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How Retailers Can Reduce the Burden of Returns
February 24, 2017 at 11:44 am

The holiday season is always an exciting time for retailers as they experience a boom in new customers and revenue. However, with the large spike in sales also comes the potential for a large amount of returns. So, what can retailers do to combat an increase in returns? As business problems vary and become more…

Kohl's, Macy's Turn Landlords to Generate Revenue
February 24, 2017 at 11:24 am

Kohl's and rival Macy's are carving out prime space within their sprawling stores and leasing them to other retailers as a means to generate revenue. Kohl's said on Thursday it would operate 500 of its nearly 1,150 stores with much lower square footage and would look to lease out the remaining space to other retailers. Macy's is…

Advancing Digital Commerce by Empowering Internal Teams
February 23, 2017 at 8:50 am

As brands close hundreds of stores, retailers are investing in the digital experience and digital commerce to win customers over more than ever. However, it doesn’t come easy; a winning digital strategy must have the right combination of technology, content and features, all of which require an investment of time and resources. Those resources must…

The Retail Trends and Technology That Will Fizzle in 2017
February 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm

At the start of every year, there's a lot of talk about what the next big thing in the industry will be. Artificial intelligence being one example for 2017. However, there are a few trends and technologies that don't live up to the hype. Total Retail's editorial advisory board shares what specific trends retailers should be…

Kroger's E-Commerce Division Growing Brick-and-Mortar Jobs
February 21, 2017 at 1:01 pm

Since launching its ClickList service, which allows grocery shoppers to order online and have their purchases bagged and loaded when they arrive at stores to pick them up, Kroger has added 25 to 35 new jobs at each store offering the service, according to the company. The Cincinnati-based chain has started more than two dozen…

MC Sports to Close All 68 Stores After Liquidation Sales
February 20, 2017 at 11:37 am

Michigan Sporting Goods Distributors, which operates 68 sporting goods stores in seven Midwestern states, has begun store liquidation sales at its MC Sports, MC Sporting Goods, MC Sport Outdoors Centers and Traverse Bay Tackle stores. The company plans to close all of its stores after the liquidation sales. The sporting goods chain filed for Chapter 11…

Amazon Quietly Lowers its Free Shipping Minimum to $35
February 20, 2017 at 11:25 am

Over the weekend, Amazon.com quietly reduced its free two-day shipping minimum rate for non-Prime subscribers to $35. Amazon confirmed the change on its shipping guidelines and options page. Amazon's free shipping rate has gone up and down over the years. The free shipping minimum has been as low as $25 in the past, and was…

Markdown Mania: A Symptom of the Wrong Product at the Wrong Price
February 20, 2017 at 9:05 am

The retail industry is facing an epidemic. As retailers continue to use markdowns to entice shoppers and drive traffic into stores, consumers are becoming increasingly price sensitive, leading them to expect sales at every turn. A recent study by First Insight took a deeper dive into the expectations of consumers, finding that 70 percent need…

What Retailers and Brands Can Learn From 2016
February 17, 2017 at 11:27 am

2016 proved that digital is the way of life, which means mobile capabilities need to be incorporated into any brand or retailer’s sales strategy. Many brick-and-mortar stores are reaching for new ideas and new digital tactics to increase revenue. From blending online and offline brand experiences to finding new ways to engage with customers, there…

Retail Personalization Trends for 2017
February 17, 2017 at 11:22 am

Last year, personalized selling experiences were all the buzz and retailers tested new methods to make shopping more seamless for their customers. In 2017, we’ll see smart retailers focus on bridging the gap between the personalized in-store experience and shopping online. By borrowing the best of both worlds — online and brick-and-mortar — retailers can…

GNC Posts Woeful Q4 Results; Announces Store Closures
February 17, 2017 at 11:04 am

GNC announced Thursday a $433.4 million loss in its fiscal fourth quarter, marking the end of a rocky 2016. In total, the Pittsburgh-based health supplement retailer's share price declined 64 percent year-over-year. GNC recorded a net loss of $286.3 million, compared with a $219.3 million profit the year before, as sales declined 6.5 percent and…

The Omnichannel Experience: Small Changes That Yield Big Results
February 16, 2017 at 7:54 am

By now, it’s more than obvious that focusing on a single channel is not a long-term, sustainable business model. Even while storefronts are struggling, the organizations that master how to create a seamless experience for customers using in-store, online and mobile strategies are poised for growth. A recent study from Harvard Business Review looked at…

Retail Learnings From 2016 Already Playing Out in Q1 2017
February 15, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Lessons learned during the 2016 end-of-year shopping season are already finding applications in the retail space as store, sales and customer experience models continue to evolve. Retailers are focused on developing new approaches to better target consumers via mobile, online and in-store sales to not only remain relevant, but innovative in the retail marketplace. The…

Retail Execs on the Top Retail Trends of 2017
February 15, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Retail trends are already starting to show, even this early into 2017. In the Winter 2017 issue of Total Retail, we asked our Editorial Advisory Board what they believed would be the top trend that would impact retailers most this year. Below are some of their answers (click here for a list of Editorial Advisory…

What’s Driving Artificial Intelligence? How AI Will Make Consumers Fall for Brands
February 15, 2017 at 9:58 am

Artificial intelligence (AI) is powering the next wave of customer experience. Virtual buying assistants, chatbots and voice-activated apps all are changing the way customers interact with brands. The future of e-commerce will look entirely different, and brands are taking steps now — big or small — to make this vision a reality. This is the…

6 Lessons to Learn From Amazon’s Triumphs and Failures
February 14, 2017 at 9:13 am

Amazon.com had its most successful holiday yet. The Seattle giant shipped more than 1 billion products worldwide, and the company accounted for 38 percent of online sales from Nov. 29 through the end of December. With Amazon Echo rising in popularity and Prime earning new members every day, it’s clear that Amazon will only continue…

Sears, Kmart Join Other Retailers Dropping Trump-Branded Items
February 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

Sears Holdings, the company that owns retail chains Sears and Kmart, reportedly said this weekend that it would remove 31 Trump-branded items from its website. The move makes Sears the latest retailer to ditch products bearing the Trump name. In the past week or so, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Belk stopped selling Ivanka Trump's branded…

How Retailers Can Deliver the Best Shopping Experience
February 13, 2017 at 9:11 am

Today’s consumers have an increasing amount of choices. Emerging brands and fashion styles, plus competitive pricing and year-round discounts, equates to tough competition among retailers. As a result, consumers have demanding expectations that retailers must respond to by easing the shopping process with a more individualized experience. Consumers also have less patience to shop with…

3 Steps to Retail Brand Consistency
February 10, 2017 at 9:53 am

A lot can change in one year, and much more in 20. Back in the 1990s, or 1997 to be exact, Google didn’t exist, cell phones were too big to fit in a pocket and Netflix had just started a DVD rental subscription service. In terms of marketing, retailers had limited options for connecting with…

What to Expect at eTail West
February 9, 2017 at 10:03 am

In less than a month, over 1,200 retailers from 600 companies will converge on Palm Springs, Calif. for the annual eTail West conference. Top executives from companies like Wal-Mart, Bonobos, PetSmart, Dick's Sporting Goods and many more will provide attendees with actionable takeaways to help their e-commerce businesses reach new heights. The conference runs from…