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Inventory / Merchandising / Supply Chain

Supply chain challenges are mounting for many retailers, especially those operating in multiple regions of the country and abroad. Consumers expect to be able to order and purchase products via any channel, then have them delivered to their channel of choice – and quickly! New technologies are providing the ways and means for merchants to deliver on the promise of omnichannel excellence. Now retailers must find the best ways to implement new solutions to stay competitive.

Tops Supermarket Debuts Curbside Pickup, Adds Organic Options Online

  • Published in News Briefs
Grocery delivery and curbside pickup have become the latest competitive arenas in supermarket retail, and regional player Tops Friendly Markets has joined the fray. The 169-store chain, with locations in New York, Vermont and northern Pennsylvania, built on its existing relationship with Instacart to offer curbside pickup at three locations…
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Kohl’s Debuts Private Label Plus-Size Brand

  • Published in News Briefs
For spring 2019, Kohl’s will launch its EVRI private label plus-size women’s apparel brand. The introduction of EVRI, which stands for Easy, Versatile, Real (Value) and Inspiring, is part of a planned transformation of Kohl’s plus-size shopping experience both in-store and online. The EVRI brand will include tops in sizes 0X-4X…
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Postmates Raises $300 Million Funding Round, Eyes 2019 IPO

In the latest sign that investor confidence in on-demand delivery continues to skyrocket, Postmates has raised $300 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management. The deal values the company at approximately $1.2 billion, according to Fortune. Postmates previously raised $140 million at a $600 million valuation in 2016. The funding comes one month after last mile competitor DoorDash raised $250 million to reach a $4 billion valuation.

UnDigital Launches Package Insert Advertising Marketplace

UnDigital, the package insert marketplace that launched in July 2018, gives advertisers of all sizes access to an inventory of more than 300 million packages for insert ads. Additionally, the service is designed to empower retailers to transform package overhead into a bottom-line business driver.  With billions of packages shipped annually, UnDigital is seeking to bring scalability to insert advertising. The marketplace is designed to enable marketers to reach new consumers in a measurable, testable channel with positive brand association and guaranteed viewability.

Want To Reinvent The Customer Experience? Start With Assortment Planning

Every retailer knows that if it wants to be successful and profitable, it must strategically align its product selection to meet customer needs. Creating compelling, curated collections requires more capable assortment planning. However, assortment planning can be a major pain point for retailers, due to the number of people involved and the complexity of the details required to be effective. Traditionally, the process includes a slew of meetings, the never-ending consolidation of spreadsheets, and cobbling together information from dozens of systems to get it all done. Retailers are perpetually racing against the clock, yet at the end still often find themselves saying, “We could have done this a lot better, but we ran out of time...”

Exclusive Q&A: Which Retail Jobs Are Safe From A Robot Takeover?

Retail, hospitality and other service-oriented industries have been seen as relatively immune to the job-killing effects of robotics, automation and AI. But as these technologies grow more sophisticated, retail’s resistance is weakening. Futurist Martin Ford, author of Rise Of The Robots: Technology And The Threat Of A Jobless Future, notes that robots are already reducing (or eliminating) the number of humans needed to do many jobs, including: • Warehouse work;• Checking in-store inventory;• Providing customer service; and• Staffing points of sale. In an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints, Ford identifies the advances in robotics and AI that are accelerating the fastest. He also identifies a selection of job categories that are safe from the march of automation — at least for now.

Exclusive CEO Q&A: How Sustainability Drives Customer Loyalty Among Coyuchi Subscribers

The Coyuchi For Life tagline couldn’t be simpler: New Linens. No Landfill. The idea is simple too — Coyuchi, which has provided organic home products including bed linens for 25 years — offers Coyuchi For Life subscribers new towels, sheets and duvets every six, 12 or 24 months via a monthly fee. When customers are finished using the items, they send them back in “return kits,” and the company renews, upcycles or recycles the products. The program, which kicked off in April 2017, was designed to address the 10 million tons of textile waste that end up in landfills annually. Additionally, Coyuchi For Life taps into several powerful consumer trends, according to CEO Eileen Mockus:

China’s Parcel Shipping Volume More Than 3X U.S. In 2017

  • Published in News Briefs
The number of parcels shipped globally grew 17% in 2017 to 74.4 billion parcels, and China was the main growth driver: its parcel volume increased 28% year-over-year. China’s parcel volume of 40.1 billion packages is more than 3X that of its nearest competitor, the U.S., which shipped 11.9 billion parcels.…
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Paper Source Expands ‘Return Bars’ Service To All 125 Stores

  • Published in News Briefs
Happy Returns, which offers a combination of software, services and logistics for returning items purchased online, will place its “Return Bars” in all 125 Paper Source stores by the end of September. The chainwide expansion follows an 18-store pilot program that began in March 2018 in Chicago and Los Angeles.…
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Old Navy Brings Plus-Size Shops To 75 Stores

  • Published in News Briefs
Providing a brick-and-mortar outlet for what had previously only been available online, Old Navy will debut Plus shops in 75 stores. These dedicated departments will be located on the women’s floor and feature Plus-specific mannequins, marketing photography and signage. Additionally, Old Navy will offer free shipping for Plus collection items…
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1-800-FLOWERS.COM Adds New Gifting Categories With Goodsey Launch

  • Published in News Briefs
1-800-FLOWERS.COM has added several new categories to its gifting options with the launch of Goodsey. The new site’s offerings include tabletop, home décor, outdoor living, pets, art, jewelry, personal care, customizable fragrances and gourmet at a variety of price points. The Thoughtful Gestures section features gifts priced under $20 and…
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Weis Markets Seeks Streamlined Supply Chain Via Scan-Based Trading

  • Published in News Briefs
Scan-based trading (SBT), which allows suppliers to retain product ownership until the point of retail sale, can improve retailers’ and manufacturers’ ability to understand and act on consumer demand signals. Weis Markets, a supermarket retailer with 206 stores throughout the mid-Atlantic, is deploying a scan-based trading solution from ReposiTrak as it…
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Exclusive Q&A With New Jet.com President

Food and New York City are the primary near-term focuses for Jet.com, as the shopping site homes in on an improved user experience and better delivery options. Simon Belsham, recently named President of Jet.com, explained the company’s strategies during a keynote presentation at the eTail East event in Boston, followed by a 1:1 interview with Retail TouchPoints. In the exclusive Q&A, Belsham, who joined Jet.com as President in March 2018, talks about the future of Jet.com, the new Jetblack personal shopping service, the site’s integration with Walmart, and how a hyper-focus on food will help the company move to the next level.

GrandCanals Launches Fulfillment Intelligence Cloud 4.0

GrandCanals, a commerce fulfillment analytics provider, has launched version 4.0 of the Fulfillment Intelligence Cloud (FIC), a SaaS application that enables analytics-driven fulfillment. Built to optimize fulfillment and delivery, FIC 4.0 is designed to help e-Commerce and retail companies increase sales and deliver orders by improving their delivery experience.
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