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Industry News - December 30th 2011



Brighton Collectibles Deploys iPod Touch Mobile POS Chainwide

In its 150-plus corporate-owned stores nationwide, Brighton Collectibles has deployed more than 300 mobile point-of-sale devices that combine iPod Touch hardware equipped with credit card readers and GlobalBay Mobile POS (mPOS) software from VeriFone Systems.

"We wanted to get out from behind the counter and get in front of the customer," said Brighton Collectibles president and founder Jerry Kohl in a statement. "When a customer sees something they like, we want to engage with them right there. It makes the transaction a lot easier and saves times. That also makes it easier for shoppers to justify a return visit."

At Brighton Collectibles stores, the GlobalBay mPOS is integrated to POS software from KWI, which was key to the deployment. The jewelry and accessories retailer is considering ways to reduce the number of fixed cash registers in its stores in order to lower costs and create additional selling space.

Sport Chalet Adds Personalization Capability to Digital Gift Cards

ISport Chalet is enhancing its gift card offerings by adding personalization options of images, text and audio messages. The personalization can be part of an electronic gift card itself, or be delivered with the recipient notification for a plastic gift card.

The retailer can also use the notifications, which are powered by the Transaction Wireless cloud-based gift card platform, to deliver timely digital promotional campaigns via e-mail or to consumers' mobile devices.

"Sport Chalet customers have active lifestyles and are always on the go," said Sport Chalet CEO Craig Levra in a statement. "Personalized plastic and e-gift cards are a great way for them to get everything they need for their favorite pastime in a convenient way, with the added personal touch of a note, image or audio message."

P&G Partners for Mobile Coupon Readability Solution

Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble is partnering with mobeam to create a solution that will make electronic coupons' barcodes displayed on a customer's mobile device readable by existing in-store point-of-scale scanners.

The mobeam technology converts displayed barcode data into a beam of light that can be read by barcode scanners already found at retail checkouts without requiring additional POS equipment, according to a statement.

"As impossible as it seems, even to technologists in the mobile industry, a vividly displayed barcode cannot be read by the typical barcode scanner," said Yankee Group senior analyst Nick Holland in a statement. "The inability for a red laser scanner to read information displayed on a smartphone is not a small problem. This limiting factor is stalling important innovation as the retail industry is stuck waiting for next generation mobile technology to go mainstream."

P&G, one of the world's leading coupon distributors, developed its partnership with mobeam through its open innovation Connect+Develop program.


Yum! Sells Iconic A&W Restaurants to A Great American Brand

A&W Restaurants Inc. has been acquired by A Great American Brand, LLC, a partnership of domestic and international A&W Restaurant franchisees, from YUM! Brands, Inc., the Louisville based chain of fast food brand names.

Kevin Bazner, A&W chief executive officer, who was A&W Restaurants president from 1999 to 2003, announced the transaction from the new A&W headquarters in Lexington, KY. Terms were not disclosed.

“Our new owners, our franchisees, truly believe that A&W can profitably grow sales by focusing our unique positioning in the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) industry based on our heritage, service, and product quality,” Bazner says.

“We know we can effectively compete in QSR with our relevant line of burgers, sandwiches, desserts, and of course our unique signature made-fresh A&W Draft Root Beer.”

According to Bazner, many A&W Restaurant key support staff were retained under the new ownership, to help insure a smooth transition.

“We have a team of owners and support staff who share a common goal of growing this famous brand,” he said.

Bazner said that they would continue to support all A&W single and multibrand locations. There are currently 1,200 restaurants including 350 international stores in 15 countries and territories.


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