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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.

Cabela’s Appoints Scott K. Williams As President

1cabelasSpecialty outdoors retailer Cabela’s has named Scott K. Williams President, effectively immediately. Williams, who previously held the titles of Executive VP and CCO, will handle additional responsibility for U.S. retail operations and all operations in Canada.

In December, Cabela’s announced its focus on enhancing its value to shareholders, and Williams’ new role is another step in that direction.

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Sears Stores Closings Shed Further Light On Physical Stores' Struggles

Sears is the next in a line of big name brand retailers shuttering brick-and-mortar stores in 2016, after what the retailer described as a “challenging” holiday season. The department store, which is desperately attempting to turn around its business, will accelerate the closing of approximately 50 unprofitable Sears and Kmart stores within the next few months, according to a company statement.

The anticipated store closures represent yet another step Sears has taken to downsize its physical presence. The amount of operating Sears department stores has dipped from 868 in 2011 to 708 as of now, while Kmart is down to 950 locations from 1,309 just five years ago.

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Outmoded Scheduling Tools Result In Short-Staffed Retailers

1RR WorkJam ImageAlmost half (46%) of retailers say they are frequently or sometimes understaffed, according to research from WorkJam. Of the merchants who are understaffed, 53% say the situation compromised their customer experience.

Other top consequences of being understaffed include:

  • Increased overtime (45%);

  • Decreased staff morale (30%);

  • Inability to meet sales targets (27%); and

  • Inability to meet store compliance goals (25%).

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For MGM Resorts Casinos, Price Optimization Is A Sure Bet

For the vast majority of brick-and-mortar retailers, customer demographics shift gradually: the neighborhood gentrifies or goes downscale, or a competitor's closure drives more people to a particular location.

For the 150 different retail stores located within 15 MGM Resorts International hotel casino properties, however, the customer base can change radically from week to week or even day to day. That's one of the factors that makes pricing both a challenge and a major opportunity for these retailers.

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SuperValu Names Outsider As New President And CEO

1superSuperValu has appointed Mark Gross as its new President and CEO, effective Feb. 5, 2016. Gross will succeed outgoing CEO Sam Duncan, who previously announced his retirement from the company after three years in this role.

Duncan will continue as a special advisor to the company’s Board of Directors until his retirement on Feb. 29, 2016. Gross will be appointed to the Board on March 1, 2016.

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Lowe's To Acquire Canadian Doppelgänger RONA

1lowesLowe's will acquire home improvement retailer RONA, also known as “the Canadian Lowe’s,” for C$3.2 billion (US$2.3 billion). Sylvain Prud’homme, President of Lowe’s Canada, will lead all Canadian operations.

Because of its strong presence in Canada, RONA hasn’t left much room for Lowe’s to expand in the market. The transaction will help broaden the U.S. retailer’s presence and gain a foothold for it in Quebec, where Lowe’s currently has no stores.

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Target And CVS Vs. Walgreens And Rite Aid: Drugstore Wars Heat Up

Target has begun converting its in-store pharmacies and health clinics to CVS/pharmacy centers and MinuteClinics, furthering the pharmacy’s footprint expansion, which will total approximately 20% more store locations.

The first pharmacy-within-a-store conversion took place in a Target store in Charlotte, N.C. The companywide process is expected to take place over the next six to eight months, all stemming from CVS Health’s acquisition of all of Target’s 1,672 pharmacies and 70 clinics for approximately $1.9 billion in December 2015.

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Can Macy's And Other Department Stores Win With These New Tactics?

Department stores may have lost momentum due to declined sales during the holiday season and an overall increase in e-Commerce activity, but that hasn’t slowed down their efforts to pursue growth in 2016. Retailers such as Macy’s are introducing new marketing strategies, including store-within-a-store concepts and pop-ups, to drive customers back into their stores.

As many as 85% of consumers prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar stores versus online, according to TimeTrade. But in order to grow with the ever-changing marketplace, department stores must update the in-store experience. 

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Will The Third Time Be The Charm For Circuit City?

After four years in limbo, Circuit City is making a comeback. In June 2016, the electronics brand is expected to open its first store in the Dallas metropolitan area, as well as relaunch CircuitCity.com, according to Twice.

Circuit City initially filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and closed its last store in 2009, but tried to resurrect the brand by operating exclusively online. That endeavor didn’t pan out, and the brand officially folded in 2012.

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Gap Fills CMO Vacancy With Abercrombie & Fitch Exec

1gapAfter a year with its critical Chief Marketing Officer position vacant, Gap has hired former Abercrombie & Fitch Senior VP of Marketing Craig Brommers to fill the role. Brommers will succeed Seth Farbman, who left the company a year ago.

Last year, the retailer announced it would be closing 175 stores and cutting 250 jobs. Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck emphasized his priority was to grow the brand with the changing market.

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Timberland Tablets Blaze A Trail Connecting Physical And Digital Commerce

Timberland Tap Wall Herald Square 1.16.16There's a bit of the great outdoors in one of the most urban locations imaginable: the Timberland store in Manhattan's Herald Square, literally steps from the Empire State Building. The retailer is in the midst of a 90-day pilot there that provides visitors with technological "Sherpas" in the form of NFC-enabled tablets available at a kiosk/charging station. When shoppers use a tablet to tap tagged inventory, rich product information comes up on the screen.

"We're creating a blended physical/digital environment where we can show product and immerse customers in the Timberland brand, while gaining a better understanding of their preferences in-store, online and post-visit to help shape our retail strategy," explained Timberland's VP of Direct to Consumer Kate Kibler in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.

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Is Under Armour’s Store Expansion Plan Too Aggressive?

While the holiday season has seen many retailers take significant hits, Under Armour continues to keep trucking along. In a panel at the #NRF16 Big Show, Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank announced that the retailer plans to open 200 stores in 2016.

Plank did not specify which type of store formats the retailer plans to open, specialty “brand houses” or outlet “factory houses.”

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Centralized Promotions Engine Drives Strong Brand Impressions

OneView Commerce logoEvery promotion will not work in every channel, but centralizing the effort will strengthen the entire brand strategy. With that in mind, OneView Commerce introduced both an inventory management module and a promotions engine for its Digital Store Platform at #NRF16. Both solutions are cloud-based and are designed to operate effectively in omnichannel enterprises.

"In an omnichannel environment, the lack of a centralized promotions engine has the potential to weaken the retailer's brand by confusing customers with offers that don't support the customer journey," said Lexy Johnson, OneView SVP of Global Delivery in a statement. "OneView developed the solution in conjunction with its customers, who agree that while not all promotions will fire in every channel, a centralized engine is the only way to ensure delivery of a consistent customer experience."

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