's in the lower level. This will be a technology-infused environment of products and services appealing to the social instincts of younger customers.
• A 100,000-square-foot expansion of the store's selling space to a total of 1.2 million square feet.
• The world's largest women's shoe department — a total of 39,000 square feet of continuous selling space on the second floor. The department will offer as many as 300,000 pairs of shoes.
• Operating systems to improve environmental sustainability, including a new state-of-the-art energy management system and expanded use of LED lighting, that is expected to reduce annual energy use by 15% to 20%.
"Our design of the new Macy's Herald Square reflects how a new generation of customers prefers to shop," says Lundgren.


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