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The Overgrown Retail Landscape is Due for Pruning
January 24, 2018 at 11:03 am

My seven-year-old son, Hendrix, has quite the green thumb. Last winter, we started preparing for our upcoming gardening season. Together, we researched what types of fruits and vegetables we wanted to plant, and we plotted it against our garden footprint. Hendrix was diligent in making sure each plant had everything it needed to be healthy…

Black Friday is Dead … And Other 2018 Retail Predictions
January 24, 2018 at 10:19 am

Each day, the world seems bigger, more diverse and moves much faster. Predicting the future — always a dubious proposition — seems like a fool’s errand in this climate, given the dizzying pace of disruption. But as Peter Drucker once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” For retailers, that…

Supporting the Retail Store: Be the Superhero for Your District and Regional Managers
January 23, 2018 at 10:49 am

As those of us in the retail industry are aware, life can be very busy, and at times very chaotic, for regional and district managers — and that's an understatement. They're responsible for the correct, on-time and accurate execution of operational plans and directives across all stores. This includes overseeing the dozens and dozens of…

Amazon Opens Automated Grocery Store, Amazon Go, to the Public
January 22, 2018 at 11:14 am on Monday will open Amazon Go, its automated grocery store in Seattle, to the public. The store replaces cashiers with a checkout-free shopping experience made with with what Amazon calls "Just Walk Out" technology that uses computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion — many of the same advances being used to develop autonomous…

How Pop-Up Shops Can Drive Revenue and Delight Customers Year-Round
January 22, 2018 at 10:34 am

The holiday season — the busiest, most lucrative time of year for retailers — has passed, but that doesn’t mean the opportunity to drive revenue and garner good will among your customers is over. Even though e-commerce sales continue to grow year-over-year, particularly during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, online retailers are looking for new…

Taking Baby Steps With Pop-Up Shops
January 17, 2018 at 11:27 am

Pop-up shops across the country are seeing an impressive rise in popularity. The increasing shift toward e-commerce has created an abundance of store vacancies, leading to short-term leasing options for eager boutique, startup and online retailers looking to provide an up-close, interactive experience for potential customers. The result is a low-risk, yet high-impact way to…

2017 Strongest Holiday Season Since Great Recession, NRF Reports
January 12, 2018 at 1:39 pm

It was a very merry holiday season for retailers. This morning, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported holiday sales (November and December) increased 5.5 percent over the same period in 2016. Total sales reached $691.9 billion as growing wages, stronger employment and higher confidence led consumers to spend more than had been expected. The sales…

Kohl's to Partner With Grocers, Convenience Stores to Fill Vacant Store Space
January 11, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Big-box retailer Kohl's plans to partner with grocery stores and convenience stores to lease the white space left in the roughly 300 stores it has "right-sized" over the past several years, CEO Kevin Mansell told CNBC at ICR's conference this week. The department store has created operationally smaller, more profitable stores within its roughly 87,000-square-foot boxes. The…

5 Questions That Can Improve Your In-Store Experience
January 10, 2018 at 11:13 am

Ask and you shall (usually) receive. According to research from Accenture, 35 percent of millennials and 40 percent of Gen Zs say they often or very often provide retailers with direct feedback when prompted. Make the most of this opportunity, especially with the younger part of your customer base, by gathering valuable insights whenever possible. The…

Target Latest Retailer to Report Strong Holiday Sales
January 9, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Add Target Corp. to the growing list of retailers who had a more robust holiday season as shoppers were in a spending mood. The Minneapolis-based retailer reported this morning that comparable sales in November and December rose 3.4 percent, much higher than its forecast for sales to be flat to up 2 percent. The company…

Sears to Close an Additional 100+ Stores
January 5, 2018 at 1:26 pm

Sears Holdings, parent company of Sears and Kmart, told its employees Thursday that it will be closing more than 100 additional stores this year, according to a report from CNBC. The store closings consist of 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores, all of which are expected to shut their doors between early March and…

Macy's Announces New Store Closures, Job Cuts
January 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Macy's is planning 5,000 job cuts, including the closure of seven previously unidentified stores and other cuts at remaining locations, as it seeks stability in a tumultuous climate for physical retail. The retailer's cost reductions come after its holiday sales in stores open at least a year rose 1.1 percent. The moves are part of a plan…

Nordstrom Hiring 250 Employees for Stand-Alone Men's Store in Manhattan
January 3, 2018 at 10:43 am

Nordstrom announced that it's hiring 250 employees for its first stand-alone men's store in Manhattan, which is slated to open in April. To promote the start of employee hiring, the retailer wrapped the exterior of its new men's store with larger-than-life "help wanted" banners incorporating witty job descriptions like "Desperately Seeking Sock Svengali," "Now Hiring: Sneaker…

A Retailer’s Guide to Creating a Hit Pop-Up Shop in 2018
January 3, 2018 at 9:35 am

In today’s competitive retail environment, pop-up shops are all the rage, granting shoppers an inside look at their favorite products and the chance to forge deeper brand relationships through unique experiences. From fragrance labs to art installations, pop-up shops — i.e., short-term sales and experiential spaces that serve as real-world brand activations — have already seen massive success and show no signs of slowing down.

Mobile-Empowered Sales Associates Key to Competing With E-Commerce Titans
December 22, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Increasing innovation in technology means more disruption, and the retail industry isn't immune. With the online pure-plays continually cutting into the market once dominated by brick-and-mortar, retailers need to come up with new strategies and tactics to compete. One not-so-obvious answer may be to leverage one of the their most unique assets — store associates.…

The Great Indoors: How Retailers Are Bringing the Sights, Sounds and Smells of the Outdoors, In-Store
December 21, 2017 at 10:17 am

Some people think retail as we know it is dead. But what if the in-store experience encompassed an immersive video wall, virtual golf swing simulator and intoxicating campfire scents? I’d say it’s a game changer. Sports retailers from Dick's to Bass Pro are reimagining the brick-and-mortar experience and re-evaluating the science behind the consumer journey,…

Macy's Names Jill Ramsey Chief Product and Digital Revenue Officer
December 20, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Macy’s has  announced the appointment of Jill Ramsey as chief product and digital revenue officer, effective Jan. 8. In her role, Ramsey will focus on bridging the physical and digital worlds together through seamless customer experiences. She will have oversight of both product and revenue for…

76% of U.S. Online Consumers Shopping on Amazon This Holiday Season
December 20, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Seventy-six percent of Americans shopping online this holiday season expect to do most of that shopping on, according to the results of CNBC's All-America Economic Survey for the fourth quarter, which was released this week. CNBC surveyed 800 adults from Dec. 10 - Dec. 13 to get their views on the state of the…

126M Consumers Plan to Shop on ‘Super Saturday’
December 20, 2017 at 2:15 pm

Just over half of U.S. adults surveyed expect to finish their holiday gift shopping by today, but others will still be buying gifts on Christmas Eve — and some will miss the deadline altogether. That’s according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The survey found…