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Grand River Deals: Praise The Lord, Pass The Ammunition

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mattroush Matt Roush
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Ann Arbor e-commerce developer Grand River Wednesday announced two new projects.

The company said it had been selected by Grand Rapids-based Family Christian Stores to design and develop a new e-commerce system for the brand.

And Grand River has also launched of a Web site for Gander Mountain Academy, new professional firearms training centers in Gander Mountain stores.

Family Christian Stores is the largest specialty retailer in the United States, dedicated to the Christian retail market.

A Magento Enterprise Partner, Grand River will design and develop the Family Christian Stores site using Magento’s Enterprise Edition 1.9. This leading open-source e-commerce platform delivers a scalable, cost
effective, online retail solution with rich features, functionality, and flexibility.

Functionality in Family Christian Stores’ new e-commerce site will include support for mobile commerce as well as content management and targeting, search engine optimization, promotional marketing tools, order management, and customer service. The new site will make it easy to search, shop and buy products as well as support the James Fund, the primary philanthropy of Family Christian Stores.

Grand River will use its expertise in creative design, information architecture, interface development, integration, and system architecture to rebrand and redesign Family Christian Stores’ online presence.

Family Christian Stores has nearly 300 locations and more than 4,000 employees in 36 states dedicated solely to the $4.3 billion Christian retailing market. More at www.familychristian.com.

Gander Mountain, meanwhile, operates the nation’s largest retail network of outdoor specialty stores for hunting, fishing, camping, and marine products and accessories.

The Gander Mountain Academy web site can be found at www.academy.gandermountain.com.

Grand River developed Gander Mountain’s initial e-commerce site in 2008 and then worked with the retailer to build the Gander Mountain Tech Center, showcasing the top outdoor recreation technology accessories. The Tech Center site launched in 2010 and can be viewed here: http://www.gandermountain.com/techcenter.

The first Gander Mountain Academy will open in the Lake Mary, Fla. store Saturday, Feb. 12. The second academy, located in La Crosse, Wis., is scheduled to open in April. Additional Academy locations will continue to open throughout the year.

Grand River used Expression Engine, a commercial Web development product built on an open source foundation, to build the new site.

Functionality includes detailed course descriptions for training and safety classes, and allows customers to check availability and schedule time at the live shooting range, the virtual range, and the simulator. The new site is fully integrated with the gandermountain.com site using the same checkout and cart for a seamless experience. Customers can browse course literature and view videos and photo galleries. Future enhancements will expand the functionality of the “My Academy” component to allow participants to manage their classes, materials, and certifications online, post course reviews, archive and share training videos.

The new Academy site also features tools specifically designed for Gander Mountain’s store associates. Using the site, they will be able to create new members, manage member profiles and reservations, schedule course time for walk-in customers, and view and customize Academy activities by location.

In addition to the design and development of the initial Gander Mountain Academy site, Grand River will also provide ongoing maintenance and enhancements as each new Academy location opens.

Grand River is an industry leading e-commerce design and development company, specializing in solutions for mid-market retailers and multichannel companies. The firm’s core expertise is in the leading open source e-commerce platforms, including Magento Enterprise and Fry, Inc.’s Open Commerce Platform.

More at www.thegrandriver.com.

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