Retailing Briefs

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Sony Signs RW3 For Retail Assist

SAN RAMON, CALIF.— Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has employed RW3 Technologies, here, to help keep tabs on its retail activity. Specifically, said RW3 president/CEO Bruce Nagle, the company has implemented a program that captures and scorecards retail data on Sony's PlayStation products, allowing SCEA to measure its retail execution against its overall business objectives. "We needed a solution to enable our teams to gain better visibility of our retail execution by quantifying productivity and monitoring daily field activities," said SCEA merchandising director David Fiano. RW3 is also providing Sony with a more efficient system of communication and reporting, he said.

IPRO Holding Rep Reception At CES

LAS VEGAS— The Independent Professional Representatives Organization (IPRO) is holding a reception at the Consumer Electronics Show on Friday, Jan. 9, in Room S110 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event is open to members, manufacturers, their sales representatives, the press and other CES attendees who are invited to "stop in and exchange thoughts and experiences on how to enrich the manufacturer rep function," said IPRO president Andrew Ard.

Warrantech Withdraws Privacy Proposal

BEDFORD, TEXAS— Warrantech founder Joel San Antonio has withdrawn a proposal to take the extended service contract provider private. The offer, floated last year following an SEC inquiry into Warrantech's accounting practices, was designed to save the company upwards of $1 million a year in reporting and associated costs. San Antonio now believes that the company should focus its efforts on resolving the outstanding accounting issues and improving its business and operations in order to achieve greater value for its shareholders, he told the Warrantech board last month.

Kmart Narrowed Q3 Loss

TROY, MICH.— Kmart last month reported a net loss of $23 million for the quarter ended October 29, 2003, compared with a net loss of $383 million for the year-ago period. Loss before interest, reorganization items, income taxes and discontinued operations was $10 million, versus a loss of $328 million in 2002. Net sales for the quarter fell 21.2 percent to $5.1 billion, reflecting the closure of 316 stores during the company's first fiscal quarter last year, while same store sales slipped 8.6 percent due primarily to year-over-year comparisons with company-wide promotional events last year and fewer mid-week circulars this year. Kmart president/CEO Julian Day added that efforts to reduce losses by limiting promotions and clearance sales led to a mid-teens decline in November comp sales but succeeding in producing a profit for the month.

Santa's Helpers

NEW YORK— Best Buy presented the U.S. Marine Corps with an initial $350,000 check for its "Toys for Tots/Toys for Teens" programs at a recent Teen People Listening Lounge event here. More than 600 U.S. Best Buy stores continued to collect "Toys for Teens" donations throughout the holiday season.

Team Effort

BOSTON— Members of the New England Patriots and 150 Home Depot staffers recently joined forces with retail analyst Aram Rubinson and his Banc of America Securities team to build a children's playground in this Boston neighborhood. Rubinson said Banc of America has organized similar charity projects for the past three years, and that each was the highlight of the company's event calendar.


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