Store Operations

Store Operations examines the issues and challenges facing today’s store operators. From workforce management to merchandising and new store openings, this section is designed to help retailers improve the bottom line while holding the line on costs. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

#ShopTalk17: Target Debuts New Store Prototype; 2017 Will Be The Year Of eGrocery

This year’s Shoptalk event wowed attendees with a lot of cutting-edge, innovative announcements — from Instagram’s new shopping feature to new digital capabilities from retailers Jos. A Bank and Pottery Barn. Another can’t-miss moment was when Target CEO Brian Cornell unveiled a next-generation store format, which is scheduled to debut…

Bebe Reportedly Closing All Stores To Become E-Commerce Only

  • Published in News Briefs
Fashion retailer bebe stores is exploring strategic alternatives for its besieged business, with a report from Bloomberg indicating that bebe plans to close all 170 of its stores. The report noted that the brand will focus solely on its e-Commerce operations going forward. Although the company is trying to close the…

Ginza Six Mall Deploys Indoor Positioning System

Ginza Six, a 500,000-square-foot retail complex in Tokyo, Japan opening April 20, 2017, has installed StepInside, an indoor positioning system (IPS) from Senion. StepInside is designed to help shoppers navigate the massive facility using their smartphones by showing them the shortest route to their destination. Ginza Six expects more than…

ShopKeep Swallows ChowBOT Online Food Order System

ShopKeep has acquired the online ordering software provider ChowBOT from Meerchant. The purchase will enable ordering, payment and delivery options for ShopKeep’s 8,500 QSR and full service restaurant clients. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ChowBOT’s features will be directly integrated into ShopKeep’s POS system. Foodservice operators will be able to sync their POS menu to online order sites where customers make their selections, complete payment and select from among onsite pickup, curbside pickup or delivery options. Order details will be automatically submitted to the restaurants, enabling these merchants to use third-party on-demand delivery providers such as UberRUSH or Postmates to manage their delivery processes.

Banana Republic Lands New President & CEO

After a rough holiday season and early 2017, Gap Inc. announced the appointment of Mark Breitbard as President and CEO of Banana Republic, effective in May 2017. Breitbrand replaces Andi Owen, who resigned from her position in early January following a lackluster holiday season. He will report to Gap Inc. President and CEO Art Peck, who will continue to directly oversee Banana Republic until Breitbard is settled in at the company.

Lagging In-Store Personalization Cost Retailers $150 Billion In 2016

The lack of in-store personalization remains a major pain point for retailers: 49% of U.S. consumers still say they “never” or only “sometimes” receive personalized service while they’re in a store, according to a survey from TimeTrade. The report, titled: TimeTrade State of Retail 2017, suggested that by failing to offer shoppers the personalized shopping experiences they want, U.S. retail stores left approximately $150 billion in potential revenue on the table in 2016. Consumer respondents said they would increase their in-store spending by 4.7% on average if they received better, more personalized service from retailers, with: 20.2% increasing spending up to 5%; 20.9% increasing spending up to 10%; and 8% increasing spending up to 20%.

70% Of Retailers Ready To Adopt IoT Platforms

Nearly 70% of retail decision-makers are ready to make changes needed to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT), and 65% plan to invest in automation technologies for inventory management and planogram compliance by 2021, according to the 2017 Retail Vision Study from Zebra Technologies. “Retailers’ number one business challenge to compete in this dynamic marketplace is inventory visibility,” said Tom Moore, Industry Lead of Retail and Hospitality at Zebra Technologies in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Best case, most retailers are 50% to 60% accurate from that perspective, so if they’re going to have any kind of e-Commerce strategy and leverage their in-store resources and inventory, they need to make sure that product is there.”

Digital Strategies Help Neiman Marcus And Home Depot Improve Omnichannel Personalization

Every retailer is seeking to reach the Promised Land of one-to-one customer personalization. Two brands that are leaders in their respective verticals — Home Depot and Neiman Marcus — use a variety of data-driven solutions to move them closer to this goal. Executives from both retailers shared key personalization strategies at a session titled Data: The New Currency For Retail Marketers, during the NRF Big Show 2017:

BCBG Max Azria Goes Bankrupt…Is hhgregg Next?

BCBG Max Azria is the latest in a long line of fashion and apparel retailers to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — providing another warning sign that more retailers could follow. The chain has begun closing 120 stores as part of its restructuring, the company’s Chief Restructuring Officer Holly Felder…

Supply Chain Integration Tightens Inventory, Boosts Accuracy For Nebraska Furniture Mart

Five years ago, executives at Nebraska Furniture Mart realized that the retailer's supply chain needed to be a major strategy driver within the organization. It was actually a logical conclusion: the omnichannel brand carries more than 650,000 SKUs, encompassing furniture, flooring, electronics and appliances, and nearly 25% of its product portfolio is brand new each year. Its vendors range from supply chain-savvy manufacturers like Sony, Samsung and GE to mom-and-pop companies building furniture in their barn and communicating via fax. By 2014, Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM) had decided to move from its home-grown supply chain management system to an integrated system from Logility Voyager Solutions. Since then, the retailer has been involved in a continuous improvement process with the solution, leveraging its capabilities for benefits that are being realized throughout the company.

Barnes & Noble Education Buys Virtual Bookstore Operator For $174 Million

Barnes & Noble Education (BNED), one of the nation's largest contract operators of higher education bookstores, has acquired MBS Textbook Exchange for $174.2 million in cash. The combined company will operate more than 1,490 physical and virtual bookstores serving more than six million students. MBS, itself a contract operator of virtual bookstores, also is one of the largest used textbook wholesalers in the U.S. Through its MBS Direct business, the company services more than 700 virtual bookstores with a comprehensive e-Commerce experience. MBS also sources and sells new and used textbooks to more than 3,700 physical college bookstores, including BNED's 770 campus locations, and provides inventory management, hardware and POS software to approximately 485 college bookstores.

85% Of Businesses Plan IoT Deployments By 2019

  • Published in News Briefs
Businesses seeing better-than-expected returns from their initial Internet of Things (IoT) investments will lead to a boom in the technology by 2019, according to a global study of 3,100 IT and business decision makers across 20 countries. In the retail sector specifically, while just under half (49%) of respondents are…

Holiday Sales Struggles Again Plague Department Stores

Although the NRF reported that overall holiday retail sales increased 4% in 2016, traditional retailers, predictably, did not share equally in the bounty. While Amazon posted a 55% profit increase earlier this month, department stores such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom and JCPenney are still struggling to boost quarterly results. In Q4: Macy’s posted its eighth straight quarterly comparable sales drop at 2.1%, with total net sales slipping 4% to $8.5 billion. Additionally, the brand saw year-over-year income decrease from $544 million to $475 million; Kohl’s saw comparable sales dip 2.2%, along with a sales decline of 3% to $6.2 billion. Net income slid 15%, to $252 million; Nordstrom had a better half than Macy’s and Kohl’s, increasing net sales 2.4% to $4.2 billion and showing a less impactful comparable sales dip at 0.9%.Net income for the quarter came in at $201 million, up 11.7% year-over-year; and JCPenney saw 0.7% decline in comparable stores and a 0.9% decrease in net sales to $3.96 billion, but generated a $192 million profit, its first since 2010. The retailer also is closing up to 140 stores in the next few months.

Tapping Community To Connect Digital Strategies

Kelly Stickel launched Remodista to focus on retail disruption. By using Community as a business model, Remodista is working to “build, foster and create a trusted environment where we attract like-minded individuals thinking through disruption and innovation. Through collaborative research and analysis, we think through the business challenges looking at the future of retail.” Stickel and a panel of retail leaders will share their insights on Community and Commerce during the Retail Innovation Conference, May 9-10 in New York City. This Q&A provides a preview of this compelling session:

Sycamore Partners Snaps Up Limited Stores' Assets For $26.75 Million

  • Published in News Briefs
Retail-focused private equity firm Sycamore Partners has made the winning bid for The Limited Stores' brand name and e-Commerce business. Both Reuters and The Wall Street Journal quote sources familiar with the matter, although neither the retailer nor Sycamore Partners has confirmed the sale or the reported $26.75 million purchase…
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