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Stepping up retail gadgetry

BY Antoinette Alexander

TEANECK, N.J. — Aetrex Worldwide is bringing shoppers a one-of-a-kind shopping experience featuring the most advanced technology in the footwear industry with the opening of its first retail concept in Englewood, N.J. An invite-only grand opening celebration will be held June 2.


While Aetrex is clearly focused on selling shoes, the new store opens a window onto how retailers across various channels can use technology to “step up” customer experience. The 2,400-sq.-ft. store features iStep Wave, a digital foot-scanning technology that measures foot size and determines arch type and pressure points in less than 30 seconds. The Wave can be operated with handheld wireless devices with foot scans instantly displayed on a monitor or sent virally via MMS or email to customers. Customers also can interact with one of two “Magic Tables,” which are powered by Microsoft Surface technology. The touchscreen technology enables customers to learn about Aetrex products by placing the shoe on the graphical interface. There’s also mobile point-of-sale technology by Apple that streamlines the entire purchase process with a bar code scan. The handheld mobile device checks for inventory and allows customers to pay with a credit card swipe, while an e-receipt is sent via email.

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Former A&P executive joins Rite Aid

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has appointed David Kelly as group VP construction, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

Kelly, who has worked in real estate and development for more than 25 years, will start work May 31 and will have overall responsibility for all store planning and construction services, in addition to having a role in various segmentation initiatives, including Wellness, value and co-branded Save-A-Lot/Rite Aid stores. He will report directly to SVP, CFO and chief administrative officer Frank Vitrano.

“David brings [more than] 25 years of vast development and real estate expertise to Rite Aid,” Vitrano stated. “His proven ability and experience with a diverse portfolio of retail projects will be a valuable asset at the company, especially as we continue to implement and grow our segmentation strategies.”

Most recently, Kelly was SVP real estate and development for the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. supermarket chain, also known as A&P. He began his retail career in 1987 as a construction project manager for Pathmark Stores, a supermarket chain operating in the Northeast.

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Energizer, NASCAR fans achieve Guinness World Record

BY Allison Cerra

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Racing fans at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina this past Saturday broke a Guinness World Record for most flashlights simultaneously lit.

To achieve this record, Energizer outfitted race attendees with 65,000 Energizer LED headlights with help from 175 volunteers from Energizer’s Asheboro, N.C., manufacturing facility. The Guinness World Record attempt, dubbed "Light Up the Night," kicked off the 16th year Energizer and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing have worked closely together to bring excitement and innovation to the race circuit, Energizer said.

The company also donated $30,000 worth of flashlights and batteries to the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the American Red Cross, as May 22 kicked off the start of Hurricane Preparedness Week.

"What a great event to bring to life our ‘Now That’s Positivenergy’ platform, which demonstrates our commitment to making a difference in our communities," Energizer’s North American marketing VP Jim Olsen said. "You can’t beat the excitement of illuminating an entire NASCAR track or the great feeling of knowing our friends at the Red Cross have a new supply of flashlights and batteries to aid with emergency relief efforts."

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