Retail TouchPoints - Your Source For The Latest Retail News And Trends Fri, 29 Apr 2016 06:04:35 -0400 RTP en-gb Publix CEO Crenshaw Retires After Four Decades With Company

1edPublix CEO Ed Crenshaw will be retiring on April 30, 2016, after 42 years with the company. Upon his retirement, President Todd Jones will take on the titles of both President and CEO. Crenshaw will stay on as a member of the company’s Board of Directors.

Crenshaw began his Publix career as a front-end service clerk in 1974 and was promoted to Director of Retail Operations for the Lakeland Division in 1984. After working a variety of executive level positions, Crenshaw was named CEO of Publix in 2008.

“Company ownership provides our associates amazing opportunities, and with that comes the responsibility to continue to grow our company and invest in each other,” said Crenshaw in a statement. “The time has come to turn over the reins, and I am pleased to have a leader with the experience of Todd who is ready to take the next step in his career. I am confident in his ability to lead our company into the future and to continue to make Publix a great place for both customers and associates.”

]]> (Klaudia Tirico) Retail Movers & Shakers Thu, 28 Apr 2016 18:17:41 -0400
Dunnhumby Acquires Stake In Aptaris To Optimize Promotion Analytics

1dunnhumbyCustomer science company dunnhumby has invested in Aptaris, an enterprise marketing and promotions management technology provider, just a few months after the two companies announced a strategic partnership agreement. With the partnership, dunnhumby can further extend its data analytics to retailers.

The investment positions the two companies to develop a single end-to-end promotions management solution. Aptaris powered by dunnhumby can help stakeholders in the promotions planning process by:

  • Conducting real-time modeling and simulation on vendor promotional offers;
  • Forecasting the impact of total advertising circular performance; and
  • Making smarter choices to drive category growth and customer loyalty.

“This investment demonstrates dunnhumby’s confidence in our progressive approach to solving our clients’ challenges and the value of our combined solution to retailers’ businesses,” said Tom O’Reilly, CEO for Aptaris in a statement. “The ability to leverage science and data to deliver more relevant and even personalized promotions creates real competitive advantage for retailers ready to move past outdated spreadsheet systems.” 

]]> (Klaudia Tirico) Financial News Thu, 28 Apr 2016 18:13:12 -0400
Barneys Brings iBeacons And 'Endless Aisles' To New York Flagship Barneys Brings iBeacons And 'Endless Aisles' To New York Flagship

Barneys New York is enhancing the in-store experience at its flagship Manhattan location with iBeacon technology and an updated personalization platform.

The luxury retailer has enlisted the RichRelevance Relevance Cloud platform to:

  • Drive the store’s editorial personalization campaigns within the store;

  • Connect consumers’ online and offline behaviors and preferences; and

  • Help sales associates better serve clients via a customer clienteling app with “endless aisle” capabilities.


The retailer is using the iBeacons within the store to share content from its luxury editorial site The Window with shoppers as they move about the store. Content on the site includes videos displaying Barneys products, as well as look books and designer interviews.

{loadposition GIAA}With the Relevance Cloud, Barneys seeks to deliver personalized content recommendations to users who opt-in via the Barneys New York mobile app. The app also delivers personalized notifications when a shopper nears items that are already in their mobile shopping carts or on their wish lists — technology designed to create an efficient shopping experience for the Barneys customer.

“The customer experience in this store runs parallel in importance to the design, product and historic location,” said Daniella Vitale, COO of Barneys New York in a statement. "We want the customer to feel as though anything is possible when they walk into the store.”

Barneys New York also is collaborating with RichRelevance to power a new clienteling system that uses customer-centric personalization to provide sales associates with “endless aisle” capabilities. With this mobile app, associates can access inventory across all Barneys New York stores and, from the store floor, enter an order to be fulfilled immediately.

The clienteling app is available on associates' iPads, which also can be used as mobile POS devices with Apple Pay.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:57:24 -0400
Target, Walmart And Whole Foods Honored For Energy Efficiency Efforts Target, Walmart And Whole Foods Honored For Energy Efficiency Efforts

Retailers including Target, Walmart, Giant Tiger Stores and Whole Foods Market were presented with the Advanced Roof Top Unit (RTU) Awards during the PRSM2016 National Conference in Long Beach, Calif.

The Department of Energy (DOE) recognized six award winners, including Arby’s Restaurant Group and electricity supplier Southern California Edison, for innovative and efficient RTU management approaches that led to “significant energy savings in commercial buildings.”

The Advanced RTU Campaign encourages commercial building owners and occupants to replace RTUs with high-efficiency models, retrofit existing RTUs with advanced controllers, and/or continue quality maintenance of existing RTUs. Each company achieved impressive results:

  • Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. made 238 high-efficiency RTU replacements across 900 stores, saving an estimated $140,000;

  • Giant Tiger Stores Limited had the largest efficiency gain for a single building RTU replacement project, a 63% installed efficiency gain with 41% capacity reduction;

  • Southern California Edison utility programs upgraded 4,679 high-efficiency RTUs and 400 advanced RTU control retrofits, saving an estimated $4.7 million;

  • Target Corporation upgraded 532 RTUs; 

  • Walmart Stores, Inc. upgraded 5,919 RTUs — the highest number of high-efficiency RTU installations — saving an estimated $5 million; and

  • Whole Foods Market retrofitted 839 advanced rooftop control units — saving an estimated $747,000 — and installed 12 high-efficiency RTUs, saving an extra $12,000.

Combined, all six organizations have saved $11.8 million in a single year due to efficient RTU replacements, retrofits and quality management and operations.

{loadposition GIAA}“The Professional Retail Store Maintenance (PRSM) Association is dedicated to working with our members to maximize energy efficiencies across multi-site retail facilities,” said Patricia Dameron, Executive Director of the PRSM Association in a statement. “We were proud to partner with the DOE to present the Advanced RTU Awards during our national conference and look forward to working with them in the future on this and other energy efficiency programs.”


]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:15:32 -0400
As Sports Authority Liquidates, What’s Next For Its Stores? As Sports Authority Liquidates, What’s Next For Its Stores?

After a tumultuous few months that involved a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, preparations to close approximately 140 stores, then a push-back of the auction to May, Sports Authority has opted to liquidate all assets, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Robert Klyman, an attorney representing Sports Authority, first informed a U.S. bankruptcy judge of the retailer’s decision at a court hearing.

{loadposition GIAA}Upon failing to reach an agreement with its creditors regarding $1.1 billion in debt, Sports Authority will not reorganize under Chapter 11 as an independent company. Instead, the company will be sold off in pieces.

The question of the moment is: Who will be purchasing the residual assets of the former sporting goods leader? Competitors such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Sports + Goods and Modell’s already could be prime candidates to bid on the remaining holdings during the May 16 auction, with Dick’s CEO Ed Stack publicly acknowledging his company's interest in the brand during a quarterly earnings call in March.

“We're making the investments we feel necessary to capture a big part of that vacated market share with the Sports Authority closings,” Stack said during the call. “We want that business to come to us as opposed to somebody else, and we're going to be very aggressive.”

Both Dick's and Academy are presently in expansion mode. Dick’s has opened approximately 200 new locations within the past five years, while Academy Sports has added approximately 70 stores in the same time frame. Academy recently has entered Midwestern markets such as Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana and Missouri, perhaps indicating that the retailer would be welcome to acquiring Sports Authority locations presently based in this region.

Sports Authority will auction off almost all of its 464 stores with two different scenarios in mind: 1) the buyer of certain stores will keep them open and operating; and 2) certain stores will be sold after all the merchandise has been liquidated.

A Bloomberg report noted that Sports Authority’s financial standing is so poor that the company’s liquidation process will raise only enough cash to cover administrative costs of the bankruptcy (approximately $100 million of the $1.1 billion owed), making the option of a reorganization virtually impossible.


]]> (Glenn Taylor) Store Operations Wed, 27 Apr 2016 14:33:40 -0400
Verizon Data Breach Study: 5 Steps To Mitigate Risk Verizon Data Breach Study: 5 Steps To Mitigate Risk

They say there is nothing new under the sun, and with respect to data breach incidents, the saying is mostly true. In fact, the most successful data breach methods from last year are still among the key methods being used this year. But there are several steps retailers can take to avoid data breaches, or at the very least mitigate their impact.1 VerizonDBIR cover

Retail TouchPoints spoke to Chris Novak, Director of Investigative Response, Verizon Enterprise Solutions and author of the Verizon Data Breach Study, who revealed that a retailer's greatest asset is its employees. In fact, the simple act of communication with, and among, store associates about the appropriate response to a data breach can be what separates a retailer from the potential loss of millions of dollars — not to mention long-term damage to the company's reputation. It's also vital to close security gaps quickly once they are discovered, given that 90% of vulnerabilities exploited by criminals are at least one year old.

Verizon’s ninth annual Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) provides an in-depth look at the cybersecurity landscape, drawn from more than 100,000 security incidents worldwide in 2015, with key findings that include: 

  • 97% of breaches featuring stolen credentials leveraged legitimate partner access;
  • 90% of vulnerabilities that are exploited are over one year old;
  • 70% of payment card skimming incidents can be blamed on criminal organizations; and
  • 63% of confirmed data breaches involved weak, default or stolen passwords.

Hackers Moving Faster

Financial firms were hit with the most data breaches last year, with some 795 breaches, followed by the accommodation/hotel sector (282), information sector (194), public sector (193), retail (137), and health care (115). 

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One disturbing trend is that attackers are getting faster in their hacks, but victims are still slow to detect that they’ve been hit. According to the DBIR, most attackers (82%) compromised victims within minutes. Approximately 67% stole data within days, while 21% did so within minutes.

Web application attacks increased 33% in 2015 compared to 2014, and in 95% of these breaches, it was all in the name of financial gain. Web attacks rose this year to 82% — from 31% last year — against financial services firms, which, along with information and retail industries, were hit the most by these types of attacks

Finally, a bit of good news: There was no sign of mobile devices becoming the next big attack vector amid the security incidents and data breaches analyzed in the report. In last year’s DBIR, the report's authors concluded that mobile devices were a non-factor in 2014 real-world attacks. Only about 100 smartphones per week out of tens of millions of devices are getting infected, for a 0.68% infection rate, and mostly with adware or other relatively benign forms of malware.

5 Steps To Mitigate Data Breach Risks

So what can retailers do to thwart a data breach? Simple though often overlooked solutions are key. Overall, Novak says retailers must understand and utilize these five principles:

1. Be prepared to respond: It’s no secret retailers need an effective security system in place. “Every retailer focuses on prevention,” Novak said. However, “since there is no way to realize 100% prevention, you must be able to respond to the detection of a data breach and have an appropriate response to it. Companies are often hurt worse by a lack of adequate response to a data breach than the breach itself.”

2. People have the power: Yes, IT and security departments have a lot of cool devices guaranteed to analyze every bit of granular data, and cameras to watch the goings-on in the store. But they are not as effective as your store associates. That’s right; associates are on the front line and are more able to catch and act on suspicious activities than a camera. So why don’t employees contact management about breaches? 

“The number-one response is that people assume IT saw it,” says Novak, who recommends that retailers “make people your first line of defense.”

3. Keep your POS applications up to date: With POS attacks, it’s all about phishing and installing malware or a keylogger to capture credentials.“Out of date applications are subject to a variety of exploits,” Novak said. “Remember, threat actors have your script. For old applications, the map to theft has been drawn, and it is shared by criminals time and again until the way in is closed off. That’s when they look for the next opening.”

4. Data retention and prompt patching: Yes, you need to keep customer information on file. But you need to make sure that if there is a breach somewhere in the company, it is patched up. “The large majority of breaches, almost 90%, were accomplished by exploiting old vulnerabilities that were at least a year old,” Novak said. “This means that any method in which an attack was successful was not patched properly, if at all, and continued to be a point of entry. Some vulnerabilities are between five to seven years old.”

5. Two-factor authentication is key: “This reduces attacks dramatically and is very underutilized,” Novak said. Static single authentication is a weakness that is used incredibly effectively by attackers. If possible, improve this with a second factor, such as a hardware token or mobile app, and monitor login activity with an eye out for unusual patterns. 

In addition:

• Have a conversation with your vendors and ensure that they are using strong authentication to access your POS environment;

• Find out what monitoring options are available for your POS environment, and validate their implementation;

• Track remote logins and verify any and all that are against the norm;

• Separate the POS environment from the corporate LAN, and ensure that it is not visible to the entire Internet; and

• Keep up to date with PCI compliance.

Prepare To Prevent, But Be Proactive In Case Of A Breach

“People are victimized in different ways but there are commonalities to each incident,” Novak said. “A retailer must tailor its security to the risks and threats that are potential realities to them. Then, they must have a prioritization of these threats and appropriate responses.”

As simple as that may sound, the planning and execution of an appropriate plan is more difficult than it may seem. Breaches are sophisticated, yet simple. Data breaches will probably never disappear in retail, or any business for that matter, but we can all prepare. Remember, even with 12 locks on a door, a slightly open window is all it takes for a break-in.

]]> (David DeZuzio) Industry Insights Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:52:49 -0400
Infogroup Partnership Combines Multiple Data Sources For Single Customer View

1infogroupInfogroup, a big data marketing services and analytics provider, has launched Infogroup Audience Solutions (IAS). The new product is designed to provide marketers with a single view of a customer across display, video, email, social, mobile and direct mail, in order to create unified campaigns.

IAS leverages the company’s new partnership with Lotame, a cross-device data management platform (DMP). Lotame’s DMP is able to send Infogroup’s offline business and consumer data into the online ecosystem. This allows Infogroup to provide clients with a custom, private DMP, to store and manage first-party and third-party data sets and give clients a 360-degree profile of prospects.

“Infogroup’s decision to partner with Lotame validates our mission to provide best-of-breed technology for engaging with the right person on the right device,” said Andy Monfried, CEO of Lotame in a statement. “We’ll also benefit from the ability to leverage their immense data footprint, creating additional value for their clients and the broader online advertising ecosystem.”

]]> (Klaudia Tirico) News Briefs Wed, 27 Apr 2016 11:08:26 -0400
Target Takes The Lead In Testing Food Transparency Pricing Target Takes The Lead In Testing Food Transparency Pricing

Target has begun testing an experimental concept in a SuperTarget store in Edina, Minn., aimed at pricing food based on the date it arrives in the store. The test is one of several the big box retailer has implemented in select stores to give consumers more transparency about the food it sells.

Researchers put up handwritten signs above strawberries and raspberries indicating when each batch arrived in the store. Customers can then decide whether they want the regular price for berries delivered that day, or buy week-old berries for $.50 less.

{loadposition GIAA}The Target location also includes two “smart scales,” devices that enable customers to measure a piece of fruit to find out its calorie content, organic status and additional nutrition information.

Parameters of the tests that took place in the Edina store will be adjusted before being rolled out in stores in Minnetonka, Minn. and Boston on April 30, while another trial is set to take place in San Francisco in May.

To implement the trials, Target created the Food + Future coLab in collaboration with design firm IDEO and MIT Media Lab. As part of the collaboration, entrepreneurs, scientists and graduate students gather daily to bring greater access, understanding and transparency around the food options offered in Target stores.

The movement to make food sales more transparent has been kicked up a notch by consumer advocate groups, but grocers have only rarely gone the extra mile (aside from labeling sell-by dates on fresh foods or using scales to calculate volume). In building its own innovation lab of sorts, Target could inspire supermarkets and grocery chains to take the same road.

While natural food retailers such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have built entire businesses on healthy alternatives, neither they nor traditional grocers have implemented companywide technologies based on measuring nutritional value or calorie content.

Supermarkets would do well to monitor the success of Target’s other initiative, the Good & Gather brand packaging, which is designed to “boldly and clearly” display ingredients on the front of packaging rather than in fine print on the back. While this is a simple change to the way ingredients are displayed, consumers have become more demanding about the quality and standards of their food options, which puts the onus on grocers to show that their foods are as healthy as they claim to be.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Tue, 26 Apr 2016 17:57:52 -0400
RadioShack Taps Retail Veteran As Second CEO In Last Year RadioShack Taps Retail Veteran As Second CEO In Last Year

Hoping to revitalize its image after declaring bankruptcy last year, RadioShack has named retail veteran Dene Rogers as its President and CEO, effective May 9.1 DeneRogers

Rogers, who will also serve on RadioShack’s board, previously held CEO positions at Target Australia and Sears Canada, which he led to become Canada’s most profitable online retailer, according to RadioShack.

"Dene Rogers has a long and consistent record of business success,” said Robert Lavan, Chairman of RadioShack in a statement. “Dene shares our commitment to RadioShack's legacy as the nation's leading neighborhood electronics convenience store, and has an impressive vision for how to expand the business into other segments of the market across a variety of platforms."

{loadposition GIAA}

Rogers replaces CFO Gordon Briscoe, who has served as interim CEO since January, when Ron Garriques left the post after serving less than a year.

Since emerging from bankruptcy under new ownership, RadioShack has moved aggressively to counter its previous staid image. The retailer:

• Re-launched;

• Launched the NCREDIBLE brand, including Ncredible 1 headphones, with Chief Creative Officer Nick Cannon; and

• Formed an exclusive partnership with Sprint to create stores-within-a-store in 1,400 of its stores.

“RadioShack is a storied brand known for its customer focus, its unique place in the community, and its top-notch selection of products,” Rogers said in a statement. “I am privileged to lead the team who is working to improve RadioShack’s existing operations and expand its online presence.”

]]> (David DeZuzio) Retail Movers & Shakers Tue, 26 Apr 2016 14:22:44 -0400
Starmount Partnership Powers Omnichannel Payments Starmount Partnership Powers Omnichannel Payments

Starmount logoA new partnership between Starmount and Aurus offers retailers the ability to implement payment solutions that are capable of processing both in-store and e-Commerce transactions.

Retailers will be able to incorporate payment-as-a-service with their Starmount POS solutions, including Starmount Engage mobile POS, managing consumers' payment processes separately from their POS transaction data.

{loadposition GIAA}In addition, Aurus' technology enables:

• Single global tokenization across all channels for consumers who use the same card;

• Cross-channel transaction feasibility; and

• Acceptance of alternate tenders such as PayPal across all channels.

"Consumers do not think of shopping in terms of channels and this point of view includes the world of payments," said Mustafa Shehabi, Chief Business Development Officer for Aurus in a statement. "By implementing the new payment service into their overall software solution platform, retailers gain the ability to accept transactions through a multitude of channels while creating a holistic view of the consumer."

For example, if a shopper uses a single payment type such as a credit card, the payment service allows the retailer to identify this consumer as she moves from the web to the store and vice versa.

]]> (Adam Blair) News Briefs Tue, 26 Apr 2016 11:55:14 -0400