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.

Target Goes National With Google Voice-Activated Shopping

  • Published in News Briefs
Following what the retailer termed successful test programs in California and New York City, Target has expanded its partnership with home delivery service Google Express to the continental U.S. Target customers can use the Google Assistant for voice-activated shopping via Google Home devices and Android TV, with a promised expansion…

Kroger Mulls Selling $4 Billion C-Store Business

  • Published in News Briefs
The 784 convenience stores operated by Kroger generate annual revenue of $4 billion, including fuel sales, and have delivered 62 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth, but the supermarket retailer may be putting up a “For Sale” sign. Kroger announced on Oct. 11 that it had hired Goldman Sachs to…

Have Retailers Killed Black Friday?

Retailers may have sensed that Black Friday has been losing its punch as the single-day sales bonanza that kicks off the holiday season, but new research confirms just how sharp the drop-off has been. Only 35% of consumers who plan to shop during Thanksgiving week will do so on Black Friday, down from 51% last year and 59% in 2015, according to PwC. “Black Friday has lost its significance,” Steven Barr, consumer markets leader for PwC, told The Washington Post. “Retailers have conditioned the consumer to believe everything’s on sale every day, which means the deals on Black Friday are not significantly different from any other time.”

Office Depot Adds Business Services With $1B CompuCom Purchase

In its first significant move away from traditional retail, Office Depot has purchased CompuCom, an IT services provider owned by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, for approximately $1 billion. The acquisition marks Office Depot’s pivot to becoming a broader business services and technology products platform, and the announcement came with a lowered outlook for Office Depot’s business for 2017. “Technology is the office supply of the future,” said Gerry Smith, CEO of Office Depot in a statement. “The combination of CompuCom’s enterprise IT services with our millions of customers and approximately 1,400 distribution points gives us the credibility and scale to build a sustainable platform and stand apart from the competition.”

Ace Hardware Acquires The Grommet

Ace Hardware has acquired a majority stake in the e-Commerce startup The Grommet, which markets and sells new and innovative products created by independent entrepreneurs. Among the “Makers” discovered by The Grommet are the people behind FitBit, IdeaPaint, OtterBox, SimpliSafe and SodaStream. The Grommet has launched more than 2,500 innovative consumer products, and created a community of 3 million+ early adopters and supporters. Analytics conducted by Ace indicate that current Grommet customers visit its stores over 50% more times than the average Ace Rewards customer and spend 2.8X as much. The two companies began working together in 2016 as part of a collaboration to bring new, unique products from independent Makers into select Ace stores.

Hudson Group Airport Store Elevates Digital Displays

  • Published in News Briefs
A circular ceiling-mounted digital display capable of alerting shoppers anywhere in the store about brands and promotions is the centerpiece of new signage that has been deployed by the Hudson Group World Duty Free store at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The retailer also has installed a 42-inch wall mounted touchscreen designed…

What U.S. Retail Can Learn From Europe

There was a time when the mighty shopping mall conquered all. But U.S. retail has reached a tipping point. As more chain stores such as Sports Authority and American Apparel close, consumer apathy towards the once shiny malls is increasing and new thinking about the delivery of the retail experience is needed to encourage spending and bring the excitement back.

RSP17 Recap: Timely Tips For Maximizing Holiday Season Success

Early indications are that the 2017 holidays will bring good tidings of great joy — at least for those retailers able to convert high consumer confidence and a boost in disposable income into purchases. Deloitte’s annual retail holiday sales forecast, released last week, predicted a sales increase of 4% to 4.5% over 2016, with e-Commerce revenues climbing 18% to 21%. The Retail TouchPoints Retail Strategy & Planning (RSP17) webinar series aired live last week, and all 10 webinars are now available on demand. Just in time for the launch of the holiday season, three sessions provided practical tips on how to be successful in Q4 and beyond, including:

Innovators Point The Way To The Store Of The Future

The so-called “retail apocalypse” may have been debunked, but there’s still no question that the industry is in the midst of profound change. Retailers aren’t just looking for ways to tweak the shopping experience; many seek to reimagine every aspect of how they will interact with consumers. Pano Anthos, Founder and Managing Director, XRC Labs, brings a perspective that is both future-oriented and grounded in today’s retailing requirements. He has identified five key themes that are reshaping store-based retail:

Happy Returns Adds 5 Retailers, Opens 40th Return Bar Site

  • Published in News Briefs
Happy Returns, which provides customers with locations for in-person returns in 14 major metropolitan areas, has added five retailers to its network. Chubbies, City Chic, Jaanuu, Paul Evans and Yosi Samra join existing partners that include Everlane, Carbon 38, Eloquii, Shoes of Prey and Tradesy. The service and logistics company…

Say It Isn't So: Pirch Closes Majority Of Showrooms

Pirch, an upscale appliance and kitchen retailer that was hailed as an avatar of experiential retail, recently announced it would be closing most of its stores as it seeks to overhaul its operations. Joe Hasenzahl, Principal Consultant for Retail Technology Strategy at HighStreet, provided this exclusive analysis of the Pirch phenomenon, as well as its strengths and weaknesses, to Retail TouchPoints. Those of us who’ve been evangelizing, proselytizing and preaching “experience” as the savior of brick-and-mortar collectively gasped when the news broke last week that one of the industry’s shining lights, Pirch, was shuttering stores. The announcement of the impending close of most of their much-lauded luxury showrooms both shocked and confounded us. How? What could possibly have caused such a rock solid, industry-inspiring store experience to suffer the same fate of their less enlightened brand brethren?

London-Based Rose Retailer Opens First U.S. Location

  • Published in News Briefs
OnlyRoses, a specialty rose gifting brand, has announced it will open its first U.S. location and second non-franchise store in Beverly Hills, Calif. The store — opening January 2018 — will serve as home base for all nationwide shipments, which will be delivered from the company’s new Los Angeles warehouse.

8 Things You Need To Know About Hiring Seasonal Workers

The summer season is quickly coming to an end (I know, I know, it feels like it just started!). Your summer seasonal workers are already headed back to school. If hiring, paying or managing your seasonal employees this year was a little trickier than you imagined, you're not alone. Now is a great time to review your seasonal hiring policies and ensure you're complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
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