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Bon-Ton to Close 40 Stores in 2018
November 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm

With sales continuing to decline and losses mounting, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. said Thursday it plans to close at least 40 more stores by the end of 2018. Eliminating 40 stores would represent the shutdown of about a sixth of Bon-Ton's 260 department stores, furniture galleries and clearance centers in the United States. Up to this point, Bon-Ton, which is the…

5 Tips for Transitioning Your Online Business to the Physical World
November 17, 2017 at 11:25 am

Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a lot of physical retail businesses transition to become online businesses (or physical-online hybrids). This makes sense. Online juggernauts like Amazon.com have changed the way people buy things, and physical retail stores have had difficulty keeping pace. Transitioning to at least a partially online model is a kind…

Retail Sales Increase .2% in October
November 15, 2017 at 9:24 pm

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in October as an increase in purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods offset a decline in demand for building materials, suggesting consumer spending remained fairly strong early in the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday retail sales increased 0.2 percent last month. Data for…

What the Toys“R”Us Bankruptcy Spells for Traditional Retailers
November 15, 2017 at 10:33 am

The most recent high-profile victim of the retail apocalypse is Toys“R”Us, which has filed for bankruptcy. Toys“R”Us is another stark warning to legacy retailers to adapt to the changing landscape in which e-commerce and experiential retail have the power to make or break a retail business. Toys“R”Us’ decline is rooted in its continued reliance on…

Creating a Stress-Free In-Store Holiday Shopping Experience
November 9, 2017 at 11:34 am

It’s November and most retailers have been planning for the holiday season for several months. As brick-and-mortar establishments continue to evolve to compete with online competitors, it’s critical that retailers focus on those consumers who still plan to do their holiday shopping in-store, and how they can provide them with an enjoyable experience that meets…

Target to Close 12 Underperforming Stores
November 8, 2017 at 11:48 am

While Target is doubling down on brick-and-mortar retail, the Minneapolis-based retailer also has decided to pull the plug on a dozen underperforming stores. The company on Monday began notifying store employees at the 12 affected stores, which are slated to close on Feb. 3. While competitors such as Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Sears have been closing many…

The ‘Retail Crisis’ is Only a Crisis to Those That Didn't Evolve
November 8, 2017 at 10:58 am

The world of retail was rocked last month when Toys"R"Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Many took it as a bad omen or the proverbial “last gasp” of a dying industry. Headlines of a “Retail Crisis” permeated the news cycle and analysts poured over the reasons why — with most of the blame directed…

Sears Holdings Announces More Store Closures
November 7, 2017 at 11:43 am

Sears Holdings Corp. announced late last week that it will be closing an additional 63 stores early in 2018. The parent company of Sears and Kmart has already closed more than 350 stores this year. An additional 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores will be closing in late January 2018, the company said. The 63…

Amazon Now Lowering Prices on Third-Party Seller Products
November 6, 2017 at 11:31 am

Amazon.com has quietly started lowering prices by as much as 9 percent in recent weeks on certain products offered by third-party sellers, according to a Wall Street Journal report published on Sunday. Until now, Amazon has controlled prices only on the merchandise it sells directly to consumers. Now, according to the report, it's discounting the items…

J.C. Penney Eliminates Chief Merchant Role
November 6, 2017 at 10:51 am

J.C. Penney announced last week that it has eliminated the position of chief merchant. The move was made to streamline decision making and promote greater agility within its merchandise buying teams. John Tighe, current chief merchant, will be leaving the company to pursue other opportunities and will not be replaced. All senior merchandising executives will…

3 Retail Verticals Delivering Cutting-Edge Shopping Experiences
November 3, 2017 at 9:26 am

With the threat of online shopping, brick-and-mortar retailers have been forced to embrace the importance of the experiential aspect of their stores to drive repeat foot traffic. It takes something really compelling for the average consumer to go to a physical store instead of ordering whatever they need from the comfort of their own home.…

Wal-Mart to Host Holiday Parties in its Stores
November 2, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Wal-Mart is throwing 20,000 parties in its stores across the country in an attempt to attract more holiday shoppers. According to a company press release, the parties will take place on Nov. 4, Dec. 2 and Dec. 16, and will include 165,000 in-store toy demos, visits from Santa and other activities. The Nov. 4 party will…

A Few Thoughts From Costco’s Jim Sinegal
November 1, 2017 at 2:31 pm

It’s not often that you get to hear from retail legends like Jim Sinegal, co-founder and director of Costco Wholesale Corp. That’s why I was so excited to attend his talk at SAP’s Retail Executive Forum, which was held in New York City earlier this month. And he didn't disappoint. Sinegal served as the CEO…

A Chat With Mike Halula, Retail Analytics Practice Lead for the Americas, Teradata
November 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

In an interview at the Teradata Partners Conference in Anaheim, Calif., last week, Mike Halula, retail analytics practice lead for the Americas, Teradata, touched on a variety of topics regarding the current and future state of the retail industry: On Marketing to Millennials "Marketers are trying to figure out how customers want to be connected…

REI is Again Closing on Black Friday
October 31, 2017 at 10:20 am

For the third straight year, REI will close its stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. The outdoor apparel and gear retailer will also not be processing any online orders on either day (although shoppers will still be able to make purchases from REI's website). REI will pay its 12,000 employees, including hourly workers, for their…

Wal-Mart Adding Shelf-Scanning Robots to 50 Stores
October 30, 2017 at 11:47 am

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said last week it's rolling out shelf-scanning robots in more than 50 U.S. stores next year, to replenish inventory faster and save employees’ time when products run out. While Wal-Mart has been testing shelf-scanning robots in stores in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and California for the past three years, by the end of January,…

Reports: CVS in Talks to Buy Aetna
October 30, 2017 at 10:56 am

CVS Health has proposed to buy health insurer Aetna for $200 a share or more, according to news reports. If the deal goes through,  CVS would become the first healthcare triple threat: a pharmacy, a pharmacy benefit manager and an insurer. The Wall Street Journal first reported the proposed deal. Acquiring Aetna would give CVS…

Nike to Drastically Cut Number of Retail Partners
October 27, 2017 at 11:52 am

Nike CEO Mark Parker said at the annual Investor's Day summit that the company will be favoring a small number of retailers in which its products will be sold. The company currently has 30,000 retail partners, but plans to favor a select few "differentiated retailers" like Nordstrom and Foot Locker — about 40 in all. These…

Walgreens to Shutter 600 Stores as Part of Rite Aid Deal
October 27, 2017 at 11:29 am

Walgreens plans to close about 600 drugstores as it completes a $4.38 billion deal to buy nearly 2,000 from rival Rite Aid. Company spokesman Michael Polzin said Wednesday that most of the closings will be Rite Aid stores, and the vast majority will be within a mile of another store in the Walgreens network. The store closings…

Brick-and-Mortar Isn’t Dead Yet … And E-Commerce Tells Us Why
October 26, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Despite predictions that the end of brick-and-mortar is near, we’re seeing more and more brands that are continuing to invest in it. Alibaba is just the latest e-commerce company to expand its presence into brick-and-mortar, with Square recently announcing its first physical shop location. These announcements come in the wake of Amazon.com's industry-changing purchase of…