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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.

Robotics Move Beyond Warehouses To Stores And The Last Mile

Robotics technologies deployed within retail, food service and hospitality already are reducing the number of humans needed to perform their jobs. But the growth of these technologies also can provide help for employees handling a wide range of functions — whether it’s tracking inventory, identifying where a store aisle needs to be cleaned up or even assisting on last-mile delivery. The latest change comes in where robots are being tested and deployed. While retailers have been using robotics for years within warehouses and distribution centers, advances in the technology are extending use cases into stores, where there are multiple opportunities to automate tedious, repetitive tasks. In fact, a survey from Bossa Nova Robotics indicated that: 76% of retailers say the introduction of robots in stores would improve employee productivity; and 74% said that while inventory accuracy would improve as a result, increased profits would be another direct result of introducing in-store robots. At this stage, a select few major retailers are on board with robotics pilots of their own, with merchants such as Walmart, Ahold Delhaize’s GIANT and Stop & Shop chains, Albertsons and Lowe’s all implementing the technology at different points within the retail ecosystem. MIT Professor: Don’t Fret Retail…

Report: Avenue Will Close, Liquidate All Stores

  • Published in News Briefs
Women's plus-size fashion retailer Avenue plans to close all its stores in the coming weeks, employees were told Friday in a conference call, according to Retail Dive. The New York Post reported earlier this month that Avenue had 60 days to find a buyer, or it would have to shut down its…
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Betabrand Turns San Francisco Store Into A Podcast Studio Complete With Live Audience

Betabrand is no stranger to forward-thinking experiential retail: the company leverages a crowdfunding platform that enables online shoppers to decide what clothes get designed, manufactured and sold on Betabrand.com. In 2019, Betabrand has expanded on its experiential roots with a very nontraditional store feature — a “Podcast Theater” that hosts podcasts in front of a live audience. The company brings small- to medium-sized podcasts to its San Francisco store every Thursday and invites nearly 100 guests to listen in, well above the average of 20 to 30 people who visit the store on a typical Thursday night. Podcast booking became so popular that Betabrand ended up with three months of shows programmed in just three days, booking through the summer.

How AT&T Brought Game Of Thrones To Life In Flagship Stores

Retailers and Quick Service Restaurants often use pop culture tie-ins as a way to amplify consumer excitement about a blockbuster movie or TV show. The risk they face, particularly when it’s a QSR investing in toys for giveaway, is that the film will flop when it’s actually released. AT&T faced a different challenge when the retailer linked up with HBO’s Game of Thrones, a popular show that dominated consumer conversation even among those who didn’t watch it. In order to stand out and create unique brand interactions at four of its flagship stores, the retailer and experience design agency Twenty Four 7 had to “tease” the events of the final season without knowing the specific story lines, or which characters would survive. (Game of Thrones has a notoriously high mortality rate.)

Brooklinen Goes From Pure-Play DTC To Pop-Up Retailer In Four Weeks

Generally, when a brand decides it wants to open a pop-up store, team members have months to plan and some idea of how to carry it out. But with the lofty goal of opening a 2,000-square-foot pop-up shop in under four weeks, the Brooklinen operations team had to move quickly. Before opening the pop-up in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in November 2018, the Brooklinen team managed both to find the ideal location and centralize its merchandising efforts to deliver the right products to its shoppers. Brooklinen, a direct-to-consumer brand selling luxury bed sheets, pillows, comforters and blankets, had been an online-only seller since its inception in late 2014. Co-founders/husband-and-wife duo Rich and Vicki Fulop launched the company on Kickstarter, and within two years grew it to $25 million in revenue. But in late 2018, the retailer found a “great real estate opportunity that we couldn’t ignore and we had to jump on it,” and decided that it was a necessary move to get a minimum number of viable products in front of its audience.

RFID Journal LIVE! Retail Preview: Why RFID Is So Critical To Retail Transformation

RFID may not have lived up to every extravagant prediction about how it would revolutionize retail, but the technology is actually doing very nicely, thank you. It has been adopted (often without fanfare) by a large number of retailers, and it serves as a foundational technology for many key omnichannel functions, including BOPIS, ship-from-store and product recommendations. This year, RFID Journal LIVE! Retail will be incorporated into the new RetailX event (along with Retail TouchPoints LIVE!), June 25-27 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Mark Roberti, Director of RFID Journal, spoke with Retail TouchPoints Editorial Director Andrew Gaffney about the power of RFID to cost-effectively provide accurate, real-time inventory information, as well as technology improvements that should open up even more roles for RFID in the future. Retail TouchPoints (RTP): Can you update me about why RFID is becoming such a critical part of retail transformation? Mark Roberti: We believe that RFID is the foundational tool for digital transformation not only in retail but in other sectors as well, because RFID provides a low-cost way of collecting an enormous amount of information on what's happening in the real world — along with the ability to know exactly how many items you…

Walmart Testing Automated Delivery On Fixed Routes

Walmart is piloting a new phase in automation with robotic vehicles that automatically pass shipments across warehouses, according to Bloomberg. The retailer is aiming to cut its middle-mile shipping costs in half with robotic Ford delivery vans powered by Gatik self-driving technology. The vans travel on fixed routes from warehouse to warehouse, or to pickup points where customers can get their order. The routes are often the same ones human drivers have been following for years, minimizing the need for new maps or infrastructure, and their unchanging nature reduces the chance of mishaps.

Dressbarn Will Shutter Retail Operations, Close 650 Stores

Dressbarn is closing all 650 stores and its e-Commerce site, marking the end of a 57-year run for the women’s apparel retailer. For now, the stores and e-Commerce site remain open and conducting business as usual, while Dressbarn says it will share more specific information related to the store closings…
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Why Hudson Yards Represents Retail Excellence And Innovation

Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the U.S. by area and home to more than 70 stores and restaurants, represents the best of what retail has to offer. The first of its two phases opened in March 2019 and comprises a public green space and eight structures that contain residences, a hotel, office buildings, a mall, and a cultural facility. The second phase, on which construction has not started yet, will include residential space, an office building, and a school. Both phases are projected to be complete by 2024. You can think of Hudson Yards as a living museum of contemporary retail. Each floor has a theme that highlights many of the winning trends in current retail.

Amazon Opens First ‘Go’ Store In NYC…And It Accepts Cash

Amazon is opening its first Amazon Go store in New York City in lower Manhattan’s Brookfield Place, marking the twelfth Go store overall. The 1,300-square-foot space also is the first Amazon Go store that will accept cash for payment. The cash option is a major departure from other Amazon Go stores that have opened in cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago, which include no checkout points. Shoppers seeking to pay cash will have to be swiped in by an employee, then have their chosen products scanned by a staffer, who conducts the checkout process for them.
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