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Where 2017 Will Take Brick-and-Mortar Retail
January 20, 2017 at 9:38 am

Today, retail is almost unrecognizable from what it looked like 10 years ago. I know because I worked in that space. And as the pace at which technology accelerates, further changes to the retail landscape will inevitably pose new challenges for brick-and-mortar stores looking to compete with a strong e-commerce industry. Despite the obstacles, however,…

Top Women in Retail 2017: Liz Rodbell, President, Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay
January 18, 2017 at 4:51 pm

What do you enjoy most about working in the retail industry? I have a tremendous sense of pride being the president of Lord & Taylor, the longest running department store chain in the U.S., and being president of Hudson's Bay, which was founded almost 350 years ago as a fur trader in Canada and is…

The State of Omnichannel Retail in 2017
January 11, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Over the last few years, retail has changed drastically. Some argue that it's the year of mobile (every year), others say brick-and-mortar shops are done — but pop-up shops are trendy. And while the ever-popular click-baity headline of how "email is dead" continues to pop-up on our news feeds, digital and e-commerce sales say otherwise.…

Instacart Shoppers Say Policy Change Led to Pay Cuts
January 11, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Instacart is struggling a bit. Ever since the company chose to overhaul its tipping practices last fall, the relationship between Instacart and the people it uses to deliver groceries has been a bit rocky. The Consumerist reports the company has cut delivery personnel's pay by way of decreasing delivery rates, preventing them from picking up orders and,…

3 Alternatives for Attributing Offline Sales
January 11, 2017 at 10:24 am

Implementing any sales attribution system is difficult, to say the least. With digital and mobile channels dominating the purchase path of today’s consumer, many attribution approaches rely heavily on online data. Consumer packaged goods companies, in particular, struggle to attribute offline sales to their digital and other marketing efforts. The retail purchase data they need…

What Millennials Want
January 11, 2017 at 9:42 am

Retailers tend to treat millennial shoppers with a kind of anthropological obsession. This generation, which at first glance, seems to defy conventional consumerist behavior, is varyingly described as whimsical, idealist, flashy, hip and self-obsessed. It seems like part of the reason for this “exotic” characterization is that the rise of millennials has also coincided with…

What the Holiday Season Means for 2017
January 11, 2017 at 9:31 am

As consumer demand increases, whether it's for a specific product or expedited shipping, smart retailers are rethinking their approach and looking to find ways to optimize their fulfillment operations. Partnering with new providers can enable new capabilities (e.g., same-day delivery or in-store pick up) and break through traditional organizational boundaries that separate digital channels and…

Generic is the New Brand Name: Tapping Influencers to Boost In-House Brands
January 9, 2017 at 10:13 am

While stores like Trader Joe’s have crafted entire business models (and built cult followings) on store brands, generic products from retailers like Sephora have to compete against high-end national brands. In-house products may offer wider variety and lower price points, but because they’re often situated in the rear of the store and the bottom of…

The Value of Allocation Accuracy
January 9, 2017 at 10:06 am

It’s among the most frustrating parts of retailing: You built a strong assortment plan. Great product mix. Good margin. Customer response is better than you had hoped for. You're ready for an outstanding selling season. Yet the allocation process drops the ball. Too many large dresses in store A while the racks are empty in…

Retailers Generate Record-Setting Online Holiday Sales
January 6, 2017 at 11:36 am

Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, online sales hit $91.7 billion, up 11 percent from $82.5 billion a year ago, according to a report by Adobe Insights. The 2016 holiday season also broke a major e-commerce record: Cyber Monday became the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, generating $3.45 billion in online sales, up 12…

3 New Challenges Arising in Omnichannel Marketing
January 6, 2017 at 10:22 am

The buyer’s journey is no longer a straight, narrow road. Whether the purchase is large or small, consumers have more choices than ever in terms of when, where and how to buy. Omnichannel marketing is the only way brands can be sure to catch the right consumers at the right times. Even if interest first…

Sears to Close 150 More Stores, Sells Craftsman Brand
January 5, 2017 at 10:45 am

Sears has been struggling for a few years now, and matters weren't helped by a less-than-stellar holiday season for the retailer. The department store chain is trying to avoid bankruptcy with a new plan, closing 150 more stores — including 108 Kmart locations — and selling its Craftsman brand to raise cash. USA Today reports…

3 Questions to Consider Before Vertically Integrating Your Brand
January 5, 2017 at 10:02 am

If Italian eyewear brand Luxottica — which controls 80 percent of the frames and sunglasses market — is an 800-pound gorilla, then Warby Parker is a chimpanzee: lean, agile and smart enough to shake things up. Where did Warby Parker Co-Founder Neil Blumenthal get the gusto to take on the incumbent ape? Before starting Warby…

How Retailers Can Keep the Holiday Cheer All Year
January 5, 2017 at 9:34 am

For retailers big and small, the holiday shopping season is both the tipping point into profitability and the springboard to success for the coming year. Therefore, my team at Square Root studied and surveyed consumers this holiday season to gain a deeper understanding of what drives in-store shopping for the holidays. The overarching discovery from…

Best Buy to Open 5 Outlet Locations
December 21, 2016 at 11:52 am

Best Buy has joined the list of retailers opening outlet stores in 2017. The Dallas Morning News reports Best Buy has opened five locations this month in Farmers Branch, Texas, near Dallas; San Antonio; Raleigh, N.C.; near Philadelphia in Newark, Del.; and outside Los Angeles in Moreno Valley, Calif. A spokesperson for the electronics brand said…

3 Omnichannel Tech Tips for the Holiday Retail Season
December 19, 2016 at 9:51 am

Retailers have made their holiday lists — and checked them twice. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, retailers need to review their strategies and leverage technology to make this holiday season as successful as possible, both in terms of sales and omnichannel customer experience. Even on what are traditionally the biggest in-store shopping days…

Top 5 Marketing Resolutions Retailers Must Acknowledge Before 2017
December 16, 2016 at 11:47 am

As 2016 ends, retail marketers and senior executives will take a long, hard look at their company’s margins over the last year, goals that were attained, best practices that worked and strategies that didn’t — all in an effort to reprioritize and gear up for success in the New Year. Retailers should always keep in…

Supreme Court Lets Colorado’s ‘Amazon Tax’ Law Stand
December 13, 2016 at 10:02 am

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday let stand a Colorado tax law that pressures online retailers to collect sales tax. In its latest order list, the Court announced that it won’t hear a challenge to a February ruling by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that sided with Colorado in a lawsuit from the retail industry.…

Wal-Mart Expanding Delivery Options for Last-Minute Shoppers
December 13, 2016 at 9:43 am

With less than two weeks until Christmas, Wal-Mart is looking to be the go-to shopping destination for both in-store and online procrastinators. The big-box retailer is offering free in-store pickup of online orders placed by 6 p.m. local time on Dec. 23, and has launched a dedicated website for customers to view last-minute gift inventory available…

Starbucks to Debut ‘My Starbucks Barista’ AI Technology
December 8, 2016 at 9:53 am

Starbucks is making news … again. Yesterday, the coffee Goliath announced it will join the growing wave of companies using artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots to supplement employees, planning to unveil what it calls an “innovative conversational ordering system.” GeekWire reports that the ordering system will be available via the Starbucks app and titled “My Starbucks Barista.”…