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The Resurrection of Once-famous Department Stores May Be Imminent

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Macy’s sued Strategic Marks of California in 2011 over that company’s use of the names and logos of heritage brands like Jordan Marsh, Bullock’s, Robinsons, May, Filene’s, and Abraham & Strauss in a virtual mall. Strategic Marks’ CEO Ellia Kassoff applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to take over the trademarks for the brands. Federal law says a brand is considered abandoned if a business doesn’t use...

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Will Your Store Be Around in Ten Years?

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With market shares getting smaller and greater concentration on ecommerce, what are the chances of your store’s survival in these turbulent retail times? First of all, the most successful stores have established such a strong brand identity and niche, and have attracted such a loyal customer base, that competitors might find it difficult to duplicate. Wal-Mart, L.L. Bean, Costco, Whole Foods, Apple, Amazon, IKEA and Subway are but a few of the retail stalwarts who so far...

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Retailers Slow to Adopt EMV Technology

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EMV chip cards gained a lot of momentum last year, and they have the potential to virtually eliminate counterfeit credit-card fraud at the point of sale, a crime that accounts for most credit-card fraud. As of the beginning of the year, over 70% of Americans had at least one chip card in their wallet. Mobile payment applications like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay are becoming part of the retail landscape, yet it seems that while consumers are insisting upon...

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Etailers Get Physical

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Once again, the physical element of the brick-and-mortar format can’t be ignored. ModCloth, an online only retailer for 13 years, opened its first physical store toward the end of 2015. Soon after, it learned the benefits of having a physical presence and ways to improve upon the winning online formula it had. CEO Mike Kansas said customers immediately indicated what they loved, like pockets and linings in dresses and skirts. ModCloth is just one example of online companies moving to...

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Who Uses Coupons Anymore?

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A common misconception is that coupons are used by the elderly or low-income groups, when in fact, that’s not the case. According to Creditcards.com, 85% of Americans still use coupons. Paper coupons are often used in place of smartphones, which some people use to buy items in stores without even using a physical credit card. But while paper coupon usage decreases with income and increases with age, 18- to 24-year-olds are using paper coupons about twice as much...

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You Don’t Have to Be Costco to Innovate Like Them

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There’s a view in some economics circles that the biggest change in retailing over the last several years is not the rise of internet selling, but, according to a 2012 article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the growth of warehouse clubs and supercenters. Take warehouse clubs Costco and Sam’s Club, and grocery-department store formats like Wal-Mart Supercenters. This segment of the retail sector is huge. Its four largest companies accounted for almost 8% of retail sales in 2012....

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The Retail Mantra for 2016

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While retailers have measured growth by their store’s square footage of their footprint, e-commerce requires no physical space, so the thinking needs to be realigned. What’s happened is that stores have expanded in search of growth that was fairly non-existent and now that’s coming back to haunt them. Healey Cypher, CEO of Oak Labs and former leader of the Retail Innovation team at eBay, says, “The U.S. is the most over-retailed country...

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Empowering Your Staff

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Brick-and-mortar stores may as well throw in the towel if they’re not going to take advantage of one of their most valuable resources: their staff. Your sales associates can tip the scales. They are the key differentiating factor that websites don’t have. And while internet shopping sites offer pop-up chat sessions with “live” people, interacting while typing on a keypad is just not the same as speaking with someone in person. People go to...

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Consumer Satisfaction Way Down In Store and Online

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Superior customer experience and service is the backbone of a successful business, especially for retail. 70% of consumers say they are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service, according to American Express, while 91% of disgruntled customers say they will shop elsewhere going forward. Amex also found that 90% of U.S. consumers share their good and bad experiences. In this competitive market, retailers consequently need to focus on the experience they offer their customers, across all channels, and...

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Don’t Write Off Bricks and Mortar Yet!

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This isn’t a pep talk on why stores shouldn’t despair. It’s true that online shopping is growing by leaps and bounds, and if stores can’t adapt to changing times, they will suffer the consequences. But this is a call to action. Stores have an opportunity to really sell their wares and tell a story to the shopper. One of the ways to expedite this is right at the shelf. A panel hosted...

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