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A Look Into the Future
March 28, 2017 at 11:22 am

To help you prepare for what figures to be another volatile year, Total Retail sent its editorial advisory board a series of questions about what they expect to be the biggest trends, technologies and disruptors that will impact retail businesses in 2017. In addition, our board members offer their advice on how to make 2017…

Amazon Looking Into More Brick-and-Mortar Retail Concepts
March 27, 2017 at 12:30 pm

E-commerce goliath Amazon.com is looking to expand its footprint in brick-and-mortar retail, according to reports. Featured products in the possible new locations would consist of groceries and appliances, items that, traditionally, have a hard time selling online. This is another move on Amazon's part to start to grow within the grocery vertical. Within its expansion strategy,…

Target Revamping its Storefronts
March 23, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Target is getting a new look. According to reports, the big-box retailer is revamping its look in an effort to get shoppers back into its brick-and-mortar locations. The new layout was unveiled by CEO Brian Cornell in Las Vegas on Monday. Some of the features include a separate entrance and 10-minute parking for shoppers looking to pick…

Organization Planning in a Troubled Retail Sector: 6 Keys to Success
March 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm

As we head into Q2, most HR teams are thinking about the performance review process and the resultant discussion around past year performance in a difficult cycle. It's time to assess organizational and individual performance and make talent decisions for the near and long term. However, the best chief human resource officers (CHROs) are thinking…

Kohl's CEO on Future of Stores, Amazon and More
March 22, 2017 at 1:33 pm

In an interview yesterday with Sucharita Mulpuru at Shoptalk in Las Vegas, Kohl's Chairman, CEO and President Kevin Mansell discussed the future of the struggling retailer, including the role of brick-and-mortar, how the department store will leverage technology, how it views Amazon.com, and the potential impact of the proposed border adjustment tax

Why Consumers Increasingly Crave Tangible Touch Over Touchscreens
March 22, 2017 at 9:09 am

We’ve all heard talk about the pending death of brick-and-mortar in the digital age. We’re certainly seeing declines in an overpopulated retail marketplace as consumers grow more comfortable shopping online. In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2016, about 9.5 percent of all retail sales were transacted online. However, rather than experiencing a full-fledged extinction…

Inside Sephora's Formula for Creating Experiential Retail
March 21, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Calvin McDonald, president and CEO, Sephora Americas, opened his keynote presentation yesterday at Shoptalk in Las Vegas with a simple question for the audience: Can a retailer truly be experiential? During the next 20 minutes, McDonald proceeded to answer that question in the affirmative, unsurprisingly naming Sephora as a brand that has become experiential for…

HHGregg’s Deal With Proposed Buyer Falls Apart
March 20, 2017 at 11:27 am

HHGregg Inc. disclosed late Thursday that its proposed purchase by an anonymous buyer has fallen through and that it now is considering the sale of some or all the business to other possible suitors. The struggling company, which filed for Chapter 11 reorganization March 6, said at that time that it had reached an agreement to sell the business…

New Study Names Favorite Retailers, Shows Impact of Associate Engagement
March 20, 2017 at 10:26 am

If you were to Google "hot topics in retail," you’d get a long list of articles outlining how to engage customers with mobile optimization, social media, omnichannel, loyalty programs and the Internet of Things. While no one disputes these are very important aspects of today’s retail businesses, a recent study from Market Force Information reminds…

Educational Content to Inspire the E-Commerce Sale
March 15, 2017 at 12:04 pm

The retail consumer now exists in the age of instant gratification. When 50 percent of commerce sites are getting less than 15 seconds of attention, and visitors are abandoning pages after just two seconds, brands are more hard-pressed than ever to develop creative and innovative experiences for their customers. It's up to marketers to leverage…

Why an Omnichannnel Payment Strategy is Worthwhile in 2017
March 15, 2017 at 10:37 am

The term “omnichannel” has become so ubiquitous in marketing circles that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when this term took hold. The general consensus is that omnichannel emerged in 2007, with the introduction of the iPhone. However, Retail Systems Research proposes that the roots of omnichannel lie in the idea of “customer centricity,” which retailers were…

Wal-Mart Launching Endless Aisle Tests
March 13, 2017 at 10:58 am

Several Wal-Mart stores in Texas are testing touchscreens in the toy aisle that allow shoppers to browse inventory that's available to order beyond what the store currently has in stock. In addition, the screens can suggest items for shoppers, guiding them to best-selling products based on a description of who the toy is for. Customers can…

Advances in Shopper Convenience Force Marketers to Reprioritize
March 13, 2017 at 9:19 am

There was a time when the merchandise within the four walls of a retail store dictated what shoppers could buy. Those four walls have come down. Digitally enabled shopping — from mobile comparison shopping to social recommendations — has launched a feverish quest to serve the new battleground of customer expectations by delivering shopping experiences…

The Power of the Store in 2017
March 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Many retailers are still wrapping their heads around the full value of implementing an order management system (OMS) within their operations. But as the industry storms into 2017, we’ll see sweeping changes that revolutionize the way omnichannel retail operates. It has been widely predicted that sales, commerce and fulfillment investments will be one of the…

Xcel Brands Thriving With Fast-Fashion Strategy
March 9, 2017 at 9:27 am

It seems as though every day there's another retailer closing stores, declaring bankruptcy or laying off employees. Most recently, J.C. Penney announced it will be closing 140 stores; HHGregg has filed for bankruptcy; and JackThreads laid off most of its staff. However, one company is flourishing at a time when others are failing. Xcel Brands,…

Retail Execs Share Their Advice for a Successful 2017
March 8, 2017 at 4:36 pm

In the Winter 2017 issue of Total Retail, we asked our editorial advisory board what advice they would give to retailers to help them have a successful year. Below are some of their answers (click here for a full list of of our editorial advisory board, including their titles and companies): Peter Cobb: Pick five to…

New Social Trends and Digital Technologies Have Raised the Stakes for Customer Experience
March 8, 2017 at 10:49 am

New technologies powered by “always on” Wi-Fi connections, social networking platforms and the Internet of Things have given consumers the power to dictate the terms of their relationships with retailers. Their behaviors, preferences and, most importantly, shopping habits are changing rapidly as they access a seemingly ever-expanding array of channels to connect with their peers,…

Retail Trends to Emerge From eTail West
March 7, 2017 at 10:22 am

On a surprisingly rainy day last week in the Palm Springs desert, over 1,500 retailers gathered at the annual eTail West conference to discuss the latest trends in digital retail. Over the next three days, the sun came back out and conference attendees learned how retailers are addressing challenges to align technology and their organizations…

3 Ways to Improve Your Omnichannel Commerce Strategy
March 7, 2017 at 9:51 am

2016 was another explosive year for e-commerce growth. E-commerce accounted for nearly 12 percent of total sales in the U.S., growing more than 15 percent from 2015. With that expansion comes both a massive opportunity and an imposing challenge for retailers looking to gain market share. At the forefront of that challenge is providing the frictionless,…

Retailers Invest More in Research to Improve Customer Experience
March 2, 2017 at 8:32 pm

Customer experience (CX) and user research are no longer relegated to a few lone champions in a retail organization. Understanding and improving the user experience has become the entire organization's objective, from product designers to marketers to senior executives. Read that again. Just as artificial intelligence (AI) is booming, so too is organization-wide demand for…