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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.

73% Of North American Retailers Worry About New Product Forecast Accuracy Featured

The constant shifting of both old and new products throughout the supply chain can make planning and execution quite unpredictable for retailers. Case in point: as many as 73% of North American retailers are concerned about forecasting for new products, well above the average rate of concern among global retailers (58%), according to research from Martec International and RELEX. Since most new products are developed and launched in the U.S., this merchandise overload and uncertainty may cause greater problems for North American retailers than those in other markets where there is typically a lower proportion of new products in an assortment.

Target Supports 'Endless Aisle' Evolution With Three New Fulfillment Centers Featured

While the customer-facing e-Commerce site is vital to an omnichannel retailer's success, it is supply chain and fulfillment optimization that serve as the backbone of smooth, efficient operations. At the Manhattan Momentum conference in Orlando, Fla., Target fulfillment systems experts Elena Cowan, Director of Product Management, and Adam Wright, Senior Product Owner, discussed the retailer’s continued evolution on the back end as the customer-facing side adapted to an endless aisle offering.

How To Reduce Loss For Excess And Returned Merchandise

Consumer behavior is continuing to shift: online spending is rising while brick-and-mortar foot traffic is declining. What’s more, many stores are playing catch-up when it comes to their e-Commerce operations or are struggling to compete in a very demanding online environment teeming with competition. All this is forcing many retailers to close physical stores (we’ve seen some big names in the news lately), leaving them with millions of dollars in excess inventory to sort out behind the scenes. Instead of sending the merchandise to another store or marking individual items for closeout, the majority of it will be slated for liquidation and sold into the secondary market.

Left Behind: Only 15% Of Retailers And Manufacturers Have Access To Supply Chain Data Featured

Although the supply chain remains integral to retail’s timeliness and customer experience capabilities, industry players are still having difficulty gathering data that could streamline its processes. In fact, only 15% of retailers and manufacturers have access to the data they’re collecting across their extended supply chain, while just 23% of those that have access actually analyze data for decision making purposes, according to a research study from Capgemini Consulting and GT Nexus.

Guess? Alum Joins Crate And Barrel As COO

Following successful tenures as Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Guess?, Michael Relich has accepted the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Crate and Barrel. In his new position, Relich will oversee all information technology, supply chain and international business functions, and will also be responsible for the retailer’s B2B and outlet strategies.

Target Taps Nordstrom Exec To Fill Chief Merchandising Officer Role

Target’s year-long search for a Chief Merchandising Officer is finally over. The retailer has hired Mark Tritton to take on the role. Tritton will be responsible for overseeing enterprise buying, product design and development, sourcing, visual merchandising, and merchandising transformation and operations for the retailer.

The Earlier, The Better: 6 Holiday Loss Prevention Tips You Can Implement Today

Shrink is a constant threat to retailers, but the holidays bring a whole new set of challenges. Between the massive amount of product moving through the supply chain, seasonal staff that needs to be hired and trained, and an increased risk of outside theft, losses that a retailer incurs around the holidays can affect the whole year. For these reasons, the best time to start creating the holiday plan is one year in advance — right when the holidays end. But not everyone has the luxury of a whole year's worth of planning, so at the very least, start now. Six months is the bare minimum to come up with a decent plan, because by the time the season rolls around, it will be too late.

#RIC16 Spotlights Retail's Most Creative Disruptors Featured

The retail model that has held sway for the last 2,000 years — build a store, stock it with appealing products and wait for customers to come in — is broken, and Ken Hughes knows who broke it. The consumer and shopper behaviorist was the keynote speaker at the second annual Retail TouchPoints Retail Innovation Conference, held May 9-11 in New York City. Hughes identifies the "Blue Dot" consumer as the culprit behind today's industry upheaval. To make his point he spread out a paper road map and noted that in order to use one of these, an individual had to know where she was in relation to the wider world. But smartphone map apps now do this for us automatically, creating a "you are here" Blue Dot. "That consumer is not a small part of a big world; they are the world, and they are at its center," said…

As Amazon Prime Grows, Walmart And eBay Ramp Up Fulfillment Infrastructure

With Amazon increasing the focus on its same-day delivery service Prime Now and continually racking up new Prime members, Walmart and eBay are fighting back with upgrades to their fulfillment strategies. Walmart is testing a two-day version of its ShippingPass shipping service, which would match Amazon’s Prime’s two-day offering. ShippingPass delivery is normally three days, but the subscription cost is only half ($49) of Amazon’s price ($99). With the lower price point set to be such a huge factor in the ShippingPass offering, the product selection and customer service included with the program will have to remain up to par with Amazon’s if a sufficient number of Prime subscribers would ever think of using a similar service.

Top Takeaways From #RIC16 Innovation Labs Featured

This year's Retail Innovation Conference, held May 10-11 at Apella in New York City, brought together 185 of the industry's most innovative retail executives, who shared uniquely valuable retail disruption and innovation trends. Also featured at #RIC16 were eight Innovation Labs, highly focused workshop sessions covering a wide range of current "pain points." Presentations were led by the industry's leading solution providers and their customers. Here are some key takeaways from these sessions:

Fun.com Boosts Email Conversions Up To 15% With Personalized Offers Featured

When a once-a-year purchase cycle is built into your name, as it is for HalloweenCostumes.com, marketing’s task of retaining customers becomes extremely challenging. "People will buy a costume only once a year, so we need to 'win back' the customer every year," said Mark Bietz, CMO of online retailer Fun.com, parent company of HalloweenCostumes.com. Bietz and his marketing team use a number of tools and tactics to stay in touch with Fun.com's customers throughout the year, such as providing tips for throwing a great party and reminders about the costume they purchased the previous year. But it's a personalization solution from Qubit — which Fun.com deployed beginning in September 2015 — that is having the most dramatic impact.

Top Grocery Trends And Technology Solutions

In a rapidly changing and highly competitive industry, grocers are always striving for continuous improvement and looking for the best ways to meet new challenges. In 2016, the pressure is on to differentiate, go small and control costs. Additionally, grocers can look to advanced technology to help improve in-store efficiency while mitigating security risks. Let’s take a look at some of the key challenges for grocers, and explore how technology can help.

Tyco Introduces Source Tagging Program To Protect Store Merchandise

Tyco Retail Solutions has debuted its Source Tagging as a Service (STaaS) merchandise protection program, designed to maximize the value of retail source tagging initiatives. Since retailers have limited time and staff to manage an electronic article surveillance (EAS) program, they can instead rely on the platform to oversee their programs to help increase sales, solve inventory shrink issues and optimize store labor.

True Religion Adds Clienteling to Associate-Facing Apple Watch Experience Featured

It’s easy to get lost in the glitz and glamour of new technologies and engagement touch points. While the latest gadgets may look great on the surface, they may not be appropriate for a retailer’s brand image, business goals or even their target audience. With its associate-facing Apple Watch App, True Religion has somehow managed to have it all: Robust functionality, a powerful user interface and accessible back-end data to improve customer experiences. During Aptos’ inaugural ENGAGE user conference in Las Vegas, John Hazen, SVP of Direct to Consumer & Omnichannel for True Religion, took the stage to reveal the next phase of the brand’s Apple Watch experience: CRM and clienteling.

Is The Sky The Limit For Amazon Prime Now? Featured

Amazon is taking the next step in expanding its Prime Now same-day delivery service, officially launching an e-Commerce site to pair with its mobile presence. The web site will function similarly to the mobile site, giving Amazon members the ability to place orders on items that can be delivered within one or two hours. The expansion of the service, which specializes in sales of food, groceries, health, beauty and household products and is offered in more than two dozen U.S. cities, further indicates Amazon's intentions of increasing its focus on Prime Now going forward.
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