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How to Stay Competitive in the Face of E-Commerce Giants
September 26, 2017 at 11:50 am

Online shopping has hit its stride. But with all the things that set it apart from traditional retail — more convenience, options and ways to buy — there's one facet that won't ever disappear: retail giants. Just as mom-and-pop shops watched department stores and big-box retailers spring up and seemingly take over, independent online sellers…

7 Tips to Take the Worry and Hassle Out of Holiday Shipping
September 22, 2017 at 10:22 am

Retailers of all sizes are experiencing the phenomena known as "Christmas creep," as the holiday shopping season begins earlier each year. Advertisers and marketers have likely made their holiday plans for not only the 2017 season — but for 2018 as well. With Black Friday only nine weeks away, it’s not yet time to panic,…

Kohl's to Accept Amazon Returns
September 20, 2017 at 11:13 am

Kohl’s and Amazon.com announced this week that 82 Los Angeles and Chicago area Kohl’s stores will offer free return service for Amazon customers. The Kohl's stores will pack and ship "eligible" Amazon return items, for free, starting this October. Participating Kohl’s locations will have designated parking spots to make the return process even easier for…

Back-to-School Shopping Trends to Be Aware Of
September 18, 2017 at 9:09 am

Back-to-school shopping is one of the retail industry’s busiest seasons of the year. Now that summer is officially wrapping up, students and their parents spent the last few weeks scooping up everything necessary to make it through another school year. At ChargeItSpot, we recently released our “2017 Back-to-School Sales Report,” which examined the shopping behavior…

Toys"R"Us Vendors Cut Shipments on Bankruptcy Fear
September 15, 2017 at 10:36 am

Some suppliers to Toys“R”Us have scaled back shipments to the retailer as it struggles to refinance debt and avoid a potential bankruptcy filing, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The vendors are balking as Toys“R”Us continues talks with lenders over a new loan that would allow the retailer to stay open while it works…

Best Buy Pulls Product Line Over Ties to the Russian Government
September 12, 2017 at 11:55 am

Best Buy will no longer sell security software from Russian internet security company Kaspersky Lab after concerns that the company could be unduly influenced by the Russian government. This summer, the Moscow-based cybersecurity company has faced a series of allegations that it could be influenced by the Kremlin. Due to those concerns, Best Buy decided to stop…

Kmart Ditches ‘Plus-Sized’ Labels for ‘Fabulously Sized’
September 12, 2017 at 11:23 am

Kmart’s new apparel ad campaign is all about celebrating — not marginalizing — “plus sized” women, while putting that full-figure label to rest for good. Kmart’s new "I Can” ad push fetes women of all shapes and sizes and marks the expansion of its signature brands (e.g., Joe Boxer, Basic Editions, Jaclyn Smith) to larger sizes…

Nordstrom Launches Retail Location With No Inventory
September 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Nordstrom announced the launch of a retail concept and neighborhood hub where customers can shop and access services in a central location — and without merchandise typically found in the retailer's stores. Nordstrom Local, which will launch in West Hollywood, Calif. on Oct. 3., will have a 3,000 sq. ft. footprint, which is much smaller than an average…

How Localization Can Help Retailers Boost Growth and Relevance
September 8, 2017 at 10:13 am

Retailers are facing a tough combination of several major market forces: accelerated pace of innovation including digitization, increased competition, and more empowered customers. To grow — and to beat competition — it’s more important than ever that retailers offer customers the right products, in the right place at the right time. Fortunately, retailers can focus…

Best Practices and Trends in Consumer Product Innovation
September 6, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Thousands of new CPG products hit the shelves every year, but only a few succeed in capturing the hearts of consumers. With mass competition and limited shelf space, it’s exceptionally difficult to make a product shine. Product of the Year, the United States largest consumer survey of product innovation, is a leading authority in buying…

Creating the Optimal Coupon Mix for Personalized Marketing
August 30, 2017 at 10:30 am

The first ever coupon is believed to have been distributed in 1888 by Coca-Cola — a ticket for a “free cup of Coke” to help promote the drink. It's estimated that by 1913, one in nine Americans had redeemed at least one of the 8.5 million tickets distributed through mail, magazine inserts, sales representatives and company…

E-Commerce Engagement: Static Content is No Longer Enough
August 30, 2017 at 10:10 am

Today’s e-commerce landscape is filled with obstacles for retailers. There's a growing tendency for consumers to ignore static content, which is driven by the sheer quantity of marketing messages they're exposed to on a daily basis. If you're trying to reach a prospective customer through advertising, you need to be in the top .01 percent…

Why Baseball and Retail’s All-Stars Need to Hit the Cutoff Man
August 29, 2017 at 11:34 am

Retail executives who tuned in to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game earlier this summer learned something about e-commerce operations if they paid close attention. When a ball was hit deep, they saw MLB’s best players hit the cutoff man when returning the ball to their teammates in the infield. Throwing a runner out when…

Francesca's Chief Merchandiser Exits Company
August 23, 2017 at 2:15 pm

Earlier this week, Francesca’s Holdings Corporation announced the departure of Laurie Hummel, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, after less than two years on the job. Steve Lawrence, president and CEO of Francesca's, said during an earnings call, “We have a lot of talent in our merchandising team and are confident in their ability…

Fashion Retailer Uses New OOH Campaign to Lift Black Friday Sales
August 23, 2017 at 11:26 am

Traditional retailers with physical storefronts critical to their business have seen tremendous innovation in marketing strategies over the past several years as they endeavor to adapt to consumers’ rapidly changing purchasing habits and more complex paths to purchase. Often, it’s a question of survival, with the consumer now controlling much of the sales dynamic, dictating…

Bonobos, ModCloth to Be Sold on Jet.com
August 22, 2017 at 11:52 am

Last week during an earnings call, Wal-Mart’s executive team shared that the Bonobos and ModCloth brands will soon be sold on Jet.com but not inside brick-and-mortar Wal-Mart stores. “The Jet customer demographic — millennial, urban, higher income — aligns well with the demographics of ModCloth and Bonobos,” said Wal-Mart’s spokesman Randy Hargrove in an interview with Business…

Smartphone Cameras: Let Your ‘Digital Eyes’ Capture Real-Time Data
August 18, 2017 at 8:40 am

We’re at the point where the majority of consumers have a smartphone with them at all times, meaning they also carry a camera wherever they go. Whenever something noteworthy happens in the world, there's almost always a picture or video available immediately. And with each year that passes, camera technology continues to improve while the…

From ‘Shark Tank’ to Amazon, Spikeball's Inventory Management Strategy Shines
August 17, 2017 at 9:42 am

Appearing on the television show “Shark Tank” can be a dream come true for many startups and SMBs — that is if you have a strong inventory management strategy. With millions of viewers, brands featured on the show run the risk of selling too much product with too little inventory. When Spikeball, a manufacturer, distributor…

Merchandise by Numbers
August 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm

For all the emphasis the e-commerce industry places on big data, the benefits of data are proportional to its quality. Think of it this way: big data is crude oil and rich data is refined fuel. Now let’s apply it to product data: when it’s unstructured, it’s useless, but once it’s organized and enriched, it…

Consumers Now Expect Free Shipping From Retailers
August 10, 2017 at 9:27 am

Earlier this week, Total Retail reported that nearly 90 percent of respondents to our recent survey, The Amazon Effect: How Retailers Are Adapting Their Businesses to Better Compete With the Industry Leader, said they “strongly" or “somewhat" agree that Amazon.com has changed consumers’ expectations for order delivery. Today, we look at how retailers view free…