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Kodak looks to set Facebook photos free via app, picture kiosks

BY Allison Cerra

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Kodak is promoting its Facebook application and Kodak picture kiosks by offering consumers the opportunity to share life’s special moments by turning their Facebook photos into high-quality printed keepsakes, the company said.

Kodak is asking Facebook users to download the its My Kodak Moments app on Facebook or access their Facebook photos on Kodak picture kiosks to create a free 8×10 collage in an effort to "free" the billions of photos stored on social networking site. As part of the promotion, the company has teamed up with morning actor/comedian Mark Malkoff, who will be placed inside of a plexiglass box that will travel around New York City until one million Facebook photos are set "free."

The My Kodak Moments app is available on Facebook and also can be found by visiting Kodak.com/go/freemark.

"By putting Mark and his photos in this box, we are demonstrating the need to free the billions of photos stored on Facebook and encouraging consumers to do more with them," Kodak VP worldwide marketing of retail systems solutions Larry Trevarthen said. "We created solutions like the new My Kodak Moments app and the ability to connect to Facebook from a Kodak picture kiosk, for stories that are worth more than just a status update."

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Supervalu expands partnership with Western Beef

BY Allison Cerra

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Supervalu will serve as the primary grocery supplier for retailer Western Beef beginning in January 2012, the company announced Tuesday.

Supervalu, which currently supplies Western Beef’s two stores in Florida, now will include an additional 22 of Western Beef’s conventional stores and five of their limited assortment stores in New York and New Jersey, along with a third Florida store that is slated to open soon.

Supervalu said its Lancaster, Pa.-based distribution center will supply the 27 Western Beef stores in New York and New Jersey, while the two Florida stores (and third pending store) will continue to be supplied by Supervalu’s Southeast region.

“This is an exciting time for Supervalu as we expand our relationship with Western Beef and increase our presence in the New York market,” said Kevin Kemp, president of Supervalu’s eastern region. “For decades, Western Beef has done an excellent job of serving customers in its local markets. With this expanded partnership, Western Beef will be able to increase the variety of products offered in their Northeast stores while taking advantage of a wide array of support services that we offer.”

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Shoppers look for simplicity in online retailers, research finds

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Online brands that offer less complex return policies, along with ways to easily identify the highest-quality items, earned high marks among consumers, according to new research from global strategic branding firm Siegel+Gale.

In the 2011 U.S. Brand Simplicity Index, survey respondents defined brands as simple based on "their ease of understanding, transparency, caring, innovation and usefulness of communications, as well as how complex and complicated typical interactions are in relation to industry peers," Siegel+Gale said. This year, the top three brands were Netflix, Google and Amazon. The list also included U.S. retailers Target, Publix and Whole Foods, which ranked Nos. 4, 5 and 9, respectively.

"This survey demonstrates that brands that put a premium on simpler and more transparent user experiences and interactions inspire confidence and generate customer loyalty," Siegel+Gale chief creative officer and co-CEO Howard Belk said.

Added Siegel+Gale chief strategy officer and co-CEO David Srere, "It is time for brands across all industries to recognize that communicating in a clear, direct and straightforward manner generates a high level of customer loyalty and, ultimately, profit. Consumers are demanding simplicity in all of their interactions, and those organizations that can satisfy this demand will be able to compete — and thrive — in today’s competitive marketplace."

Click here to view the full report.

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