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TheStreet Open House

Home Decor Retailer Gives Catalog Lovers Digital Gratification With Launch Of Ballard+™

ATLANTA, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ballard Designs, Inc.® ( www.ballarddesigns.com), a premier retailer for European-inspired home furnishings and accessories, is injecting a brand-new digital component into their print catalog with the launch of Ballard+™. The latest example of Ballard Designs' ongoing digital transformation of its traditional catalog business, this innovative app browses and shops the catalog along with the user via image recognition technology and provides the user with a digital experience straight from the pages of the catalog.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121212/SF28618LOGO)

Ballard+ will feature tap-to-buy shopping, product details and reviews, multiple image viewer and social sharing. Shoppers will hold their iPhone or iPad above the page of the catalog to activate the app and instantly connect to the highly engaging digital experience. A box will encompass each item on the page and users simply tap the item in the box for desired information. This catalog companion creates a straightforward purchasing experience with the touch of the purchase button – items in the shopping cart will be immediately directed to ballarddesigns.com for check-out.

"Our customers not only look to the Ballard catalog for home decor and accessories, but also for design inspiration and ideas. The Ballard+ app enhances the experience of flipping through the catalog each month by simply integrating a mobile or tablet device," says Ryan McKelvey, President of Ballard Designs. "Having the functionality of our online channels directly available with our print catalog creates an ease-of-use that will provide an innovative, digital experience for our customers."

Ballard+ will be available for select iOS devices and is compatible with iPhone 4/4S and 5, as well as iPad2, iPad with Retina display and iPad mini. The free app will work with the Ballard Designs December 2012 Early Winter issue, with more to be added in the future, and will require a data plan or WiFi connection for use.

"Ballard+ blends the branding, scale and impact of Ballard Design's print channels with the instant gratification and seamless path to purchase of mobile commerce," explained Beck Besecker, CEO of Marxent Labs. "Powered by VisualCommerce™, Ballard+ has enabled the first 'tap-tap-buy' solution for catalogs."

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