shopping

Energy Marketplaces Can Drive Smart Home Appliance Shopping

Posted on

Gautam Aggarwal, CMO of Bidgely, evolving energy analytics for utilities with the power of data and artificial intelligence.

Rising popularity in energy-efficient appliances and smart home products, such as smart thermostats and voice-activated light switches, has led utilities to ramp the development of online energy marketplaces in an effort to sell such products directly to consumers. Marketplaces promise valuable revenue sources for utilities, with the potential to increase global utility revenue from $118 million to $468 million in the next 10 years, according to research firm Guidehouse Insights. But traditional marketplaces so far have yet to deliver on that promise. 

Why? Traditional utility e-commerce sites struggle to compete against the brand recognition and loyalty of Amazon and the Home Depot and often fail to offer more than a limited catalog of products. In today’s world of business-to-consumer (B2C) sales and engagement, relying on generic, one-size-fits-all marketing is insufficient.

Amazon and other major brands have forever changed customer expectations by harnessing the power of customer browsing habits and purchasing behavior to tailor recommendations and greatly improve a customer’s overall experience. Utility marketplaces now must evolve in sophistication to provide a smarter way of shopping, capable of competing against the big-box retailer shopping experience.

While utilities have made strides in increasing customer satisfaction through personalization, more effective marketing is still needed to further drive engagement within their marketplace. How, then, can utilities become top of mind for smart home and energy-efficient appliance shopping?

My company, Bidgely, works with utilities to target customers with personalized marketing content similar to techniques used by Amazon. We help them capitalize on what utilities have that Amazon doesn’t: a household’s actual energy usage. By using data-driven artificial intelligence (AI) analytics to gain insights into energy behavior, utilities can gain a clear advantage over retailers when it comes to motivating customers.  

Targeted Marketing Through Personalization

Through AI-powered segmentation, utilities can create individual energy profiles for each household based on a series of characteristics, including real-time energy consumption and appliance type, and unique features, like electric vehicle (EV) charging or pool pump usage, that allow for more accurate customer targeting. By using these granular, appliance-level insights, marketers can create tailored marketing communications for their customers. 

Generic notifications about a utility refrigerator rebate program, for instance, can offer little to no value for customers without context into the individual customer’s current refrigerator efficiency. Arbitrary messages like this lack actionable guidance on why a customer should make the purchase and also have the potential to create distrust.

Instead, utilities should look to hypertarget their interactions to first make customers aware of their actual household’s energy usage by appliance, and then educate them to understand what affect upgrading or purchasing a new smart home appliance will have for them. The utility is now in a favorable position to not only send customers directly to their marketplace but also provide relevant purchasing recommendations.

Many utilities are already collecting immense amounts of customer data through smart meters. They can either work with

gift

Gift for Giving: Free Storage for Food Drive Donations at U-Haul

Posted on

SHREVEPORT, La., Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Caddo Sheriff’s Office is currently holding a food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana through Nov. 18. Now residents who give also stand to benefit thanks to a local partner in the collection efforts.

U-Haul Logo (PRNewsFoto/U-Haul) (PRNewsfoto/U-Haul)

U-Haul Company of Northern Louisiana is offering one month’s free use of a storage unit to any new U-Haul self-storage customer who donates at least three non-perishable food items at any of its Shreveport facilities serving as collection points.

The promotion is a show of support for the Caddo Sheriff’s Office and its vital mission to feed our community members in need, according to Warren Iles, U-Haul Co. of Northern Louisiana president.

Residents can sign up for a month of free storage through the duration of the food drive. Simply visit the most convenient of the three U-Haul drop-off sites with your donation and ask about the offer:

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Downtown Riverfront
222 Lake St.
Shreveport, LA 71101
(318) 963-8789

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Hollywood
2205 Hollywood
Shreveport, LA 71108
(318) 636-7135

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Shreveport Airport
5919 Financial Plaza
Shreveport, LA 71129
(318) 687-3601

This is the second year the Caddo Sheriff’s Office has hosted the food drive. Last year, CPSO employees donated almost 1,000 pounds of food.

Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator, in a recent press release, stated the food drive is especially important this year to help those impacted by COVID-19. “Many of our friends and neighbors have lost significant income or access to meals because of COVID-19,” he said. “The Food Bank and our community need our help, so I encourage you to donate what you can. One canned good or 20, we would appreciate your help.”

Donations of non-perishable items are also being accepted at the following Caddo Sheriff’s Office locations: Caddo Correctional Center, 1101 Forum Drive; Programs/Investigations, 1501 Corporate Drive; Caddo Courthouse/Tax Department, 501 Texas Street; the Sheriff’s Administrative Offices in Government Plaza, 505 Travis Street; and any of the CPSO substations located at 4910 North Market in Shreveport, 9956 Mansfield Road in Keithville, and 11411 Hwy. 1 North in Oil City.

The most requested food drive items are canned meat (tuna fish, salmon, or chicken); peanut butter; dried beans in a one- or two-pound bag; rice in a one- or two-pound bag; pasta/macaroni and cheese; canned vegetables; canned fruit; any boxed cereal, oatmeal or grits; flour and sugar (five-pound bag or less). No glass containers.

For additional food drive information, contact the Sheriff’s Office Media Relations team at (318) 681-0666.

About U-HAUL
Since 1945, U-Haul has been the No. 1 choice of do-it-yourself movers, with a network of 22,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 offers secure access to U-Haul trucks every hour of every day through the customer dispatch option on their smartphones and our proprietary Live Verify technology. Our customers’ patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet

fashion

Ferragamo family explores stake sale to drive Italian fashion brand revamp, sources say

Posted on

By Pamela Barbaglia and Claudia Cristoferi



a person standing in front of a store: Italian luxury fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo's logo is seen at a store in Zurich


© Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann
Italian luxury fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo’s logo is seen at a store in Zurich


LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) – The family owners of Italian fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo have held informal talks with financial investors to sell a minority stake in their holding firm as they seek to turn around the luxury brand and cope with the fallout of COVID-19, five sources told Reuters.

The company’s chairman Ferruccio Ferragamo, son of late founder Salvatore, held the discussions sometime after the summer, offering about a 20% stake in the holding vehicle that controls the Milan-listed business, banking and private equity sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is confidential.

A spokeswoman for the company – which has a market value of 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) – denied that the Ferragamo family planned to sell the stake.

The sources told Reuters that the family is still in the preliminary stages of testing market appetite and that a deal might face resistance from investors since the family is not willing to give away any governance control.

Video: JCPenney CEO says company could exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy process before the holiday season (Fox Business)

JCPenney CEO says company could exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy process before the holiday season

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Famous for shoes worn by Hollywood stars such as Audrey Hepburn, the Florentine leather goods brand saw its revenues plunge 60% in the second quarter, piling pressure on its family members – who control an overall 65% – to turn around the business.

Loading...

Load Error

“They have been calling around for a few months, targeting both private equity investors and sovereign wealth funds for a minority deal,” one of the sources said.

A stake sale to deep-pocketed financial investors would help resolve internal disagreements over the company’s turnaround strategy, allowing some of its family members to cash out, the sources said.

The heirs of founder Salvatore Ferragamo, including his four surviving children and several grandchildren, are all invested in Ferragamo Finanziaria SpA, which owns 54.3% of the company. Other family members hold an additional 10.7%.

($1 = 0.8436 euros)

(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London and Claudia Cristoferi in Milan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Jan Harvey)

Continue Reading

Source Article

fashion

Exclusive: Ferragamo Family Explores Stake Sale to Drive Italian Fashion Brand Revamp – Sources | Investing News

Posted on

By Pamela Barbaglia and Claudia Cristoferi

LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) – The family owners of Italian fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo

have held informal talks with financial investors to sell a minority stake in their holding firm as they seek to turn around the luxury brand and cope with the fallout of COVID-19, five sources told Reuters.

The company’s chairman Ferruccio Ferragamo, son of late founder Salvatore, held the talks some time after the summer, offering about a 20% stake in the holding vehicle that controls the Milan-listed business, banking and private equity sources said on condition of anonymity, as the matter is confidential.

A spokeswoman for the company – which has a market value of 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) – denied that the Ferragamo family planned to sell the stake.

The sources told Reuters that the family is still in the preliminary stages of testing market appetite, and that a deal might face resistance from investors since the family is not willing to give away any governance control.

Shares in Ferragamo were up 11% at 1428 GMT and were automatically halted from trading after Reuters first reported on the talks.

The Florentine leather goods brand saw its revenues plunge 60% in the second quarter, piling pressure on its family members – who control an overall 65% – to turn around the business.

“They have been calling around for a few months, targeting both private equity investors and sovereign wealth funds for a minority deal,” one of the sources said.

A stake sale to deep-pocketed financial investors would help resolve internal disagreements over the company’s turnaround strategy, allowing some of its family members to cash out, the sources said.

However, the Ferragamo family is not willing to give away any governance control, the sources said, making a deal less attractive for private equity investors who could alternatively buy more liquid shares on the market.

“Most investors would demand a big discount or at least some governance control to buy directly into the family holding rather than on the market,” one of the sources said.

Some sovereign wealth funds such as Singapore state investor GIC and Temasek, as well as the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), are also being targeted as possible investors due to their long-term investment strategy, the sources said.

Temasek teamed up with Dufry’s chairman Juan Carlos Torres in 2016 to buy a stake in the family holding of Italian luxury firm Moncler.

Founded in Florence in 1927, Ferragamo was listed on the Milan stock market in 2011 but remains very much a family company.

Salvatore Ferragamo, the eleventh of fourteen brothers, was born in a poor village of southern Italy in 1898.

As a teenager he emigrated to Boston to try his fortune there, and soon became famous as a shoemaker to the stars, including Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.

His heirs, including four surviving children and numerous grandchildren, are all invested in Ferragamo Finanziaria SpA, which owns 54.3% of the company. Other family members hold an additional

beauty

Feeling trapped in S.F.? Oceanside beauty is a drive away

Posted on

Maybe you’ve had enough of the virtual world, enough of meetings broadcast direct from somebody’s living room. So perhaps it’s time to click the “mute” button, click “leave meeting,” put on your traveling mask and head out the door on a road trip.

Head out to Southern California, where the ocean is warm and kids play on the beach. Then turn around and head north, where the ocean is cold and the beaches can be deadly. Both places are beautiful, both are in California, less than 500 miles apart, two faces of the same ocean in the same state.

Loading...

Load Error

The Sailor Girl and I have been city-bound for months. She is my companion in these adventures, and she was interested in celebrating a little girl’s birthday in Southern California. “Let’s go,” she said. “We’ll take 101. I’ll drive.” She didn’t have to say it twice.

If the traffic gods cooperate, it takes about an hour and a half to reach a gentle pass where the highway crosses the San Benito County line.

The country opens up there and I consider that spot the southern frontier of the Bay Area. The next town is Prunedale. Prunedale? We’re not in Kansas anymore.

We made pretty good time and got to Ventura, which would be our base, in just over six hours. We had a place to stay right on the beach. Fish tacos on the Ventura Pier for dinner. A golden sunset, a warm sea breeze. “Life Is Better at the Beach,” a sign said.

We hadn’t given much thought to Ventura, though we’d stayed there once or twice. But it turned out to be a surprise, a Southern California gem.

The town — officially he city of San Buenaventura — was once a Chumash Indian settlement. Spanish priests founded a mission there on Easter Sunday, 1782. East Coast purists may sniff at Ventura’s story, but the town is older than Chicago. It’s on the northern edge of the Los Angeles Basin; the fabled L.A. freeway system ends just outside the city limit. About 110,000 people live in Ventura, about a third of them Hispanic. You hear Spanish in the air.

We wandered up to Main Street, and here was another surprise — four blocks of the street have been converted, at least temporarily, into a pedestrian mall. It was very pleasant, with outdoor restaurants, antique shops, a bookstore, all manner of small businesses. The pedestrian mall is

clothing

Naperville Sunrise Rotary To Host Winter Clothing Drive

Posted on

NAPERVILLE, IL — The Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise kicked off its 22nd Annual winter clothing drive Friday. The clothing drive will run through Nov. 18 and will benefit 360 Youth Services and Sharing Connections.

Residents are asked to donate new or gently used:

  • Coats
  • Jackets
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Mittens

Donation boxes will be placed at the following locations throughout Naperville and surrounding suburbs:

  • Naperville Fire Department Administration Building at 1380 Aurora Ave.
  • Anderson’s Bookstores in Naperville and Downers Grove
  • Anderson’s Toy Shop
  • Colbert Custom Framing & Art Printing
  • Coldwell Banker at 1212 S. Naper Blvd.
  • DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church
  • Dutchman Heating on Ogden Avenue
  • Fort Hill Activity Center
  • Fry YMCA
  • Gerald Subaru
  • Grow Wellness Group in the Fifth Avenue Station
  • All Naperville Bank and Trust locations
  • Naperbrook and Springbrook Golf Courses
  • Raymond James at 620 N. River Rd.

“The mission of Rotary is ‘Service Above Self,’ and we are proud to partner with 360 Youth Services for their teen and young adult residential clients and Sharing Connections to deliver warm clothing to those in our area who are in need in the upcoming winter season,” Mike Tenuta, Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise President, said in a news release. “The Naperville community has always been very generous, and we look forward to another successful Winter Clothing Drive.”

Source Article

gift

Soaky Mountain Waterpark food drive raises $3,000

Posted on

Soaky Mountain Waterpark food drive raises $3,000

(SEVIERVILLE, Tenn.) — Soaky Mountain Waterpark officials announced today the food drive they hosted on their last day of the 2020 season raised $3,000 for the Sevier County Food Ministry.

According to Dave Andrews, general manager of Soaky Mountain Waterpark, “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our first season turned out to be an amazing one, and we are so happy to be sharing our gratitude with those less fortunate in our community.



a view of a city: Soaky Mountain Waterpark's food drive raised $3,000 for the Sevier County Food Ministry.


© Submitted
Soaky Mountain Waterpark’s food drive raised $3,000 for the Sevier County Food Ministry.

“We are really grateful to everyone who has embraced our new tourist attraction, and who realizes the powerful impact it can make on Sevier County.”

City administrator Russell Treadway also recently stated that the amusement tax for Sevierville for July-September of the fiscal year 2021 was $72,127 more than budgeted and the increase can be attributed in part to Soaky Mountain.

Soaky Mountain Waterpark has added nearly 500 jobs to the local economy.

It cost $90 million to construct and was developed by Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks who also owns and operates Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, and Wilderness Resort, Glacier Canyon Lodge, and Wilderness on the Lake, Wild Rock Golf Course, Sundara Spa and Glacier Canyon Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells.

For more information visit: SoakyMountainWaterpark.com.

Tennessee Market Week hosts International Gift Expo of the Smokies and Smoky Mountain Gift Show

NEW YORK, NY. (October 14, 2020) – Emerald, owner of the International Gift Expo of the Smokies (IGES), along with Clarion Events, owner of the Smoky Mountain Gift Show, today announce two of the gift, resort and souvenir industry’s most comprehensive buying events will come together to host an in-person Tennessee Market Week on November 4-7, 2020.

The Smoky Mountain Gift Show will be located at the Gatlinburg Convention Center while the International Gift Expo of the Smokies (IGES) will be located at the Pigeon Forge Leconte Center.  Both events will feature the top name lines and new products from hundreds of leading manufacturers and newcomers. As some of the first live-events trading in the second half of 2020, the top priority is ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved.  Both event teams and management are working closely with the convention centers, service providers, and state and local authorities to implement control measures to assure strict adherence to every health and safety standards.  Collectively, the Smokey Mountain Gift Show and IGES will create a Tennessee Market Week that meets every customer expectation from safety and convenience to the hospitality both IGES and the Smoky Mountain Gift Show are known for.

The IGES and Smoky Mountain Gift Show teams have taken a customer focused approach as they plan for the upcoming trade shows. Commented Lisa Glosson, vice president at Clarion Events which produces the Smoky Mountain Gift Show, “We know that this year has been different and difficult for many in our gift and souvenir family and we want to take