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Sears agrees to consider revised takeover bid

BY Marianne Wilson

Sears is still in the game — at least until Jan.14.

After widespread reports that the struggling, the 126-year-old retailer would seek the approval of a bankruptcy court judge on Tuesday to proceed with liquidation, Sears agreed to consider a revised takeover bid from chairman Edward Lampert — via an affiliate of its ESL Investments hedge fund — that would keep the company in business.

Lampert must submit the revised offer for Sears, along with a $120 million deposit, by 4 p.m. Eastern on Jan. 9. Sears will then allow Lampert to participate in a previously scheduled auction on Monday, Jan. 14, when it will compare his offer to others by liquidators, reported CNBC.

After an auction winner has been determined, a deal will require approval from the bankruptcy court on Jan. 31, the report said.

On Dec. 28, Lampert made a $4.4 billion bid to takeover Sears. One of the main points of contention in the negotiations between Lampert and Sears was whether Lampert’s bid fully addressed the bankruptcy costs that Sears has racked up.

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Ahold Delhaize appoints new chief digital officer

BY Marianne Wilson

Ahold Delhaize has a new digital head.

The global supermarket giant named Farhan Siddiqi as chief digital officer and member of the executive committee, effective January 28, 2019. Farhan will drive digital transformation and innovation across Ahold Delhaize’s local brands, focusing on loyalty, data analytics and personalization.

Farhan joins Ahold Delhaize from McDonald’s, where he most recently served as the chief digital officer and led the restaurant chain’s digital transformation, including the launch of mobile commerce in 20,000 restaurants, a new mobile app and the upgrade of self-service ordering kiosks. He was also responsible for data analytics and extending customer relationship management capabilities.

Prior to McDonald’s, Farhan held several key leadership positions within Bank of America, Target and General Electric, where he focused on implementing successful customer loyalty programs, digital payment solutions, and launching strategic partnerships.

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Walgreens to use Zebra’s selling, inventory management applications

BY Dan Berthiaume

Walgreens is equipping store associates with mobile devices to streamline front- and back-end activities.

The drug store giant is running assisted selling and inventory management applications on Zebra’s Android-based ET50 tablet and TC51 mobile computers in its more than 9,500 stores across the United States. Store associates utilize Zebra’s mobile computers and tablets to perform such tasks as checking planograms, looking up product information and setting up orders for home or direct-to-store delivery. By increasing the speed and ease with which employees can complete tasks, the mobile devices help free up more time for personalized customer interactions.

“Every customer has a unique need when shopping, so each experience needs to be personalized for it to be successful,” Steve Turner, chief CIO and senior vice president at Walgreens, said. “Zebra’s mobile solutions make it easy and frictionless for our team members to complete store management tasks and assist shoppers, so that we can focus on delivering the best possible experience for customers every time.”

Walgreens is following in the footsteps of 103-year-old department store retailer Bealls, which recently armed associates across all its stores with Zebra TC51 mobile computers. The devices enables users to fulfill online orders with store inventory, conduct more accurate and speedy price markdowns, and assist shoppers on the sales floor. Since adding the system, Bealls now makes markdowns 25%-to-35% faster, store associates have more time to assist shoppers and the time it takes shoppers to retrieve online orders has shortened.

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