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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.

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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Starbucks To Close All 23 La Boulange Cafés

Starbucks is closing all 23 of its La Boulange bakery café locations by the end of September 2015, signifying the company’s exit from the freestanding bakery store business. The coffee chain also will close the two manufacturing facilities that serve these bakery locations.

Based on ongoing evaluations, Starbucks determined that La Boulange stores are not sustainable for the company’s long-term growth, according to a statement. North American Starbucks locations will still serve La Boulange brand food.

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Gap To Close 175 Stores, Lay Off 250 Employees

Gap Inc. will close 175 specialty stores in North America and eliminate 250 corporate jobs as it seeks to rebuild its Gap brand’s product operating model and hasten decision making.

Gap Inc., which owns the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, will close 140 stores by the company’s fiscal year end, Jan. 31, 2016. The changes will not impact Gap Outlet and Gap Factory Stores. The brand will close a “limited number” of European stores during this period, according to a company statement.

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Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings Files IPO Registration

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc. announced it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of its stock.

The deep discount retailer operates 181 stores across the U.S., selling excess inventory and salvage merchandise such as housewares, sporting goods and toys from manufacturers who make too much of an item or change their packaging.

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Former Dollar General Exec Returns To Head Store Operations

DOLLARGENERAL1Former Dollar General executive Jeff Owen has come out of retirement to rejoin the company as EVP of Store Operations effective June 15, 2015. Owen will replace Greg Sparks, who departed from the position on June 9, 2015.

“Jeff’s experience at Dollar General brings unique perspectives and insights to our store operations team,” said Todd Vasos, CEO of Dollar General. “We look forward to welcoming him back to Dollar General and his contributions in this critical role as we execute our new store growth.”

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Macy’s Opens Men’s Wearhouse Rental Shops In 300 Stores

Macy’s has signed an agreement with Men’s Wearhouse to open licensed tuxedo rental shops in 300 locations nationwide. Although Macy’s will continue to sell tuxedos from its own men’s assortment, Men’s Wearhouse will become the exclusive provider of tuxedo rentals.

The Macy’s-branded shops will be operated by Men’s Wearhouse and staffed by trained formalwear professionals. They will be designed as dedicated spaces located in or near the Macy’s men’s department.

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ShopperTrak And Workplace Converge To Help Optimize Retail Staffing

shoppertrak-new-logoShopperTrak, a provider of consumer behavior insights and location-based analytics, has integrated with labor forecasting and scheduling solution provider Workplace to enhance the in-store customer experience and maximize conversions for retail partners.

The partnership combines the ShopperTrak perimeter analytics technology with the Workplace workforce management software. As a result, the new combined solution will measure shopper visits in real time and then provide data to help retailers create workforce schedules that support work/life balance and business growth strategies.

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Bigcommerce Appoints Brent Bellm As CEO

BrentBellmBigcommerce has appointed former PayPal exec Brent Bellm as CEO. Bellm succeeds Bigcommerce Co-Founder Eddie Machaalani, who will remain with the company as Executive Chairman of the Board.

Bellm previously served as President and COO of HomeAway, joining the company in 2010 and guiding it through its IPO. Prior to his time at HomeAway, he served as VP and CEO of PayPal Europe from 2005 to 2009, spending more than seven years in numerous leadership positions at the company.

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Predictability And Fairness In Scheduling: The Foundation Of Employee Engagement In Retail

VP site only Ceridian head shotFor retailers, the value of floor staff extends beyond their ability to perform job duties: Floor associates can help build brand equity through their attention to customers. And this engagement with customers comes directly from their level of engagement with their employer.

In retail, hourly employees treated well are apt to reciprocate by extending the favor to the delight of customers — compelling them to return for repeat business. A retailer’s bottom line benefits, as does its ability to extend employees’ stay at their store. This attitude of floor associates, of engagement and caring, stems from an equal expression of it from employers showing a genuine interest in their wellbeing. Hallmarks of this are predictability and fairness in scheduling, which rely on the culture of the workplace and the technology supporting the basics of a retail staff’s day-to-day work.

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Walmart Chairman Steps Down

Rob Walton has stepped down from his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Walmart. Succeeding Walton is his son-in-law, Greg Penner, who assumed the role as Walmart’s third Chairman at the company’s annual shareholders meeting on June 5.

Prior to the appointment, Penner served as the Board’s Vice Chairman. Walmart appointed him to the newly created position at the retailer’s 2014 annual meeting.

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