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Industry News - July 26th 2014



Pizza Cottage Continues Expansion with All-In-One POS

Ohio-based Pizza Cottage, ranked #7 of the Top 100 Independent Pizzerias by Pizza Today magazine, continues a successful expansion with the opening of their 6th location in June 2014 (in addition to a mobile 7th location – the Pizza Cottage food truck). Pizza Cottage implemented Revention POS technology in all of their existing stores in 2012, continued that trend throughout 2014 (including the food truck), and plans to continue doing so for all future stores.

HungerRush online ordering, HungerRush mobile, and features like the HungerRush/Facebook integration were also key deciding factors for Pizza Cottage prior to their switch to Revention.

Revention provides Pizza Cottage with all the new and exciting things that can be done with a POS system, allowing the company to grow the brand and maximize profit levels.

Spartan Stores Buys Nash Finch in Deal Valued at $1.3B

Grocery retailer Spartan Stores will purchase the Nash Finch food distribution company in an all-stock merger valued at $1.3 billion, including existing net debt at each company. The combined company will have 22 distribution centers covering 37 states, 177 retail stores and will be the leading distributor to military commissaries and exchanges in the U.S. Both companies' boards of directors have unanimously approved the plan, which was announced July 22.

The deal combines about 100 Spartan supermarkets in Michigan operating under banners such as Family Fare Supermarkets and Glen's Markets with Nash Finch stores in the Upper Midwest under the Bag 'N Save and Avanza brands.

"This transformational transaction provides a unique opportunity to bring together Spartan Stores' grocery distribution and retail operations in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio with Nash Finch's leading position in grocery distribution to military commissaries and exchanges and its complementary wholesale grocery network throughout the U.S.," said Spartan Stores president and CEO Dennis Eidson in a statement. Eidson will serve in these same roles for the combined company, while Nash Finch CEO Alec Covington will remain with the organization in an advisory role to help ensure a smooth transition.

Chipotle Releases Latest Version of Line-Busting iPhone Ordering App

Chipotle has teamed with Blue Rocket to develop the latest 2014 release of the Chipotle iPhone Ordering app, the first major release of the Chipotle app since 2010. Blue Rocket has worked with Chipotle since 2009 when it first launched the Chipotle Ordering App for the iPhone. Many in the fast-casual restaurant industry consider the Chipotle iPhone Ordering app the gold standard for a “line-busting” mobile ordering experience. The public agrees according to Appannie.com that shows Chipotle’s iPhone Ordering app ranked as the top fast-casual restaurant app within the entire food and drink app category.
Chipotle iPhone Ordering app allows customers to configure an order, pay for the order directly on their iPhone, select a store and available pick-up time, and then skip-the-line to grab their pre-ordered meal.
The latest release of the Chipotle iPhone Ordering adds features like presenting menu items only available at a specific locations, taking payments with gift cards and looking up gift card balances, nutritional and allergen information, and enabling selection of special menu options like brown rice. Customers also receive improved navigation, Spanish and French language support and mobile ordering for Canada, UK and Paris locations as well.
Blue Rocket also worked with Chipotle’s design agency, Rokken, to complete the latest Chipotle Ordering app design changes.

Target Selects Digital Group Shopping App

In March, Target partnered with The Co. Labs & Target Retail Accelerator from Fast Company to launch an App Competition Offering $75K for Innovative Mobile Experiences. The purpose was to foster digital innovation in retail by challenging developers to build a new mobile experience for Target. Divvy, a digital group shopping concept created by Team Pilot, is the winner of the $75,000 grand prize.
"The Retail Accelerator set out to find fresh and innovative ideas for a new mobile experience for Target, and the developer community absolutely exceeded our expectations," said Casey Carl, president of multichannel and senior vice president of enterprise strategy for Target. "Selecting a winner wasn't easy. But Team Pilot's ability to make group shopping more convenient and seamless for guests made the project stand out above the others."
A group of New York-based digital developers and co-workers who dubbed themselves Team Pilot submitted the winning application, Divvy, which is designed to improve the group shopping experience by allowing multiple users to update a shopping list in real-time while making it easier to split the bill and distribute receipts.
According to The New York Times, the origin of the contest was a question Jeffrey Jones, EVP and CMO for Target asked: "How do we continue to find ideas to accelerate our multichannel agenda?" By that, he meant ways of engaging with customers that include, "target.com, our in-store experience, our Target app and the mobile Web."
For an in-depth look at Team Pilot's design and development, see this post from Co. Labs. The Retail Accelerator drew more than 350 registrants and 76 completed entries between March and April 2014. Seven finalists were selected in May by a panel of industry experts.

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