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Customer service: The face of maintenance
FacilitiesNet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the daily life of a maintenance and engineering department, customer service is easy to overlook. It's a soft skill in a field of technical issues. It's also not the highest priority for most managers. Sustainability, energy efficiency, regulatory compliance, occupant safety and a thousand other issues seem more important than building stronger relations with customers. In fact, many of these issues are more important, mostly because they have a more direct and larger impact on the organization's bottom line. These days, the bottom line means a lot. More

Bricks vs. Clicks: 4 ways to convert showrooming opportunities
Chain Store Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently ShopperTrak reported that during the 2012 post-Black Friday week retail foot traffic increased 3.7 percent over last year. Larger chains like Walmart, Target and Meijer have done an excellent job this holiday season combining their brick-and-mortar stores, online, and mobile channel into a seamless customer shopping experience. … This trend of consumers viewing merchandise at a brick-and-mortar location, making cost comparisons on their Smartphones and tablets in store, and then going online to finish the purchase is growing. More

Moving downtown: Target joins the smaller, urban-market landscape
STORES    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
T he idea of "new frontiers" typically conjures up images of wide open spaces. For Target, however, the sights are set on a different landscape all together — urban locations — ideally placing its brand within easy access to residents, casual tourists and business travelers. CityTarget, featuring a smaller footprint than its ubiquitous big brother, opened in five locations last year with additional sites in downtown Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles planned for 2013. A conventional Target store is about 125,000 sq. ft.; most City Targets will be roughly two-thirds that size, ranging from 80,000-100,000 sq. ft. More

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Walmart and Sam's Club introduce sustainable prescription packaging
Green Retail Decisions    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies have introduced new packaging for select prescriptions that has a dual benefit — it is sustainable and helps patients stay on schedule with their medications. More

Sears Canada inks deals with Aldo and Buffalo
The Canadian Press via The Toronto Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sears Canada is giving a fresh look to its private label brands through two new design partnerships. The retailer is teaming up with the Aldo Group to design and manufacture footwear lines for their Nevada, Attitude and Jessica brands. Meanwhile, Buffalo International Inc., will design and produce Sears Canada's entire line of Nevada denim-based apparel for both women and men. More

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Retailers taking tech battle for shoppers to next level
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The store of the future has arrived and it is threatening to leave technology laggards behind. The modern store is equipped with cameras that look at you, guess your tastes based on your gender, age and behavior, and send deals to your smart phone accordingly. It also has the technology to reduce endless check-out lines and speed up the process for picking up something ordered online. More

Retailers more optimistic for 2013
The Record    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Retailers are heading into 2013 with renewed optimism, more investment in new technology and an understanding that traditional enemies brick and mortar stores and online retailers can become best friends. "The lines between bricks and mortar and online shopping are converging because that's what the customer wants," said Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer of the National Retail Federation, in welcoming more than 27,000 retail executives to the trade group's annual convention at the Javits Center in Manhattan, N.Y. More

K-Swiss sold to Korea's E. Land for about $170 million
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After posting three straight annual losses, shoe maker K-Swiss is selling itself to South Korea retail conglomerate E. Land for about $170 million. The companies said that E. Land World Ltd. will pay $4.75 per share for K-Swiss Inc. That's a 49 percent premium to the company's Wednesday closing price of $3.19. Shares of K-Swiss jumped $1.53, or 48 percent, to $4.72 in premarket trading. More


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Walmart plans $50 billion 'buy American' push
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made products over the next decade in areas like sporting goods and high-end appliances in what the world's largest retailer called a bid to help boost the U.S. economy. Wal-Mart, the largest private employer in the United States, also said it plans to hire 100,000 newly discharged veterans over the next five years, at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate is at 7.8 percent. More

Canada: Target's next bull's-eye
Star Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Target's close attention to detail — right down to the local cuisine — reflects the gravity of what is arguably the boldest project in its 50-year history. Beginning in March, the chain will open the first of 124 stores in Canada, its first expansion beyond the United States. The move also is Target's first big step at becoming a global retail force. More

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Paper towels vs. air dryers
Today's Facility Manager    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With nearly 85 percent of adults washing their hands after using the restroom, hand washing rates are at an all-time high, according to an observational study conducted by the American Society for Microbiology and the American Cleaning Institute. For years, proper hand hygiene has been a topic of concern in hospitals, schools, restaurants, and office facilities with more awareness campaigns happening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supports Global Hand washing Day and dedicates an entire day to raise awareness of global hand washing. More

A retail store trends trip around the world
National Retail Federation    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The modern shopper can't be confined. Shoppers aren't satisfied with a store, they want something more. Technology has created "hyper-channel shoppers" who won't sit back and let retailers define for them what they can and can't buy, or where they have to buy it said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL Strategic Retail. More

The sky didn't fall at Best Buy
Retailing Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Strength in the computing, mobile phone and appliance categories enabled Best Buy to report flat same store sales during the holidays and temporarily silence the voice of those who had prematurely written the company's obituary. Best Buy said sales for the nine week period end Jan. 5, 2013 declined slightly to $12.8 billion from $12.9 billion during the nine week period ended Dec. 31, 2011. More

Report: India to lift restrictions on IKEA's product range
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
IKEA will be permitted to sell non-furniture items and run cafes in India, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma was reported as saying, removing a sticking point on the Swedish retailer's plans to enter the country. "IKEA's proposal based on its global model, which includes cafeterias, will be approved," Sharma was quoted as saying by the Financial Express newspaper. More

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Image: Hassle Free Clean

Image continues to embrace cutting edge technology in order to meet the budget challenges of the US retailer while raising the bar for service delivery. MORE

Swatch to buy watch and jewelry business of Harry Winston
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Swatch Group agreed to make its largest acquisition to date, taking over the watch and jewelry business of Harry Winston, which plans to shift its focus to its diamond mining activities. More

How Samsung is keeping e-waste from the landfill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One gripe leveled at consumer electronics companies is the rate at which their technologies become obsolete, often by design. While that's great for selling new products, it encourages people to throw out products with plenty of life left, causing a global electronic waste problem. More

Dunkin' Donuts to open 330 to 360 stores in 2013; expand into California
Chain Store Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dunkin' Donuts announced that in 2013 it plans to open 330 to 360 net new restaurants in the United States with growth coming from both new and existing markets, for an increase of 4.5 percent to 5 percent. The company also announced that it is expanding to Southern California as part of its long-term goal of having more than 15,000 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in the United States alone. More

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