Retail
Staples Connect: Retail Reimagined
Staples recently announced a new store concept – with coworking, podcasting and community event spaces – called Staples Connect. “This new store concept is built around the ever-evolving needs of the retail customer with a focus on community, hands-on learning and solutions,” a company release states. The new Staples Connect concept currently is in six stores in Massachusetts. “We recognize that the way people shop is changing, and with the launch of Staples Connect we are adapting to fit the needs of our customers,” Mike Motz, Chief Executive Officer, Staples US Retail, said in the release. “Our customers are teachers, students of all ages, small business owners and side hustlers. Research shows that much of what they are seeking is real human interaction with members of their community and industry, which is key to productivity and growth. At Staples Connect, we do more than just supply your success through product offerings, we wholeheartedly support it.”
 
 
Innovation
Nintendo Switch Lounges Offer Travelers Gateways to Adventure at U.S. Airports
Nintendo Switch On The Go pop-up airport lounges will be at select major airports across the United States, starting on Thursday. These lounges will have Nintendo products and opportunities to use Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite systems. “With a vast library of exciting entertainment to launch into, we hope travelers discover that Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite make great companions for their trips,” Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said in a release. “Spending time with Nintendo games at our On The Go lounges will give people the opportunity to begin or end their journeys with a smile.”
 
 
Loyalty / Rewards Programs
Iron Hill Launches Mobile App to Enhance Loyalty Program
Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant is introducing a mobile app for its King of the Hill (KOTH) members to improve the loyalty program experience. Members can see points and rewards balances, reserve a table, place an order, apply rewards to their check, and more through the app. “King of the Hill members are our biggest fans. We launched our mobile app to make it easier for them to learn about what is going on at their local Iron Hill and do everything from order takeout to make a reservation,” Kim Boerema, CEO of Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, said. “It also enables us to further engage with our customers and enhance their dining experience at every step of the way.”
 
 
Corporate Social Responsibility
HanesBrands Global Corporate Social Responsibility Achievements Earn Two Awards
HanesBrands has earned two awards in Central America and the Caribbean for best practices in corporate social responsibility. “The company received a 2019 FUNDAHRSE Seal from the Honduran Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility for the ninth consecutive year,” according to a news release. Also, the Mexican Center for Philanthropy honored Hanes with its seventh CEMEFI award for the company’s focus on promoting “a more equitable, supportive and prosperous society” across Latin America. “All of the programs that our CSR and human resources teams jointly create and manage are designed to provide our employees, their families and the citizens of the communities in which we operate the necessary tools to help elevate their quality of life,” Teddy Mendoza, HanesBrands senior manager of corporate social responsibility for the Western Hemisphere, said in the release. “It is a great honor to be recognized for our efforts by these prestigious international organizations.”
 
 
Artificial Intelligence
NBA using artificial intelligence for highlight clips this All-Star game
The National Basketball Association says it is using machine learning to create more highlights than ever before All-Star weekend. The NBA has been utilizing technology from a company called WSC Sports to analyze key moments of each game and generate highlights since 2014. The software automatically will create multiple clips and content for every player during All-Star weekend. “This is something we wouldn’t do before when we had to do it manually and push it out across 200 social and digital platforms across the US,” Bob Carney, senior vice president of social and digital strategy for the NBA, said in a CNBC.com article.
 

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