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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.

Target Takes Aim At Toy Retailing Crown

Photo: Stephen Allan In the clearest sign yet that Target is striving hard to take the place Toys ‘R’ Us once held, the retailer is expanding both store and digital toy departments for holiday 2018. Target’s multi-part toy campaign includes: • A nearly 250,000-square-foot expansion of store space for toys…
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How Ashley Stewart Boosts Revenue With Advanced Data Aggregation

Apparel retailer Ashley Stewart, which caters to plus-size black women, has been learning the value of understanding its most loyal customers — some of whom visit the retailer’s stores as many as three times per week. With the help of a customer data platform that aggregates information about both digital and in-store shopping activity, the retailer has been able to leverage that loyalty into increased sales and revenues. Ashley Stewart has used the AgilOne customer data platform for three years to track customer activity in multiple channels. This allows the retailer to, for example, provide customers with easy access to their spending totals during its “Diva Dollars” promotional periods. “The consumers earn ‘Diva Dollars’ for a 45-day period, and then can spend them during a four-day period,” explained Julie Daly, VP E-Commerce at Ashley Stewart. Daly spoke during a panel discussion at the AgilOne Customer Data Platform Summit held earlier this month in New York City.

CVS Rolls Out Apple Pay Acceptance Chainwide

  • Published in News Briefs
CVS, which once went so far as to deactivate the NFC terminals in its stores in order to thwart customers’ use of mobile wallets, now accepts Apple Pay chainwide. CVS customers with compatible iPhones and Apple Watches can use Apple Pay throughout the 9,800-store chain. In August 2018, Apple CEO…
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How Retailers And Suppliers Can Evaluate The Long-Term Impact Of In-Store Demos

The retail landscape is changing rapidly. In order to compete with online options, brick-and-mortar retailers must create amazing in-store experiences. Many are turning to a concept called Retailtainment, or retail marketing as entertainment. Author George Ritzer (in his book, Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption), describes Retailtainment as the "use of ambience, emotion, sound and activity to get customers interested in the merchandise and in a mood to buy." One retailtainment tactic is the in-store demo. Large retailers love them, because they draw customers and not only boost same-day sales of the demonstrated items, but also typically boost category sales. Plus, retailers collect a fee from the manufacturer.

Carrefour Adopts IBM Blockchain To Track Fresh Foods

Carrefour is using the IBM Food Trust blockchain ledger technology to track chicken, eggs and tomatoes from the farm to the store, according to Reuters. The retailer will extend its use of the system to 300 fresh products worldwide by 2022 in a bid to build shopper trust.

Tops Supermarket Debuts Curbside Pickup, Adds Organic Options Online

  • Published in News Briefs
Grocery delivery and curbside pickup have become the latest competitive arenas in supermarket retail, and regional player Tops Friendly Markets has joined the fray. The 169-store chain, with locations in New York, Vermont and northern Pennsylvania, built on its existing relationship with Instacart to offer curbside pickup at three locations…
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Walmart Will Train 1 Million+ Associates Using VR Technology

Walmart will distribute 17,000 Oculus VR headsets to all U.S. stores beginning in October 2018, to train more than 1 million Walmart store associates on how to use the technology, according to a company blog post. With this expansion of the VR training program, every associate — including those on the floor — will have access to the same training that their managers and department managers get at the company’s 200+ training Academies. The company first started training store managers in 2017.

Kohl’s Debuts Private Label Plus-Size Brand

  • Published in News Briefs
For spring 2019, Kohl’s will launch its EVRI private label plus-size women’s apparel brand. The introduction of EVRI, which stands for Easy, Versatile, Real (Value) and Inspiring, is part of a planned transformation of Kohl’s plus-size shopping experience both in-store and online. The EVRI brand will include tops in sizes 0X-4X…
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RSP Series: How Retail Leaders Improve Customer Acquisition And Retention

Any retailer’s long-term health requires finding the right balance between acquiring and retaining customers — particularly the loyal and big-spending types of shoppers. But rapid changes in both consumer expectations and the competitive landscape have rewritten many of the established rules for customer acquisition and retention. The 2018 Retail Strategy and Planning (RSP) webinar series, hosted by Retail TouchPoints, uncovered several new strategies for tackling these timeless challenges. Following are brief recaps of six webinars in the #RSP18 series, now available on-demand. [Read a recap of the Holiday Predictions webinar, sponsored by Salesforce, here.]

Brick-And-Mortar Clothing Retailers: Replace Mannequins With In-Store Tech

Once you’ve worked in the mannequin business, you become judgmental of others — other mannequins, that is. And I mean really judgy. You might not consider mannequins terribly significant, but they are: Brands that “get it” make hefty investments to design custom mannequins in an effort to illustrate their brand stories. Brands each have a unique fit, attitude and persona, and mannequins are a way to personify the brand and bring designs to life through well-crafted and thoughtful aesthetics. Consider Nike: It pushes the creative envelope time and again with custom mannequin collections, featuring poses from static to full-on active (like its NFL collection from 2012, for example, created through design firm Fusion). Not only was this mannequin line aspirational, but it also brought a brand story to life, fusing Nike’s activewear with America’s love for football.

Amazon Reportedly Plans 3,000 Go Stores; Unveils Recommendation-Based ‘Scout’ Shopping Site

Amazon is reportedly considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 new Amazon Go cashierless stores by 2021, with more than 50 locations in major locations by 2019, according to Bloomberg. The e-Commerce giant would not comment on the report. The challenge to Amazon’s potential growth plan, regardless of how many checkout-free stores they end up building, is the high cost of opening each location. The original Amazon Go in downtown Seattle required more than $1 million in hardware alone, according to Bloomberg.
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