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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.

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.

The Fractional Ownership Of Everything

The “modern” consumer is rethinking the value of ownership. Over the last several years they’ve come to realize that the sharing of items and services is cheaper, less burdensome, more convenient and better for the environment than traditional ownership. While this peer-to-peer (P2P) way of sharing may seem like an entirely new concept, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The sharing of goods and services has taken many forms throughout history. In fact, Benjamin Franklin is credited with founding the first modern library some 300 years ago. His concept embodied how we think of “fractional ownership” today: A central body (a library) acquires assets (books) and makes them available to consumers (readers) for a sufficient amount of time so that he or she can glean value from the asset without buying it themselves. It took nearly 240 years after Mr. Franklin’s concept to take root in a commercially viable way in the United States, when the rental company as we know it today began popping up in towns across the U.S. soon after World War II.

Exclusive Q&A: Explosive Growth Of Direct Brands Reveals Seismic Retail Shift

Earlier this year, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released a report titled: The Rise of the 21st Century Brand Economy, which examined the sputtering growth of traditional retail and CPG brands versus the rise of direct brands over the past decade. To delve deeper into the findings of the report, Retail TouchPoints recently sat down with Randall Rothenberg, CEO of IAB, a trade association for interactive marketing representing more than 600 leading media, marketing and technology companies.

Innovative Use Cases Leveraging RFID In Retail

With the integration of RFID, brands are finding ways to gain greater real-time insights beyond the store shelf via on-site and off-site inventory visibility, allowing them to improve inventory accuracy, product return efficiency and loss prevention. According to Accenture, research showed 73% of retailers have implemented or were currently implementing or piloting RFID, almost double the number from 2014. A top trend driving implementation continues to be RFID as the engine for visibility in retail as it’s a critical enabler of improving efficient uses of assets and inventory management, as well as improving the productivity of employees’ time utilization and retail execution. However, benefits don’t stop at visibility, as consumer engagement scenarios are also proving to drive consumer engagement, education and omnichannel experiences.

Carter’s Decision Support Solution Cuts 8 Days’ Inventory Out Of System

Inventory carrying costs remain retailers’ biggest capital expense, but companies are generally cautious about reducing inventory levels as a way to cut costs. That’s because lowering inventory levels can create delays and out-of-stock situations that play havoc with the retailer’s service levels. Carter’s Inc., however, leveraged a decision support solution that helped the retailer trim eight days of inventory from its system, while actually raising service levels for its 800 retail stores and e-Commerce business. For the first seasonal “buy” following the September 2016 implementation of the Anaplan Connected Planning solution, the children’s apparel retailer “shrunk our inventory carrying costs and increased our cash flow by $25 million in working capital, with no impact to our customers,” said Peter Smith, EVP Global Supply Chain at Carter’s. “We got improved service, match levels and fulfillment levels while simultaneously reducing inventory costs.”

Kroger Debuts Dip Private Label Apparel Line

  • Published in News Briefs
Aiming to provide simple, affordable yet stylish apparel to a wide range of customers, Kroger will introduce the Dip clothing lines this fall in more than 300 Fred Meyer and Kroger Marketplace stores. The Dip brand will replace more than a dozen Kroger private label brands, including Indigo by Great Northwest, GNW, Kids Korner and Curfew, according to Supermarket News. Kroger has partnered…
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Right Product, Right Place: Positioning Inventory For Omnichannel Success

People talk about retail reinventing itself, but if we’re honest with ourselves, the key elements are the same today as they have always been. Call the state of retail today “omnichannel” or call it “unified commerce,” but it’s still “retail.” At the end of the day, the fundamentals of retail have always been about getting the right product to the right place at the right time. The challenge is figuring out how to get valuable inventory closer to where the customer needs it to be, but before solving for that equation, what steps should a retailer take?

Forrester Study: Only 26% Of Companies Are B2B E-Commerce ‘Masters’

Strong, mature B2B e-Commerce capabilities bring numerous benefits to organizations. These companies can maximize the potential of digital channels and add self-service capabilities; use merchandising features to frame their products and solutions in a better light; and create multiple selling sites dedicated to specific geographies, customer segments, product lines and channels. But while the benefits of B2B e-Commerce maturity are clear, the road to achieving it is a long one. A June 2018 Forrester study, titled: What It Takes To Be A Leader In B2B eCommerce, reveals that no more than 50% of companies surveyed have any one of the following five best practices for B2B e-Commerce:

Cut Shrinkage And Throw Out The Planogram With Mixed Reality Merchandising

It’s rare that one technology set could solve retailer woes related to both merchandise theft and in-store planogram stipulations, yet virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) offer promise in both arenas. Retailers are cutting shrinkage of high ticket-value items by displaying virtual versions that utilize mixed reality implementations, while other retailers are eliminating tedious planogram issues by employing AR to easily configure visual store layouts and signage – all in real time. Walmart recently thwarted in-store theft by partnering with deviceless AR technology provider Spacee to install interactive product displays in five Texas stores. These displays showcase connected devices, like the Nest smart thermostat, allowing passersby to learn more about the products by engaging with the 3D touch screen displays. These endcaps have enabled Walmart to cut the risk of theft of real merchandise and lower costs associated with employee training, while still offering interesting product experiences and sharing features that can boost sales of pricier merchandise. In a video posted on Facebook, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon called the Spacee-enabled display "the future of shopping."

Hawaiian Produce Wholesaler Reduces Shipping Errors 75% With Wireless Deployment

A company that has grown from a small family-run business to handling more than 600 orders daily, Armstrong Produce needed to scale its business with a Warehouse Management System (WMS) to improve its operations efficiency and accuracy. However, in order to make full use of the WMS, the Hawaiian wholesaler and distributor of fruits and vegetables first had to install a wireless enterprise system. After deploying the ExtremeManagement wireless solution from Extreme Networks and successfully transitioning from paper picking to digital picking, Armstrong achieved: A 75% reduction in shipping errors; Labor cost savings of an estimated six figures per year; Operational savings of $3,120 per year on paperwork alone; and A wireless network that covers 87,000 square feet, 226 network users and devices and three warehouses on three separate islands.
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