Home »Blog »Tag »Retailers

Tag: Retailers

Loyalty Programs Take a New Turn

Retail Dive recently wrote about the upsurge of premium loyalty programs. The Great Recession had retailers scrambling for customers and sales. Coupons, discounts and loyalty programs were key in attracting hard-pressed shoppers looking for good deals and values. Upscale retailers balked at this approach, which undercut their image, making it difficult to compete with stores that offered lesser or middle-of-the-road quality. Gary Friedman, CEO and Chairman of Restoration Hardware, said in a recent letter to shareholders, “The multiple sale...

Read More

Prepping for Generation Z

The big furor over the past couple of years has been all about Millennials, and even though Millennials occupy the largest demographic of any generation, it’s getting to be old news. Retailers need to get ready for the new generation of consumers: Generation Z. This is the group that was born between 1996 and 2010. The Wharton School Of Business calls them “Millennials on Steroids.” Millennials prefer to spend money that’s focused on experiences rather than ...

Read More

Retailers Face Labor Challenges

JD Software group just released a study of over 250 store managers where more than half felt unprepared to face the labor challenges of the omni-channel marketplace. The factors that are causing this uncertainty are new and demanding customer needs, omni-channel operations, new labor legislation and the millennial workforce. About 52% of respondents have not yet deployed a modern workforce management solution into their planning process. The consumer demands seamless methods of shopping on all channels and to accommodate this demand, 62% of...

Read More

Hot New Retailers – Present and Future

Consumer and retail account for more than 20% of the U.S. economy. With the maturing of Millennials’ financial situation and innovations in shopping and retail, new brands and stores are debuting in every consumer category. This is really something to crow about since pundits have been writing about the demise of bricks and mortar for the last several years. Last year, consumer and retail entrepreneurs selected winners from the CircleUp selection of nominees (CircleUp has an online platform for...

Read More

Target-CVS Partnership is Blossoming

Since CVS has taken over the pharmacies in Target’s stores, Target is increasing its focus on its Connected Health section, which provides customers access to products designed to allow them to digitally monitor their health anywhere, 24/7. Over the next six months, all 1,660 of Target’s pharmacy locations will become CVS-branded units. Additionally, the No. 2 discount retailer’s 80 in-store health clinics will rebrand as CVS MinuteClinic locations. So far, about a third of Target’s 1,800 stores...

Read More

Make Employees Your Brand Cheerleaders

Several months ago we talked about encouraging your store employees to be your brand advocates. Recently, Altimeter Group released a study on this fast-growing social business program and what many retailers are now focusing on. Respondents from companies with more than 250 employees cited top reasons for their investment in employee advocacy programs: Increasing the reach of messages in social networks (awareness): 54% Driving increased understanding and brand health of the organization: 47% Engaging employees more deeply in the company mission and their...

Read More

Millennials’ Path to Purchase

Don’t let the mobile generation fool you. Many Millennials still prefer to shop in a physical store where they can touch and feel products before they buy. Millennial shopping habits also indicate they enjoy the social element of shopping in-store with their friends. Peer opinions matter, after all, and these folks like to get others’ thoughts on everything they do, including what they purchase. A report released at the end of 2015 by Coupons.com Inc., “Uncovering...

Read More

Overall Customer Experience: A Taste of the Top 100 Retailers

Retail Customer Experience recently issued its Top 100 retailers as far as overall customer experience. The results include online, brick-and-mortar, and omni-channel experiences. While the list is long, we’ll only focus on a handful of these worthy recipients, in no particular order, except for the top dog in retail, which is a repeat winner, Amazon. Everyone in retail envies its success. Amazon is just a fact of retail life that isn’t going away. 7-Eleven is another winner,...

Read More

The Retail Evolution

It’s no secret that while brick-and-mortar stalwarts like Macy’s, Kohl’s, JC Penney and Gap are closing stores, retailers that started life online are going offline to Main Street. Bonobos (menswear), Warby Parker (eyeglass frames), Athleta and Fabletics (trendy sportswear), and Birchbox (cosmetics) have all opened physical stores. Co-CEO of Warby Parker Neil Blumenthal says, “Our stores offer customers an additional way to experience our brand. We don’t think of the future...

Read More

Shopping Small is In

Big one-stop shopping environments seem to be losing traction in favor of smaller footprints and formats. In the grocery sector, two major chains indicate that this shift is gaining momentum. Outside of Boston, Ahold opened the first of its “bfresh” smaller-format stores. It combines grocery and food take-away in 10,000 square feet and shows how the blurring of lines is materializing. Its high quality food-to-go sets it apart from many of its urban-centric competitors. Going up the New England...

Read More

The Resurrection of Once-famous Department Stores May Be Imminent

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...

Read More

Will Your Store Be Around in Ten Years?

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...

Read More

Retailers Slow to Adopt EMV Technology

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...

Read More

Etailers Get Physical

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...

Read More

Who Uses Coupons Anymore?

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...

Read More

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

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....

Read More

The Retail Mantra for 2016

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...

Read More

Empowering Your Staff

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...

Read More

Don’t Write Off Bricks and Mortar Yet!

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...

Read More

What’s In Store for 2016

Many companies are issuing year-end predictions on what they think will be the retail trends for 2016. Vend, a company that designs POS systems, inventory, customer management, and inventory software, sees an increase in mobile POS usage. They note that 2015 year-over-year growth rate of mobile POS software installs in North America is an impressive 41%. While traditional POS systems still exist, it’s predicted that almost all systems will be mobile by the end of 2016 because of several factors: mobile POS...

Read More

On the Lookout for Holiday Fraud

With fraudulent returns on the rise, many retailers are tightening their refund and exchanges policies. The National Retail Federation as well as state retail and merchant associations are warning stores to gear up for fraudulent store returns. Holiday return fraud is expected to cost retailers $2.2 billion this year, up 15% over 2014 levels, according to a National Retail Federation survey recently released, and that expense is being passed along to American families. Nine in 10 retailers said they have experienced the return of...

Read More

A Shining Star Amid a Shaky Quarter

What are certain stores doing right, where others are faltering? As retailers ponder lackluster quarters, there are some key players who seem to have a handle on turning profits. While fewer promotions may work for some retailers who have a brand image to maintain, it may not work for others. The shining stars in a sea of lackluster performances go to the off-price sector of retail. Companies like TJX, which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, have found the...

Read More

Slow Shopping Encourages Lingering…and Buying

An April 2015 study by TimeTrade asked U.S. internet users the main reason they decided to purchase a product at a specific store when choosing between four retailers regarding an item with the same price. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said the overall in-store experience they had was the top deciding factor. You may be tired of hearing about “experiential shopping,” but no matter how large or small a retail space you have, to ward off the online blitz,...

Read More

Go Digital!

Digital merchandising and signage are becoming the cornerstones for viable retail operations. And in 2015, digital representation became more and more prevalent. “In human DNA, we are engineered to react to motion,” says Kevin Goldsmith, communication director at Ping HD, a company that provides digital strategies for industries ranging from sports and entertainment to retail and health care. “So to move from a static printed poster to something digital with movement is going to capture people’s...

Read More

In-Store and Online Challenges Result in More Questions than Answers

Initial reports for brick-and-mortar from the Thanksgiving weekend haven’t been that promising. Many shoppers have been making their holiday purchases online prior to Thanksgiving. Retail observers say many of those online purchases are coming at the expense of trips to physical stores, costing merchants more in shipping and depriving them of the impulse sales they often make to shoppers wandering their aisles.  In fact, online sales for Black Friday rose 21.5 percent from a year ago, with smartphones...

Read More

A Challenging Holiday Season for Retailers Looking to Hire

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the national unemployment rate for the last couple of months of the year at 5.5%, a drop of nearly 50% from its post-recession peak in late 2009. In some parts of the country it’s even lower. This is great news for the economy and the labor force, but retailers may have a tough time finding qualified help for the holidays. Stakes are high when it comes to holiday hiring. Not only do better-staffed stores perform...

Read More

The Workplace: Retail Staffers See Practice of On-Call Scheduling Diminish….Slowly

You can’t get away from it or ignore it. Customer service is the backbone of any good brick-and-mortar retail environment. There has been much written about and discussed regarding employee satisfaction and how integral it is to the overall performance of retail, but there’s still some work to be done. One of the hot-button issues has been employee scheduling practices—especially in apparel and footwear businesses. Software advances and programs have helped retailers lower costs...

Read More

Engaging Your Retail Staff

Too often retail staff and associates have no idea how to convey their store’s brand to the customer and why it’s important. According
to the Gallup State of the American Workplace report, “When organizations successfully engage their customers and their employees, they experience a 240 percent boost in performance-related business outcomes compared to an organization with neither engaged employees nor engaged customers.” This study is one of many reporting that employee engagement is critical to...

Read More

New Store Openings: Brick-and-Mortar Gets Creative

Brick-and-mortar retail is not standing still in the face of online challenges. Canadian sports equipment giant Bauer will be opening eight to 10 stores in North America. Known for its hockey gear, the company saw the opportunity to boost flagging hockey enrollment by offering a new retail concept into the mix. Customers will be able to test the merchandise on an indoor hockey rink. Bauer sees this as a chance to diversify its business and lure more people to the sport,...

Read More

Private Label vs. National Brands: the Key to Co-existence

Private label products generally offer substantial savings to customers versus their national brand counterparts — about 28% on average. In 19% of product categories, the savings when consumers purchase private label items increases to 50%, as cited by an IRI Trends Report. And in 25% of categories, there is less than a 10% differential. Since most consumers know that many “generic” store brands are made by the same companies that produce name-brand products with similar ingredients and characteristics, they also believe that private...

Read More