Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

At the Demandware XChange conference in Las Vegas this week, Kyle Phillips, director of e-commerce technology at Carter's; and Michael Valeiko, director e-commerce development, and Lukas Agrapidis, director of e-commerce technology, both of Sleepy's, talked about how their brands are using geolocation to drive customer engagement and conversions.

This is the first time FedEx has announced its Ground increase prior to UPS. In the past, UPS would set the Ground increase and FedEx would quickly match it. The industry now turns its attention to UPS in anticipation of its 2015 general rate increase announcement in the coming weeks. Does UPS match the FedEx rate increases, or will it change pricing to compete with new, sharply discounted USPS Priority Mail pricing?

Effy Jewelry is an omnichannel retailer that has a strong brick-and-mortar presence in the Caribbean and Alaska, catering to consumers on cruise ships. The problem was that customers would get off the ship, make a purchase in one of Effy's retail stores and the brand would never hear from them again. The retailer didn't have a system in place for effectively collecting customer data in-store, making future communication a challenge.

Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, is accelerating the national rollout of its online handyman referral service Redbeacon to tap demand from homeowners who don't want to do fix-it projects themselves. Redbeacon, which connects consumers with painters, plumbers, carpenters and maids, expanded this week through Home Depot to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Montana and Alaska. That puts the service in 11 states as it pushes nationwide over the next two years, CEO Anthony Rodio said in an interview last week.

Cabela's is leaving something behind as it begins its journey to become a truly omnichannel retailer: its paper catalogs. The retailer's initial steps will focus on a print-to-digital transformation, tests of targeted shipping offers, and new mobile and digital efforts for the holiday season, according to CEO Thomas Millner. "Late last year, we began to develop a multiyear approach to reverse the four-year downtrend in our direct segment and transform our 51-year-old legacy catalog business into an omnichannel enterprise supporting transformation for digital, e-commerce and mobile while optimizing the customer experience with our growing retail footprint."

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