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09/03/07

AMR Research adds two new members to its retail strategies service team



AMR Research has added Andy Sanfilippo and Dawn O'Brien to its retail strategies service team. As a research director at AMR, Sanfilippo will oversee processes and technologies related to merchandising, including merchandise and assortment planning, allocation, lifecycle pricing, and cross-channel merchandising. As a program director, O'Brien will direct AMR Research's retail peer-forum network, which includes the new “Retail IT Leaders Peer Forum.” Together, Sanfilippo and O'Brien bring to AMR Research more than two decades of industry experience. AMR Research provides advisory services and peer-networking opportunities for technology and supply-chain professionals in the manufacturing and retail sectors.

Online t-shirt retailer Threadless will open its first retail store in Chicago
Online t-shirt retailer Threadless will open its first brick-and-mortar retail store on its home turf in Chicago on September 14. The company plans to organize two free concerts, which will take place on the launch date. As part of Threadless’ “ongoing t-shirt design competition,” fans are invited to present their own t-shirt design ideas. Each winning designer is awarded $2,000 in cash. Fans can also submit photographs of themselves wearing Threadless t-shirts to earn discounts on their next purchases. The company has received 60,000 submissions so far and has more than 300,000 members. At its Chicago store, Threadless will apply the same marketing tactics that made its website famous; for instance, the store will use recycled cloth bags, which, when returned, will earn the customer a $5 discount.

Countrywide to take over assets of HomeBanc
Countrywide Financial Corp. and HomeBanc Corp. have entered into an agreement whereby Countrywide will buy the assets of HomeBanc’s retail mortgage operations, including five retail branches, and hire a significant number of HomeBanc’s retail loan originators. However, Countrywide will make no cash-premium payments. Confirming the agreement, David Sambol, president and chief operating officer of Countrywide Financial Corporation, said that Countrywide is cashing in on the opportunities available in the consolidation market. The takeover was designed to strengthen Countrywide’s retail franchise. Moreover, HomeBanc’s focus on prime retail purchase originations complements Countrywide’s strategy of expanding its retail channel and will aid Countrywide in maintaining its status as the nation’s leading mortgage loan originator and service provider.

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