Retail TouchPoints - Your Source For The Latest Retail News And Trends Mon, 30 May 2016 16:06:10 -0400 RTP en-gb Canada Goose Migrates To Its Own Brick-And-Mortar Spaces Canada Goose Migrates To Its Own Brick-And-Mortar Spaces

1-canada-goose-Luxury winter clothing maker Canada Goose is looking to expand its business with physical retail locations in Toronto and New York City.

Last year, the Toronto-based company expanded its production capacity and its U.S. presence, opening a sales office in New York and launching an e-Commerce site. The company joins Minted, Warby Parker, Birchbox and other online pure play retailers that see brick-and-mortar as part of their business model. As Maureen Mullen, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of L2, said in her #RIC16 keynote, “Stores aren’t an expense; they are a path to profitability.”

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The company announced that its first two stand-alone 4,000-square-foot flagship stores will open this fall, with one in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre and the other in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood. Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss called the company’s retail plans “an exciting new chapter” for a brand that he said has recently grown into “the only truly global Canadian luxury apparel retailer.”

“This is our opportunity to bring more of Canada — and Canada Goose — to the world,” Reiss said in a statement. The CEO also told The Globe and Mail that Canada Goose will eventually look to open even more of its own retail locations.

The apparel company’s popularity has led to its products selling out in U.S. department stores. Canada Goose saw 30% sales growth in 2014, to $250 million, and the company reportedly hit $300 million in sales last year. This year, Canada Goose launched its first-ever collection of spring clothing, for which it partnered with OVO, the record label founded by Toronto-raised rapper Drake.

]]> (David DeZuzio) News Briefs Fri, 27 May 2016 11:24:03 -0400
Shopkick Adds Video And Data-Gathering Tools To In-Store App

1shopkickThe location-based shopping app shopkick has added new mobile features to help enhance the in-store shopping experience, including a new video product and a receipt scanning feature.

As video continues to be a key player in customer engagement, the new shopkick Video feature is designed to drive higher engagement and purchase impact. Shopkick Video has a 90% average completion rate compared to the industry standard for mobile video of 68.3%, according to the company. The feature will also give users additional benefits by granting “Kicks,” or reward points, for viewing video content, which can boost purchase activity and enhance in-store buying.

{loadposition GIAA}Shopkick will also feature receipt scanning as a reward for customers. The data that's gathered via receipt scanning can also be a source of real-time insights for CPG companies. Shopkick will also provide brand and retail partners such as Macy’s, Best Buy and Target with customer insights throughout the shopper journey, including visibility and metrics that validate consumer awareness, brand and product engagement, unit sales and ROI.

“We believe that content and advertising need to be delivered in the right context to consumers to create immediate value,” said Alexis Rask, COO of shopkick in a statement. “Shoppers want to be rewarded for their existing purchase behavior and marketers want to capture these micro-moments as they happen. Our technology and innovative approach allows us to serve as the platform of choice for top brands and retailers.”

]]> (Klaudia Tirico) News Briefs Fri, 27 May 2016 11:29:09 -0400
#RIC16: Mizzen+Main Relies On Personal Touch To Develop Nationwide Presence #RIC16: Mizzen+Main Relies On Personal Touch To Develop Nationwide Presence

1mizzBuilding a retail company carrying exclusively American-made products can be a gamble due to the time and costs required to make it work, especially when the brand is literally starting from scratch. But Mizzen+Main has powered its way through the ranks to stand on its own as an authentic brand that now offers its apparel in more than 100 specialty stores across the U.S.

The startup apparel brand, which launched as an e-Commerce site in July 2012, is known primarily for its wrinkle-free men’s dress shirts made from performance fabrics. In an effort to differentiate from traditional menswear companies, Mizzen+Main gears its tailored products toward men who seek comfortable dress wear that can absorb sweat but doesn’t need to be ironed or dry cleaned.

Following the success of its trademark dress shirt, Mizzen+Main's key accomplishments have included:

  • Expanding its menswear collection in 2015, launching a line of Chino pants made from the same performance fabrics;

  • Partnering with professional football player J.J. Watt, who serves as the “face of the brand;”

  • Implementing a staunch “no discount” policy to emphasize genuine product quality; and

  • Opening pop-up shops in both New York City and San Francisco.

The opening of the first pop-up store in New York is just one of many examples showing how the husband and wife team of Kevin and Jen Lavelle (CEO and CMO of Mizzen+Main respectively) have managed to build on their investment from the ground up.

{loadposition GIAA}“We did not hire people to man the New York store,” said Jen Lavelle during a presentation at the Retail TouchPoints Retail Innovation Conference. “Kevin and I got an Airbnb here in New York, lived here for three weeks, ran the store during the day and ran the business at night. I would say there is no easy way of doing this, but that experience allowed us to shake hands with our customers, hear their feedback and also meet with a lot of press people that we otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet.”

Two Drivers Lead The Charge: The Consumer And The Product

The brand has expanded nationwide in a relatively short time, and its dedication to the customer and the effort put in place has been paramount in achieving a sustainable success. When starting the company, Kevin and Jen packed and shipped every item that was sold from the guest room in their home. Before shipping each product, they would even write a personal note accompanying the package as a ‘thank you’ to the consumer for supporting the company.

In running a company trying to get off the ground, they initially had to take care of these processes themselves without outsourcing any activity.

“Even at this point, we were putting everything we had — including all of our savings — into the actual product,” Jen Lavelle said. “We hadn’t invested one dollar in advertising, and Kevin was hitting the phones and the pavement telling everyone he could about Mizzen+Main, but we invested in amazing packaging and product quality.”

Emphasizing Community-First To Further Growth

Since Mizzen+Main didn’t have an advertising budget at first, the Lavelles sought to focus on the community aspect of retailing in order to build intimate relationships with consumers. The Lavelles developed a social media following for the brand, starting by interacting with friends and gaining organic reach through the conversations held about the products online.

“We would follow and engage with our customers to learn about them,” said Kevin Lavelle, recipient of a 2016 Retail Innovator Award. “If you farm that out to an agency that doesn’t understand your customers, and you don’t pay attention, you miss opportunities to connect directly with them.”

To spread the word of the brand during its infancy, Kevin reached out to various press members, including a newspaper editor in his hometown of Sarasota, Fla. When the Sarasota Herald-Tribune highlighted the Mizzen+Main brand, professional baseball player Ian Desmond, Kevin’s high school classmate, caught wind and invited him to attend a trunk show with the Washington Nationals. Within 30 minutes, Mizzen+Main sold $10,000 worth of merchandise, which was 10 times more than the brand’s previous best sales day ever, Kevin noted.

“I asked, ‘That’s great, how did you hear about us?’” Kevin Lavelle said. “Ian told me his wife’s grandmother from Sarasota saw the article and she bought him a shirt. This small act of reaching out to a local reporter has turned into something much bigger. From there, we have built this amazing following of professional athletes, and we now have around 250 professional athletes as customers.”

Kickstarting New Funding To Fuel New Products, Charitable Initiatives

The community aspect has benefitted the brand when it comes to designing newer products as well. Mizzen+Main raised nearly $55,000 in February 2014 on Kickstarter (well beyond the initial $15,000 goal) to fund the production and manufacturing of its 0-5 Blazer Line. Since then, the retailer procured Series A funding of $1.2 million in August 2014, and closed another round of funding for $3 million in April 2016 to shore up inventory.

As Mizzen+Main has grown, it has partnered with several military veterans' organizations such as The Agoge Challenge, The Travis Manion Foundation and 31 Heroes as a means to give back to the community. With these partnerships, the Lavelles have conducted charitable efforts such as manufacturing custom-made shirts for Navy SEAL Foundation members and their donors. In November 2015, the retailer even crafted a promotion for which every time a customer bought a dress shirt, a Henley shirt was shipped out to a veteran or active duty service person.

“The feedback we got from this campaign was absolutely incredible,” Jen Lavelle said. “Servicemen and servicewomen said they’ve gotten care packages and aid from nonprofits in the past, but that they don’t really get presents that are just for them. That was huge for us, and that’s exactly what we’re going for.”

]]> (Glenn Taylor) Retail Success Stories Fri, 27 May 2016 08:00:00 -0400
Rover Raises $1.1 Million To Propel Location-Based Mobile Marketing Rover Raises $1.1 Million To Propel Location-Based Mobile Marketing

1-ROVERRover, a Toronto-based provider of location-based mobile marketing platform has raised $1.1 million in seed funding. The company will use the new capital to enhance its technology as well as to strengthen its sales and marketing teams to support growth. 

Backers include BDC Venture Capital and 500 Startups, as well as angel investors in the marketing technology and SaaS industries.

Leveraging beacon and geofencing technologies, Rover enables companies to reach consumers on their mobile devices with targeted content that’s relevant to their physical location. The company, which currently serves hundreds of locations verticals including professional sports, retail, loyalty and tourism, has also created an advisory board that includes Ryan Craver, Hansmeet Sethi, Stephen Statler and Stuart Wheldon.

]]> (David DeZuzio) Financial News Thu, 26 May 2016 14:42:54 -0400
American Apparel Deploys Performance-Based Scheduling Chainwide American Apparel Deploys Performance-Based Scheduling Chainwide

American Apparel is rolling out the StoreForce performance based scheduling platform in all of its 202 stores.

The StoreForce platform is designed to enable retail managers to schedule associates based on in-store traffic patterns and to measure performance against goals that can be communicated across a retailer’s organization. American Apparel can use the solution to schedule appropriately qualified associates at peak sales opportunity times throughout the week.

{loadposition GIAA}Store managers can view real-time store metrics within the platform, while district managers can access mobile dashboards that can help them coach stores on course-correcting behaviors.

The retailer also can use the solution’s Workforce Management component to output data directly to payroll providers, minimizing time spend on payroll processing.

“It was a priority for me to get StoreForce in place, because I knew that if I could better manage traffic and conversion, I could drive sales up,” said Christine Olcu, General Manager of Global Retail at American Apparel. “It's about enabling sales floor leaders and store managers to coach 'in the moment' based on real-time store performance and enhance the customer experience.”

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Thu, 26 May 2016 11:52:03 -0400
Amazon Wins Big As Salesforce Inks $400 Million Deal To Expand Use Of Web Services Amazon Wins Big As Salesforce Inks $400 Million Deal To Expand Use Of Web Services is expanding its usage of Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its public cloud infrastructure solution, in a deal that will cost Salesforce as much as $400 million over a four-year span, according to The Wall Street Journal. By leveraging AWS, Salesforce aims to expand its infrastructure internationally.

The financial success of AWS alleviates much of the pressure on Amazon's retailing operations to demonstrate profitability, and provides additional resources for the company's testing of new retail technologies and processes.

{loadposition GIAA}Salesforce already uses AWS for some of its services, such as Heroku, Marketing Cloud Social Studio, SalesforceIQ and the Salesforce IoT Cloud. But this is the first time its key applications will be housed on another provider’s computers.

The transaction will be a gigantic haul for Amazon, which rode cloud services to its most profitable quarter ever in Q1 2016. AWS generated $2.6 billion in revenue for the retailer in the quarter and has reeled in $8.9 billion over the last four quarters. Given the pace of sales growth, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that these services could account for $10 billion in revenue in 2016.

Web Services' Success Contrasts With Retail's Financial Performance

Perhaps even more significantly for the company’s long term outlook, AWS generated 67% of the company’s operating income in Q1. In contrast, Amazon's retailing operations give it enormous market share but so far have not generated significant profits for the company.

While the Salesforce-Amazon combination itself might not have a direct effect on how retail players do business — even as merchants use both services to host their cloud operations — the move illustrates that Amazon now has more wiggle room to support its own retail initiatives and take more risks.

With Amazon set to broaden its logistics network by building three new fulfillment centers in 2016, and expanding its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service to Boston and the UK, the e-Commerce giant can certainly afford to explore new horizons, something Amazon has always excelled at even when the company has not made a profit. For example, with Amazon’s shipping costs per quarter now climbing north of $3 billion, the retailer has incentive to increase investments into fulfillment methods that are more cost-controlled.

Retailers in recent years have done everything in their power to compete with Amazon, whether through the offering of more convenient omnichannel fulfillment processes, more individualized in-store experiences or top-notch, personalized customer service. However, none of them have a technology arm based on providing cloud hosting services to businesses in multiple fields. As long as Amazon continues to make a significant portion of its profit on its Web Services solution, the retailer will continue to set the agenda for the retail industry, forcing competitors to constantly stay on the defensive or to seek out their own business niches.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) Financial News Thu, 26 May 2016 11:43:02 -0400
Mobivity Partners With Ad Agency To Enhance Data-Driven Marketing

Mobivity logoMobivity, which provides technology to capture customer data at the point of purchase, has partnered with the retail agency Zimmerman Advertising. With access to real-time customer purchase data, as well as spend and basket-level data, Zimmerman's retail clients will be able to create data-driven media and marketing, including next-generation mobile programs.


The Mobivity SmartSuite offers POS-independent technology designed to capture purchase behavior. Mobivity's data-driven, closed loop marketing solutions are used by thousands of retail and restaurant clients.


"Zimmerman has been a true disruptor in retail advertising and strategy, forging innovative solutions that drive big results for major brands," said Dennis Becker, CEO of Mobivity. Zimmerman's clients include Party City, hhgregg, Five Below, Tire Kingdom, Boston Market and Dunkin' Donuts, and the agency recently hosted the Retail 20 20 Conference.

]]> (Adam Blair) News Briefs Wed, 25 May 2016 16:45:56 -0400
Martin’s Super Markets Adopts Food Safety Compliance Solution Martin’s Super Markets Adopts Food Safety Compliance Solution

1-MARTINSMartin’s Super Markets has chosen ReposiTrak’s Compliance Management and Track & Trace solutions to manage regulatory and business documentation compliance within its supply chain. 

“Providing safe food for our customers is a top priority for Martin’s,” said Rob Bartels, President and CEO of Martin’s Super Markets in a statement. “With FSMA compliance beginning in September, we were looking for an automated system to scale and effectively manage our growing list of required documents. We know that if it’s not documented, it didn't happen.”   

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The Compliance Management solution receives, stores and shares documentation, and also manages compliance through dashboards and alerts for missing or expired documents. Track & Trace quickly identifies product ingredients and their supply chain path, useful information in the unfortunate event of a product recall. The solution can reduce supply chain risks by identifying backward chaining sources and forward chaining recipients of products in near real-time.

]]> (David DeZuzio) News Briefs Wed, 25 May 2016 14:55:27 -0400
#RIC16 Payment Disruption: Leverage Technology To Boost Customer Loyalty #RIC16 Payment Disruption: Leverage Technology To Boost Customer Loyalty

1-PaymentsRetailers have a right to be confused when it comes to payments. There are a host of new technologies with the potential to change the way shoppers complete their transactions: contactless payments via EMV chip cards; NFC payments through consumers' mobile devices; mobile wallets; plus Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Yet for the most part, consumers don't perceive the current payment infrastructure as "broken," a fact that is slowing adoption rates of these emerging technologies.

Retailers want to be ready to catch whatever the popular payment wave will be, but they also don't want to bet on the wrong horse, or to get too far out ahead of their customers. Most of all, retailers want to remove whatever friction still exists in the payments process. Those constraints may actually present opportunities for retailers to use payments in new and innovative ways. 

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Vib Prasad, SVP of Innovation at MasterCard, and Eric Shea, Partner at Kurt Salmon Digital, discussed the current and future state of payments at the #RIC16 Payment Disruption Session on May 11, 2016. They agreed that success in the payments arena will require a combination of convenience, security and ubiquity, and will definitely require adapting to the rapid growth of mobile technology.

Today’s Transactions And Tomorrow’s Mobile Future

Today’s shoppers don’t just expect what they want when they want it; they also don’t want to wait in line or be held up by the payment experience. New business models are already influencing consumer expectations.

“We have to change what we think about the customer journey,” said Shea. “Uber is so easy and transparent; you know exactly what you are getting. So, how can you remove steps in a transaction to make it seamless? Starbucks is a good example. You have a mobile order; you click and your coffee is ready for you when you get there; no line waiting. And this ease of payment drives loyalty, rewards, personalization and sales.”

On the consumer side, the technology for a revolution in payments is already in place, or arriving soon. Since the EMV liability shift took place on October 1, 2015, U.S. retailers have been upgrading their POS technology to handle the chip cards:

• According to MasterCard, 1.2 million merchant locations allow the use of chip-enabled cards;

• 67% of MasterCard branded cards now have chips. 

• Worldwide, more than two billion smart payment cards were shipped in 2015, a 24% increase over the previous year, according to the Smart Payment Association; and

• In the U.S., association members shipped 570 million cards last year.

In addition to the spread of chip cards, mobile devices are continuing to expand rapidly. The 15 billion mobile devices today are projected to increase to 50 billion in 2020. And by 2020, 20% to 30% of consumer payments will be digital.

But how do retailers and payment providers close the loop? To transform payment, Prasad said there are three key goals that must be met: 

1. Convenience 

“The customer must be willing to give you some information for an overall satisfying experience,” Prasad explained. “Again, payments are not broken, but there needs to be added benefits to have customers say, ‘This is better.’ We need to get them to reject the old experience, which was seemingly O.K. For Millennials, payment should be fast and easy.”

“There are great opportunities to get shoppers to move to digital wallets and get benefits quicker,” Shea said. “Get them to opt-in and give the retailer information. Then you can personalize the experience, enhance the brand and the customer journey.”

2. Security

“With EMV, you have security, but you can also embed loyalty information easily into the card and push out offers and rewards without additional infrastructure,” Prasad noted. “The Global Fraud Index sees an 11% increase in online fraud, so EMV is a necessary evil for security, but it opens doors to new brand experiences.”

“But we must continue to innovate,” Shea said. “Customer-side verification is still here for the foreseeable future, but facial recognition, ‘selfie pay’ and biometrics are all security measures of the future. A customer’s heart rate will be another form of authentication.”

3. Ubiquity

Retailers should seek to take all payments. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Master Pay are all being adopted into people’s digital wallets. In Australia, 70% of MasterCard transactions are contactless. Prasad revealed that MasterCard recently celebrated its largest Australian contactless sale. In mere seconds —with just the tap of a card —a customer paid $87,000 for a watch.

Don’t Trip At The Finish Line Of Payments

Both executives agreed that there are a few steps retailers can take on a strategic level to bring their customers into the world of seamless payments. 

“The biggest challenge is not having the talent or resources to create a payment platform,” Prasad said. “Partner with people who have digital, tech and in-store knowledge. You need an executive-level commitment to create a cross-level team. Silos are the enemy.”

“Organization is the key,” Shea said. “When a customer touches that channel, the customer thinks it is part of your brand. Can they buy on social? Can you greet them when they are in the store? Do you have all data to access in real-time? There are tech challenges that must be addressed; but you definitely don’t want to trip at the finish line of payments.”

]]> (David DeZuzio) Industry Insights Wed, 25 May 2016 13:59:08 -0400
STRATACACHE Adds Jeff Griffin As EVP Of Retail Media Networks STRATACACHE Adds Jeff Griffin As EVP Of Retail Media Networks

1-stratacacheDigital place-based media company STRATACACHE has named Jeff Griffin its new EVP of Retail Media Networks. Griffin brings more than 25 years of experience in brand and sales management at both Fortune 50 CPG and emerging media companies. 

In the newly created position, Griffin will focus exclusively on business development within the managed network services area. Building momentum in winning large-scale commercial media networks will be a key priority.

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“Jeff will be a great addition to the team and will have a substantial impact on helping drive new wins and further STRATACACHE growth,” said Chris Riegel, CEO of STRATACACHE in a statement. “With extensive merchandising experience from his time at Kellogg’s, Nabisco, Nestlé and P&G, Jeff brings key insights to the STRATACACHE team on the merchant point of view in the retail space, as well as recent mobile and beacon experience from his time at InMarket.” 

Prior to joining STRATACACHE, Griffin led the creation of the world’s largest digital place-based media network with over 150 million weekly viewers across two continents, the world’s largest mobile proximity network at retail reaching an audience of two million+ daily shoppers, and the nation’s first national beacon-enabled digital place-based network.

]]> (David DeZuzio) Retail Movers & Shakers Wed, 25 May 2016 13:03:08 -0400