CIOThe achievement highlights the company’s innovation of first-of-its-kind, patent-pending credit card acquisition capability for retailers.

IDG's CIO recently ranked Alliance Data’s card services business - a premier provider of private label, co-brand and business credit programs - among the 2017 CIO 100. This first-of-its-kind credit card capability highlights the company’s excellence in developing effective mobile and digital solutions, and innovation in information technology.

The 30th annual award program recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology (IT).

Alliance Data’s card services business received this honor for its proprietary Frictionless Mobile Credit capability. This first-of-its-kind credit card acquisition capability allows shoppers to apply for a store-branded credit card in a matter of seconds from the privacy and security of their mobile device anywhere in their shopping journey. Frictionless Mobile Credit reduces application time by more than 25 percent and the application abandonment rate by more than 95 percent, according to a release.

Alliance Data“Frictionless Mobile Credit requires a simple text and a few keystrokes, and shoppers are on their way to applying for credit. Through Alliance Data’s patent-pending process, a credit application is automatically populated using information from our vast data resources,” explained Mike Rosello, chief information officer of Alliance Data’s card services business. “This fast, simple, and customer-friendly innovation benefits customers and retailers by adding convenience and saving time – and because customers know their credit limit earlier in the shopping process, it has been shown to significantly increase first-time purchases.”

Alliance Data’s card services business will accept the award at the CIO 100 Symposium and Awards Ceremony August 16 at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo.      

Logo SmallRatioGlobal Icons aims to increase USPS’s brand exposure through engaging product collections worldwide.

The United States Postal Service® (USPS) has chosen Global Icons LLC to help expand its licensing business.

Global Icons – an industry leading brand licensing agency – will represent USPS and support the historic postal service’s strategic brand initiatives by increasing brand exposure through engaging product collections worldwide.

According to a release, the duo will use a “two-prong approach” to expand USPS’ brand, emphasizing a focus on building out its existing USPS® licensed program with items such as era-specific mailboxes, stationery and mailing accessories.

Additionally, the second prong will leverage the postal service’s vast catalog of assets and imagery reflecting global innovations in transportation, design, science, music, and art to utilize in lifestyle categories including apparel and accessories, home décor, toys & games, digital/interactive and gifts & novelties.

“The Postal Service has over 240 years of history in connecting people and binding a nation with tremendous assets and content,” Executive Director of Brand Marketing for USPS Christopher Karpenko said in a release. “We’re excited to have Global Icons working with us to find the right opportunities where USPS can be positioned in ways to enhance the brand and positioning.”

Fancy Food ShowWelcome to the Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show.

Imagine a wonderland of the world’s best chocolate, cheese, olive oil, charcuterie, savory snacks, spices, organic products and more. You’ll find these products, and the entrepreneurs behind them, at the 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City from June 25-27.

The Summer Fancy Food Show (SFFS) is hosted by the Specialty Food Association (SFA), which is celebrating 65 years of bringing innovation to the specialty food industry. The not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,400 members around the world with resources, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace.  

SFFS is the largest trade show for specialty food and beverages in North America. The sold-out exhibit halls are filled with more than 180,000 new products, new brands and top-quality classics from 2,600 exhibitors from across the U.S. and 48 countries, proudly representing the $127 billion industry.

“The Summer Fancy Food Show is a food lover’s paradise for the taste buds and the mind,” said Phil Kafarakis, president, SFA. “Tasting the latest product is only one part of the show, it’s also about understanding the industry. The amount of information we offer – whether it be from our education programs or from our future of food experience, new this year or from our awards programs – should leave everyone walking out with a list of new favorite foods and a wealth of information, arming them to make specialty food a part of their daily lives.”

Some of the highlights for the 2017 show include:

LevelUP, a NEW Immersive Attraction

The new exhibition immerses attendees in tastes, technology and trends of tomorrow. The program will feature future consumer food trends and the forces driving them, food commerce of the future in digital, retail and food service, leading-edge market research and keynote and enhanced education sessions.

Education Program

SFA is presenting daily seminars, panels and discussions of thought-leading and business-building topics at SFFS to inspire startups, established manufacturers and buyers at all levels of expertise to succeed in the ever-changing marketplace. Sessions will include a “Retailer Roundtable” of top supermarket, specialty and e-commerce buyers discussing the future of specialty food and “The Basics: The Business of Specialty Food,” a full-day workshop on June 24 to acclimate young companies to the industry. In addition, the daily “Excite” series of short talks assembles problem solvers, disrupters and thinkers to highlight innovations in product development, food production methods, foodservice and retail experiences, and evolving consumer trends.

Business Builders 1-to-1

Customized match-making program where exhibitors present their products in pre-arranged meetings with top buyers for retailers, distributors and foodservice. More than 1,200 one-on-one appointments are set to take place in sessions facilitated by SFA.

sofi™ Awards Showcases for Outstanding Specialty Foods of 2017

Established in 1972, the sofi Awards advance culinary excellence and creativity worldwide by recognizing the outstanding work of SFA member companies. “sofi” stands for specialty outstanding food innovation. The 2017 sofi Awards, which had 3,000 entries across 39 categories, produced 154 Winners in the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and New Product categories.

sofi™ Awards Product of the Year

For the first time in the 45-year history of the sofi Awards, a Product of the Year award will be given. The winner will be announced at the show.

Industry Newcomers

The “New Brands on the Shelf” pavilion will feature 35 up-and-coming specialty food producers who are SFA member candidates. They will showcase dozens of niche and artisanal specialties.

What’s New, What’s Hot! Showcases

The showcases will feature hundreds of specialty foods that represent the hottest trends in new products, natural and organic. It provides a snapshot of companies on the exhibit floor.

Front Burner: Foodservice Pitch Competition

Four exhibitors will pitch their foodservice-ready products to a panel of specialty food buyers in this live competition taking place in front of an audience of show attendees. All contestants will get exposure and feedback on their products and the winner will receive a promotional package from SFA, including editorial coverage, advertising, and a pro press release. 

Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony

SFA honors the past and inspires the future through the Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony. The Hall of Fame has 25 new inductees. Five SFA members are being honored for their career achievements in specialty food.

Giving Back

At the end of the show, exhibitors will continue their long tradition of giving back by donating thousands of pounds of meat, cheese, produce, confections and snacks to the Specialty Food Foundation, which will in turn donate the products to City Harvest, the SFFS’s longtime charity of choice. Last year, exhibitors donated more than eight-and-a-half tractor-trailers full of specialty food to help feed hungry New Yorkers.

The Summer Fancy Food Show is a trade only show, occurring in New York City from June 25-27. The Winter Fancy Food Show occurs in San Francisco, Calif., from January 21-23, 2018. 

SixMajor new licensing program planned for A+E Networks’® HISTORY® brand. By Staff Writer

A+E Networks Brand Licensing is heading into Licensing Expo 2017 with an expanded portfolio of new properties and brand licensing opportunities. Titles include the launch of licensing and merchandising for HISTORY’s newest series SIX and upcoming drama series Knightfall.

A+E Networks is also introducing cross category licensing programs for the iconic HISTORY brand. Currently, Lyons Press is developing a line of illustrated book titles based on HISTORY’s “Breaking History” programming block. The first of four hardcover titles debuts this fall in October with Breaking History: Vanished!: America’s Most Mysterious Kidnappings, Castaways, and the Forever Lost, followed by Breaking History: Lost America! in Spring 2018. 

Lionsgate, A+E Network’s packaged media partner, is also collaborating with Lyons Press to release a Breaking History branded DVD set.  

New partners and categories for A+E Networks’ established properties will be featured at Licensing Expo 2017, including Ancient Aliens and Duck Dynasty, plus popular franchises, Bring It!, The Curse of Oak Island, American Pickers, Pawn Stars, The Rap Game and Forged in Fire.

Additionally, A+E’s Network will showcase plans to further expand its live events and experiential business, which launched last year with the hit summer tour, Bring It! Live, based on the original Lifetime® series, Bring It!. Back by popular demand, Miss D and her Dancing Dolls are returning to the stage again as part of the Bring It! Live 2017 forty-city summer tour, kicking off Saturday, June 24 in Baton Rouge, La.

A+E Network’s Brand Licensing team manages licensing for A&E®, Lifetime®, HISTORY® and FYI™.

Stu Seltzer award photo Seltzer won the 2017 Ambassador of the Year award for his 13 years of service teaching. By Bianca Herron


Stu Seltzer, president of Seltzer Licensing Group, recently took home New York University’s 2017 Ambassador of the Year award for his 13 years of teaching and service to the NYU community.  

Seltzer has taught a brand licensing class for undergraduates at New York University since 2004.  The prestigious Ambassador of the Year award is given to individuals who have shown to be excellent supporters of the school.

“In his time as a professor at the university, Seltzer has been the definition of an ambassador, not only educating our students but also providing them with meaningful connections and wonderful learning opportunities in and outside of the classroom,” said Nadav Friedman-Grunstein, vice president of the NYU SBS Award Committee, in a statement.

Additionally, Seltzer Licensing Group has also provided many NYU students with internships and full-time employment, Friedman-Grunstein added, noting that Seltzer is the “definition of this award.”

“I’m honored to accept this award and honored to be part of the NYU community,” Seltzer said in a statement. “At NYU, we have the advantage of using NYC as our campus and we take the entire class to experience Toy Fair as well as visit many licensors and licensees including NBA, Nickelodeon, CBS, and interact with many leaders in the licensing industry. I love the business of licensing and thank NYU for allowing me to pass this passion onto the students.”

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