Build-A-Bear CEO plans new store layouts, more licensing deals

Turnaround has allowed Overland-based stuffed toy retailer to post first annual profit since 2010.


Soon, however, those captivating stuffing machines will be placed closer to the front of the stores to increase their visibility. The machines are also getting a new shape and design to make them more eye-catching, Build-A-Bear’s CEO Sharon Price John said in an interview Friday at the company’s Overland headquarters.

Many Wichita restaurants automating customer service

Many chain restaurants have begun offering computerized kiosks and push-button ordering systems.


In Wichita, Chili’s, Applebee’s and Abuelos are using table-side tablets and kiosks as a supplement to the wait staff. The tablets allow patrons to make requests and pay their bill at the table. They can even use them, for an extra charge, to play games while they wait for their food. Red Robin will be getting the kiosks soon, and T.G.I. Fridays is testing them, too.

Local Panera restaurants have introduced an online ordering system that allows people to place and pay for their orders using an app then pick their food up at a shelf near the front of the store.

NCR Q4 2014 Results Self-check-out, EMV, Hospitality, Cloud Services

Couple of wins in self-checkout, one big legacy app cancelled, EMV costs reducing spend on upgrades in software, hospitality quick food spend down thanks to one mega. Cloud services * Revenue are new #1 


Couple of wins in self-checkout, one big legacy app cancelled, EMV costs reducing spend on upgrades in software, hospitality quick food spend down thanks to one mega.

Disney gets personal with new MyMagic+ reservation system.

Disney gets personal with MyMagic+ ORLANDO — Turnstiles, who needs ‘em? In fact, at the Magic Kingdom’s entrance, they no longer exist. And soon, you won’t even need a paper ticket to enter the Happiest Place


From Earnings Call Feb 3– 

 Is there any – on MyMagic+, is there if anyway you can give us some color or quantify the impact on guest spending and guest flow, that’s something you mentioned that it would improve efficiency? How should we think about the benefits of MyMagic+? And the second question is in this ramp-up to Shanghai, can you give us some more color or detail on the financial impact in fiscal ‘15 as you spend into the opening of ‘16?

Bob Iger – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Well, on MyMagic+, Jessica, I will take this one. First of all, about 10 million guests have already worn the bands. And so what we are hearing from them is overwhelmingly positive, basically a percentage that rated as excellent is significant. So, what that basically tells us and what we actually have seen is that it is serving the purpose that we set out to serve, which is to essentially make the experience more seamless, basically make it easier to give people an opportunity to enjoy what they do when they visit Orlando or Walt Disney World even more than they used to it and make them enjoy more of it, meaning experience more.

Just to give you for instance there were days during the holiday season where we were entertaining 250,000 guests at a time on property. And when you just consider how many guests you have to flow through the gates when the park opens in the morning, the fact that you have a band that enables you to basically walk right in, touch the band to a kiosk and keep going, instead of handing a ticket to a cast member making sure the ticket is right and then going in. That’s obviously creating a huge improvement meaning much quicker entrance into the park. And what this all adds up to is our ability to manage more people at a time without in any way diminishing guest experience. We did see in the quarter a positive impact to the bottom line from MyMagic+ just the beginnings of it. We will continue to see more of that, but we do not have data that we can share with you right now about specific guest spending.

Next Tech – the Poynt Smart Terminal

ThePoynt Smart Terminal combines the security and reliability of a

poynt smart terminal POS
Click to enlarge

traditional terminal with the unlimited versatility of a smartphone in a connected, multi-purpose device. With the PoyntOS and the help of 3rd party developers, the Poynt Smart Terminal also brings  merchants the tools and technology to manage every facet of their business with the tap of a button.

Includes dual screen display: Merchant-facing + Customer Facing


Automated-X Announces QUICKflick Awarded Contract with Remke Markets

Automated-X, Inc. today announced QUICKflickUSA, Inc. , its entertainment rental kiosk subsidiary, now has kiosks installed and operational in Ohio


All 13 Remke locations feature a QUICKflick entertainment kiosk, with one location featuring two kiosks. Details of the contract have not been released.

“For the first three months of operations, we are very pleased with the performance of our kiosks at all Remke locations. QUICKflick offers advanced features, the latest in kiosk technology, and, as an independent, the ability to offer earlier availability of the newest releases. These features offer significant competitive advantages and tremendous value to our customers,” commented Tim Regnier, President and COO.

Freestanding QUICKflick interactive entertainment kiosks allow customers to quickly rent films while doing their regular shopping, providing immediate access to entertainment

Wal-Mart seeks customer service feedback with kiosk in Bentonville store

There are numerous ways retail giant Wal-Mart assesses customer service feedback from its 5,000 U.S. stores. But there is evidence that a kiosk positioned directly in the front of the store could be a new way Wal-Mart solicits direct customer service feedback from its 140 million weekly shoppers.


Seeking Alpha analyst Brian Gilmartin writes that one of the bigger issues over the last two years has been traffic erosion. The last time Wal-Mart U.S. posted positive quarterly traffic was in the fourth quarter of 2012. Following are traffic stats from Wal-Mart U.S. stores

Oct. 2014: down 0.7%
July 2014: down 1.1%
April 2014: down 1.4%
Jan. 2014: down 1.7%
Oct. 2013: down 0.4%
July 2013: down 0.5%
April 2013: down 1.8%
Jan. 2013: down 0.1%

All eyes will be on Wal-Mart’s customer traffic report later this week (Feb. 19) as the retailer reports its fiscal fourth quarter results for 2015. Gilmartin said Wal-Mart is having to use price to offset low traffic, which is challenging the retailer’s “Every Day Low Price” mantra.

Airport kiosk : Materna presents Self Bag Drop with brand new Kiosk Payment at Passenger Terminal Expo 2015 in Paris

Gatwick Airport is the first airport worldwide to introduce kiosk payment for self bag drop systems so as to simplify baggage check-in for its customers. Materna recently has been awarded the contract for this and will install 50 systems at Gatwick Airport starting in April 2015.

Materna’s self bag drop system comes with an intuitive graphical user interface so that passengers can drop off their luggage very quickly and easily. Its solution is based on the IATA CUSS standard and also supports the new CUWS definition (Common Use Web Services). Visitors at PTE will be able to test this service for themselves.


Self-Service – Burger King takes a bigger bite of mobile with ordering test

The new service is reportedly already available at 10 Burger King locations in Germany, with another seven scheduled to go online next week. Mobile payment system Opentabs is powering the program


“There seems to momentum around Apple Pay and in general paying using a device rather than at the counter,” Mr. Weaver said. “It is still early days and fragmentation will be the biggest challenge for retailers.

P.F. Chang’s Enhances Real-Time Guest Communication with Integrated Software

Enterprise Service Bus integrates line-of-business and operational systems; enables sharing of up-to-the-minute loyalty program information with customers.


P.F. Chang’s China Bistro has selected Neuron ESB application and web services integration software to unify the restaurant’s backend systems that will power meaningful, real-time guest communications for its P.F. Chang’s and Pei Wei brands. Neuron ESB 3.5 implementation is currently underway, and will initially support the restaurant’s new loyalty program.

With phase one of Neuron ESB implementation, P.F. Chang’s is revamping its existing Bistro rewards program and launching one for its Pei Wei brand. The company’s new loyalty effort will enable corporate and its 400+ locations to interact with customers in real-time via email presenting up-to-the-minute point accumulation, status and rewards. Before installing Neuron ESB, P.F. Chang’s had relied on its CRM system to generate this type of communication which was often sent several days post-visit when the experience was long forgotten.

Best Buy launches its first wedding registry

Move over china and pretty linens. Best Buy Co., the nation’s largest consumer electronics chain, has launched its first wedding registry, catering to couples interested in the latest gadgets, from flat-panel TVs to Apple iPads.


The retailer will also have kiosks in its 1,000-plus large-format U.S. stores by early April, where customers can check out the registries that will give them access to all the items online and in stores and allow them to print out lists. They won’t be able to use the kiosks to order.

Wendy’s outshines competition as common POS integration opens mobile opportunities – Mobile Commerce Daily – Payments

Wendy’s appears to be faring better than most, thanks in part to the installation of a comment point-of-sale system in more than 2,600 locations, helping to drive the chain’s mobile rewards and mobile ordering aspirations.


The common POS system is positioned as the foundation of Wendy’s consumer engagement and marketing plans, including mobile rewards and mobile ordering.

The POS system is currently installed in substantially all of the 957 company-owned restaurants and is expected to be in all North American locations by the end of 2016.

Wendy’s is also a member of the retail consortium MCX, which is developing a mobile payments solution. The chain expects to begin a pilot test of the MCX mobile wallet, CurrentC, in the coming months.

How Ikea spread the flat-pack revolution across the world – Telegraph

Ikea chief executive Peter Agnefjäll plans to double the size of the business by the end of the decade, and India is Ikea’s next target


The company may have poured money into its website and app offer, which allows customers to place furniture in their “virtual” home to test how it might look, but Ikea still relies on people making out-of-town shopping trips.

Its famous blue and yellow superstores remain a core part of Ikea’s strategy and Agnefjäll expects the majority of sales to still come from its stores by 2020. Consumers may be dismayed to hear that there are no plans to alter the stores’ maze-like structure, designed to encourage people to make extra purchases.

The confusion is carefully planned and orchestrated by Ikea.

Managing Omnichannel and Digital Initiatives as a Portfolio

To meet the needs of consumers by engaging and delighting them across all touch points, retailers must manage omnichannel and digital initiatives as a portfolio.


To meet the needs of consumers by engaging and delighting them across all touch points, retailers must manage omnichannel and digital initiatives as a portfolio. Doing this will help retailers gain alignment and focus on the right things.

The Chipotle effect: Why America is obsessed with fast casual food

Chipotle has seen its sales more than quadruple since 2000; Panera has watched its own more than triple in that time; and Shake Shack just went public despite operating only 36 outlets. What’s going on?


Americans spent more than $21 billion at fast casual restaurants last year, according to data from market research firm Euromonitor, which is not bad, considering that the category is only loosely defined at best.