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Feb. 17, 2014 - New York City was transformed into a magical playground over the weekend when hundreds of thousands of innovative playthings were unveiled at the opening of the 111th American International Toy Fair – the largest toy marketplace ever held in the Western Hemisphere – taking place February 16-19, 2014.

More than 30,000 play professionals from 100 countries are expected at Toy Fair 2014 to explore a record-breaking 412,000 net square feet of exhibit space at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Upwards of 1,150 toy companies – 285 of which are exhibiting for the very first time – are slated to unveil the year's hottest trends in toys, games and youth entertainment products in front of an estimated 14,000 global buyers.

Read more: Toy Fair Opens in NYC

February 14, 2014 - Nokia has partnered with Fyodor Golan for London Fashion Week to create the world's first interactive skirt made up of Nokia Lumia 1520 smartphones. The innovative skirt was designed by the Fashion Fringe winners and created by Kin and uses static pictures captured by the phone, or live feeds on the 80 screens that adorn it - allowing it to change around the wearer and their day.

Read more: The New Nokia Super Smart...Skirt

Feb. 13, 2014 – As part of a year-long global celebration of The Simpsons' 25th anniversary on FOX, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will commemorate America’s favorite family with unique lines of collectibles and toys featuring limited-edition, commemorative products and exciting branded collaborations.

Read more: Fox Consumer Products Celebrating 25 years of The Simpsons

Feb. 12, 2014 - Neiman Marcus announced Andreas Sjödin as the photographer of The Art of Fashion for Spring 2014. The campaign includes twenty-six images of innovative fashion and will appear in the March edition of the Neiman Marcus publication, the book. Versions will also run in the March issues of Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Read more: Neiman Marcus Unveils The Art Of Fashion Campaign

Feb. 11, 2014 - According to a recent survey, Valentine's Day now extends way beyond that one special person. In fact, 44% of people surveyed by Rich Products, a leading provider to foodservice, in-store bakery and retail marketplaces, revealed that most people do in fact have multiple "loves" in their lives.

Read more: Purchasing Valentine's Gifts for "Multiple Loves"?

Feb. 10, 2014 - Sears has combined mobile shopping with local store convenience to introduce In-Vehicle Pickup. The new service, powered by the Shop Your Way mobile app, enables customers to pick up their online purchases at any Sears store within five minutes of arrival, without ever leaving the car.

"The In-Vehicle Pickup option takes our 'Free Store Pickup - Ready in 5' guarantee even further and out to the parking lot," said Leena Munjal, senior vice president, Member Experience and Integrated Retail, Sears Holdings. "In-Vehicle Pickup on this scale is an industry first and another example of how we are constantly innovating and adding benefits that make shopping a more convenient experience for our members."

Read more: Sears Introduces In-Vehicle Pickup, Powered by Shop Your Way Mobile App

Feb. 7, 2014 - Coming off a less than spectacular holiday shopping season, the retail industry is once again feeling the squeeze. According to USA Today, of the 29 retailers that recently reported earnings guidance for the current quarter, 25 of them were negative. Adding to the uncertainty is a recent report from Standard & Poor, which predicted that rising healthcare costs and low retirement savings will hurt discretionary spending in the coming year.

The worst news, though, comes from Deloitte, which reported that the number of retailers going bankrupt has increased over the past three years – rising 6 percent last year and up 18 percent since 2010.

For retailers, trimming costs is more important than ever. And when it comes to improving margins and profitability, procurement is always a good place to start.

In the last decade, full-service e-sourcing has emerged as an essential tool for maximizing the value of a retailer’s supply chain. Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog.

Feb. 6, 2014 - Celebrating excellence and creativity in new product innovation, the Housewares Design Awards announced the winners of its 2014 competition, including three "Best of the Best" Awards, the "Green House" Design Award, and 12 "Best in Category" Awards. For over a decade, the Housewares Design Awards has been the industry's preeminent design award competition, honoring products that elevate everyday life through superior aesthetics and functionality.

Read more: 2014 Housewares Design Awards Winners Announced