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Industry Dashboard for Oct. 17, 2011

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly survey shows unadjusted August sales for both NAICS 444 and 44413 are up compared with last year, and slightly up compared with last month. 

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Sears equips store associates with iPads, iPod Touch devices

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Holdings has begun the staged rollout of Apple iPads and Apple iPod Touch devices, starting with nearly 450 stores nationwide. The move is designed to enhance the relationship between customers and associates, while improving the overall in-store shopping experience, Sears said. 

"Leveraging wireless access and mobile technology and putting new tools into the hands of our associates and customers is another step toward becoming a truly integrated retailer," said Deidra Merriwether, senior VP and president of Retail Services, Sears.

The devices and their applications will immediately help associates improve customer service and create a more personalized shopping experience, according to Sears. Associates will be able to help customers check available inventory, order products online, access product information and videos, and utilize enhanced purchasing tools to buy products they want.

The rollout is being significantly supported by the company’s Information and Technology Group. 

"We are upgrading the entire network and technology infrastructures, including enhanced wireless coverage, to provide our customers with free Wi-Fi access," said Keith Sherwell, senior VP and CIO. "This will provide our associates with innovative tools and applications to support our customers at the highest levels of personal engagement, while also offering customers a uniquely rich, integrated retail experience."

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m.one says:
Dec-27-2011 07:07 pm

This is funny considering
This is funny considering Lowe's rolled out iPhones, iPads, & wi-fi some time ago. Amazing how people follow suit and act like they are so innovative.

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Retailer, wholesaler form joint venture

BY Brae Canlen

A retailer who spent three decades working at Mazur’s Discount store chain has joined forces with a wholesaler to open a new hardware store outlet in Birmingham, Ala., according to an article in the Birmingham News.

Home and Hardware Outlet, which opened in early October, is co-owned by Keith Russell, who operates a wholesale business in Pelham, and Danny Lambert, who left a position as head of purchasing at Mazer’s Avondale store five years ago and opened his own outlet store, Lake Home Center, in Pell City in 2007.

The new store also employs assistant manager Trista Cox, who spent 20 years at the Mazer’s chain before it closed last month after nearly 80 years in business.

Lambert told the newspaper that Home & Hardware Outlet will be similar to his Lake Home Center in Pell City, which sells items bought at a discount ranging from kitchen cabinets to flooring. Much of Home & Hardware Outlet’s initial merchandise came from a major closeout of goods acquired from an unnamed national hardware store chain, plus other liquidation, closeout and bankruptcy goods.

”This is all-new, name-brand inventory,” Russell said. ”We have two new truckloads of merchandise coming in this week, and will add new items every day.”

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