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CORRECTING and REPLACING The Stephenz Group Launches inRetail, a New Division to Help Retailers Navigate Omnichannel Challenges

First sentence of the fourth paragraph should read: Ms. Loie Maxwell, a global creative and marketing executive who held brand leadership positions at Starbucks, Target, CVS/pharmacy, and Mattel brands... (sted: Ms. Loie Maxwell, Global Creative and Brand Executive, formerly Chief Creative Director with Target, CVS and over eight years with Mattel brands...)

Lance Thornswood (Photo: Business Wire)

Lance Thornswood (Photo: Business Wire)

The corrected release reads:


Former Target Trailblazer Lance Thornswood Tapped To Lead inRetail

Today The Stephenz Group (TSG), one of Silicon Valley’s largest independent branding, marketing and digital agencies, announced the launch of a new division, inRetail. The specialized division will address the growing consumer demand for omnichannel retail—the always-on, always-available shopping that merges e-commerce and physical stores into a seamless shopping experience.

Leading the new division is Lance Thornswood, longtime GM of user experience, e-commerce and creative for Target.com and Interactive Marketing—and most recently, GM of Target India Marketing and Target’s global photography operation. During twelve years serving Target, both on the agency side and in-house, Mr. Thornswood was consistently recognized for his ability to blend creative, technology and operations to reinvent how Target’s guests interact with the brand in stores, online and across mobile and social media.

With 20+ years reinventing and building retail marketing, Lance has worked with retail giants like Apple, L.L. Bean, Marshall Field’s, JCPenney, Sears, Kmart, and more. Drawing on that background, he has brought together an experienced retail “dream team” of former colleagues with expertise in strategy, execution, in-store, e-commerce, mobile, social, creative, operations and technology—all focused on creating sustainable ways for retailers to deliver consistent cross-channel shopping experiences.

Ms. Loie Maxwell, a global creative and marketing executive who held brand leadership positions at Starbucks, Target, CVS/pharmacy, and Mattel brands, had first hand experience with Thornswood during their Target tenure and commented, “Lance and his team at inRetail bring a unique set of skills and services that no other agency can deliver. Their “insider experience” sets them apart from other agencies. I witnessed how Lance was able to re-invent Target’s weekly circular. We went from 50 regional versions to more than 200—and this was due to his ability to guide people through a complete reinvention of technology, operations and creative to build more than 200 brand-right versions every week of the year. This project alone was a game changer for Target. He understands the real-world challenges today’s retailers face, and he’s assembled an expert team to help retailers of all sizes succeed at omnichannel.”

inRetail’s parent, The Stephenz Group, Inc., brings a unique perspective to the retail sector, based on decades of experience with retail technology brands like Epson, Elo TouchSystems, Intermec, HP, Visa and Mastercard. “We saw a gap in the market,” commented Barbara Zenz, The Stephenz Group President and CEO. “There aren’t many agencies out there today with both a proven track record in retail technology and the in-house retail expertise required to enable exceptional consumer experiences across all touch points. We’ve combined the services of a world-class digital agency, a creative studio, and that of an IT consulting firm with the unique talents of industry experts to deliver the kinds of services retailers need to stay ahead of the omnichannel curve. Lance has worked inside the walls of some of the world’s most admired retailers, and this unique inside-out expertise will drive inRetail and offer something missing in the market.”

“Retailers have never had it tougher,” commented Thornswood. “Consumers want everything to be connected, and they want a single, seamless experience from their tablet to their desktop to the aisles of your stores, where they’re pulling out smartphones to compare your products and prices to everybody else’s. inRetail is a powerful new ally. With our insider knowledge of the retail industry and our ability to do everything it takes, we’re set to help retailers thrive in the face of a massive retail revolution.”

About The Stephenz Group and inRetail

The Stephenz Group is one of the largest independently-owned advertising agencies in Northern California. Based in San Jose, The Stephenz Group provides full-service integrated marketing communications to B2B and consumer technology clients, such as Epson, Qualcomm, HP and Samsung. In addition to inRetail, the company also has a full service design division called STUDIO that helps clients of all sizes to optimize their communications with high-quality, fast, and scalable design & production. The Stephenz Group has received hundreds of national, regional, and local creative awards, and is ranked among the Top 100 B2B agencies in the United States by B2B Marketing Magazine, Top 25 High-Tech Agencies in the United States by AdWeek, and Top 200 Agencies in the United States by AdAge. For more information, please visit stephenz.com or inRetailagency.com.

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