DISNEY’S LOSS, NRF’S GAIN: Joseph LaRocca, who most recently served as loss prevention director for The Disney Store, is the new vice president of loss prevention for the National Retail Federation. In his new role, LaRocca will head up loss prevention services at the trade association, including its annual loss prevention conference and related committees. His 18 years of experience in loss prevention include stints at Bullock’s/Macy’s and Rampage Clothing. Prior to joining NRF, LaRocca served on its loss prevention advisory council and cochaired the NRF’s Investigator’s Network.

TRANSFER OF POWER: Don Vietti, RadioShack’s vice president of management information systems, will take over as vice president and chief information officer, effective Feb. 28. He currently oversees the corporate applications group, which is responsible for systems development and support for most business applications used at the $4.6 billion consumer electronics retailer. Vietti is credited with reorganizing the applications group and implementing a new project prioritization process to ensure the company tackles IT projects that deliver maximum value. In his new role, Vietti will assume many of the responsibilities now handled by Evelyn Follit, who holds what may be the lengthiest hybrid title of any retail technology executive. Follit, senior vice president, chief organizational enabling services officer and chief information officer, last month announced her upcoming retirement. The post she will vacate includes responsibility for human resources; a search for a human resources senior vice president is under way. Follit serves on Catalina Marketing’s board of directors, including the audit and finance committees. She told WWD she plans to remain active in retail and hopes to join another company’s board. “IT experience, plus the finance and human resources skills, are needed on the boards of companies today,” she said. Follit, who has chaired the National Retail Federation’s CIO Council, joined RadioShack in 1997; within a year, she was promoted to senior vice president, making her the first woman to hold that title in the company’s 84-year history.

HOTKA HIRE: The Retail Industry Leaders Association has tapped Cathy Hotka as senior vice president, technology and business development, a new position. The appointment to the Washington-based trade association took effect this month. Hotka’s responsibilities include managing the RILA Technology Leaders Council and developing new business models for the organization. Prior to her formal appointment, Hotka worked as a consultant for RILA. Before that she was vice president of information technology at the National Retail Federation, Washington, D.C., where she played a key role in forming the NRFCIO Council.FAST EDDIE: Eddie Bauer has gone live with a suite of software applications to automate customized furniture orders placed in stores, a process that was highly manual. Using product configuration software, order management, customer service and fulfillment solutions from GERS Retail Systems, the retailer expects to reduce time between customer order and delivery. “Custom furniture orders have longer lead times, so it’s common for customers to call and ask where their orders are,” Eddie Bauer spokesman Lisa Erickson said. The new technology will make tracking the status of an order easier and faster.

COOL SAVINGS UP NORTH: Northern Group Retail Ltd. projects it will save 50 percent in operational costs on a new gift card program it launched in the fall. A stored value application from Triversity resides in Northern Group’s own systems, enabling it to avoid third-party transaction fees charged by some solution providers. “In conjunction with our recent initiative to replace paper gift certificates with gift cards, Northern Group sought a cost-effective application that would provide real-time integration with our existing POS system,” said Bonnee Hildebrandt, director of accounting and payroll, Northern Group Retail. She characterized the potential savings as “significant” and put the first-year’s savings at 50 percent.

SPACE FOR IMPROVEMENT: Consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble is seeing sales improvements in various product categories after implementing space management software from JDA Software Group, according to the technology vendor. Procter & Gamble is using a floor planning system and category management optimization solution from JDA. “To grow sales and volume across our entire portfolio, it’s becoming increasingly important that we work closely with our retail partners to better manage space allocation, including adjacencies, for our products on the store floor,” said J.P. Brackman, P&G’s global retail presence manager. The software “will help us to better understand how to maximize our available space as we continue to add new categories and meet the unique needs of our retail partners.”

HIGHJUMP, DELOITTE LEAP INTO ALLIANCE: HighJump Software, part of 3M, and Deloitte Consulting are partnering to offer global supply chain solutions and services. The alliance includes HighJump’s radio frequency identification-enabled supply chain solutions for warehouse, yard and transportation management, data collection and collaboration. The alliance, announced Monday at the ProMat 2005 logistics and materials handling conference in Chicago, is part of a broader relationship between Deloitte Consulting and 3M to help companies address supply chain challenges in the global market.FAST EDDIE: Eddie Bauer has gone live with a suite of software applications to automate customized furniture orders placed in stores, a process that was highly manual. Using product configuration software, order management, customer service and fulfillment solutions from GERS Retail Systems, the retailer expects to reduce time between customer order and delivery. “Custom furniture orders have longer lead times, so it’s common for customers to call and ask where their orders are,” Eddie Bauer spokesman Lisa Erickson said. The new technology will make tracking the status of an order easier and faster.

COOL SAVINGS UP NORTH: Northern Group Retail Ltd. projects it will save 50 percent in operational costs on a new gift card program it launched in the fall. A stored value application from Triversity resides in Northern Group’s own systems, enabling it to avoid third-party transaction fees charged by some solution providers. “In conjunction with our recent initiative to replace paper gift certificates with gift cards, Northern Group sought a cost-effective application that would provide real-time integration with our existing POS system,” said Bonnee Hildebrandt, director of accounting and payroll, Northern Group Retail. She characterized the potential savings as “significant” and put the first-year’s savings at 50 percent.

SPACE FOR IMPROVEMENT: Consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble is seeing sales improvements in various product categories after implementing space management software from JDA Software Group, according to the technology vendor. Procter & Gamble is using a floor planning system and category management optimization solution from JDA. “To grow sales and volume across our entire portfolio, it’s becoming increasingly important that we work closely with our retail partners to better manage space allocation, including adjacencies, for our products on the store floor,” said J.P. Brackman, P&G’s global retail presence manager. The software “will help us to better understand how to maximize our available space as we continue to add new categories and meet the unique needs of our retail partners.”

HIGHJUMP, DELOITTE LEAP INTO ALLIANCE: HighJump Software, part of 3M, and Deloitte Consulting are partnering to offer global supply chain solutions and services. The alliance includes HighJump’s radio frequency identification-enabled supply chain solutions for warehouse, yard and transportation management, data collection and collaboration. The alliance, announced Monday at the ProMat 2005 logistics and materials handling conference in Chicago, is part of a broader relationship between Deloitte Consulting and 3M to help companies address supply chain challenges in the global market.

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