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.

Retail Orphan Initiative Launches Campaign To Provide Ebola Relief

The Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) has rolled out a major campaign designed to encourage the retail community to collaborate on fighting Ebola in Liberia.

#RetailFightsEbola was positioned to rally retailers, manufacturers and individuals to provide medical, hygienic and food supplies to Liberia. RetailROI hopes to raise more than $1 million in goods requested by partners and the Liberian Ministry of Health. In addition, the charitable foundation is aiming to raise more than $250,000 in financial contributions to provide immediate relief to the 3,400-plus children newly orphaned from the disease.


Deliv Expands Services To Four New Metropolitan Areas

delivDeliv has expanded its same-day delivery service, adding four new geographies, including Seattle, Houston, Northern New Jersey and Washington, D.C., to its roster in time for the holiday season.

The expansion is “fueled by both strong consumer demand and retailer interest,” according to a company statement. Previously, Deliv provided same-day delivery services in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose.


CurrentC Hacked, Emails Of Pilot Program Participants Obtained

CurrentCThe Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which consists of major retailers such as Best Buy, Gap and Walmart, announced that its mobile payment solution CurrentC has been hacked. 

This news comes on the heels of MCX members, specifically Rite Aid and CVS, reversing their acceptance of mobile payment competitors Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Although both chains had NFC card readers compatible with the mobile payment systems, both companies eventually blocked NFC recognition.


Menasha Packaging And Shelfbucks Partner On New Smart Display Technology

shelfbucks menashaMenasha Packaging and Shelfbucks have collaborated to launch point-of-purchase (POP) displays incorporating iBeacon technology that enables brands to measure in-store shopper behavior more effectively. Menasha and Shelfbucks expect to launch the first in-store Smart Displays in early 2015. 

Shoppers can interact with Smart Displays by using their smartphones to access product content, promotional offers, ratings and reviews in real time. With the displays in place, brands and retailers can track deployment of in-store POP displays and determine the effectiveness of specific in-store promotions by gathering data on shopper engagement and store-level merchandising performance.


Money20/20 Launches Payment Conference In Europe

money2020Money2020 LLC, organizer of the payments and financial services event Money20/20, has announced the launch of the Money20/20Europe conference and exhibition. The event is set to take place in spring 2016, but the location and specific date have not been revealed.

Money20/20Europe will focus on opportunities and challenges present in the payments and financial services industries throughout the country. After seeing success with the U.S. installment of the event, Co-Founders Anil D. Aggarwal and Jonathan Weiner wanted to extend the event to Europe so they could highlight “new and disruptive ways in which consumers and businesses manage, spend and borrow money.”


Former J.C. Penney, Apple Exec Spearheads New Startup Project

Ron Johnson, who has held executive positions at a variety of retailers, including Target and Apple, and most recently served as CEO of J.C. Penney, is focusing on the startup world.

Johnson is helping to launch a new service called Enjoy, which is designed to change the way people buy and use “things that matter,” according to reports from The Wall Street Journal. Specifically, Enjoy is positioned to help consumers better “connect” with new products and understand their capabilities while shopping online.


Rite Aid No Longer Supports Apple Pay

rite-aidRite Aid has reportedly disabled Apple Pay capabilities in its stores, according to a report from MacRumors. The pharmacy chain has yet to confirmed or deny the shutdown of the service.

Apple Pay is compatible with any POS system that supports NFC technology, but customers who used the service on October 22 and 23 found their payments were denied. The chain reportedly also deactivated support for the Google Wallet payments service at the same time. A report from Forbes described the moves as "bizarre."


Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions Joins Motorola PartnerEmpower Program

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 11.05.07 AM
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions
, a provider of POS technology for the retail industry, has joined the Motorola PartnerEmpower Program to further expand its omnichannel offerings.

In signing the Global Systems Integrator Agreement from Motorola, Toshiba now is certified to resell Motorola scanners, mobile computers and wireless network solutions to retail customers. Toshiba also will be able to provide end-users with value-added services, such as consulting, education, staging and integration.


Target Holiday Plans Include Free Shipping, New Apps And Seasonal Deals

Target has announced a series of new initiatives for the holiday season to provide customers with more valuable and memorable experiences.

With overall conversions on digital channels increasing by 20% this year, Target is improving the online shopping experience by providing free shipping on all e-Commerce orders through December 20. Additionally, the retailer has expanded the number of products eligible for in-store pickup. More than 65,000 items are now available for in-store pickup, with 80% of orders able to be fulfilled within an hour.


Staples Investigates Potential Data Breach

staples3Staples may be the next in a line of retailers experiencing a payment card data breach. The retailer is presently investigating the potential breach and has contacted law enforcement, according to Mark Cautela, Sr. Public Relations Manager at Staples.

“We take the protection of customer information very seriously, and are working to resolve the situation,” said Cautela in an email. “If Staples discovers an issue, it is important to note that customers are not responsible for any fraudulent activity on their credit cards that is reported on [in] a timely basis.”


Obama Makes Payment Security Top Of Mind With New Executive Order

President Obama has signed a new Executive Order, onboarding the government to lead the charge in better securing transactions and sensitive data.

The BuySecure Initiative was crafted to better assist victims of identity theft, improve the government’s payment security. It also is intended to  accelerate the implementation of more robust security technologies and development of payment security tools.


American Express Brings Membership Rewards Program To McDonald’s

AmexMcDAmerican Express and McDonald’s announced that Membership Rewards program members will have the ability to use their points to purchase food and beverages at the chain’s restaurants. The new offering is expected to be rolled out in 14,000 participating McDonald’s locations nationwide by December 2014.

The American Express Membership Rewards program enables Card Members to earn one point for virtually every dollar charged on eligible, enrolled American Express Cards. With the McDonald’s partnership, American Express also will donate $1 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) every time an American Express card member uses points for their McDonald’s orders. To use points at participating restaurants, members must:


Starbucks Introduces Mobile Order, New Store Formats, Contest For Holiday Campaign

Starbucks-reserveStarbucks will roll out a Mobile Order and Pay feature across all U.S. stores in 2015. Initially, the technology will be implemented in cafés in the Portland, Ore., area before the end of 2014. 
The service is integrated with the Starbucks mobile app and is designed to enable customers to place orders in advance of their visit. Customers who use the service will have their order ready for them once they arrive at their selected Starbucks location. 

Wal-Mart Boosts Investment In E-Commerce, Reduces Store Openings

Wal-Mart Stores has announced plans to focus more investments in e-Commerce and digital initiatives in FY2016 up to $1.5 billion, a 50% increase from the $1 billion estimate for FY2015.

In contrast, the retailer will add fewer store space in FY2016: approximately 30 million square feet down from 34 million in FY2015. The company expects to open between 60 and 70 supercenters and 200 to 220 Neighborhood Markets in FY2016, both reduced from the 120 supercenters and 240 Neighborhood Markets projected to be built by the end of FY2015.


Apple Pay Launches October 20

Apple Pay on iPad Air 2Users of Apple’s latest mobile devices can start loading credit cards and make payments on Monday, October 20 when iOS 8.1 is pushed for release. Apple Pay allows shoppers to pay for items using their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus devices in participating stores and within apps. The newly announced iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 also will include Apple Pay, however these devices do not include NFC chips, so functionality is limited to payments within apps.

“Our team has worked incredibly hard to make Apple Pay private and secure, with the simplicity of a single touch of your finger,” said Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software and Services at Apple. “The reaction to Apple Pay has been amazing. We continue to add more Apple Pay ready banks, credit card companies and merchants, and think our users will love paying with Apple Pay.”

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