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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.

More Parents To Complete Back-To-School Shopping After School Starts

BacktoSchool.3As many as 31% of parents shopping for children in grades K-12 plan to complete their back-to-school spending after the start of the school year, increasing from 26% in 2014, according to research from the Deloitte 2015 Back-To-School Study. Additionally, 38% of respondents say shopping for this season is less important because they replenish school supplies throughout the year.

Shoppers in 2015 simply don’t have the need to buy the items they purchased last year, according to the survey. The number of consumers who plan to reuse last year’s items has risen from 26% to 39% between 2011 and 2015.

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Retailers Feel Pricing Pressure From Consumers And Competitors

ARR RSRPricing ImageRetailers continue to feel pressure from all sides when it comes to refining their pricing strategies. As many as 55% of retailers noted increasing consumer price sensitivity as a top strategic pricing business challenge in 2015, according to research from Retail Systems Research (RSR). Additionally, 48% of retailers believe increased pricing aggressiveness from competitors is a major challenge, up from 32% in 2014.

360pi, a provider of price and product intelligence solutions, co-sponsored the report, titled: Pricing 2015: Learning To Live In A Dynamic, Promotional World. The report highlights the top strategic pricing business challenges for retailers, the pricing strategies of retail winners and laggards, and key opportunities for retailers to successfully navigate through the future of pricing. RSR surveyed 123 retail respondents online between March and May 2015 to collect data for the report.

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BucketFeet Taps RetailNext To Expand Store Network

bucketfeetretailnextBucketFeet, a footwear brand and retailer, has selected RetailNext as its in-store retail analytics provider. By implementing the technology, BucketFeet plans to improve its in-store shopping experiences and strategically expand its brick-and-mortar footprint.

“BucketFeet is deploying RetailNext’s market-leading in-store analytics platform to better understand in-studio shopping behaviors,” said Bobby Stephens, Operating Co-Founder, President and COO at BucketFeet. “RetailNext’s platform will support growth at our brick-and-mortar locations and help us ensure our omnichannel customer experience is consistent and compelling.”

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Airstream Retail

Debbie head shotBefore Big Data, retail business owners scouted out sites for new stores by actually visiting the locations. Today, companies like Esri offer mapping solutions that can let you know the best spots for new stores based on traffic potential and other factors. These types of solutions are extremely helpful in narrowing the choices, but have we lost the human touch?

To re-establish that personal connection with consumers in potential new store locations, companies like Alton Lane and Kit and Ace have taken to the roads with Airstream trailers to visit specific cities before signing a long-term lease.

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FlorComm Suite Optimizes Sales Floor Communication

When stores experience surges in traffic, it is imperative that all team members can communicate and collaborate effectively. But without the proper technology in place, managers and associates are not in the loop, which can lead to insufficient customer experiences and poor sales.

LNL Systems launched FlorComm, a suite of sales floor communication tools, to improve associate communication and productivity. Retailers currently using FlorComm include Coach, Foot Locker, Marshalls, Staples, T.J. Maxx and Under Armour.

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Dollar Tree Completes Acquisition Of Family Dollar

dollar-tree-family-dollarDollar Tree has completed the acquisition of fellow discount retailer Family Dollar, a transaction which each company’s Board of Directors approved in July 2014. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the deal — valued at approximately $9.2 billion — after Dollar Tree agreed to sell 330 Family Dollar stores to private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

In an agency review, the FTC concluded that consumers could face a lack of competition if the acquisition went forward as initially proposed. Therefore, the FTC identified 330 stores throughout the U.S. that would require divestiture before finalizing the sale.

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Garnet Hill Opens First Pop-Up Shop In New York

Garnet Hill has opened its first physical store, a pop-up location, in Bridgehampton, N.Y., in an effort to give consumers an authentic touch-and-feel experience for its merchandise. Garnet Hill celebrated the opening on June 27 during a co-sponsored event with Hamptons Cottages & Gardens magazine and its Editor-in-Chief, Kendell Cronstrom.

The store will operate through Labor Day and will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. The store will feature Garnet Hill bedding and home décor lines, cashmere robes and a curated selection of sleepwear, apparel and other seasonal items.

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CVS Health Opens Digital Innovation Lab In Boston

CVS has opened a Digital Innovation Lab in Boston, focused on developing digital services and personalization capabilities to make the personal pharmacy and health experience more accessible and integrated for shoppers.  The facility also will serve as a hub for the digital team at CVS Health, which will remain headquartered in Woonsocket, R.I.  With the introduction of the lab, CVS is doubling its investment in the digital arena, according to Brian Tilzer, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer for CVS Health.

The lab is designed to bring digital innovation strategies to market quickly through a rapid test-and-learn program. The team will explore digital health through innovation in mobile, personalization, multi-channel e-Commerce, connected health and digital therapeutics. CVS Health also will pace its innovation by partnering with selected startups and mature companies in the digital and health care space.

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McDonald's Shrinking U.S. Footprint In 2015

For the first time in more than 40 years, fast food giant McDonald's will be closing more restaurants than it opens in a year. McDonald's, which declined to give a specific figure, plans to close a minimal amount of struggling restaurants in the U.S., where it operates more than 14,000 locations.

Though the fast-food chain is still growing globally, with more than 36,000 locations worldwide, it has lost momentum to new-age fast food restaurants in the U.S. such as Chipotle and Five Guys Burgers and Fries, both of which endorse fresh ingredients and customization.

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