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.

Borderfree And Alipay Team To Bring American Brands To Chinese Consumers

Logistics solution provider Borderfree, a division of Pitney Bowes, has expanded its partnership with payment service provider Ant Financial to bring American fashion, sports apparel and lifestyle accessories brands to online shoppers in China in advance of the holiday season.

Borderfree’s program with Ant Financial’s Alipay provides the payment, logistics services and marketing support to help global brands and retailers connect with Chinese consumers. The partnership, which launched in 2014, will now enable Alipay’s registered users to purchase products online directly from retailers such as Aéropostale, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, using localized payments.


Bristol Farms Taps ReposiTrak To Manage Food Safety Compliance

bristolfarmsNatural and organic grocery chain Bristol Farms has selected ReposiTrak, a provider of compliance management solutions for food, pharma and dietary safety, to manage regulatory and business documentation compliance within the supply chain.

The retailer will use the Compliance Management solution, which receives, stores and shares documentation, and also manages compliance through dashboards and alerts for missing or expired documents.


Vineyard Vines Launches Mobile App For Holiday Season

Apparel and accessories retailer Vineyard Vines has partnered with mobile technology platform PredictSpring to develop and launch a new mobile app in advance of the holiday season. The app will include features such as a holiday gift guide, a shoppable Instagram feed and 3D touch capabilities.

The app enables customers to browse and shop the Vineyard Vines Instagram feed via a “Buy Button” that is designed to make the social media platform instantly shoppable, while the app’s holiday gift guide provides insight into gift ideas throughout the retail site.


Levi’s And Goodwill Launch Free Clothing Donation Program

1levisgoodwillLevi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) and Goodwill have created a program in which customers can donate used clothing and shoes, by using free shipping labels available on the U.S. e-Commerce sites for the Levi’s and Dockers brands.

During the holiday season, LS&Co. will contribute $5 to Goodwill for every box of donated clothing shipped, donating up to $50,000 in total (with a guaranteed minimum of $25,000). On Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1, 2015), LS&Co. will double its contribution to $10 for every free shipping label printed and shipped. Donations will be sent to the nearest participating Goodwill location.


Target Leverages Mobile And Social Tools To Personalize Holiday Shopping

Target is engaging in a full court press to make "click and mortar" a reality for the 2015 holiday season. Initiatives include:

• Free shipping and returns through Dec. 25;

• New this season: International shopping and shipping to more than 200 countries and territories;

• Expansion of its Curbside pickup service to 121 stores (up from 21), which allows customers to complete their shopping without leaving their cars, at Target stores in Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York-New Jersey and Chicago;

• Expansion of the Instacart on-demand grocery delivery service to an additional territory in San Francisco. The service was piloted and initially offered in Minneapolis.


Thanksgiving Weekend Sales Starting Even Before The Turkey Thaws

While retailers hype up sales for Black Friday and even Thanksgiving Day, one retail deal site suggests the holiday shopping season actually begins even earlier — on the day before Thanksgiving., a web site dedicated to aggregating cheap deals throughout the entire retail industry, indicated that Wednesday, Nov. 25, would be the best day to shop during Thanksgiving weekend.


JCPenney And Kohl’s Offer Top Black Friday Deals

Consumers looking for a deal this upcoming Black Friday should head over to JCPenney, according to research from WalletHub. 2015’s Best & Worst Retailers for Black Friday Deals reveals that JCPenney has the highest overall discount rate, at 68%. Kohl’s (67%), Stage (64%), Groupon (64%) and Belk (60%) rounded out the top five retail discount rates.

The overall average discount retailers are offering on Black Friday is 40%. Consumers should aim for this level, or an even greater discount, in order to avoid Black Friday traps. Retailers to avoid for Black Friday deals include Costco (20%), Sam’s Club (25%), Amazon (26%), Big Lots (27%) and Walgreens (29%).


IBM Launches Watson App, Uncovers Holiday Trends

IBM has launched the IBM Watson Trend App, an application designed to provide insight into the top trends of the holiday season and also predict the hottest products — before they sell out.

The app scans 10,000 sources across the Internet such as social media sites, blogs, forums, comments, ratings and reviews to gauge consumer sentiment on trends and products. In gathering this data, the Watson app reveals how consumers feel about the products they are considering or have purchased.


UK Home Improvement Retailer Upgrades Omnichannel Customer Experience

Wickes StoreWickes, a 256-store UK home improvement retailer, will upgrade both in-store and omnichannel customer interactions with a chainwide implementation of the OneView Commerce platform to take place during the first half of 2016.

The retailer, part of the Travis Perkins Group, is the first of its 19 brands to deploy the OneView Digital Store Platform, and is doing so with a full in-store POS and cross-channel implementation.


First Data And NCR Enter Strategic Partnership

firstdatancrPayments solution providers First Data and NCR have entered a strategic commercial agreement in which the companies will provide a package of their respective platforms and services to each other’s clients. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

As part of the agreement, First Data will be a preferred provider of cybersecurity and payment processing solutions to NCR’s customers in the grocery, petroleum and convenience store industries. In turn, NCR will be a preferred provider of ATM hardware and services to First Data’s client base of more than 4,000 financial institutions. The agreement enables First Data to provide enterprise licenses for NCR CxBanking software, including APTRA applications and NCR Kalpana.


Apple To Build Fully Solar-Powered Store In Singapore

Apple will open its first retail store in Singapore — a store that will be powered solely by solar energy, according to Reuters. To power this store, Apple has partnered with solar energy developer Sunseap Group, which will supply the tech giant with energy generated by solar panels on the rooftops of more than 800 buildings in Singapore.

Under the partnership, Apple can power all of its Singapore operations with renewable energy, making it the first company in Singapore to do so.


Jamba Juice Set To Roll Out Mobile Ordering App For 600 Locations

Jamba Juice has revealed that it will fully roll out a mobile "order ahead" option into its Jamba Juice mobile app in mid-November. The feature, which is designed to reduce in-store wait times, will be supported in more than 600 Jamba Juice locations in the U.S.

In August, the first phase of the rollout affected more than 200 stores located in California, New York, Chicago and Hawaii. An additional 400 stores are set to roll out the feature in the coming weeks.


Field & Stream Launches First E-Commerce Site

Field & Stream, an outdoor specialty brand owned and operated by DICK’S Sporting Goods, has launched its first ever e-Commerce site at

The online store will sell outdoor equipment, accessories and services for activities such as hunting, fishing, archery and camping. The site will complement the retailer’s 19 brick-and-mortar store locations as part of its companywide omnichannel focus.

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