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Inventory / Merchandising / Supply Chain

Supply chain challenges are mounting for many retailers, especially those operating in multiple regions of the country and abroad. Consumers expect to be able to order and purchase products via any channel, then have them delivered to their channel of choice – and quickly! New technologies are providing the ways and means for merchants to deliver on the promise of omnichannel excellence. Now retailers must find the best ways to implement new solutions to stay competitive.

BJ’s Selects First Insight To Power Merchandising Decisions

  • Published in News Briefs
BJ’s Wholesale Club has selected the First Insight predictive analytics platform to assist with buying and merchandising decisions on products offered in its warehouse clubs. With the solution, BJ’s will evaluate a greater number of products and reflect direct consumer input in its buying decisions. 
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GameStop Merch VP: New Store Concept Highlights Gaming Collectibles

GameStop is testing out a new store concept with sister collectibles retailer ThinkGeek, converting approximately 200 GameStop stores into ‘50/50’ store concepts as part of its ongoing transformation efforts to expand beyond video game sales. The co-branded GameStop/ThinkGeek stores will dedicate 50% of retail space to video game merchandise and the remaining 50% to pop culture and gaming-related collectible items, such as posters, figurines, statues, toys and gadgets. As part of the remodeled experience, GameStop also is doubling the amount of wall space dedicated to its current collectibles section within an additional 1,200 store locations.

Target Expands Same-Day Delivery Service With Grand Junction Acquisition

  • Published in News Briefs
Target is getting serious about improving its last mile delivery, logistics and supply chain capabilities, with the acquisition of Grand Junction, a technology transportation company offering software that manages local delivery throughout North America. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The move hints that Target is seeking to…
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Kwikee Launches Content Studio In Walmart Fulfillment Center

  • Published in News Briefs
Kwikee is partnering with Walmart to set up a content creation studio within the company's fulfillment center in Chino Hills, Calif. Kwikee, a brand assets and digital content creator, already is part of the Walmart Content Service Provider (CSP) program. The company will create, manage and distribute thousands of images and…
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Checkpoint Systems Debuts MicroFlex RF Label

Checkpoint Systems, a supplier of Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) and RFID solutions for retailers, has released the MicroFlex solution, a Radio Frequency (RF) label designed to help retailers reduce external shrink on hard-to-protect merchandise. With many retailers choosing to display merchandise openly, MicroFlex is designed to improve the customer experience by enabling full interaction with the products while simultaneously deterring opportunistic thieves.

40% Of Personalization Strategies Fall Short

  • Published in News Briefs
Although consumer demands for personalized experiences continues to rise, many retailers still make shoppers jump through hoops to get it. As many as 70% of personalization experiences on an e-Commerce site only occur when the shopper is logged into an account, according to a study from Kibo and Astound Commerce.
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What U.S. Retailers Can Learn From Japan’s Co-Op Deli Home Delivery Service

In this exclusive Q&A with Japan’s Co-Op Deli Home Delivery Director, Junichi Nagashima, Retail TouchPoints uncovers the strategies and technologies driving the success of Co-Op Deli Consumer’s Co-Operative Union. With 4.64 million members (30% of households in the areas it serves), Co-Op Deli generated 386.5 billion yen ($3.45 billion) in home delivery sales and another 131.6 billion yen ($1.18 billion) in store sales in 2016. Established in 1992 as a membership organization in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Co-Op Deli has been a global leader in developing the grocery home delivery market. UK businesses kicked off their efforts in the late 1990s; the U.S. has lagged behind, starting in earnest only in the early 2000s.

ROI Of AI: 5 Ways Retailers Are Embracing The Innovation

“Artificial Intelligence (AI)” is being touted as one of the newest, most promising business technologies of the 21st century — even though its roots go back nearly 80 years. The fact is, the basics of AI can be traced back to Alan Turing and the Theory of Computation in the late 1930s; and the 1950 paper that helped inspire the 2014 film, The Imitation Game: Computing Machinery And Intelligence. But as AI has moved out of the theoretical realm and into the practical, confusion about what AI is — and what it can do — has grown. Even today’s smartest and wealthiest business executives seem a bit stumped by what, exactly, constitutes an AI solution. As recently as July 25, 2017, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk got into a social media feud over each other’s understanding of the technology.

AI-Driven Fulfillment Solution Receives $6 Million VC Boost

CommonSense Robotics, which combines robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to support on-demand fulfillment solutions, has raised $6 million in seed funding from Aleph VC and Innovation Endeavors. The company is using the funds to expand its team, drive new product development and build out operations toward its initial deployments. The company creates micro-fulfillment centers that are designed to combine the benefits of local and automated fulfillment and maximize the use of retail space while enabling faster fulfillment and delivery of goods to consumers.

AI Sharpens Promotion Planning For Earth Fare Grocery Chain

  • Published in News Briefs
At the 41-store Earth Fare chain, the food is organic and natural but the intelligence is artificial — at least when it comes to promotion planning. For the past year, the retailer has used an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solution to help its category managers determine which items to feature in weekly…
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Can Discounted Cosmetics Drive Department Store Traffic?

The cosmetics counter has been a rare bright spot in these dark days for department stores — for example, the JCPenney-Sephora partnership has been a win-win for both parties. So it makes sense that other department stores would seek ways to leverage the category’s drawing power as a way to bring foot traffic into brick-and-mortar stores. But the tactic chosen by Macy’s and Bloomingdales — offering discounts on products that are rarely involved in promotional sales — is raising eyebrows. Many industry experts note that once a retailer lowers prices, even for a limited time or to a select audience, it’s difficult to push them back up to a “normal” level. Meanwhile, Sephora is not putting all its eggs in one basket. The brand is testing Sephora Studio, a small (2,000 square feet) store concept that will be located outside of mall locations. The first Studio debuted on Boston’s Newbury Street on July 21. The Studios will offer skin consultations and the Sephora Digital Makeover Guide, which captures clients’ product, application and look preferences. Product selection will be limited due to the stores’ small size, but associates will be able to use an “order in store” feature via Sephora.com.

Is Bitcoin A Retail Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing?

Bitcoin is the Dark Knight of currencies, with dual identities that include savior and scoundrel. Depending on how you view these and other virtual digital currencies, they are: • Efficient, up-to-date tools to reduce fees, bring the “unbanked” into the commerce system and introduce new levels of transparency to financial transactions; or • Volatile, anonymous weapons for hackers, criminal activities, money laundering and ransomware payments.
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