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A 2019 Forecast for the CPG Industry
January 11, 2019 at 11:54 am

The start of a new year brings with it consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry trends, as well as the continuation of several 2018 developments. With e-commerce, we’ve started to see brands typically available exclusively online, like meal kit services, begin to move selectively into brick-and-mortar spaces or partner with established retailers to grow the reach…

J.C. Penney to Close More Stores Amidst Slowing Sales
January 10, 2019 at 2:53 pm

J. C. Penney announced  on Tuesday that it plans to close three stores by the spring as part of an ongoing evaluation of its performance. The retailer didn't report which stores it planned to close, but said it's currently assessing locations that "may not meet required financial targets or represent a market opportunity to capitalize…

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Promotions for Your Direct Mail Campaign
January 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Have you ever found yourself stuck when designing a direct mail campaign because you're not sure what offer or promotion to include? You're not alone; we've all been there. The promotion you choose should ultimately depend on what you're trying to achieve — e.g., increased sales, lead generation, awareness, etc. It should also reflect the…

5 Ways to Improve Your Inventory Management
January 8, 2019 at 10:42 am

Like most other retail leaders, I know that inventory management matters. I knew that even before I started my business or had any experience in the industry. It’s just an obvious necessity for managing a retail business. However, I didn’t truly understand the supreme importance of the practice and the ramifications it could have across…

Lowe's to Hire 65,000 New Employees in 2019
January 7, 2019 at 1:39 pm

Lowe's said last week that it plans to hire more than 65,000 associates this year to improve customer service and product availability. Roles are focused on enhancing customer service and include seasonal associate, merchandising support, store leadership and technology careers. According to a press release from the company, Lowe's hiring investments include: More than 50,000 seasonal…

3 Ways to Use Your Subscription Commerce Program to Truly Connect With Customers
January 7, 2019 at 11:05 am

The subscription commerce model is shaking up the retail industry by turning transactions into relationships. A customer clicking “buy” used to be the signal to close the curtain and roll the credits, which made it harder for sellers to re-engage them. Now, subscription purchases signal the beginning of an interaction in which the business must…

Discount Sites and Promotions: A Retail Strategy That Works
December 20, 2018 at 10:58 am

Discount sites like Groupon, the former LivingSocial (acquired by Groupon in 2016), and niche markets like Restaurant.com are popular with consumers, allowing them to pre-purchase gift cards for local services and activities at a cut price. From a business owner’s perspective, though, what’s the advantage of promoting your brand on such a site? Is it…

Busiest Holiday Returns Day Will Be Pre-Christmas, Says UPS
December 19, 2018 at 2:19 pm

UPS predicts an early spike in product returns this holiday season. The parcel carrier expects 1.5 million packages to be returned today (Dec. 19), ahead of the Christmas holiday, reports CNBC. In previous years, returns have spiked at the beginning of the new year, with Jan. 3 usually the busiest day for returns. UPS credits…

6 Pricing and Promotion Tips to Capture Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers
December 17, 2018 at 12:16 pm

With Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday falling on the early side this year, there's a little longer shopping season — but an overwhelming array of choices. More time means more opportunities to compare assortment, prices and offers, which means loyalty may go out the window.  How can retailers craft engaging, relevant pricing and promotions…

How to Prevent Serial Return Abusers From Cutting Into Holiday Sales
December 6, 2018 at 9:40 am

Online sales spiked during the 2017 holiday season, and according to projections from Deloitte, holiday e-commerce spend in 2018 will rise 17 percent to 22 percent, breaking records once again. However, as sales continue to grow, so does a troubling new threat — the serial returner. Flexible return policies are no longer the exception, they're…

J.Crew Discontinues Budget Line, Amazon Deal in Question
November 30, 2018 at 1:01 pm

J.Crew will discontinue its budget clothing line Mercantile a little less than three months after the company announced it was opening a dedicated storefront for the brand on Amazon.com. A spokesperson for J. Crew confirmed the decision to CNBC. The company informed employees of the news in an internal memo Thursday, which was seen by The…

Solving the Post-Holiday Returns Problem
November 27, 2018 at 10:12 am

As the holiday season kicks off in full force, retailers are preparing for the influx of purchases that are sure to accompany the gift-giving season. While sales increase during holiday crunch time, processing an originating transaction doesn't mean the lifecycle of the sale is over. Regardless of why someone decides to take a gift back,…

Let’s Get Visual: A Product Visualization Guide to Boost Holiday Sales
November 26, 2018 at 2:31 pm

With the holidays upon us, tis’ the season for e-commerce to be jolly! Retailers and merchants look forward to this time of year as it's the most gratifying period in terms of sales. However, they must be well prepared, as thousands of consumers are about to storm any online fortress to get the best possible…

Private Label as a Growth Strategy
November 16, 2018 at 10:49 am

Private label continues to be a winning growth strategy for retailers. Per Nielsen, private-label brands in the U.S. grew three times faster than national brands towards the end of 2017. Treehouse Foods, a leading private-label manufacturer, has doubled its revenues from $3 billion to over $6 billion in just four years. Amazon.com's private-label business is…

Winning the Customer Battle Through Demand Segmentation
November 15, 2018 at 12:38 pm

As a retailer, you face an ongoing battle to determine who your customers are, the merchandise and services required to attract and retain their business, and where and when they want to shop. As the consumer gains more power with access to greater information and less loyalty to a brand or store, the battle lines…

Top 100 Fastest-Growing Retailers: #51 eBay
November 13, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Continuing our coverage of Total Retail's recently released Top 100 Fastest-Growing Retailers report, which ranks publicly traded retailers on year-over-year net sales growth, we will be highlighting select companies on this year's list. We want to provide you with some reasons why these retailers were able to grow sales (and in many cases net earnings) in…

Amazon to Mail Holiday Toy Catalog for First Time
November 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Amazon.com is dropping its first-ever printed holiday toy catalog to millions of customers starting this month, according to a report on CNBC. The catalog features 70 pages of cozily-clad kids surrounded by toys such as action figures, board games and Barbies, as well as high-end items such as Bose audio gear and PlayStations. The book…