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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.

Gap Shuts Down Piperlime Brand

Due to underperforming sales, Gap Inc. is eliminating the Piperlime brand and its sales channels, which include an e-Commerce site and flagship store in SoHo, New York City. The entire Piperlime business will close by the end of Q1 2015. 

Although Gap Inc. has not broken out Piperlime sales from the overall business, the retailer estimated that the brand is the smallest of its entire portfolio, bringing in yearly revenue of less than $100 million, or less than 1% of total revenue. Moving forward, the Gap Inc. family of brands will include: Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Intermix and Old Navy.

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Belk Optimizes Workforce Management With Reflexis

Sales associates play a pivotal role in the overall success of a retail store. However, store employees sometimes spend too much time completing day-to-day tasks and are unable to spend quality one-on-one time with customers. This, in the end, can lead to a drop in customer satisfaction and overall sales.

During a session at the National Retail Federation’s annual BIG Show, Eric Bass, SVP of Store Operations at Belk, discussed how the department store chain aligned its sales floor coverage with customer demand, reduced costs and improved the execution of labor operations and customer engagement strategies by using solutions from Reflexis.

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Target Pulls Plug On Canadian Operations

TargetstoreTwo years and 133 stores later, Target has announced that it will be closing all of its Canadian stores. Representatives today announced that Target Canada has obtained an Initial Order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to close all of its stores. The retailer is taking a $5.4 billion write-down as a result of costs associated with the Canadian business.

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Reflexis Launches Task Management Solution For Small Retailers

Reflexis-WhiteLog-largeAt NRF, Reflexis launched ReflexisPlus, a task management solution designed for smaller retailers with approximately 200 stores or less than $250 million annual sales.

The solution features embedded best practices that include task management, store audits and mobility for a variety of retailers. It is expected that companies can implement the new solution in three to five weeks.

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Prism Skylabs Upgrades Analytics Platform

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.33.27 PMDuring NRF 2015, Prism Skylabs, a cloud-based video intelligence and imagery provider, announced upgrades to its retail analytics platform, which is designed to help retailers understand and optimize their physical stores. 

Prism’s analytics allow retailers to run on-demand studies of the customer journey and A/B test their stores in real time. The upgrades included in this new release include dynamic path maps that offer visual summaries of customer movement, and surface new metrics around customer flow rate, group size, occupancy and dwell time.

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Amazon Third-Party Vendors Sell More Than 2 Billion Items In 2014

Amazon reported that members of its third-party marketplace sold more than two billion items worldwide in 2014, a new record for the business division. Overall adoption of the company’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service also increased by 65% between 2013 and 2014. During the 2014 holiday season alone, FBA units shipped worldwide grew more than 50% year over year.

More than two million sellers currently belong to the Amazon Marketplace, accounting for more than 40% of total units sold, according to a company statement. Amazon now has sellers in more than 100 countries, with China- and Hong Kong-based sellers growing 80% year over year.

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Target Announces New Executive Changes

TargetstoreTarget Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell has announced new executive changes and leadership roles designed to help the retailer accelerate its business and encourage digital transformation.

Casey Carl, who is the company’s President of Omnichannel and SVP of Strategy, will take on the role of Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer. With this new title, Carl will join the Target leadership team and will report directly to Cornell.

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UGG Unveils Digitally Connected Store

For Deckers Brands, “omnichannel” isn’t just a buzzword or catchphrase. Across the entire organization, which houses a variety of brands including UGG, Mozo, Ahnu and Teva, omnichannel is “an integral part of our culture of innovation and our retail strategy,” according to Dave Powers, President of Omnichannel at Deckers Brands.

The company has continually invested in omnichannel technologies and principles for more than five years now.

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Whirlpool Relies On Gigwalk To Monitor Promotion Performance In Retail Stores

When a manufacturer develops a new product, they typically spend a significant amount of time and money promoting it across all channels. Additionally, the manufacturer wants to ensure that marketing campaigns and promotions are implemented across all retail partners.  

As part of a joint venture with Procter & Gamble, Whirlpool introduced the Swash express clothing care system in July 2014. During an initial testing period, the companies developed and placed displays in a select number of Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and Bloomingdales stores.

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Key Considerations To Build A Scalable Retail Network Infrastructure

VP VectorSecurity head shotNetworks are the lifeblood of the modern retail operation; as such, they must be scalable, resilient, secure and robust. A well-built and managed network keeps store applications running, and delivers the tools to operate efficiently, extract business intelligence, and create an excellent customer experience. 
 
As retailers pilot and deploy new applications, such as mobile point of sale (POS), radio-frequency identification (RFID) or interactive merchandise displays, the benefits of good network design are fully realized. 
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Shopping Centers Draw Wealthier Crowds

RR StreetLight ImageMalls and shopping centers are more likely to draw shoppers that are wealthier than the residents who live closest to the establishments, according to a study from StreetLight Data.

The Mall Shopper Mobility Report unveiled key travel and economic patterns associated with consumers visiting 5,369 malls and shopping centers across the U.S. To conduct the study, StreetLight Data referred to archival, anonymous and aggregated data from cellular tower networks and GPS navigation systems. The data represents behavior on a typical day during 2013, excluding the holiday shopping season.

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