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Industry News - December 11th, 2009



afterBOT Announces QuickReceipts

afterBOT announces the launch of QuickReceipts, a consumer service that provides a secure, online repository for consumer receipts from multiple retailers. 

Developed in partnership with Intuit, shoppers can track expenses and handle returns and exchanges via the consumer-facing QuickReceipts. Currently, there is a pilot service for customers of www.MyQuickReceipts.com running in Phoenix, Arizona with five participating retailers. 

afterBOT's TransAccess digital receipts solution to create a repository of digital receipts, delivering more effective targeted marketing and promotions, and improve customer service. 

How Retailers Use QuickReceipts: 
Retailers, supported by afterBOT and Intuit, enable their systems so that shoppers who enroll with QuickReceipts, can see receipts from these retailers right on their dashboard. When a shopper opts-in for an individual participating retailer, their account is first validated with receipt information (from the specific retailer); then their point of sale (POS) transactions (for that retailer) are automatically sent to the shopper's QuickReceipts account. Enabling consumers to access their receipts through QuickReceipts extends the retailers existing branding by supporting targeted advertising, loyalty promotions and marketing, while maintaining shopper privacy. 

How Shoppers Use QuickReceipts:
Customers visit MyQuickReceipts.com and enter information from their receipts obtained at participating stores one time only, creating a secure connection between their purchases at that store and their QuickReceipts account. The digital receipts from future purchases at that retailer are then automatically sent to their QuickReceipts account, where they can view those on their individual and secure dashboard.


JCPenney Revamps Web Site, Drops “Big Book” Catalogs

JCPenney powers its cross-channel digital commerce business by announcing a new customer-centric strategy and adding new software from ATG. JCPenney will integrate a personalized Web presence with in-store, call center, social and mobile channels. 

For JCPenney, cross-channel commerce extends far beyond conducting simple transactions. The company's strategy is to create personalized, branded experiences via rich digital content in stores, the Web, on mobile devices and in social commerce. JCPenney's vision is that content, branding, and the overall customer experience will be integrated and orchestrated across all channels. 

"Being able to integrate the ways we engage with our customers is critical to our continued business growth," said Tom Nealon, executive vice president and chief information officer, JCPenney. "We are committed to providing the most compelling customer experience possible, and we selected ATG to power our new digital platform because it was clear to us that ATG offers the strongest and most robust solution to orchestrate and drive the success of these channels."


InkStop Closes 150 Stores, Locks Out Employees

InkStop Stores, a nationwide retailer who abruptly locked employees out of stores in October, starts liquidation sale this week by court order to return money to creditors. 

Liquid Asset Partners and Solid Asset Solutions will run a liquidation sale from 27 selected sale stores. The liquidation event will be the largest electronics sale this holiday to buy digital cameras, GPS's, MP3 players, computer gadgets and printer ink at liquidation prices. 

The bankruptcy court order directs Liquid Asset Partners LLC and Solid Asset Solutions LLC to sell millions of dollars of inventory and equipment owned by InkStop. The Liquidation firms are charged with the task of re-opening the sale sites. The discounts in sale stores are 50% off or more starting Friday, December 11th. 

The Bankruptcy Court order states that everything must be sold. Regardless of cost or loss, millions of dollars worth of inventory will be sold thru 27 locations. The Liquidation firms will be selling at enormous discounts, right from the start. Customers can buy ink for their printers as well as cameras, and gadgets for the computer fanatic. 

Liquidation sales will be in Philadelphia, PA, Washington, DC, Cleveland, OH, Detroit, MI, Atlanta, GA, St. Louis, MO, Dallas, TX, and Denver, CO.


Metropark Launches Innovative In-Store Twitter Network

Metropark launches a custom interactive Twitter interface, Metropark REVERB, which directly feeds Twitter comments mentioning Metropark into the numerous plasma television screens located in each store as well as across the entire sixty-eight store Metropark network.

REVERB gives users the ability to interact with Metropark, whether they want to speak to their overall Metropark shopping experience, mention products they bought or are interested in, or simply have the instant gratification of seeing their tweets posted in real-time.

On screen, Metropark REVERB uses a three-dimensional map to plot and display tweets mentioning Metropark. Each user mention contains profile location information that is reflected on an interactive globe. Metropark has seen tweets posted by users in the United States as well as China, South America and Europe. In addition to global reach, the possibilities of new customer reach are also significant. With REVERB, Metropark has the unique ability to reach potential customers, as those who tweet are in turn followed by others who may not be familiar with Metropark.

"We fully recognize the power that Twitter gives its users. We have already seen a great deal of feedback from our fashion and tech savvy customers who have readily embraced this new interactive customer experience," said Renee Bell, CEO, Metropark. "With hundreds of tweets mentioning Metropark over Thanksgiving weekend alone, we are excited by this opportunity to further interact with current and potential customers. We are actively listening and responding to all types of customer feedback in an innovative way."

In addition to launching the Metropark REVERB Twitter interface, Metropark recently launched a dynamic iPhone app showcasing innovative new features previously unavailable on competitors' iPhone apps.


Inovis and GXS Sign Definitive Merger Agreement

GXS and Inovis announce they have signed a definitive merger agreement which will help further streamline customers' global B2B deployments and provide them with a comprehensive range of B2B integration software and services-based solutions. 

GXS is a B2B e-commerce services provider focused on helping customers optimize their global supply chains through its software-as-a-service (SaaS) and software-based portfolio that includes B2B messaging services, supply chain visibility, product master data management and B2B Gateway software.

Inovis is a B2B Gateway software provider with a strong portfolio of complementary software and services including managed file transfer, supply chain visibility, product catalog, B2B Gateway and multi-enterprise master data management software. The combined company creates a leading global provider of B2B e-commerce services and gives the company an even greater global presence.

GXS and Inovis expect to close the merger in early 2010, subject to regulatory review. During the merger closing process, all services and solutions will continue to be supported and sold. The company's goal is to give customers capable, reliable, high-performance solutions for all their B2B e-commerce needs.


Staples Revamps Fulfillment Center Network

Staples announces it has improved processes across its combined fulfillment center network.

"In terms of integrating our fulfillment center network we're now testing our first warehouse in North America that will fill orders from both legacy Corporate Express and Staples customers," says Ron Sargent, Chairman and CEO. 

Sargent continues, "More broadly, our supply chain strategy is to take the best of both worlds by combining some of Corporate Express key capabilities like outbound transportation and route optimization tools with some of Staples existing capabilities like warehouse management and replenishment systems."

Staples also will continue to consolidate its warehouse network across Europe. "In the third quarter we consolidated our warehouse operating in Italy and we're on track to complete three more warehouse projects during the fourth quarter," adds Sargent. "By year end we will have close 10 such facilities since the acquisition."


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