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Costco, IRI update Costco CRX program

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — Costco and IRI announced Wednesday that they will change a program that the club retailer describes as a single, global solution for category, point-of-sale and supply chain tracking, as well as extend the program to Mexico.

The two companies announced "significant enhancements" to the Costco Collaborative Retail Exchange platform, which was launched in 2004 to give manufacturers a detailed means of tracking business at the chain, using a single tool to get a full view of the company’s global business. The program was migrated to the Liquid Data technology platform in 2012, enabling faster insights.

"Costco is excited to debut the updated Costco CRX program as our enhanced data and technology will make it even easier for our valued manufacturer comity to obtain specific, real-time information about their business at Costco," IRI EVP retail client solutions Brad Shelton said. "Costco is consistently impressed with IRI’s ability to transform our POS information into actionable business insights for manufacturers, and we’re confident that the platform’s new global POS and supply chain management capabilities will further improve our manufactures’ communications and overall success in Costco stores."

The enhancements include a Category Tools service. Previously, vendors could only access their own data, but Category Tools allows them to measure performance against the rest of their category. In addition, the company has expanded the program to Mexico by launching Costco CRX Mexico, citing its success in the United States and Canada of enlisting 750 global vendors to participate.

"The Costco CRX platform has been a tremendous success in the United States and Canada, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer our manufactures in Mexico the same quality solution and enable a more global view of Costco’s sales," Costco Mexico director of sales Mark Feldman said.

 

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Sears Holdings launches fulfillment service for merchants

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings has launched a service that it said would offer a simple, cost-effective way for businesses to manage storage, picking, packing and shipping of customer orders from Sears Marketplace and other places a merchant sells products.

Fulfilled By Sears allows merchants to market and sell to members of the company’s Shop Your Way Rewards program. Sears said members of the program buy and spend more and recently exceeded 60% of Sears transactions and sales.

Sellers pay a small fulfillment fee per item and a commission for items sold on Sears.com, using the company’s network of warehouses, distribution centers and online order-fulfillment processes.

"Fulfilled By Sears is a game-changer for sellers of any size seeking a way to grow income and sales without increasing associated costs like storage, shipping and personnel," Sears Holdings EVP and president for marketing, online and financial services Imran Jooma said. "The introduction of solutions like Fulfilled By Sears and the double-digit sales growth last year of our integrated online business show how Sears Holdings is leveraging its leading integrated retailing assets to benefit not only our Shop Your Way Rewards members and customers, but also businesses who want to take advantage of this service."

Sears Marketplace is an online community for third-party merchants to sell products and reach customers on Sears.com, working with Sears to provide members of the loyalty program and customers with products such as fitness equipment, electronics, lawn and garden equipment, home goods and others.


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Zak releases dinnerware featuring latest Disney Jr. stars

BY Jason Owen

SPOKANE, Wash. — Zak Designs on Tuesday announced the latest product license for its line of dinnerware for kids.

Zak is releasing two lines of mealtime products featuring characters from two Disney Junior animated shows: "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" and "Doc McStuffins."

"Doc McStuffins" is a series featuring six-year-old Doc McStuffins who heals the toys that visit her backyard clinic. The show stresses the importance of empathy, taking care of those in need and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" is a music-filled interactive treasure hunt following a crew of kid pirates through their Never Land adventures as they try to outwit the infamous Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.

Chracters from both shows are featured on a variety of Zak products including standard and divided plates as well as bowls, flatware and an 8 oz. juice tumbler. Both lines also include a 17 oz. lenticular tumbler with 3-D graphics and Zak’s new 11 oz. Loopity Loop tumbler with a wrap-around straw on the top so kids can watch the liquid flow through.


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