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Is It Time to Upgrade Your POS System?

Are traditional point-of-sale (POS) systems still your best bet? Inventory management, loyalty program administration, basic analytics and of course, payment processing are all viable functions of current expensive fixed-line network terminals, which still make up most of the POS systems in retail. A traditional POS system could cost more than $1,000, not counting added expenses, like networking requirements, software licenses and security measures. The daily cost of a store running five POS terminals can be considerable. Tablet-based POS solutions are usually...

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Snapchat – An App Worth Retailers’ Attention

With social media being an essential part of the retail branding and marketing repertoire, here’s one more app for stores to consider using: Snapchat, the social media hit of 2014. Snapchat has morphed from a small business to a global brand in three years. Their 100 million+ active users are sending over 700 million photos and videos each day and the company was recently valued at $10 billion. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a pretty simple,...

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In-Store Enhancements – the Future is Now

With websites and mobile apps making it so easy to buy from the comfort of your home, shoppers are drastically reducing visits to stores. Online sales already account for 8% of all retail sales ($291 billion). It’s predicted that by 2017, those numbers will jump to 10%, or $370 billion. Physical stores are in a position to capture some of those dollars on their websites, but pure-play ecommerce sites are taking those sales away due to lower prices and more unique product selection. ...

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Cultivating the Well-Trained Staff

The first step in acquiring an accomplished staff is their hire, in the first place. Retail Staffing Firms are already equipped with the necessary knowledge of store operations. These firms can integrate with your company so they can quickly find the right people. They also have the experience and expertise to help stores think strategically about their hiring, as far as the type of people being sought, where to source them, and how to hire the best people for the...

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Solving the Retail Store Staffing Puzzle

Figuring out store traffic and resulting retail store staffing has become a bit of a conundrum for retailers across the globe. Some retailers still haven’t figured the correlation between appropriate staffing and optimizing sales. An article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) argues that while labor is often an expense that retailers have the most control over, and can account for 10% of revenues, they still consider labor to be a cost driver rather than a sales driver,...

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How To Win Back Customers In the Store

Crain’s ran an article last January citing the demise of consumer electronics sales in brick-and-mortar stores. One alarmist analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc. in Los Angeles went so far as to say, “The problem is that the internet has become so convenient that people just don't go to stores anymore.” To say that this is just a simplistic overstatement is giving it too much credibility. A consumer shopper survey done by Attack Marketing sheds new...

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How to Win Against the Big Guys

Whether you’re a specialty clothing store, a coffee shop or a jewelry store, don’t think that just because a Macy’s, Starbucks or Zales is around the corner, that you don’t have a chance to shine and excel. One advantage of being a smaller, more nimble enterprise is that you’re novel and not cut from the cookie-cutter mold that big chains are. Competition can be your friend. The big stores may...

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Why a Professional Fashion Trend Analyst is a Necessity for Every Retailer

Do you recall the Christian Dior Fall 2010 Couture runway show, held on July, 4th, 2010 in sun drenched Paris? I do. I wrote a trend report around it. A fabulous, riotous explosion of flowers; an overflowing bouquet of bold and brilliant colors, textures, layers, ruffles, gathers and delicate fringe.  Breathtaking gowns meticulously crafted, exploiting ostrich feathers and tiers of organza and tulle. Voluminous ball gowns with huge, extravagant A-line skirts and off-the-shoulder fitted bodices that seemed to float down the...

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Top Ten Trends Discovered in Luxury Boutiques Worldwide

Yes, we all love to travel. Racing to the airport, then the delays. The passenger sitting behind you on the plane coughing on your neck, the (shudder) airline food, the luggage conveyer snake swallowing your new LV suitcase. But let’s stop right there. There’s no need for you to budge from your desk. I have brought the top ten international fashion trends directly to you. Uncovered in the most chic, luxury boutiques across the globe, stunning...

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The Challenges of the Omni-Channel Rollercoaster

Main Street stores still account for 90% of all retail sales, but it’s not one medium or the other. Most online sales and offline sales are intertwined. Social, Location based, and Mobile marketing (SoLoMo) are converging and continue to blur the lines between online and offline marketing. Brick-and-mortar stores benefit from brands’ co-marketing programs. Promotions that center on SoLoMo can create the reason, the “deal,” and the location for prompting a purchase from a physical store....

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The High Costs of a Bad Hire

Did you ever wonder about the repercussions suffered by your business when a presumably good hire goes south? A recent study done by CareerBuilder indicated that almost 70% of employers reported that bad hires cost them between $25,000 an $50,000. Translated to retail where sales staff are concerned, an employee who makes an inappropriate comment or behaves unprofessionally, like saying aloud to a fellow sales associate, “I greeted the customer first” or talking about whose commission it is (in front of...

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Retail Openings on the Upswing

New housing starts in 2013 have been a good indicator of other things—namely some interesting developments in retail, such as a surge in physical store openings. From its meetings with multiple retailers and landlords at retail and real estate conventions, RBC Capital Markets estimates that 83,749 stores plan to open over the next 24 months, with 42, 757 stores planning openings within the next 12 months. This forward movement illustrates a five-year high with year-to-date increases of 2.1% and 2.8% respectively, according to RBC. In urban...

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