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.

Exclusive CDO Q&A: BJ’s Goes All-In On Digital Transformation

In the midst of a multi-faceted digital transformation, BJ’s Wholesale Club is focused on offering convenience and value for its members. Recently appointed as the company’s first Chief Digital Officer, Rafeh Masood sat down with Retail TouchPoints for an exclusive and enlightening Q&A. Masood also will be presenting during the Retail Innovation Conference, May 1-2 in New York City, where he’ll share details on how he has been able to transform the culture and build out the digital team at BJ’s.

Customer Queries And Reviews Illuminate Sales For Lamps Plus

By increasing the variety and depth of UGC (User Generated Content) on its e-Commerce web site, Lamps Plus improved the customer shopping journey and armed consumers with significantly more information to guide their purchasing, both online and in-store. While Lamps Plus has sought out, collected and posted online product reviews for several years, customers’ questions and answers, visual reviews and checkout comments were put on the back burner — mainly because the retailer lacked the resources to implement the process.

Kohl’s To Host Aldi In 10-Store Pilot

  • Published in News Briefs
As Kohl’s slims down its inventory and real estate footprint, the retailer will test the traffic-building appeal of food, with plans to bring discount grocer Aldi into 10 stores later this year. The news comes as Kohl’s announced strong Q4 financial results, including a comparable store sales increase of 6.2%…

Solution Gives Retailers Direct Integration With Amazon Marketplaces

  • Published in News Briefs
Retailers around the world are increasingly adopting strategies to grow sales on third-party marketplaces, especially through e-Commerce juggernaut Amazon. According to Amazon, sales through its marketplaces now represent 50% of all items sold on Amazon web sites globally.  With the release of Magento Commerce & Open Source version 2 later this…

Driving Private Label Differentiation Through Collaboration And Insight

It’s no secret that the private label market is evolving rapidly and picking up steam in the U.S. In fact, customers recently ranked Trader Joe’s and Aldi in the top five for favorite grocery stores[1]. Additionally, the launch of Lidl in the U.S. market in 2017 puts added pressure on U.S. consumer goods companies and grocery retailers to control their costs whilst reducing prices in order to remain competitive. Meanwhile, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market may set a new standard for online grocery and force traditional retailers to leverage ‘e’ strategies. In response, more and more retailers are using private label to enhance their overall brand image and differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive landscape.

How Inventory Turnover Can Affect Your Retail Business

  Inventory turnover is a critical ratio that retailers can use to ensure they are managing their store's inventory and supply chain well. It is one of the crucial KPIs used to measure the overall performance of your business. Put simply, it is how many times during a certain calendar period you sell and replace your entire inventory. Most small retailers are not thrilled when they find out they have excess inventory. Storage costs, insurance, damage, obsolescence, taxes and loan interest can add up to almost 30% of the cost of our inventory annually! These costs will only continue to rise as your excess inventory numbers climb. This is why inventory management is one of the best investments you can make for your business. When you trim away your excess inventory through inventory management, you leave your business running better than ever. So why is inventory turnover crucial to this process?

InBin Launches Parcel Box With IQ

InBin, a delivery solution for home owners and businesses, launched InBin Parcel Box with IQ, a smart mailbox designed to solve the problem of package theft and misdeliveries. Users can place an InBin on their porch or next to their garage, activate notifications and even connect it to a security camera. InBin Parcel Box with IQ incorporates a specially designed parcel box enabling easy delivery and retrievals. The box includes an encrypted locking mechanism designed to prevent tampering and complete sensor technology to alert users of deliveries, pick-ups, temperature, humidity and other important information.

Exclusive Q&A: How Bentley’s Pet Stuff Grew From 1 To 100 Stores In 2 Years

Featured in the photo above: Lisa Senafe, Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Bentley's Pet Stuff, and Giovanni Senafe, Vice President and Co-Founder. Through a steadfast focus on the brand promise, a successful acquisition strategy, and a little help from The Profit reality TV show host and financier Marcus Lemonis, Bentley’s Pet Stuff is on track to own and operate more than 130 stores by the end of 2018. Today, Bentley’s Pet Stuff (formerly Bentley’s Corner Café) is co-owned by Senafe’s wife, President and CEO Lisa Senafe and Marcus Lemonis, who is the CEO of Camping World, in addition to hosting The Profit. Key success strategies for Bentley’s, outlined by Giovanni Senafe, Vice President and Co-Founder, include: A subscription delivery service that offers a variety of pet food selections based on a concept of Mixology. “Pets no longer need to eat the same food all the time.” Marketing is local: Bentley’s supports local animal shelters, donates “tons of food,” and participates in pet adoption events. Real estate occupancy costs are 40% to 60% lower than the average, because Bentley’s stores are not a cookie-cutter size. “We are now known in the landlord landscape as an asset because we are willing to take…

H-E-B Expands Delivery Offerings With Favor Acquisition

By 2024, 70% of U.S. consumers will be shopping for groceries online, according to a recent study from Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute. Supermarkets are scrambling to set up customer-facing ordering and delivery solutions to handle this growing wave. H-E-B has made a rare acquisition, purchasing Favor Delivery for an undisclosed sum. Favor, founded in 2013, now serves 50 cities in Texas after doubling its footprint in 2017. The Austin, Texas-based company deploys 50,000 contract delivery people, called Runners, to bring groceries and restaurant orders to consumers.

The Sad Demise Of Unlimited Returns At L.L.Bean

I’ve always been impressed by the unlimited returns policy at L.L.Bean. I think it’s the faith in humanity that the policy represented that impacted me the most. Personally, I don’t have the kind of faith that believes most consumers will be honest and forthright when they return a product. Unfortunately, it looks like the consumer population has proven me right and L.L.Bean wrong. I know that the executives at L.L.Bean always anticipated some level of fraud or misrepresentation from consumers returning a product, but the overall positive impact on the brand image outweighed the negatives. Industry research has proven that L.L.Bean is highly regarded by consumers. The company ranked number three out of 100 as a customer service leader, according to the 20th Annual Mystery Shopping Study by Astound Commerce.  

JCPenney Distribution Center Shutdown Will Cut 670 Jobs

  • Published in News Briefs
JCPenney will lay off 670 employees this summer as it plans to close and sell its Wauwatosa, Wisc. distribution center, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. The retailer will shut down the two-million-square-foot warehouse on July 1 and close its customer care center on Sept. 1. The retailer will give eligible…

How Retailers Get The Last Mile Wrong

The last mile. The final stretch where nothing and everything can go wrong. For retailers, that last mile is an oft under-considered part of the customer journey that can ultimately drag down their bottom line and chip away at customer equity in ways that aren’t immediately apparent. So let’s talk about retail’s last mile problem, as manifested in both the online and offline worlds. I Don’t Like Surprises You’ve made all that effort to lure a shopper to your site, merchandise and optimize it based on their needs and behaviors, ensure seamless product selection and checkout, and that’s it. Now you can sit back and watch that order make its way to the customer, right? Not so fast. While it might seem like the lion’s share of the work has been completed on your end, this is only the start of the journey for the customer. And if you don’t play that anticipation right with regularly-cadenced communications and follow-through with on-time delivery, you will have hell to pay.

Zebra Introduces Smartphone Designed For SMB Field Workers

Zebra Technologies Corp. has introduced the TC25, a rugged smartphone specifically designed for the needs of small- to medium-sized businesses. The phone allows field mobility workers to scan barcodes on parts, manage routes and complete invoices. Key features of the TC25 include:

With $200M In New Funding, CEO Declares Instacart Is ‘Just Getting Started’

A battle of the titans continues to play out as Amazon and Instacart each move to capture more convenience-hungry grocery customers. In a Feb. 12 blog post, Instacart Founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta declared that the five-year-old home delivery service “is just getting started,” as he announced a new $200 million funding round that raises Instacart’s valuation to approximately $4.2 billion. “In 2017, the online grocery market reached a tipping point,” Mehta wrote. “Offering customers the ability to buy their groceries online went from being a nice to have to being mission critical for grocery retailers.” He noted that 70 million households in the U.S. and Canada have access to Instacart delivery services from nearly 200 grocery partners, including seven of the top eight North American supermarket retailers.

NRF Supports $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Investment Plan

  • Published in News Briefs
A White House plan to leverage $200 billion in federal funds in order to complete $1.5 trillion in infrastructure improvements, released on Feb. 12, has received qualified support from the National Retail Federation (NRF). “As major shippers, retailers face challenges every day as they work to move freight quickly, efficiently…
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