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Industry News - December 2nd 2011



Double-Digit Spending Increases Kick Off Holiday 2011

When you're a little kid, it seems that Christmas will never come: time hangs heavy as you wait, and wait, for your presents. But for retailers, time flies between Thanksgiving and the end of December. They know they only have a limited time to compete for customers' attention and their carefully budgeted dollars.

At least the Black Friday/Cyber Monday kickoff period has started strong: holiday weekend sales for both stores and e-commerce climbed an impressive 16.4% over 2010 to $52.4 billion, according to National Retail Federation data. E-commerce showed healthy gains, with Cyber Monday online sales projected to hit $1.2 billion, breaking last year's one-day record of $1.02 billion, according to comScore.

Retailers used a variety of techniques to attract shoppers and secure their share of wallet. Some pushed Black Friday back into Turkey Thursday, opening stores as early as 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. Cyber Monday is also threatening to stretch into Cyber Week: Toys "R" Us began its online promotions on Sunday and will continue them through the week, as will Target, according to published reports.

Moosejaw Deploys Mobile POS in All Stores

Outdoor apparel and gear retailer Moosejaw implemented CrossView's new handheld mobile POS solution in all of its locations throughout the Midwest. CrossView's Mobile POS is based on the Apple iPod Touch and delivers functionality traditionally associated with freestanding POS systems.
"This is the next logical step in removing barriers between our customers and sales staff," says Eoin Comerford, senior vice president of marketing and technology at Moosejaw. "Creating that close connection with customers online and in stores is a big part of our brand and the CrossView Mobile POS plays to that strength."
The iPod Touch is outfitted with a Linea Pro cradle containing a magnetic stripe reader and barcode scanner. The device is integrated into Moosejaw's CrossView Cross-Channel Commerce platform, which unifies call centers, POS and online commerce on a single platform with a single view of products, pricing, inventory, marketing, promotions and customers.
Other key business benefits include:
• Sales associates empowered to better serve customers anywhere in the store
• Increased in-store conversion as associates wield greater influence along the path to purchase
• Expanded POS capacity without sacrificing valuable floor space
• Positive brand experience engendering greater customer loyalty
• Improved visibility across all sales channels, enabling superior customer service
• High sales and customer satisfaction through shortened checkout lines

O'Reilly Auto Parts Picks OneView Platform for POS, Store Systems

To deliver point-of-sale and other commerce solutions to its 3,700-plus stores, O'Reilly Auto Parts has chosen the Enactor Commerce Platform from OneView Commerce.

As part of this initiative, O'Reilly will leverage the platform's Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) to maximize return on existing technology assets while gaining agility across the retail systems landscape. Enactor will enable the retailer to tailor business process flows to meet its unique business requirements while supporting the traditional POS, as well as other technology opportunities, all from the same code base. O'Reilly's stores contain more than 37,000 POS terminals.

"The Enactor Commerce Platform will be part of O'Reilly's focus on increasing overall technology efficiency and improving the delivery speed to meet the continuously changing needs of our business," said O'Reilly vice president of information systems Steve Jasinski in a statement.


Walmart and Amazon Promote Frustration-Free Packaging

Retailers are all about putting customers first nowadays, and with the holiday gift-giving season upon us, Walmart is doing just that. In an effort to make gift unwrapping as joyful as possible, the retailer is joining Amazon to promote "rage-free" packaging for a number of its non-food products, according to Business Week.
Both companies are putting pressure on suppliers to eliminate excessive and cumbersome packaging materials, such as hard plastic casings enclosing electronics and wire ties used to secure toys to cardboard backings. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, the push can improve supply chain efficiency and customer satisfaction.
In 2008, after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recounted the difficulties and frustration he encountered at Christmas opening packaging for his children, the company began a "Frustration-Free Packaging" initiative. The initiative has grown to include 80,000 products a year, with more than 12 million items expected to ship under the program.
By 2014, Walmart expects to reduce packaging by 5% compared to 2008 levels, saving an estimated $3.4 billion annually. HP, Plantronics and Procter & Gamble are among suppliers that have so far worked with the companies on the initiative.


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