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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.

Coinbase Launches Regulated U.S. Bitcoin Exchange

coinbaseOn the heels of a $75 million funding round, Bitcoin wallet provider Coinbase has launched the first regulated Bitcoin exchange in the U.S., according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Coinbase has formally unveiled the service on its blog. The exchange is designed to offer greater security for individuals and businesses to trade Bitcoin and monitor the currency’s price in real time.

Coinbase has regulatory approval for the exchange in 24 U.S. states, including New York and California. The company currently runs exchange services in 19 countries, and spent five months working to get the proper regulatory approvals to expand the service into the U.S., according to the report.

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Gap Shuts Down Piperlime Brand

Due to underperforming sales, Gap Inc. is eliminating the Piperlime brand and its sales channels, which include an e-Commerce site and flagship store in SoHo, New York City. The entire Piperlime business will close by the end of Q1 2015. 

Although Gap Inc. has not broken out Piperlime sales from the overall business, the retailer estimated that the brand is the smallest of its entire portfolio, bringing in yearly revenue of less than $100 million, or less than 1% of total revenue. Moving forward, the Gap Inc. family of brands will include: Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Intermix and Old Navy.

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W. Lee Flowers Stores Manages Food Safety With ReposiTrak

igaW. Lee Flowers and Company, the operator and supplier of 46 IGA and KJ’s Market supermarkets and supplier of 43 independent stores throughout the Carolinas and Georgia, has chosen dietary and drug compliance solution ReposiTrak to manage food safety-related risk.

“With the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations now requiring us to store and manage literally thousands of vendor documents, we knew we had to eliminate the paper shuffle happening on both sides of our business,” said Henry Johnson, President of W. Lee Flowers. “We chose the ReposiTrak solution for its automation and validation capabilities. We like that the dashboards and alerts enable one person to stay on top of missing, expired, or inaccurate documents.”

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Dixons Carphone Rolls Out Live Chat For Currys PC World Brand

DixonsDixons Carphone, a UK-based electrical and telecommunications retailer, has implemented the TouchCommerce TouchChat online customer engagement solution for its Currys PC World brand. With TouchChat, customers can engage with technology experts in real time on the Currys and PC World web sites using their desktops, smartphones or tablets.

Dixons Carphone also accesses real-time customer analytics from TouchCommerce to understand online browsing behaviors and deliver more relevant content to online shoppers.

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ServiceRocket Acquires Learndot Developer

servicerocketServiceRocket, a provider of customer service training, utilization and support technology, has acquired the assets of Matygo Educational Incorporated, the developer of the Learndot customer education platform. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Learndot helps businesses build educational courses — either from existing materials or from scratch — and deliver precise analytics on the success of their initiatives. Companies can engage with customers and use tests and quizzes to measure the adoption and success of each course. Learning materials also can be delivered to specific users. Learndot also provides detailed learning records for all users and clear data visualization of overall content effectiveness.

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Bauer Hockey Selects Epicor To Power Retail Experiences

bauerBauer Hockey, a designer and manufacturer of ice hockey equipment, has selected multiple Epicor Retail solutions to power its new “Own The Moment” retail experiences locations. The retail experiences sites will showcase the full Bauer product line, offer in-depth product education and will feature an ice rink for customers to test-drive Bauer skates and gear. The first site is set to open in Burlington, Mass. in summer 2015.

Bauer is tapping the Epicor Retail Store, Mobile Store, Merchandising, CRM and Sales Audit solutions to deliver a personalized and interactive shopping experience to customers, while leveraging the Epicor Retail Software as a Service (SaaS) engagement model. Epicor’s SaaS solution is designed to eliminate the need to invest in and build out a retail-specific IT organization, giving Bauer Hockey the freedom and flexibility to focus IT resources on other parts of the business.

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Smarter Remarketer Rebrands As Smarter HQ

smarterhqSmarter Remarketer, a marketing automation platform provider for retailers, has changed its name and will now operate as Smarter HQ. The name change was implemented to better reflect the company’s expanded solution suite.

Smarter HQ also revealed that its current President, Michael Osborne, will take on the role of CEO. Former CEO, Howard Bates, will serve as the company’s Executive Chairman.

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Roundy’s Selects Market6 To Improve Supplier Collaboration

Grocery and pharmacy chain Roundy’s Supermarkets will implement the Market6 Foundation platform to improve collaboration with its list of vendor partners.

With Market6 Foundation, the Roundy’s merchandising team will exchange information and work with suppliers more effectively. Ensuring ongoing communication is expected to help the retailer optimize high-value business processes, such as executing promotions, managing inventory, introducing new items and reducing out-of-stocks.

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Build-A-Bear Workshop Taps TXT Retail To Support Global Growth

Build-A-Bear Workshop is implementing the TXT Retail Planning solution to support and accelerate its growth worldwide. The retailer will use the TXT platform to help optimize merchandise, store, pre- and in-season planning across all channels.

Beyond having a growing e-Commerce business and company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, UK and Ireland, Build-A-Bear Workshop also has franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and Mexico. With up to 400 stores worldwide, the retailer required a solution to support this rapid growth. Using TXT Retail Planning, the retailer will be able to manage end-to-end planning within a single platform. 

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Is RadioShack’s Bankruptcy Imminent?

RadioShack will file for bankruptcy protection by next month, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). On the heels of the report, the retailer’s stock plummeted more than 35% as of the New York Stock Exchange’s closure on Jan. 15, 2015.

Yet RadioShack still has not commented on the matter, and has not confirmed any of the information provided by WSJ.

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Pitney Bowes Implements New Brand Strategy

pitney bowes new logoPitney Bowes has unveiled a new brand strategy and identity designed to align with its business transformation vision outlined in May 2013. The company also has developed a new logo and re-designed its web site, which touts enhanced content and an improved user experience. 

“We are not the same company we were several years ago,” said Marc Lautenbach, President and CEO of Pitney Bowes. “We have expanded our business into high growth markets, including digital commerce and software, while at the same time continuing to innovate in our core mailing and shipping businesses. Our new brand strategy and identity not only reflect who we are today, but also where we are going in the future.”

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