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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.

Multiple Pop-Ups, One Roof: Neighborhood Goods Tells A New Kind Of Retail Story

Today’s retailers try to tell a story that shoppers can “read,” using the grammar of visual merchandising, interior design and displays, and the products themselves. Consumers may not be aware of all the nuances at work, but they know when a shopping journey makes sense to them. Neighborhood Goods is attempting to tell a story, but with a bigger and more complex set of building blocks: a changing collection of pop-up stores, all housed under one roof.

Walmart Opening AI-Focused Retail Lab In A Long Island Store

(Editor’s note: This article has been updated with information provided by Walmart since it was initially published.) Walmart is planning to open an in-store Intelligent Retail Lab, but not at its usual Store No. 8 tech incubator located near the company’s Bentonville, Ark. headquarters. The lab will operate inside a Levittown, N.Y. store, according to TechCrunch. Artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to empower associates and improve the shopper experience, for example by better calculating when stock needs to be replenished, identifying when items are on the wrong shelf and quickly reporting spills.

Self-Service App Deepens Customer Connections At Fairway Market

Some retailers worry that adopting a self-checkout solution will deprive them of a key point of contact with their customers. Fairway Market, a New York City metro area chain of 15 supermarkets and four wine and spirit stores, wanted to be absolutely sure that wouldn’t happen when it deployed a self-checkout app, because the retailer prides itself on a family atmosphere and a close relationship with shoppers. The retailer is in the process of rolling out its first self-checkout app and will be seeking results that include:

CVS Will Pilot ‘Health Hub’ Concept Stores In 2019

  • Published in News Briefs
Following the completion of its $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna, CVS plans to open concept stores focused on providing disease management while reducing medical costs. The retailer expects the Aetna deal to be finalized by Thanksgiving 2018, and the medically focused pilot stores will be “up and running…
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Lowe’s Will Close 50+ Underperforming Stores

  • Published in News Briefs
Lowe’s is closing 51 underperforming locations by February 2019 — 30 in Canada and 21 in the U.S. — as it restructures its business under new CEO Marvin Ellison. The closures are a “necessary step” in the retailer’s strategic reassessment, Ellison said in a statement. Lowe’s operates more than 2,300…
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Amazon Opens 4-Star Location In California

Amazon has opened its third 4-star physical store, this time in Berkeley, Calif. The e-Commerce giant first introduced the concept in the New York City neighborhood of SoHo, and just last week opened a second location near Denver. The Berkeley store, located on 1787 Fourth Street, had been confirmed prior to its…
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Target Unveils ‘Skip-The-Line’ Checkout Ahead Of Holiday Season

  • Published in News Briefs
Only a day after Walmart publicized the expansion of its on-the-go “check out with me” alternative, Target revealed that its “skip-the-line” checkout will be available at all stores nationwide ahead of the holiday season. Using specially equipped handheld devices, team members scan any item in a guest’s basket or shopping…
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European DIY Retailer Reduces Luxury Faucet Shrinkage With Anti-Theft Tech

Retailers selling high-end products require heavier in-store security and loss prevention efforts to thwart theft. After dealing with an ongoing shoplifting problem, Praxis, a Netherlands-based hardware retailer that sells construction and DIY products and garden materials, deployed the StrapLok monitor from CheckPoint Systems in approximately 70 stores. Since implementing the anti-theft tags starting in April 2018, Praxis has: Decreased shrinkage Minimized “false alarms” caused whenever a shopper touched the merchandise; and Reduced labor time necessary to clean up empty boxes left on shelves.

Exclusive NYC Tour: The First Nordstrom Men’s Store

  In this edition of TouchPoints TV, Retail TouchPoints Senior Editor Glenn Taylor chatted with Shea Jensen, Senior VP of Customer Experience at Nordstrom, to understand the innovations at the first-ever Nordstrom Men’s store, located on the corner of 57th and Broadway in New York City. The three-level, 47,000-square-foot store, which opened in April 2018, joins two off-price Nordstrom Rack stores in Manhattan. Nordstrom is just getting started, however: the retailer will open a 320,000-square-foot full-line store across the street from the Men’s store in Fall 2019.

In A Digital World, Don't Forget About Your Physical Shelves

These days, there is so much emphasis on the online path to purchase that we sometimes forget that 90% of all purchases are still in-store. Clearly, that makes retail a make-it or break-it environment for most brands. And here’s what’s frustrating about that fact: While brand marketers can control packaging and marketing communications around a product, they have limited control over its placement on a shelf. That fact alone can have a huge impact on a brand’s potential for success. In fact, research shows that, in a retail environment, overall assessment of a brand category (in other words, a brand’s placement on the shelf) is actually the FIRST thing a consumer notices about a product. It’s not until step two — after the shopper has actually found the product on the shelf — that they react to packaging. The implications of that fact are staggering: All the time and resources poured into package design and testing go down the drain if consumers can’t find your product on the shelf!

What Do Shoppers Really Want From In-Store Technology?

  • Published in News Briefs
Technology can certainly enhance the in-store experience, but only if it solves a specific customer problem or streamlines the shopper journey. Retailers seeking guidance about which in-store technologies to invest in — and which ones shoppers aren’t quite ready to embrace this holiday season — can find answers in the…
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New Sam’s Club Store Will Be A Mobile-First, AI-Powered Tech Lab

  • Published in News Briefs
Sam’s Club is set to open its Sam’s Club Now store in Dallas, designed as a real-world technology innovation lab. The store will test technologies including mobile-enabled shopping; smart shopping lists that use machine learning and shoppers’ past purchase data; and augmented reality to tell the “stories” behind products. “At…
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