News Briefs

Staying on top of breaking news in the retail industry is a commitment Retail TouchPoints editors take seriously. Each day, we publish the latest information in this News Briefs section. Up-to-the-minute stories cover retail implementations, new product announcements, financial updates, executive appointments and overall global updates affecting every aspect of the retail industry.

Target Tests New Dining Concepts In 14 Stores

4target cafeTarget will roll out new dining concepts in 14 test stores starting in October 2015, according to a report from USA Today.

The big box retailer will open fast-casual chain Freshii in nine stores, while Pizza Hut will open restaurants in three stores featuring a limited menu of artisan pizzas. Two stores in Minneapolis, Minn., will roll out a local Italian restaurant chain, D’Amico & Sons.


Sherwin-Williams Launches In-Store Color Selection System

Sherwin-Williams, a specialty retailer of painting supplies, has introduced ColorSnap, a new color system designed to help consumers and professionals select appropriate paint colors. The ColorSnap experience includes an in-store display, enhanced online and offline tools, and a collection of new paint colors.

ColorSnap starts rolling out this month and will be available in all 4,000 Sherwin-Williams stores across the U.S. and Canada by the end of January 2016. To develop the in-store display and simplify the color-selection process, Sherwin-Williams collaborated with IDEO, a design and innovation consultancy.


The Finish Line Partners With Puma To Offer Unique Brand Experience

Finish LineThe Finish Line is collaborating with PUMA on a new in-store concept, titled the PUMA edge. The concept enhances shopper experiences by featuring expanded product offerings and content that connects PUMA to Finish Line shoppers. The brands are initially launching the PUMA edge in 10 targeted retail locations and online at

“We are incredibly thrilled to share this exciting partnership opportunity between Finish Line and PUMA with our customers,” said Jeff Morrell, SVP and General Merchandise Manager at Finish Line. “We believe that the PUMA edge will heighten the customer experience by bringing together the edge of sport and style with unique and distinctive products.”


JCPenney, Bluemercury Execs To Speak At Texas A&M Retailing Summit in Dallas

1tamuThe Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School will host its 30th annual Retailing Summit Conference on Oct. 8-9, 2015 at the Westin Galleria in Dallas, Texas. Executives from JCPenney, Bluemercury, GameStop, Neiman Marcus and several others will speak during the two-day event.

“I’m looking forward to sharing key insights from this rapid growth period and learning from some of the Industry’s leading executives,” said Barry Beck, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Bluemercury, a luxury beauty and cosmetics chain recently acquired by Macy's for $210 million.


Ahold Unveils Small Format ‘Bfresh’ Store

bfreshAhold has unveiled a new store in Boston under the brand bfresh, which is expected to open in the near future, according to Supermarket News. Fresh Formats LLC, a division of Ahold that built the Everything Fresh grocery store in Philadelphia in December 2014, developed the store concept.

The bfresh store was initially developed as a solution for neighborhood shoppers — particularly younger shoppers — frustrated by compromises they need to make regarding grocery quality, price and overall shopping convenience.


B&H Photo Embraces Multivariate Testing To Improve E-Commerce Experiences

B&H Photo is leveraging SiteSpect technology in an effort to strengthen its web site testing capabilities and improve the online customer experience. Specifically, the retailer is utilizing SiteSpect’s Digital Optimization Platform to test and optimize site content, product imagery, navigation, search functionality and layout.

“SiteSpect was the right partner at the right time to help us grow and solidify our online presence,” said Shaya Jacobowitz, Web Optimization Team Lead at B&H Photo. “We needed an optimization solution that allowed us to test everything on our site, including functionality and features. SiteSpect does that and more, while also allowing us to create a great mobile experience for our customers on-the-go — whether they’re in Brooklyn, Brazil or New Zealand.”


Visa Checkout Expands To 33 New Retail Partners

Visa announced that it recently expanded its Visa Checkout service to include 33 new retail partners, including Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Under Armour and zulily. The Visa Checkout service allows shoppers to pay with their cards online and on any device.

The expanded list brings the number of stores offering Visa Checkout to nearly a quarter million globally, while financial institution partners have grown to more than 330.


Tyco Retail Solutions Opens New Walmart Retail Experience Center

Tyco Retail Solutions has developed a new Retail Experience Center for Walmart. The showroom and simulated retail environment is designed to offer Walmart executives access to resources and capabilities aligned with the retailer’s global footprint. Located in Bentonville, Ark., the Retail Experience Center is the first facility Tyco has built exclusively for one client.

At the Experience Center, Walmart business leaders have the opportunity to engage with Tyco subject matter experts and explore technology related to store operations, omnichannel retailing and the customer experience.


Strongest Retailers Hang On During Stock Market Drop

5stock-market-crashBusiness executives are nervous right now, following the most severe daily stock market decrease in four years. Upon closing on August 24, the Dow Jones index dropped more than 586 points, down more than 3.56%. Within the first six minutes of trading, the Dow dipped more than 1,000 points before rebounding within the hour, as fears of slowing economic growth in China left global markets panicking. The drop was the worst daily point decline since Aug. 8, 2011.

The loss comes on the heels of the previous trading day, August 21, when the Dow lost about 530 points — down 3.1% upon closing in New York.


A5 Pharmacy Leverages Revionics To Optimize Pricing Strategies

a5revA5 Pharmacy Ltd., a pharmacy chain operating more than 700 locations in Russia, has selected Revionics Price Optimization and distribution partner SmartService Ltd., in an effort to improve price management, planning and optimization capabilities.

With Revionics, A5 Pharmacy is positioned to better analyze customer demand and shopping preferences at the store and SKU levels, allowing the pharmacy chain to execute localized, shopper-centric pricing, improve customer value and drive additional margins in targeted areas.


Haggen To Close 27 Stores Following Aggressive Expansion

West Coast grocery chain Haggen will shutter or sell 27 stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Most of the stores being closed or sold were acquired when the supermarket purchased 146 Albertsons and Safeway stores, bringing the company’s scale from 18 to 164 locations.

All 27 stores will continue to operate as they go through closing process, which will take approximately two months. Additional stores will be sold or closed in the future as part of Haggen’s “right-sizing strategy,” according to a company statement.


QVC To Buy Zulily For $2.4 Billion

Liberty Interactive Corporation, the parent company of home shopping network QVC, has acquired e-Commerce daily deal site zulily for approximately $2.4 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed in Q4 2015, subject to regulatory approval. Together, QVC and zulily represent combined annual revenues of more than $10 billion, global shipments of 230 million units and a total of 19 million customers across 85 countries.

Zulily, which launched in 2010, sells maternity gear, baby clothes and other products aimed at Millennial mothers. With the acquisition, zulily and QVC Group are positioned to extend their businesses beyond their respective core audiences. For example, QVC will be able to more effectively reach young mothers who love to shop. Because zulily has such a substantial mobile strategy, the company also will be able to accelerate its mobile leadership.


Synchrony Financial Integrates Samsung Pay Into Credit Cards

1samsungpayPrivate label credit card provider Synchrony Financial now allows Synchrony Bank-issued credit cards to be accessed through Samsung Pay. The new mobile payment service is expected to launch in September 2015.

Samsung Pay leverages Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and NFC technologies to integrate with most existing payment terminals. All of Synchrony Bank’s payment solutions and CareCredit cards, including approximately 12 million active accounts, will be compatible with Samsung Pay.

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