Store Operations - Retail TouchPoints - Retail TouchPoints Retail TouchPoints provides the latest retail news and trends focusing on shopper experience, digital marketing, and retail innovation. https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/store-operations 2018-06-22T14:49:57-04:00 RTP Quick Quotes From Retail Execs At IRCE And CRMC 2018-06-19T09:05:07-04:00 2018-06-19T09:05:07-04:00 https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/trend-watch/quick-quotes-from-retail-execs-at-irce-and-crmc Adam Blair feed@retailtouchpoints.com <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/cb3e60dde80c8829808ca53af10afe8b_XL.jpg" alt="Quick Quotes From Retail Execs At IRCE And CRMC" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>The educational programs at <a href="https://www.irce.com/" target="_blank">IRCE</a>&nbsp;and <a href="https://www.thecrmc.com/" target="_blank">CRMC</a>, both held in Chicago the first week of June, provided insights that went far beyond just the shows’ overarching topics of e-Commerce and customer relationship management (CRM). Industry leaders from retail companies including <strong>Lovesac, Warby Parker, Oriental Trading, Shoe Carnival, Jack Grace</strong> and <strong>Hilton Hotels</strong> shared tips and tactics covering <strong>global commerce, personalization</strong>, the move from <strong><a href="features/special-reports/from-warby-parker-to-sugarfina-former-pure-plays-discover-omnichannel-success" target="_blank">online to offline retailing</a></strong>, selecting the right <strong>solution provider partners</strong>, and ways to make <strong>returns a strategic part of the business</strong>. Following are quick quotes from some of the retail industry experts who spoke at the two events.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}<strong><em>“Amazon wants people to shop locally and buy globally.”</em> — Carly McGinnis, General Manager, <a href="https://explodingkittens.com/" target="_blank">Exploding Kittens</a></strong></p> <p>McGinnis explained that the decision by the humorous card game Exploding Kittens to sell globally with Amazon made sense given the retailer’s reach: It serves customers in 180 countries with 13 global marketplaces and 175+ fulfillment centers. However, Amazon’s “shop locally” directive means that a German customer needs to be able to buy the U.S.-produced game with euros, and get the product shipped to them within one to two days.</p> <p><strong><em>“With personalization, some is better than none, but it’s never good enough. That’s because as you start to personalize more, consumers expect more from you.”</em> — Sue Beckett, VP, Digital, Direct &amp; Ecommerce, <a href="https://www.lovesac.com/" target="_blank">Lovesac</a></strong></p> <p>The executive from the disruptive furniture company <strong>Lovesac</strong> added that “having infinite data available makes personalization more complicated to get right, especially if you don’t have the right systems in place to utilize it correctly.”</p> <p><strong><em>“Our first physical ‘store’ was one of the co-founder’s apartment in Philadelphia.”</em> — Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, <a href="https://www.warbyparker.com/" target="_blank">Warby Parker</a></strong></p> <p>Warby Parker began as a pure play alternative to brick-and-mortar eyewear retailers, but soon after its web site launched shoppers sought out a physical space to try on the glasses. The company established a showroom in its early office space, but it got so much traffic that the building’s landlord threatened to evict Warby Parker because they were monopolizing the elevators. “We learned so much from these face-to-face conversations, and got feedback that we would not have gotten from a purely digital relationship,” said Gilboa.</p> <p><strong><em>“When determining who to work with in changing your IT ecosystem, your new partner can change both your company — and your career.”</em> — Charles Hunsinger, SVP/CIO, <a href="http://www.orientaltrading.com/" target="_blank">Oriental Trading</a></strong></p> <p>Discussing the importance of selecting the right solution provider partner for an IT project, Hunsinger said the decision is a serious one: “Who you want to work with really means ‘Who do you want to marry?’” Due diligence is critical, and it’s helpful for IT professionals to use their network not just to talk to those that selected a solution, but those that didn’t — and to find out the reasons why.</p> <p><strong><em>“Returns are a multi-step process, and each step is a place where something can go wrong.”</em> — Bradford Smith, COO, <a href="https://www.jackgraceusa.com/" target="_blank">Jack Grace</a></strong></p> <p>While the ideal for retailers would be for consumers to keep everything they buy, returns are a fact of life, so golf shoe brand Jack Grace tries to turn them from a problem into a strategic advantage. Smith advised retailers that because they can’t fix their returns processes all at once, they should focus on “any step that involves a manual process or a human bridge.”</p> <p><strong><em>“Customers want control, so we send a preview email of the clothes we’re going to send them 48 hours before they’re shipped.”</em> — Sandro Roco, Director of Strategic Initiatives, <a href="https://www.bombfell.com/" target="_blank">Bombfell</a></strong></p> <p>The personal shopping subscription service for men applies machine learning to select items for customers; then a personal stylist applies the “last mile” human touch to finalize the selection. Members’ interactions with these emails are “a great opportunity to learn more about the customer,” said Roco.</p> <p><strong><em>“When you move from a mass media strategy, where the executive team can see the ads on TV or in print, to an audience-driven strategy, it becomes a challenge to explain to the C-level execs where the ad spend is going.”</em> — Kent Zimmerman, VP Digital, <a href="https://www.shoecarnival.com/" target="_blank">Shoe Carnival</a></strong></p> <p>Because Shoe Carnival wanted to more effectively reach its target shoppers, including those in higher income brackets, the retailer moved to a more targeted strategy for acquisition, retention and reactivating lapsed customers. A key challenge, however, was convincing upper management that ad dollars were being spent effectively, Zimmerman explained: “They would say ‘I don’t see the ads,’ and I would have to say to them ‘You don’t see them because you’re not our target customer.’”</p> <p><strong><em>“Purpose is the new currency.”</em> — Marc Kielburger, Co-Founder, <a href="https://www.we.org/" target="_blank">WE.org</a></strong></p> <p>WE.org is a cause-based retail program that allows consumers to track the impact of their donations via Google Maps, showing them the precise impact of their contributions. According to Kielburger, “without purpose, your business model is incomplete.”</p> <p><strong><em>“Loyalty begins with an irrational kind of love.”</em> — Danelle Williams, Senior Director, Global Loyalty Platform, <a href="http://www3.hilton.com/en/index.html" target="_blank">Hilton</a></strong></p> <p>According to Williams, retailers need to generate Apple-level loyalty, the “’I’ve got to have it’ type of loyalty that makes people queue up for a product when they don’t even know what it’s going to be.” The Hilton Honors loyalty program has 74 million members and is now growing at a rate of nine to 11 million members per year. The hospitality company’s goal is to reach 100 million members by the company’s 100<sup>th</sup> anniversary in 2019.</p></div> <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/cb3e60dde80c8829808ca53af10afe8b_XL.jpg" alt="Quick Quotes From Retail Execs At IRCE And CRMC" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>The educational programs at <a href="https://www.irce.com/" target="_blank">IRCE</a>&nbsp;and <a href="https://www.thecrmc.com/" target="_blank">CRMC</a>, both held in Chicago the first week of June, provided insights that went far beyond just the shows’ overarching topics of e-Commerce and customer relationship management (CRM). Industry leaders from retail companies including <strong>Lovesac, Warby Parker, Oriental Trading, Shoe Carnival, Jack Grace</strong> and <strong>Hilton Hotels</strong> shared tips and tactics covering <strong>global commerce, personalization</strong>, the move from <strong><a href="features/special-reports/from-warby-parker-to-sugarfina-former-pure-plays-discover-omnichannel-success" target="_blank">online to offline retailing</a></strong>, selecting the right <strong>solution provider partners</strong>, and ways to make <strong>returns a strategic part of the business</strong>. Following are quick quotes from some of the retail industry experts who spoke at the two events.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}<strong><em>“Amazon wants people to shop locally and buy globally.”</em> — Carly McGinnis, General Manager, <a href="https://explodingkittens.com/" target="_blank">Exploding Kittens</a></strong></p> <p>McGinnis explained that the decision by the humorous card game Exploding Kittens to sell globally with Amazon made sense given the retailer’s reach: It serves customers in 180 countries with 13 global marketplaces and 175+ fulfillment centers. However, Amazon’s “shop locally” directive means that a German customer needs to be able to buy the U.S.-produced game with euros, and get the product shipped to them within one to two days.</p> <p><strong><em>“With personalization, some is better than none, but it’s never good enough. That’s because as you start to personalize more, consumers expect more from you.”</em> — Sue Beckett, VP, Digital, Direct &amp; Ecommerce, <a href="https://www.lovesac.com/" target="_blank">Lovesac</a></strong></p> <p>The executive from the disruptive furniture company <strong>Lovesac</strong> added that “having infinite data available makes personalization more complicated to get right, especially if you don’t have the right systems in place to utilize it correctly.”</p> <p><strong><em>“Our first physical ‘store’ was one of the co-founder’s apartment in Philadelphia.”</em> — Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, <a href="https://www.warbyparker.com/" target="_blank">Warby Parker</a></strong></p> <p>Warby Parker began as a pure play alternative to brick-and-mortar eyewear retailers, but soon after its web site launched shoppers sought out a physical space to try on the glasses. The company established a showroom in its early office space, but it got so much traffic that the building’s landlord threatened to evict Warby Parker because they were monopolizing the elevators. “We learned so much from these face-to-face conversations, and got feedback that we would not have gotten from a purely digital relationship,” said Gilboa.</p> <p><strong><em>“When determining who to work with in changing your IT ecosystem, your new partner can change both your company — and your career.”</em> — Charles Hunsinger, SVP/CIO, <a href="http://www.orientaltrading.com/" target="_blank">Oriental Trading</a></strong></p> <p>Discussing the importance of selecting the right solution provider partner for an IT project, Hunsinger said the decision is a serious one: “Who you want to work with really means ‘Who do you want to marry?’” Due diligence is critical, and it’s helpful for IT professionals to use their network not just to talk to those that selected a solution, but those that didn’t — and to find out the reasons why.</p> <p><strong><em>“Returns are a multi-step process, and each step is a place where something can go wrong.”</em> — Bradford Smith, COO, <a href="https://www.jackgraceusa.com/" target="_blank">Jack Grace</a></strong></p> <p>While the ideal for retailers would be for consumers to keep everything they buy, returns are a fact of life, so golf shoe brand Jack Grace tries to turn them from a problem into a strategic advantage. Smith advised retailers that because they can’t fix their returns processes all at once, they should focus on “any step that involves a manual process or a human bridge.”</p> <p><strong><em>“Customers want control, so we send a preview email of the clothes we’re going to send them 48 hours before they’re shipped.”</em> — Sandro Roco, Director of Strategic Initiatives, <a href="https://www.bombfell.com/" target="_blank">Bombfell</a></strong></p> <p>The personal shopping subscription service for men applies machine learning to select items for customers; then a personal stylist applies the “last mile” human touch to finalize the selection. Members’ interactions with these emails are “a great opportunity to learn more about the customer,” said Roco.</p> <p><strong><em>“When you move from a mass media strategy, where the executive team can see the ads on TV or in print, to an audience-driven strategy, it becomes a challenge to explain to the C-level execs where the ad spend is going.”</em> — Kent Zimmerman, VP Digital, <a href="https://www.shoecarnival.com/" target="_blank">Shoe Carnival</a></strong></p> <p>Because Shoe Carnival wanted to more effectively reach its target shoppers, including those in higher income brackets, the retailer moved to a more targeted strategy for acquisition, retention and reactivating lapsed customers. A key challenge, however, was convincing upper management that ad dollars were being spent effectively, Zimmerman explained: “They would say ‘I don’t see the ads,’ and I would have to say to them ‘You don’t see them because you’re not our target customer.’”</p> <p><strong><em>“Purpose is the new currency.”</em> — Marc Kielburger, Co-Founder, <a href="https://www.we.org/" target="_blank">WE.org</a></strong></p> <p>WE.org is a cause-based retail program that allows consumers to track the impact of their donations via Google Maps, showing them the precise impact of their contributions. According to Kielburger, “without purpose, your business model is incomplete.”</p> <p><strong><em>“Loyalty begins with an irrational kind of love.”</em> — Danelle Williams, Senior Director, Global Loyalty Platform, <a href="http://www3.hilton.com/en/index.html" target="_blank">Hilton</a></strong></p> <p>According to Williams, retailers need to generate Apple-level loyalty, the “’I’ve got to have it’ type of loyalty that makes people queue up for a product when they don’t even know what it’s going to be.” The Hilton Honors loyalty program has 74 million members and is now growing at a rate of nine to 11 million members per year. The hospitality company’s goal is to reach 100 million members by the company’s 100<sup>th</sup> anniversary in 2019.</p></div> Microsoft Enters Cashier-Less Tech Race: Will Checkout Lanes Become Relics? 2018-06-15T16:13:17-04:00 2018-06-15T16:13:17-04:00 https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/trend-watch/microsoft-enters-cashier-less-tech-race-will-checkout-lanes-become-relics Adam Blair feed@retailtouchpoints.com <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/1e8d75aceb6e3fafe0509328c6508e5e_XL.jpg" alt="Microsoft Enters Cashier-Less Tech Race: Will Checkout Lanes Become Relics?" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>The news that technology powerhouse Microsoft is working on <a href="features/news-briefs/microsoft-exploring-automated-store-technology-collaboration-with-walmart" target="_blank">cashier-less technology</a> that could help retailers compete with <strong>Amazon Go</strong> signals a major advance in this area. Still, questions remain about exactly what kind of solution will best solve shoppers’ checkout pain points. While some consumers may welcome a cashier-free environment, others might want <strong>more </strong>cashiers on duty to provide assistance if needed.</p> <p>Tech-savvy retailers are still trying to figure out the optimal way forward. <strong>Kroger&nbsp;</strong>has made major investments in its Scan, Bag, Go technology, which allows shoppers to scan products either with a device provided by the store or with their smartphones. The retailer is in the process of <a href="topics/shopper-experience/kroger-expands-scan-bag-go-cashierless-checkout-to-400-stores" target="_blank">expanding the program</a> to 400 stores, and Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm identified the technology as one of his <a href="features/special-reports/trends-tech-that-define-modern-retail-exclusive-q-a-with-10-c-level-execs" target="_blank">proudest achievements</a> of the past few years.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}In contrast, <strong><a href="features/news-briefs/walmart-abandons-cashierless-mobile-checkout" target="_blank">Walmart</a>&nbsp;</strong>abandoned its Scan &amp; Go solution in May 2018, citing a lack of customer usage. Just a few months earlier, the retailer had said it would expand the program to 100 stores. Walmart is reportedly in discussions with Microsoft about a collaboration using its new solution.</p> <h2>Will Checkout Lanes Become The Road Less Traveled?</h2> <p>Retail industry experts are likewise divided about whether Microsoft’s involvement will accelerate the move to a cashier-free future. “Microsoft taking on Amazon with cashier-less checkout demonstrates how close we are to a breakout of alternative ‘checkout and scanning’ processes and applications,” said Michael Jaszczyk, CEO, <a href="https://www.gk-software.com/en/" target="_blank">GK Software USA</a> in comments provided to <em>Retail TouchPoints</em>. “We’re beginning to see more and more companies like Microsoft react to Amazon’s lead, all working to implement this type of technology. As more vendors offer these types of self-scanning solutions and retailers pilot them in their stores, consumer demand will follow as well as increased store revenue. I believe that in three to five years, traditional checkout lanes will become somewhat of a relic and we will have a hard time remembering what it was even like to stand in line at the POS.”</p> <p>Others doubt that consumers are all that eager to shop in checkout-free stores: “No one should jump to the conclusion that cashier-less checkout is expected by consumers,” said Nikki Baird, VP of Retail Innovation at <a href="https://www.aptos.com/" target="_blank">Aptos</a>. “Retailers, no matter the goods they sell, need to pay attention to pain points in their customers’ journeys, and turn those pain points into opportunities for delight. That might mean cashier-less, or it might even mean more cashiers. Every retailer’s customer expectations will be different — and that’s where the real opportunities lie, in in taking advantage of those differences.”</p> <h2>For Retailers, Data Benefits Could Outweigh Head Count Savings</h2> <p>Retailers may be less interested in using the technology to reduce head counts in stores, and more about the data-gathering capabilities. For example, camera-based systems can reveal details about shopper behavior: “Customers might look at a Coca-Cola bottle before they pick up a Pepsi, or pick up a bottle of Sprite, but 20% of the time put it down and buy Mountain Dew,” said Michael Suswal, Co-Founder and COO of <a href="https://www.standardcognition.com/" target="_blank">Standard Cognition</a>, which is developing its own version of cashier-less technology. “Operational benefits such as inventory audits and other shelf compliance tasks, and data such as how people’s behavior changes when they are shopping alone versus shopping with friends or family, are valuable learnings for retailers,” said Suswal in an interview with <em>Retail TouchPoints</em>.</p> <p>Many industry experts believe cashier-less technology actually can enhance the shopper experience. Suswal noted that <strong>Uber </strong>and <strong>Lyft</strong> have made rides more pleasant by removing the payment transaction from the experience. In a retail store, “the space can be more friendly because the payment piece has been removed,” he said. “We try to rehumanize retail by removing the machine from between customers and associates, and allowing people to interact as equal humans.”</p> <p>Even with Microsoft’s involvement and other tech advancements, it seems clear that the industry is a long way from scaling up cashier-less technology. Amazon is <a href="features/news-briefs/amazon-reportedly-picks-chicago-locations-for-two-amazon-go-shops" target="_blank">adding Go stores</a>, but at a snail’s pace, and the company says it has no plans to bring the technology to <strong>Whole Foods</strong>. It’s likely that retailers will need to maintain traditional checkout options along with new solutions, at least for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/blogs/retailers-and-the-move-toward-a-mobile-cashierless-checkout-experience/?utm_source=MPT&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=EMNA&amp;utm_content=2018-05-17" target="_blank">blog post</a> for <em>Mobile Payments Today</em>, Tom Chittenden, VP and General Manager, Retail Solutions, <a href="https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/blogs/retailers-and-the-move-toward-a-mobile-cashierless-checkout-experience/?utm_source=MPT&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=EMNA&amp;utm_content=2018-05-17" target="_blank">NCR Corp</a>, wrote “What’s the best approach to frictionless checkout? Quality service is in the eye of each consumer, so retailers shouldn’t take a single-vision approach toward adopting new technology inside the store, or they might alienate parts of their consumer base. Grab-and-go shopping, most recently represented by the Amazon Go store, is one of the more attention-grabbing paths for achieving frictionless checkout, but it’s only one of the many paths that retailers could consider.”</p></div> <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/1e8d75aceb6e3fafe0509328c6508e5e_XL.jpg" alt="Microsoft Enters Cashier-Less Tech Race: Will Checkout Lanes Become Relics?" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>The news that technology powerhouse Microsoft is working on <a href="features/news-briefs/microsoft-exploring-automated-store-technology-collaboration-with-walmart" target="_blank">cashier-less technology</a> that could help retailers compete with <strong>Amazon Go</strong> signals a major advance in this area. Still, questions remain about exactly what kind of solution will best solve shoppers’ checkout pain points. While some consumers may welcome a cashier-free environment, others might want <strong>more </strong>cashiers on duty to provide assistance if needed.</p> <p>Tech-savvy retailers are still trying to figure out the optimal way forward. <strong>Kroger&nbsp;</strong>has made major investments in its Scan, Bag, Go technology, which allows shoppers to scan products either with a device provided by the store or with their smartphones. The retailer is in the process of <a href="topics/shopper-experience/kroger-expands-scan-bag-go-cashierless-checkout-to-400-stores" target="_blank">expanding the program</a> to 400 stores, and Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm identified the technology as one of his <a href="features/special-reports/trends-tech-that-define-modern-retail-exclusive-q-a-with-10-c-level-execs" target="_blank">proudest achievements</a> of the past few years.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}In contrast, <strong><a href="features/news-briefs/walmart-abandons-cashierless-mobile-checkout" target="_blank">Walmart</a>&nbsp;</strong>abandoned its Scan &amp; Go solution in May 2018, citing a lack of customer usage. Just a few months earlier, the retailer had said it would expand the program to 100 stores. Walmart is reportedly in discussions with Microsoft about a collaboration using its new solution.</p> <h2>Will Checkout Lanes Become The Road Less Traveled?</h2> <p>Retail industry experts are likewise divided about whether Microsoft’s involvement will accelerate the move to a cashier-free future. “Microsoft taking on Amazon with cashier-less checkout demonstrates how close we are to a breakout of alternative ‘checkout and scanning’ processes and applications,” said Michael Jaszczyk, CEO, <a href="https://www.gk-software.com/en/" target="_blank">GK Software USA</a> in comments provided to <em>Retail TouchPoints</em>. “We’re beginning to see more and more companies like Microsoft react to Amazon’s lead, all working to implement this type of technology. As more vendors offer these types of self-scanning solutions and retailers pilot them in their stores, consumer demand will follow as well as increased store revenue. I believe that in three to five years, traditional checkout lanes will become somewhat of a relic and we will have a hard time remembering what it was even like to stand in line at the POS.”</p> <p>Others doubt that consumers are all that eager to shop in checkout-free stores: “No one should jump to the conclusion that cashier-less checkout is expected by consumers,” said Nikki Baird, VP of Retail Innovation at <a href="https://www.aptos.com/" target="_blank">Aptos</a>. “Retailers, no matter the goods they sell, need to pay attention to pain points in their customers’ journeys, and turn those pain points into opportunities for delight. That might mean cashier-less, or it might even mean more cashiers. Every retailer’s customer expectations will be different — and that’s where the real opportunities lie, in in taking advantage of those differences.”</p> <h2>For Retailers, Data Benefits Could Outweigh Head Count Savings</h2> <p>Retailers may be less interested in using the technology to reduce head counts in stores, and more about the data-gathering capabilities. For example, camera-based systems can reveal details about shopper behavior: “Customers might look at a Coca-Cola bottle before they pick up a Pepsi, or pick up a bottle of Sprite, but 20% of the time put it down and buy Mountain Dew,” said Michael Suswal, Co-Founder and COO of <a href="https://www.standardcognition.com/" target="_blank">Standard Cognition</a>, which is developing its own version of cashier-less technology. “Operational benefits such as inventory audits and other shelf compliance tasks, and data such as how people’s behavior changes when they are shopping alone versus shopping with friends or family, are valuable learnings for retailers,” said Suswal in an interview with <em>Retail TouchPoints</em>.</p> <p>Many industry experts believe cashier-less technology actually can enhance the shopper experience. Suswal noted that <strong>Uber </strong>and <strong>Lyft</strong> have made rides more pleasant by removing the payment transaction from the experience. In a retail store, “the space can be more friendly because the payment piece has been removed,” he said. “We try to rehumanize retail by removing the machine from between customers and associates, and allowing people to interact as equal humans.”</p> <p>Even with Microsoft’s involvement and other tech advancements, it seems clear that the industry is a long way from scaling up cashier-less technology. Amazon is <a href="features/news-briefs/amazon-reportedly-picks-chicago-locations-for-two-amazon-go-shops" target="_blank">adding Go stores</a>, but at a snail’s pace, and the company says it has no plans to bring the technology to <strong>Whole Foods</strong>. It’s likely that retailers will need to maintain traditional checkout options along with new solutions, at least for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/blogs/retailers-and-the-move-toward-a-mobile-cashierless-checkout-experience/?utm_source=MPT&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=EMNA&amp;utm_content=2018-05-17" target="_blank">blog post</a> for <em>Mobile Payments Today</em>, Tom Chittenden, VP and General Manager, Retail Solutions, <a href="https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/blogs/retailers-and-the-move-toward-a-mobile-cashierless-checkout-experience/?utm_source=MPT&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=EMNA&amp;utm_content=2018-05-17" target="_blank">NCR Corp</a>, wrote “What’s the best approach to frictionless checkout? Quality service is in the eye of each consumer, so retailers shouldn’t take a single-vision approach toward adopting new technology inside the store, or they might alienate parts of their consumer base. Grab-and-go shopping, most recently represented by the Amazon Go store, is one of the more attention-grabbing paths for achieving frictionless checkout, but it’s only one of the many paths that retailers could consider.”</p></div> Macy’s Acquires Minority Stake In B8ta, Will Deploy Platform In Pop-Up Concept 2018-06-13T16:07:32-04:00 2018-06-13T16:07:32-04:00 https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/store-operations/macy-s-acquires-minority-stake-in-b8ta-will-deploy-platform-in-pop-up-concept Glenn Taylor feed@retailtouchpoints.com <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/da5aa9816379f7ffc0a2b737c9382305_XL.jpg" alt="Macy’s Acquires Minority Stake In B8ta, Will Deploy Platform In Pop-Up Concept" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>A month after <a href="features/mergers-and-acquisitions/macy-s-acquires-nyc-concept-shop-story" target="_blank">acquiring experiential retail concept shop <b>Story</b></a>, <b>Macy’s</b> is investing in another innovative retail industry player. The department store acquired a minority stake in <b>b8ta</b>, a “store-as-a-service” concept that enables shoppers to try new tech products before they buy. Additionally, b8ta is designed to collect data about consumers’ behavior while they shop. Macy’s has not disclosed the amount of the investment.</p> <p>The department store will leverage b8ta to scale up <a href="topics/macy-s-ventures-into-pop-ups-with-the-market-macy-s-concept" target="_blank">The Market @ Macy’s pop-up concept more</a> quickly, according to a statement from Hal Lawton, President at Macy’s. Launched in February 2018, The Market @ Macy’s, currently open at 10 U.S. Macy’s locations nationwide, is designed to help emerging and established brands reach new audiences. Each shop brings customers a rotating selection of offerings in apparel, accessories, beauty, entertainment, experiences, decorative home, stationery, technology and gifts.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}It's too early to determine whether The Market @ Macy’s shoppers are spending elsewhere in the store, said Marc Mastronardi, EVP of Business Development at Macy’s <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/12/macys-takes-stake-in-tech-retailer-b8ta-expands-pop-up-marketplace.html" target="_blank">in an interview with <i>CNBC</i></a>. Mastronardi noted that the pop-up concept is creating an "overall halo" for the store's shopping experience.</p> <p>Over the next year, The Market @ Macy’s will test different sized spaces powered by b8ta technology and will expand the size of some of the existing pilot locations. Additionally, Macy’s wants to leverage b8ta’s ability to manage the rotating brands and experiences; attract new products in the home and consumer electronics space; and potentially bring new product categories into select Macy’s stores.</p> <p>B8ta already has a presence in more than 80 stores, <a href="topics/shopper-experience/lowe-s-expands-experiential-smart-home-centers-to-70-stores" target="_blank">including connected home experiences in 70+ <b>Lowe’s</b> locations</a>. The Lowe’s stores feature a curated selection of 60+ smart home products including security systems, thermostats, cameras, lighting and speakers from Google, Sonos, GE, Nest, Iris, Samsung and Ring. The stores-within-stores offer consumers on-site support from specially trained experts known as “b8ta testers.”</p></div> <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/da5aa9816379f7ffc0a2b737c9382305_XL.jpg" alt="Macy’s Acquires Minority Stake In B8ta, Will Deploy Platform In Pop-Up Concept" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>A month after <a href="features/mergers-and-acquisitions/macy-s-acquires-nyc-concept-shop-story" target="_blank">acquiring experiential retail concept shop <b>Story</b></a>, <b>Macy’s</b> is investing in another innovative retail industry player. The department store acquired a minority stake in <b>b8ta</b>, a “store-as-a-service” concept that enables shoppers to try new tech products before they buy. Additionally, b8ta is designed to collect data about consumers’ behavior while they shop. Macy’s has not disclosed the amount of the investment.</p> <p>The department store will leverage b8ta to scale up <a href="topics/macy-s-ventures-into-pop-ups-with-the-market-macy-s-concept" target="_blank">The Market @ Macy’s pop-up concept more</a> quickly, according to a statement from Hal Lawton, President at Macy’s. Launched in February 2018, The Market @ Macy’s, currently open at 10 U.S. Macy’s locations nationwide, is designed to help emerging and established brands reach new audiences. Each shop brings customers a rotating selection of offerings in apparel, accessories, beauty, entertainment, experiences, decorative home, stationery, technology and gifts.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}It's too early to determine whether The Market @ Macy’s shoppers are spending elsewhere in the store, said Marc Mastronardi, EVP of Business Development at Macy’s <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/12/macys-takes-stake-in-tech-retailer-b8ta-expands-pop-up-marketplace.html" target="_blank">in an interview with <i>CNBC</i></a>. Mastronardi noted that the pop-up concept is creating an "overall halo" for the store's shopping experience.</p> <p>Over the next year, The Market @ Macy’s will test different sized spaces powered by b8ta technology and will expand the size of some of the existing pilot locations. Additionally, Macy’s wants to leverage b8ta’s ability to manage the rotating brands and experiences; attract new products in the home and consumer electronics space; and potentially bring new product categories into select Macy’s stores.</p> <p>B8ta already has a presence in more than 80 stores, <a href="topics/shopper-experience/lowe-s-expands-experiential-smart-home-centers-to-70-stores" target="_blank">including connected home experiences in 70+ <b>Lowe’s</b> locations</a>. The Lowe’s stores feature a curated selection of 60+ smart home products including security systems, thermostats, cameras, lighting and speakers from Google, Sonos, GE, Nest, Iris, Samsung and Ring. The stores-within-stores offer consumers on-site support from specially trained experts known as “b8ta testers.”</p></div> Exclusive Q&A: Can Fitness Centers Become The New Mall Anchor Store? 2018-06-13T10:57:52-04:00 2018-06-13T10:57:52-04:00 https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/trend-watch/exclusive-q-a-can-fitness-centers-become-the-new-mall-anchor-store Adam Blair feed@retailtouchpoints.com <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/3422fa6eb4bea2018b7e912a33c83651_XL.jpg" alt="Exclusive Q&A: Can Fitness Centers Become The New Mall Anchor Store?" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p><img style="margin: 8px; float: right;" alt="Ben Midgely Crunch 225px" src="images/storiesv3/Ben_Midgely_Crunch_225px.png" />As department stores exert less consumer drawing power, U.S. malls are seeking new types of anchors to build foot traffic. Many malls have been trying to add tenants that, by their nature, require consumers to be physically present, such as restaurants, theaters and fitness centers.</p> <p>One of the most successful gym chains is <strong><a href="https://www.crunch.com/" target="_blank">Crunch</a></strong>, with more than one million members visiting 250 locations across 24 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and Spain. In February, Crunch was named Best in Category in the fitness sector by <a href="https://franchisebusinessreview.com/" target="_blank">Franchise Business Review</a>’s annual list of the top franchises for 2018.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}In an exclusive <em>Retail TouchPoints</em> interview, Ben Midgely, CEO and Founding Partner, Crunch Franchising (pictured above), and Brian Kunkel, VP of Real Estate, Crunch Fitness Franchise (below), reveal:</p> <p>• Why <strong>non-traditional retail</strong> such as gyms are attractive tenants for malls and shopping centers;<br />• Why it’s important to align a gym chain’s business model to that of <strong>current mall tenants</strong>;<br />• How a gym’s “cool factor” and unconventional offerings can <strong>attract consumers and encourage them to extend their stay</strong>.</p> <p><em><strong>Retail TouchPoints (RTP): How does Crunch sell itself as a tenant for a mall or shopping center?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Ben Midgely:</strong> Typically, we don’t have to call on the mall owners — more and more, they’re calling on us. Large retailers are falling out of favor or are themselves downsizing, and different types of retailers are coming into prominence. With a landlord, someone new has more leverage, and the malls are finding it a little tricky to get the right tenant mix that will draw users in and encourage them to stay for a while.</p> <p><strong><img style="margin: 8px; float: right;" alt="Brian Kunkel Crunch" src="images/storiesv3/Brian_Kunkel_Crunch.png" height="319" width="225" />Brian Kunkel:</strong> One selling point is that our gyms are busy, and people want to consolidate the trips they make. They’ll combine a trip to the gym with going to the grocery store and the pharmacy, so <strong>a lot of other retailers get trickle-down sales</strong> when a Crunch is located in the shopping center.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What does Crunch look for in a mall?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Midgely:</strong> In making our decisions about where to locate, we’re looking at the condition of the mall, as well as its organic traffic. For example, is the mall in a location that people would be driving by anyway, or is it a destination that people make a specific trip to go to?</p> <p><strong>Kunkel:</strong> We find that Crunch franchises do better in regional or neighborhood malls versus that type of ‘super-regional’ mall. If a mall is drawing people from as far as 30 to 40 miles away, that can create congestion that makes it difficult for our customers to find parking.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What trends are you seeing in the fitness category as they relate to retail?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Midgely:</strong> We’re seeing a lot of all-under-one-roof gyms like ours, that feature everything from 100 feet of turf to kettle bells and saddle ropes. In addition we offer proprietary classes with things like working a stripper pole or stiletto strength, for women walking around in high heels. It’s also becoming more important to integrate technology. We’ve invested in our web site to provide online class registration capabilities. <strong>We’ve also worked on integrating our app with things like team competitions and fitness-related retail purchases.</strong> To get people to physically take action, you have to spend a lot of time integrating people’s fondness for convenience. We’ve found that the more fun and engaging you make it, the better chance you have.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What’s needed to make a gym’s tenancy a ‘win-win’ for both the mall and the fitness center?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Kunkel:</strong> Malls want to line up a gym that’s consistent with the rest of their tenants. If it’s a value fitness chain, for example, they would want to locate it near a <strong>Dollar Tree</strong> or a similar store. If it’s a higher-end gym, it should be located closer to the high-end retailers.</p> <p><strong>Midgely:</strong> Space is another important consideration. For example, a <strong>Life Time Fitness</strong> with integrated wellness and lifestyle facilities could take 80,000 to 100,000 square feet, but we will do only 40,000 square feet as a maximum. Additionally, for malls that are trying to revitalize themselves, you want to add a bit of a ‘cool factor’ — something that someone else doesn’t have. We’ve done a complete redesign with materials to provide a more <strong>cutting-edge, upscale feel</strong> for our locations.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: Can experiential retail like a gym combat the e-Commerce wave that has been shrinking mall traffic?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Midgely:</strong> People have to integrate some kind of activity into their lifestyle, particularly as they get older. In terms of malls fighting e-Commerce, we’re seeing retailers like <strong>Macy’s, Kohl’s</strong> and <strong>Best Buy</strong> starting to have some positive momentum again. They’re adjusting to the new realities of retail. I don’t think we’re near the end of brick-and-mortar retail by any means, but we’re well into its transformation. I personally love the convenience of shopping online, but I like going out if the experience is interesting. I think <strong>in the next 10 years you’ll see more interesting and engaging mall spaces</strong> that will successfully hit the nail on the head.</p></div> <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/3422fa6eb4bea2018b7e912a33c83651_XL.jpg" alt="Exclusive Q&A: Can Fitness Centers Become The New Mall Anchor Store?" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p><img style="margin: 8px; float: right;" alt="Ben Midgely Crunch 225px" src="images/storiesv3/Ben_Midgely_Crunch_225px.png" />As department stores exert less consumer drawing power, U.S. malls are seeking new types of anchors to build foot traffic. Many malls have been trying to add tenants that, by their nature, require consumers to be physically present, such as restaurants, theaters and fitness centers.</p> <p>One of the most successful gym chains is <strong><a href="https://www.crunch.com/" target="_blank">Crunch</a></strong>, with more than one million members visiting 250 locations across 24 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and Spain. In February, Crunch was named Best in Category in the fitness sector by <a href="https://franchisebusinessreview.com/" target="_blank">Franchise Business Review</a>’s annual list of the top franchises for 2018.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}In an exclusive <em>Retail TouchPoints</em> interview, Ben Midgely, CEO and Founding Partner, Crunch Franchising (pictured above), and Brian Kunkel, VP of Real Estate, Crunch Fitness Franchise (below), reveal:</p> <p>• Why <strong>non-traditional retail</strong> such as gyms are attractive tenants for malls and shopping centers;<br />• Why it’s important to align a gym chain’s business model to that of <strong>current mall tenants</strong>;<br />• How a gym’s “cool factor” and unconventional offerings can <strong>attract consumers and encourage them to extend their stay</strong>.</p> <p><em><strong>Retail TouchPoints (RTP): How does Crunch sell itself as a tenant for a mall or shopping center?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Ben Midgely:</strong> Typically, we don’t have to call on the mall owners — more and more, they’re calling on us. Large retailers are falling out of favor or are themselves downsizing, and different types of retailers are coming into prominence. With a landlord, someone new has more leverage, and the malls are finding it a little tricky to get the right tenant mix that will draw users in and encourage them to stay for a while.</p> <p><strong><img style="margin: 8px; float: right;" alt="Brian Kunkel Crunch" src="images/storiesv3/Brian_Kunkel_Crunch.png" height="319" width="225" />Brian Kunkel:</strong> One selling point is that our gyms are busy, and people want to consolidate the trips they make. They’ll combine a trip to the gym with going to the grocery store and the pharmacy, so <strong>a lot of other retailers get trickle-down sales</strong> when a Crunch is located in the shopping center.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What does Crunch look for in a mall?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Midgely:</strong> In making our decisions about where to locate, we’re looking at the condition of the mall, as well as its organic traffic. For example, is the mall in a location that people would be driving by anyway, or is it a destination that people make a specific trip to go to?</p> <p><strong>Kunkel:</strong> We find that Crunch franchises do better in regional or neighborhood malls versus that type of ‘super-regional’ mall. If a mall is drawing people from as far as 30 to 40 miles away, that can create congestion that makes it difficult for our customers to find parking.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What trends are you seeing in the fitness category as they relate to retail?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Midgely:</strong> We’re seeing a lot of all-under-one-roof gyms like ours, that feature everything from 100 feet of turf to kettle bells and saddle ropes. In addition we offer proprietary classes with things like working a stripper pole or stiletto strength, for women walking around in high heels. It’s also becoming more important to integrate technology. We’ve invested in our web site to provide online class registration capabilities. <strong>We’ve also worked on integrating our app with things like team competitions and fitness-related retail purchases.</strong> To get people to physically take action, you have to spend a lot of time integrating people’s fondness for convenience. We’ve found that the more fun and engaging you make it, the better chance you have.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What’s needed to make a gym’s tenancy a ‘win-win’ for both the mall and the fitness center?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Kunkel:</strong> Malls want to line up a gym that’s consistent with the rest of their tenants. If it’s a value fitness chain, for example, they would want to locate it near a <strong>Dollar Tree</strong> or a similar store. If it’s a higher-end gym, it should be located closer to the high-end retailers.</p> <p><strong>Midgely:</strong> Space is another important consideration. For example, a <strong>Life Time Fitness</strong> with integrated wellness and lifestyle facilities could take 80,000 to 100,000 square feet, but we will do only 40,000 square feet as a maximum. Additionally, for malls that are trying to revitalize themselves, you want to add a bit of a ‘cool factor’ — something that someone else doesn’t have. We’ve done a complete redesign with materials to provide a more <strong>cutting-edge, upscale feel</strong> for our locations.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: Can experiential retail like a gym combat the e-Commerce wave that has been shrinking mall traffic?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Midgely:</strong> People have to integrate some kind of activity into their lifestyle, particularly as they get older. In terms of malls fighting e-Commerce, we’re seeing retailers like <strong>Macy’s, Kohl’s</strong> and <strong>Best Buy</strong> starting to have some positive momentum again. They’re adjusting to the new realities of retail. I don’t think we’re near the end of brick-and-mortar retail by any means, but we’re well into its transformation. I personally love the convenience of shopping online, but I like going out if the experience is interesting. I think <strong>in the next 10 years you’ll see more interesting and engaging mall spaces</strong> that will successfully hit the nail on the head.</p></div> Amid 300% Revenue Growth, KeyMe Kiosks Drive Traffic To Albertsons, Kroger Stores 2018-06-12T08:00:00-04:00 2018-06-12T08:00:00-04:00 https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/retail-success-stories/amid-300-revenue-growth-keyme-kiosks-drive-traffic-to-albertsons-kroger-stores Glenn Taylor feed@retailtouchpoints.com <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/38d486775c5b87ef5c91b504b1caad21_XL.jpg" alt="Amid 300% Revenue Growth, KeyMe Kiosks Drive Traffic To Albertsons, Kroger Stores" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p><em>In photo: Greg Marsh, CEO of KeyMe</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://www.key.me/" target="_blank">KeyMe</a>, a startup that is placing self-serve key duplication kiosks within retail stores, is seeking to make life easier for consumers who need a new key immediately. Also, by placing the kiosks in more than 2,000 retail locations including <b>Albertsons/Rite Aid</b>, <b>Bed</b> <b>Bath &amp; Beyond</b>, <b>Kroger</b>, <b>Mall of America</b>, <b>Sears/Kmart </b>and <b>7-Eleven</b>, the brand is helping drive more foot traffic into brick-and-mortar stores.</p> <p>“Our existing retailers are currently requesting more than 10,000 kiosks,” said KeyMe CEO Greg Marsh in an interview with <i>Retail TouchPoints</i>. “The reasons they’re requesting such a high number is primarily because we’re driving traffic physically into these stores in a really compelling way. For every single kiosk that we launch, within 48 hours, our marketing team is getting that specific location listed on Google Maps as the best place locally to copy a key. Through SEO we typically rank No. 1 for that listing. When someone types ‘copy keys’ into Google, our listing is coming up first.”</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>KeyMe grew its revenue by more than <b>300%</b> in 2017, and with the expansion, is on track to more than triple it again in 2018. Marsh is confident that the expansion will continue with its other retail partners. For example, the company recently signed an exclusive contract with Albertsons Cos., and is expanding the presence in its grocery stores from <b>358</b> kiosks in May to <b>500</b> by late July 2018.</p> <p>At KeyMe kiosks, shoppers can scan, store and create duplicates of their home, office, mailbox, high security, automotive and even RFID keys in less than 30 seconds. The company’s iOS and Android mobile applications allow customers to scan and save a digital copy of their key, facilitating quicker access to their keys in the future. For example, if a customer gets locked out of their home, they can visit KeyMe at a local retail location, log into their account and print out a spare key.</p> <h2>‘New Movers’ Power KeyMe, Retail Stores</h2> <p>Marsh classified many of the shoppers that search KeyMe online as “new movers” — people who recently moved into an area, are making big shopping decisions and typically spending approximately $15,000 in the first two months of moving.</p> <p>“We’re bringing them into these brick-and-mortar retailers at a really attractive time to have that retailer convert them into a regular customer,” Marsh said. “That traffic generation is a fundamental value proposition from a retail perspective. A lot of our retailers talk about neighborhood services, or ways to become more relevant to their customer base, especially in light of the amount of competition such as Amazon and Walmart. This is a super-large offline service industry — the locksmith industry is approximately $10 billion per year in the U.S., and $50 billion globally.”</p> <h2>KeyMe Drives Growth Via Paid Media, Bi-Coastal Ad Campaign</h2> <p>Marsh credits CMO Jessica Harley for spearheading KeyMe’s data-driven approach to bringing traffic to retailers via paid media such as coupons and Google Adwords. Harley formerly served as CMO of <b>Etsy</b> and SVP of Marketing at <b>Gilt Groupe</b> and VP of Marketing at <b>FTD.com</b>.</p> <p>“Typically, there’s been a big challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers who create strong attribution between digital ad spend and those people who are physically going into a store,” Marsh said. “We’ve come up with some sophisticated, clever ways to get high-quality attribution there. As we’re spending money online, we can see which customers are going to the kiosks and then buying things, and when we show that data to retail partners, they get excited.”</p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aakeymeads" src="images/storiesv3/0aakeymeads.png" height="267" width="400" /></p> <p>KeyMe is focusing on advertising campaigns to help fuel its expansion. The first campaign test launch targeted New York City consumers; and a second launch went out to both New York City and San Francisco on June 4, 2018. The New York campaign includes several outdoor billboards across Manhattan, including Times Square, with lighthearted slogans such as&nbsp;“Copy keys at over 100 locations in NYC. No eye contact necessary.” The San Francisco campaign includes public transit station takeovers with Silicon Valley-related lines such as “Copy a key in less time than it would take to avoid an elevator pitch.”</p></div> <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/38d486775c5b87ef5c91b504b1caad21_XL.jpg" alt="Amid 300% Revenue Growth, KeyMe Kiosks Drive Traffic To Albertsons, Kroger Stores" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p><em>In photo: Greg Marsh, CEO of KeyMe</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://www.key.me/" target="_blank">KeyMe</a>, a startup that is placing self-serve key duplication kiosks within retail stores, is seeking to make life easier for consumers who need a new key immediately. Also, by placing the kiosks in more than 2,000 retail locations including <b>Albertsons/Rite Aid</b>, <b>Bed</b> <b>Bath &amp; Beyond</b>, <b>Kroger</b>, <b>Mall of America</b>, <b>Sears/Kmart </b>and <b>7-Eleven</b>, the brand is helping drive more foot traffic into brick-and-mortar stores.</p> <p>“Our existing retailers are currently requesting more than 10,000 kiosks,” said KeyMe CEO Greg Marsh in an interview with <i>Retail TouchPoints</i>. “The reasons they’re requesting such a high number is primarily because we’re driving traffic physically into these stores in a really compelling way. For every single kiosk that we launch, within 48 hours, our marketing team is getting that specific location listed on Google Maps as the best place locally to copy a key. Through SEO we typically rank No. 1 for that listing. When someone types ‘copy keys’ into Google, our listing is coming up first.”</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>KeyMe grew its revenue by more than <b>300%</b> in 2017, and with the expansion, is on track to more than triple it again in 2018. Marsh is confident that the expansion will continue with its other retail partners. For example, the company recently signed an exclusive contract with Albertsons Cos., and is expanding the presence in its grocery stores from <b>358</b> kiosks in May to <b>500</b> by late July 2018.</p> <p>At KeyMe kiosks, shoppers can scan, store and create duplicates of their home, office, mailbox, high security, automotive and even RFID keys in less than 30 seconds. The company’s iOS and Android mobile applications allow customers to scan and save a digital copy of their key, facilitating quicker access to their keys in the future. For example, if a customer gets locked out of their home, they can visit KeyMe at a local retail location, log into their account and print out a spare key.</p> <h2>‘New Movers’ Power KeyMe, Retail Stores</h2> <p>Marsh classified many of the shoppers that search KeyMe online as “new movers” — people who recently moved into an area, are making big shopping decisions and typically spending approximately $15,000 in the first two months of moving.</p> <p>“We’re bringing them into these brick-and-mortar retailers at a really attractive time to have that retailer convert them into a regular customer,” Marsh said. “That traffic generation is a fundamental value proposition from a retail perspective. A lot of our retailers talk about neighborhood services, or ways to become more relevant to their customer base, especially in light of the amount of competition such as Amazon and Walmart. This is a super-large offline service industry — the locksmith industry is approximately $10 billion per year in the U.S., and $50 billion globally.”</p> <h2>KeyMe Drives Growth Via Paid Media, Bi-Coastal Ad Campaign</h2> <p>Marsh credits CMO Jessica Harley for spearheading KeyMe’s data-driven approach to bringing traffic to retailers via paid media such as coupons and Google Adwords. Harley formerly served as CMO of <b>Etsy</b> and SVP of Marketing at <b>Gilt Groupe</b> and VP of Marketing at <b>FTD.com</b>.</p> <p>“Typically, there’s been a big challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers who create strong attribution between digital ad spend and those people who are physically going into a store,” Marsh said. “We’ve come up with some sophisticated, clever ways to get high-quality attribution there. As we’re spending money online, we can see which customers are going to the kiosks and then buying things, and when we show that data to retail partners, they get excited.”</p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aakeymeads" src="images/storiesv3/0aakeymeads.png" height="267" width="400" /></p> <p>KeyMe is focusing on advertising campaigns to help fuel its expansion. The first campaign test launch targeted New York City consumers; and a second launch went out to both New York City and San Francisco on June 4, 2018. The New York campaign includes several outdoor billboards across Manhattan, including Times Square, with lighthearted slogans such as&nbsp;“Copy keys at over 100 locations in NYC. No eye contact necessary.” The San Francisco campaign includes public transit station takeovers with Silicon Valley-related lines such as “Copy a key in less time than it would take to avoid an elevator pitch.”</p></div> Exclusive Q&A: ‘Experience Is The Way Forward In Retail Stores’ 2018-06-06T08:00:00-04:00 2018-06-06T08:00:00-04:00 https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/trend-watch/exclusive-q-a-experience-is-the-way-forward-in-retail-stores Adam Blair feed@retailtouchpoints.com <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/bb1042a4c32fe9b827bb754a41b4afaf_XL.jpg" alt="Exclusive Q&A: ‘Experience Is The Way Forward In Retail Stores’" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>You won’t find two more passionate advocates for <strong>experiential retail</strong> than Laura Davis-Taylor and Ed King, the co-founders of <a href="https://highstreetx.com/" target="_blank">The HighStreet Collective</a>. “Experience is the way forward in retail stores, and that’s no longer a theory — it’s absolutely mandatory,” said Davis-Taylor, the Collective’s Principal Consultant for Retail Experience Strategy. “My hope is that it doesn’t become a cliché term rather than an active strategy for retailers.”</p> <p>Davis-Taylor and King, who is Principal Consultant for Retail Customer Experience at HighStreet Collective, discussed just how crucial experience is to the future of stores in an interview with <em>Retail TouchPoints</em>. This was also a key theme of the <a href="https://www.digitalsignageexpo.net/2018/Public/SessionDetails.aspx?FromPage=Sessions.aspx&amp;SessionID=428&amp;SessionDateID=14" target="_blank">Digital Experience Forum</a> they co-hosted in conjunction with the Digital Signage Expo in March, and their presentation at the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwMf6gPQl_s&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">2018 Retail Innovation Conference</a>.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}Some key takeaways include:</p> <ul> <li>To do experiential retail right, weave stores into your <strong>attribution models</strong>;</li> <li>Focus on creating <strong>positive emotions</strong> when designing an experience strategy;</li> <li>Supplier strategy is now about <strong>pitching to the Chief Marketing Officer</strong> (CMO) rather than the CIO;</li> <li>Target the ACES — the <strong>Addictively Connected Experience Seekers</strong>; and</li> <li><strong>Try something, measure it</strong>, see if it moves the needle in 30, 60 or 90 days.</li> </ul> <p><em><strong>Retail TouchPoints (RTP): People have been talking about experiential retail for a while. What’s different now, and how can retailers make sure it’s not just another buzzword?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Laura Davis-Taylor:</strong> One thing that’s different now is the critical nature of measurement. We’re not talking about doing experience for experience’s sake. Now you can prove that what you’re trying to do experientially will have a positive revenue effect.</p> <p>Of course, to do this right, you need to properly weave stores into your attribution models. When that happens, retailers can finally ‘open the kimono’ about the value that the store provides — how it connects the dots from generating traffic to driving customers to the registers. It needs to be threaded into the omnichannel world so that the experience for customers is totally channel-less.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: Why is creating an experience strategy so critical now?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Davis-Taylor:&nbsp;</strong> One of our speakers at the Digital Experience Forum, Phillip Raub of <strong><a href="https://b8ta.com/" target="_blank">b8ta</a></strong>, noted that we are all so digitally enabled now that the Internet is like air — we just expect it to be there. In order for retailers to start taking advantage of this digital enablement, they need to quit strategizing, measuring and giving credit in the traditional silos of store, online and mobile. That’s not an experience design; that’s a channel strategy.</p> <p>Another thing is that the means of commerce are changing. There’s certainly still a role for the store, but retailers need to realize that in some areas, we’re not playing with the same weapons. We’re not even on the same battlefield! If <strong>Amazon</strong> is changing its prices 2.5 million times per day, there’s no way you can match that.</p> <p><strong>Ed King:</strong> Some of it is the reality of GAFA, which stands for <strong>Google/Apple/Facebook/Amazon</strong>. All these tech companies are creeping into our space. To combat that, you need to be you, and you need to focus on the customer, not the competition.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What are some of the major elements of an experience strategy in retail?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>King:</strong> A big piece of it is optimizing positive emotions at every potential touch point. When we can measure emotions, that goes a long way toward understanding the “why” of what’s happening in a store. We can now see whether an experience lit someone up emotionally.</p> <p><strong>Davis-Taylor:</strong> If you’re talking about an experience strategy, you can’t do it without creating positive emotions.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What are some of the ways this emphasis on experience and emotion are affecting retail?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>King:</strong> For one thing, the supplier strategy for those targeting retailers should now be about&nbsp;<strong>pitching to the Chief Marketing Officer</strong>&nbsp;(CMO) rather than the CIO. At the Digital Experience Forum, the integrators and technicians in the audience had been used to selling hardware and software to a CIO. Now they need to reframe the conversation to be more focused on what the CMO wants, because that’s where the budgets are coming from. There wasn’t a specific day that the shift from CIO to CMO happened, but there was a tipping point. We went from working toward a <strong>technology purpose</strong> to a <strong>marketing-experiential outcome-ROI purpose</strong>. Now solution providers need to talk the language of ROI, measurement, engagement and target market analysis. These emotional triggers, or <strong>goosebumps per square foot</strong>, are the new language.</p> <p>In terms of the consumer, it’s about attracting the ACES — the <strong>Addictively Connected Experience Seekers</strong>. The digital native generations like Millennials and Gen Z have the idea that they can, with technology, get anything they want at any time they want. Yet they still seek experiences. One survey found that when given a choice between shopping online and in a brick-and-mortar store, <strong>70%</strong> of Millennials chose the store, and <strong>77%</strong> of Gen Z respondents did.</p> <p>These generations have touched glass for their whole life, so they are craving these tactile, physical things. They love the convenience that technology allows, so stores need to give that to them in spades — but pair it with sensory physical experiences.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What are some best practices for retailers seeking to innovate along these lines?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>King:</strong> Retailers need to realize that nobody is doing any of this perfectly. Everyone is still trying to find their way. Retailers can’t afford to wait to see who the “guiding light” is and copy them. I believe everyone will need to create their own test-and-learn strategy. Try something, measure it, see if it moves the needle in 30, 60 or 90 days. If it does, take it to 10 stores, and if it continues to work, take it to 100 stores. See what works and what your customers really like.</p> <p><strong>Davis-Taylor:</strong> You also need a leader who will not only preach about innovation but will incentivize toward it. You need an empowered leader, a vision of what you’re trying to do, and the tools in place to learn what’s working and to tweak what’s not. The point is that there’s no failure, there’s only learning. There’s nothing wrong with failing if you’re failing forward.</p></div> <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/bb1042a4c32fe9b827bb754a41b4afaf_XL.jpg" alt="Exclusive Q&A: ‘Experience Is The Way Forward In Retail Stores’" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>You won’t find two more passionate advocates for <strong>experiential retail</strong> than Laura Davis-Taylor and Ed King, the co-founders of <a href="https://highstreetx.com/" target="_blank">The HighStreet Collective</a>. “Experience is the way forward in retail stores, and that’s no longer a theory — it’s absolutely mandatory,” said Davis-Taylor, the Collective’s Principal Consultant for Retail Experience Strategy. “My hope is that it doesn’t become a cliché term rather than an active strategy for retailers.”</p> <p>Davis-Taylor and King, who is Principal Consultant for Retail Customer Experience at HighStreet Collective, discussed just how crucial experience is to the future of stores in an interview with <em>Retail TouchPoints</em>. This was also a key theme of the <a href="https://www.digitalsignageexpo.net/2018/Public/SessionDetails.aspx?FromPage=Sessions.aspx&amp;SessionID=428&amp;SessionDateID=14" target="_blank">Digital Experience Forum</a> they co-hosted in conjunction with the Digital Signage Expo in March, and their presentation at the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwMf6gPQl_s&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">2018 Retail Innovation Conference</a>.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}Some key takeaways include:</p> <ul> <li>To do experiential retail right, weave stores into your <strong>attribution models</strong>;</li> <li>Focus on creating <strong>positive emotions</strong> when designing an experience strategy;</li> <li>Supplier strategy is now about <strong>pitching to the Chief Marketing Officer</strong> (CMO) rather than the CIO;</li> <li>Target the ACES — the <strong>Addictively Connected Experience Seekers</strong>; and</li> <li><strong>Try something, measure it</strong>, see if it moves the needle in 30, 60 or 90 days.</li> </ul> <p><em><strong>Retail TouchPoints (RTP): People have been talking about experiential retail for a while. What’s different now, and how can retailers make sure it’s not just another buzzword?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Laura Davis-Taylor:</strong> One thing that’s different now is the critical nature of measurement. We’re not talking about doing experience for experience’s sake. Now you can prove that what you’re trying to do experientially will have a positive revenue effect.</p> <p>Of course, to do this right, you need to properly weave stores into your attribution models. When that happens, retailers can finally ‘open the kimono’ about the value that the store provides — how it connects the dots from generating traffic to driving customers to the registers. It needs to be threaded into the omnichannel world so that the experience for customers is totally channel-less.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: Why is creating an experience strategy so critical now?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Davis-Taylor:&nbsp;</strong> One of our speakers at the Digital Experience Forum, Phillip Raub of <strong><a href="https://b8ta.com/" target="_blank">b8ta</a></strong>, noted that we are all so digitally enabled now that the Internet is like air — we just expect it to be there. In order for retailers to start taking advantage of this digital enablement, they need to quit strategizing, measuring and giving credit in the traditional silos of store, online and mobile. That’s not an experience design; that’s a channel strategy.</p> <p>Another thing is that the means of commerce are changing. There’s certainly still a role for the store, but retailers need to realize that in some areas, we’re not playing with the same weapons. We’re not even on the same battlefield! If <strong>Amazon</strong> is changing its prices 2.5 million times per day, there’s no way you can match that.</p> <p><strong>Ed King:</strong> Some of it is the reality of GAFA, which stands for <strong>Google/Apple/Facebook/Amazon</strong>. All these tech companies are creeping into our space. To combat that, you need to be you, and you need to focus on the customer, not the competition.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What are some of the major elements of an experience strategy in retail?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>King:</strong> A big piece of it is optimizing positive emotions at every potential touch point. When we can measure emotions, that goes a long way toward understanding the “why” of what’s happening in a store. We can now see whether an experience lit someone up emotionally.</p> <p><strong>Davis-Taylor:</strong> If you’re talking about an experience strategy, you can’t do it without creating positive emotions.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What are some of the ways this emphasis on experience and emotion are affecting retail?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>King:</strong> For one thing, the supplier strategy for those targeting retailers should now be about&nbsp;<strong>pitching to the Chief Marketing Officer</strong>&nbsp;(CMO) rather than the CIO. At the Digital Experience Forum, the integrators and technicians in the audience had been used to selling hardware and software to a CIO. Now they need to reframe the conversation to be more focused on what the CMO wants, because that’s where the budgets are coming from. There wasn’t a specific day that the shift from CIO to CMO happened, but there was a tipping point. We went from working toward a <strong>technology purpose</strong> to a <strong>marketing-experiential outcome-ROI purpose</strong>. Now solution providers need to talk the language of ROI, measurement, engagement and target market analysis. These emotional triggers, or <strong>goosebumps per square foot</strong>, are the new language.</p> <p>In terms of the consumer, it’s about attracting the ACES — the <strong>Addictively Connected Experience Seekers</strong>. The digital native generations like Millennials and Gen Z have the idea that they can, with technology, get anything they want at any time they want. Yet they still seek experiences. One survey found that when given a choice between shopping online and in a brick-and-mortar store, <strong>70%</strong> of Millennials chose the store, and <strong>77%</strong> of Gen Z respondents did.</p> <p>These generations have touched glass for their whole life, so they are craving these tactile, physical things. They love the convenience that technology allows, so stores need to give that to them in spades — but pair it with sensory physical experiences.</p> <p><em><strong>RTP: What are some best practices for retailers seeking to innovate along these lines?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>King:</strong> Retailers need to realize that nobody is doing any of this perfectly. Everyone is still trying to find their way. Retailers can’t afford to wait to see who the “guiding light” is and copy them. I believe everyone will need to create their own test-and-learn strategy. Try something, measure it, see if it moves the needle in 30, 60 or 90 days. If it does, take it to 10 stores, and if it continues to work, take it to 100 stores. See what works and what your customers really like.</p> <p><strong>Davis-Taylor:</strong> You also need a leader who will not only preach about innovation but will incentivize toward it. You need an empowered leader, a vision of what you’re trying to do, and the tools in place to learn what’s working and to tweak what’s not. The point is that there’s no failure, there’s only learning. There’s nothing wrong with failing if you’re failing forward.</p></div> Lowe’s CFO Croom To Retire Amid Management Overhaul 2018-06-04T17:39:04-04:00 2018-06-04T17:39:04-04:00 https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/retail-movers-and-shakers/lowe-s-cfo-croom-to-retire-amid-management-overhaul Klaudia Tirico feed@retailtouchpoints.com <div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p><img style="margin: 8px; float: right;" alt="1croom" src="images/storiesv3/1croom.png" height="194" width="200" />Marshall A. Croom, CFO of <strong>Lowe’s</strong>, will retire in October 2018 after serving 21 years with the home improvement company. This news follows the retirement of CEO Robert Niblock, <a href="features/retail-movers-and-shakers/jcpenney-ceo-marvin-ellison-leaving-to-head-lowe-s" target="_blank">who will be replaced by <strong>JCPenney</strong> CEO Marvin Ellison</a>.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>Facing steep competition from <strong>The Home Depot</strong>, Lowe’s has appointed new board members following talks with activist investor D.E. Shaw &amp; Co. Lowe’s said it has an executive search firm searching for an external candidate to replace Croom.</p> <p>Croom will continue in his role until his successor is appointed, and then will remain with the company during a transition period until his retirement date.</p> <p>"On behalf of the entire Board and management team, I thank Marshall for his dedication and valuable contributions during his more than two-decade career at Lowe's," said Niblock in statement. "Lowe's has a strong finance team, and Marshall has played a significant role in helping drive financial and operational improvements as we work to enhance our position as the omnichannel project authority. I am deeply appreciative that Marshall will remain with Lowe's to help facilitate a smooth leadership transition and wish him all the best in his retirement."</p></div> <div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p><img style="margin: 8px; float: right;" alt="1croom" src="images/storiesv3/1croom.png" height="194" width="200" />Marshall A. Croom, CFO of <strong>Lowe’s</strong>, will retire in October 2018 after serving 21 years with the home improvement company. This news follows the retirement of CEO Robert Niblock, <a href="features/retail-movers-and-shakers/jcpenney-ceo-marvin-ellison-leaving-to-head-lowe-s" target="_blank">who will be replaced by <strong>JCPenney</strong> CEO Marvin Ellison</a>.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>Facing steep competition from <strong>The Home Depot</strong>, Lowe’s has appointed new board members following talks with activist investor D.E. Shaw &amp; Co. Lowe’s said it has an executive search firm searching for an external candidate to replace Croom.</p> <p>Croom will continue in his role until his successor is appointed, and then will remain with the company during a transition period until his retirement date.</p> <p>"On behalf of the entire Board and management team, I thank Marshall for his dedication and valuable contributions during his more than two-decade career at Lowe's," said Niblock in statement. "Lowe's has a strong finance team, and Marshall has played a significant role in helping drive financial and operational improvements as we work to enhance our position as the omnichannel project authority. I am deeply appreciative that Marshall will remain with Lowe's to help facilitate a smooth leadership transition and wish him all the best in his retirement."</p></div> Neighborhood Goods Secures $5.75 Million Funding, Will Open First Store 2018-06-04T17:14:14-04:00 2018-06-04T17:14:14-04:00 https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/financial-news/neighborhood-goods-secures-5-75-million-funding-will-open-first-store Klaudia Tirico feed@retailtouchpoints.com <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/a436dbe68b69b1ec8116dc0a6230423a_XL.jpg" alt="Neighborhood Goods Secures $5.75 Million Funding, Will Open First Store" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p><strong>Neighborhood Goods</strong>, a startup that seeks to redesign the traditional department store experience, has raised a seed round of $5.75 million led by Forerunner Ventures. The funds will be used to help the company open brick-and-mortar stores.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>The company plans to open its first location, a 13,000-square-foot store in Plano, Texas this fall. The store would house 15 brands on a revolving basis. The layout is designed to allow participating brands to create their own “activations” that highlight the product and company aesthetic. It will also have a restaurant and bar, and communal spaces that could be used for things like speaking events or art installations.</p> <p>{loadposition GIAA}“At Neighborhood Goods, we’re creating something more social and communal around an ever-changing landscape of products,” said CEO Matt Alexander, in a statement. “Neighborhood Goods ostensibly takes the polish and approachability of the typical department store, but combines it with the dynamism and community of a pop-up store or pop-up marketplace.”</p> <p>Alexander also noted that technology will play a big role in the experience — the company unveiled an iOS app designed to allow customers to learn more about the brands, text Neighborhood Goods staff and make purchases.</p> <p>Other investors in this round include Maveron, CAA Ventures, Global Founders Capital, NextGen Venture Partners and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. Individual investors such as Michael Dubin, Co-Founder of Dollar Shave Club, also participated in the round.</p></div> <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/a436dbe68b69b1ec8116dc0a6230423a_XL.jpg" alt="Neighborhood Goods Secures $5.75 Million Funding, Will Open First Store" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p><strong>Neighborhood Goods</strong>, a startup that seeks to redesign the traditional department store experience, has raised a seed round of $5.75 million led by Forerunner Ventures. The funds will be used to help the company open brick-and-mortar stores.</p> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>The company plans to open its first location, a 13,000-square-foot store in Plano, Texas this fall. The store would house 15 brands on a revolving basis. The layout is designed to allow participating brands to create their own “activations” that highlight the product and company aesthetic. It will also have a restaurant and bar, and communal spaces that could be used for things like speaking events or art installations.</p> <p>{loadposition GIAA}“At Neighborhood Goods, we’re creating something more social and communal around an ever-changing landscape of products,” said CEO Matt Alexander, in a statement. “Neighborhood Goods ostensibly takes the polish and approachability of the typical department store, but combines it with the dynamism and community of a pop-up store or pop-up marketplace.”</p> <p>Alexander also noted that technology will play a big role in the experience — the company unveiled an iOS app designed to allow customers to learn more about the brands, text Neighborhood Goods staff and make purchases.</p> <p>Other investors in this round include Maveron, CAA Ventures, Global Founders Capital, NextGen Venture Partners and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. Individual investors such as Michael Dubin, Co-Founder of Dollar Shave Club, also participated in the round.</p></div> Despite Anchor Store Closures, Malls Can Secure Success With Dining, Experiences, Entertainment 2018-05-31T11:31:16-04:00 2018-05-31T11:31:16-04:00 https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/trend-watch/despite-anchor-store-closures-malls-can-secure-success-with-dining-experiences-entertainment Glenn Taylor feed@retailtouchpoints.com <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/1116ae61bca3545cb31d04ac14c4ebaa_XL.jpg" alt="Despite Anchor Store Closures, Malls Can Secure Success With Dining, Experiences, Entertainment" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>As many as <strong>30%</strong> of malls will need to close due to the oversaturation of shopping centers in the U.S., estimates <a href="https://www.fungglobalretailtech.com/research/deep-dive-mall-not-dead-part-1-2/" target="_blank">Coresight Research</a>. But the need to reduce significant square footage isn’t all bad news. While <a href="https://www.fungglobalretailtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/The-Mall-Is-Not-Dead-3-May-17-2018.pdf" target="_blank">more than 1,100 department stores are set to close</a> between 2018 and 2023, mall operators can secure future success by:</p> <ul> <li>Focusing on potential “anchor” replacements, but not in the form of large format stores;</li> <li>Prioritizing high-end dining and experiences to cater to future generations of shoppers; and</li> <li>Embracing the concepts of “destination centers” and “retaildential” complexes.</li> </ul> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}While it’s true that many malls are suffering and may close, others are finding new ways to attract more shoppers. Malls range in grades, from A++ to D. High-performing Class A malls constitute only <strong>20%</strong> of the market, yet represent <strong>72%</strong> of total mall sales, according to data from <a href="https://www.ten-x.com/company/blog/for-elite-class-a-malls-its-good-to-be-king/" target="_blank">Green Street Advisors</a>. These “A” malls have experienced double-digit sales growth since 2012, Coresight reported.</p> <p>Within “A” malls, occupancies remain in the high <strong>90%</strong> range, said Michael Brown, a partner in the retail practice of A.T. Kearney, and author of the report&nbsp;<em><a href="https://www.atkearney.com/retail/future-of-shopping-centers" target="_blank">The Future of Shopping Centers</a></em>. For the most part, those malls will be safe from the expected <strong>30%</strong> of malls anticipated to close. But with so many department store closures on the horizon, there will still be spaces opening up, even at some of the top-performing malls.</p> <p>“We believe closures will be on such a scale as to suggest that many malls will see an average of one anchor-store closure by 2023,” said Deborah Weinswig, Founder and CEO of Coresight Research in an interview with <em>Retail TouchPoints</em>. “However, that average assumes that store closings will be evenly distributed, which we do not expect them to be. Bankruptcies such as <strong>Bon-Ton’s</strong> will impact all types of locations indiscriminately, but surviving department stores will implement closure programs selectively. Those programs are likely to have a bigger impact on lower-traffic regional malls with lower sales densities than on premium malls — although retailers may opt to reduce the size of their expensive flagships, too.”</p> <h2>Letting Go Of The Outdated ’Anchor’ Concept</h2> <p>Mall operators have plenty of options to replace anchor department stores and apparel retailers, adding space for <strong>events</strong> and <strong>pop-up stores</strong>,<strong> grocery stores</strong>, <strong>smaller format stores</strong> and even <strong>coworking spaces</strong>. These locations can be much smaller than the large anchors that occupied the spaces for decades.</p> <p>“Most of the retailers we see that are anchors — and I literally mean anchors — they’re not driving traffic and they’re holding down the mall,” said Ken Morris, Principal at Boston Retail Partners. “They didn’t pivot to online sales right away and were late to the game. Those are the people that are anchoring a lot of the failing malls, especially in the C and D class malls.”</p> <p>Morris highlighted the <strong>Apple</strong> store as a retail environment that modern retailers should strive to copy in some ways, particularly if they desire attention from mall operators.</p> <p>“There’s something for everyone [at the Apple store], regardless of if you’re six or seven years old, or 70 years old,” Morris said. “It’s an event. It’s theater, and the reality is that’s going to draw people all of the time.”</p> <h2>As Millennial Buying Power Matures, Mall Operators Must Prioritize Dining, Experiences</h2> <p>With Millennial buying power expected to reach a $5 trillion maturity level by 2023, as estimated by Coresight, malls must find ways to accommodate these consumers with more than just Apple stores. Millennials consume most of their meals in restaurants, at <a href="https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/86401/eib-186.pdf?v=43097" target="_blank">approximately <strong>30%</strong> more than any other generation</a>. To attract this group, malls are expected to add <strong>15%</strong> to <strong>20%</strong> more dining space within malls, according to A.T. Kearney.</p> <p>“We’re seeing high-end food courts bringing in unique and localized vendors as opposed to national chains,” Brown said in an interview with <em>Retail TouchPoints</em>. “We’re also seeing full-service restaurants, steakhouses, dine-in movie theaters. There’s a lot of transition beyond the food court to true places where you can go spend the evening with your family.”</p> <p>Weinswig highlighted three major implications of the Millennial consumer’s matured buying power. Millennials will:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Fuel cyclical demand for value retailers</strong>, as younger consumers tend to have high expectations but skinny wallets. These shoppers often are weighed down in student debt and have less job security;</li> <li><strong>Support online retailers’ moves into brick-and-mortar formats</strong>, leading e-Commerce brands to perhaps take their presence to malls. “The resonance that brands such as&nbsp;<strong>Indochino&nbsp;</strong>menswear,&nbsp;<strong>Allbirds&nbsp;</strong>footwear,&nbsp;<strong>Fabletics&nbsp;</strong>athleisurewear and&nbsp;<strong>Glossier&nbsp;</strong>beauty products appear to enjoy with Millennials is likely to support demand for the physical stores these brands are opening,” said Weinswig; and</li> <li>Continue to&nbsp;<strong>prioritize quality experiences over product ownership</strong>, underpinning the shift from retail to services in mall spaces. Millennials and Gen Zers will drive the shift in spending from discretionary goods to discretionary services.</li> </ul> <h2>Simon, Westfield, Arcade Providence Give Preview Of Destination Centers, ‘Retaildential’ Complexes</h2> <p>As more square footage in malls opens up, some operators are re-imagining their spaces to become entertainment destinations, or in some cases, “retaildential,” which translates to residential offerings within the mall.</p> <p>“The best-invested shopping centers are already becoming destinations for entertainment, satisfying Millennials’ appetite for experiences while also catering to demand for family entertainment,” Weinswig said. “Centers are bringing in aquariums, bowling alleys, movie theaters, virtual reality experiences, gaming formats, indoor skydiving and children’s entertainment formats such as Kidzania, Legoland and Crayola Experience.”</p> <p>To transform various properties and assure that they stay relevant with these changes, <strong>Simon Property Group</strong> is investing $4 billion in order to create value and drive footfall at its properties. In suburban Denver, Simon is building an experience center in the form of the 328,000-square-foot Denver Premium Outlets, designed to attract visitors who prefer the outdoor lifestyle. The space will feature amenities such as an outdoor village and views of the Rocky Mountains.</p> <p>For another project, Simon is developing a residential area, hotel and office tower at the King of Prussia Mall near Philadelphia.</p> <p>Other mall operators are leveraging the “retaildential” model that Simon is following. For example, <strong>Westfield Corp.</strong> is seeking approval to level the Promenade mall built in 1973 and start anew. In late 2016, Westfield unveiled&nbsp;plans to build residences, offices, two hotels and a concert venue, along with a string of boutiques and restaurants. A web site pitching the proposal depicts tree-lined avenues, a central park and courtyards.</p> <p>The $1.5-billion project, if approved, will connect to Westfield's two adjacent properties — the indoor Topanga mall and the Village, a $350 million outdoor shopping center that opened two years ago.</p> <p><strong>PREIT</strong>, which operates a smaller portfolio of malls primarily in the Northeastern U.S., revealed at the <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/preit-highlights-opportunity-to-add-5-000--7-000-residential-units-and-1-500--3-000-hotel-rooms-to-its-portfolio-of-well-located-assets-300651066.html" target="_blank">2018 ICSC RECon convention earlier this month</a> that it would be looking to add as many as 7,000 residential units and 3,000 hotel units across a dozen mall properties in the coming years.</p> <p>Even the oldest indoor shopping mall in the U.S., located in Providence, R.I., completed renovations of its own in 2014 to fit into the “retaildential” model. The Arcade Providence, known as Westminster Arcade when it opened in 1828, was renovated into 48 “micro-apartments” and an assortment of businesses after the shopping center closed in 2008. Northeast Collaborative Architects gave the complex a second wind, converting the top two floors into apartments and the bottom floor into commercial space for retailers.</p> <h2>Under Construction: American Dream Malls Set To Be The Mega-Malls Of The Future</h2> <p>While mall operators may consider the “retaildential” idea as a way to draw consumers, others are thinking even bigger. Canadian real estate developer Triple Five Group is building two mega-malls known as “American Dream” complexes in Northern New Jersey and Miami. The New Jersey complex, called American Dream Meadowlands, is on target for a March 2019 opening, while the Miami-Dade County Council recently approved the $4 billion Miami venue for construction.</p> <p>“That particular New Jersey property is going to offer a Nickelodeon experience, it’s got an indoor ski slope and potentially an ice skating rink,” Brown said. “These are the big bold centers where people will travel multiple hours to spend the day there. We think they play a very important role in the consumer engagement landscape going forward. Not every space can be one of those, but the learnings that have to be brought back from these facilities are ‘What are the unique experiences that I can bring to my property that would draw traffic to it and allow all of my tenants to feed off that property?’”</p></div> <div class="K2FeedImage"><img src="https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/media/k2/items/cache/1116ae61bca3545cb31d04ac14c4ebaa_XL.jpg" alt="Despite Anchor Store Closures, Malls Can Secure Success With Dining, Experiences, Entertainment" /></div><div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>As many as <strong>30%</strong> of malls will need to close due to the oversaturation of shopping centers in the U.S., estimates <a href="https://www.fungglobalretailtech.com/research/deep-dive-mall-not-dead-part-1-2/" target="_blank">Coresight Research</a>. But the need to reduce significant square footage isn’t all bad news. While <a href="https://www.fungglobalretailtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/The-Mall-Is-Not-Dead-3-May-17-2018.pdf" target="_blank">more than 1,100 department stores are set to close</a> between 2018 and 2023, mall operators can secure future success by:</p> <ul> <li>Focusing on potential “anchor” replacements, but not in the form of large format stores;</li> <li>Prioritizing high-end dining and experiences to cater to future generations of shoppers; and</li> <li>Embracing the concepts of “destination centers” and “retaildential” complexes.</li> </ul> </div><div class="K2FeedFullText"> <p>{loadposition GIAA}While it’s true that many malls are suffering and may close, others are finding new ways to attract more shoppers. Malls range in grades, from A++ to D. High-performing Class A malls constitute only <strong>20%</strong> of the market, yet represent <strong>72%</strong> of total mall sales, according to data from <a href="https://www.ten-x.com/company/blog/for-elite-class-a-malls-its-good-to-be-king/" target="_blank">Green Street Advisors</a>. These “A” malls have experienced double-digit sales growth since 2012, Coresight reported.</p> <p>Within “A” malls, occupancies remain in the high <strong>90%</strong> range, said Michael Brown, a partner in the retail practice of A.T. Kearney, and author of the report&nbsp;<em><a href="https://www.atkearney.com/retail/future-of-shopping-centers" target="_blank">The Future of Shopping Centers</a></em>. For the most part, those malls will be safe from the expected <strong>30%</strong> of malls anticipated to close. But with so many department store closures on the horizon, there will still be spaces opening up, even at some of the top-performing malls.</p> <p>“We believe closures will be on such a scale as to suggest that many malls will see an average of one anchor-store closure by 2023,” said Deborah Weinswig, Founder and CEO of Coresight Research in an interview with <em>Retail TouchPoints</em>. “However, that average assumes that store closings will be evenly distributed, which we do not expect them to be. Bankruptcies such as <strong>Bon-Ton’s</strong> will impact all types of locations indiscriminately, but surviving department stores will implement closure programs selectively. Those programs are likely to have a bigger impact on lower-traffic regional malls with lower sales densities than on premium malls — although retailers may opt to reduce the size of their expensive flagships, too.”</p> <h2>Letting Go Of The Outdated ’Anchor’ Concept</h2> <p>Mall operators have plenty of options to replace anchor department stores and apparel retailers, adding space for <strong>events</strong> and <strong>pop-up stores</strong>,<strong> grocery stores</strong>, <strong>smaller format stores</strong> and even <strong>coworking spaces</strong>. These locations can be much smaller than the large anchors that occupied the spaces for decades.</p> <p>“Most of the retailers we see that are anchors — and I literally mean anchors — they’re not driving traffic and they’re holding down the mall,” said Ken Morris, Principal at Boston Retail Partners. “They didn’t pivot to online sales right away and were late to the game. Those are the people that are anchoring a lot of the failing malls, especially in the C and D class malls.”</p> <p>Morris highlighted the <strong>Apple</strong> store as a retail environment that modern retailers should strive to copy in some ways, particularly if they desire attention from mall operators.</p> <p>“There’s something for everyone [at the Apple store], regardless of if you’re six or seven years old, or 70 years old,” Morris said. “It’s an event. It’s theater, and the reality is that’s going to draw people all of the time.”</p> <h2>As Millennial Buying Power Matures, Mall Operators Must Prioritize Dining, Experiences</h2> <p>With Millennial buying power expected to reach a $5 trillion maturity level by 2023, as estimated by Coresight, malls must find ways to accommodate these consumers with more than just Apple stores. Millennials consume most of their meals in restaurants, at <a href="https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/86401/eib-186.pdf?v=43097" target="_blank">approximately <strong>30%</strong> more than any other generation</a>. To attract this group, malls are expected to add <strong>15%</strong> to <strong>20%</strong> more dining space within malls, according to A.T. Kearney.</p> <p>“We’re seeing high-end food courts bringing in unique and localized vendors as opposed to national chains,” Brown said in an interview with <em>Retail TouchPoints</em>. “We’re also seeing full-service restaurants, steakhouses, dine-in movie theaters. There’s a lot of transition beyond the food court to true places where you can go spend the evening with your family.”</p> <p>Weinswig highlighted three major implications of the Millennial consumer’s matured buying power. Millennials will:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Fuel cyclical demand for value retailers</strong>, as younger consumers tend to have high expectations but skinny wallets. These shoppers often are weighed down in student debt and have less job security;</li> <li><strong>Support online retailers’ moves into brick-and-mortar formats</strong>, leading e-Commerce brands to perhaps take their presence to malls. “The resonance that brands such as&nbsp;<strong>Indochino&nbsp;</strong>menswear,&nbsp;<strong>Allbirds&nbsp;</strong>footwear,&nbsp;<strong>Fabletics&nbsp;</strong>athleisurewear and&nbsp;<strong>Glossier&nbsp;</strong>beauty products appear to enjoy with Millennials is likely to support demand for the physical stores these brands are opening,” said Weinswig; and</li> <li>Continue to&nbsp;<strong>prioritize quality experiences over product ownership</strong>, underpinning the shift from retail to services in mall spaces. Millennials and Gen Zers will drive the shift in spending from discretionary goods to discretionary services.</li> </ul> <h2>Simon, Westfield, Arcade Providence Give Preview Of Destination Centers, ‘Retaildential’ Complexes</h2> <p>As more square footage in malls opens up, some operators are re-imagining their spaces to become entertainment destinations, or in some cases, “retaildential,” which translates to residential offerings within the mall.</p> <p>“The best-invested shopping centers are already becoming destinations for entertainment, satisfying Millennials’ appetite for experiences while also catering to demand for family entertainment,” Weinswig said. “Centers are bringing in aquariums, bowling alleys, movie theaters, virtual reality experiences, gaming formats, indoor skydiving and children’s entertainment formats such as Kidzania, Legoland and Crayola Experience.”</p> <p>To transform various properties and assure that they stay relevant with these changes, <strong>Simon Property Group</strong> is investing $4 billion in order to create value and drive footfall at its properties. In suburban Denver, Simon is building an experience center in the form of the 328,000-square-foot Denver Premium Outlets, designed to attract visitors who prefer the outdoor lifestyle. The space will feature amenities such as an outdoor village and views of the Rocky Mountains.</p> <p>For another project, Simon is developing a residential area, hotel and office tower at the King of Prussia Mall near Philadelphia.</p> <p>Other mall operators are leveraging the “retaildential” model that Simon is following. For example, <strong>Westfield Corp.</strong> is seeking approval to level the Promenade mall built in 1973 and start anew. In late 2016, Westfield unveiled&nbsp;plans to build residences, offices, two hotels and a concert venue, along with a string of boutiques and restaurants. A web site pitching the proposal depicts tree-lined avenues, a central park and courtyards.</p> <p>The $1.5-billion project, if approved, will connect to Westfield's two adjacent properties — the indoor Topanga mall and the Village, a $350 million outdoor shopping center that opened two years ago.</p> <p><strong>PREIT</strong>, which operates a smaller portfolio of malls primarily in the Northeastern U.S., revealed at the <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/preit-highlights-opportunity-to-add-5-000--7-000-residential-units-and-1-500--3-000-hotel-rooms-to-its-portfolio-of-well-located-assets-300651066.html" target="_blank">2018 ICSC RECon convention earlier this month</a> that it would be looking to add as many as 7,000 residential units and 3,000 hotel units across a dozen mall properties in the coming years.</p> <p>Even the oldest indoor shopping mall in the U.S., located in Providence, R.I., completed renovations of its own in 2014 to fit into the “retaildential” model. The Arcade Providence, known as Westminster Arcade when it opened in 1828, was renovated into 48 “micro-apartments” and an assortment of businesses after the shopping center closed in 2008. Northeast Collaborative Architects gave the complex a second wind, converting the top two floors into apartments and the bottom floor into commercial space for retailers.</p> <h2>Under Construction: American Dream Malls Set To Be The Mega-Malls Of The Future</h2> <p>While mall operators may consider the “retaildential” idea as a way to draw consumers, others are thinking even bigger. Canadian real estate developer Triple Five Group is building two mega-malls known as “American Dream” complexes in Northern New Jersey and Miami. The New Jersey complex, called American Dream Meadowlands, is on target for a March 2019 opening, while the Miami-Dade County Council recently approved the $4 billion Miami venue for construction.</p> <p>“That particular New Jersey property is going to offer a Nickelodeon experience, it’s got an indoor ski slope and potentially an ice skating rink,” Brown said. “These are the big bold centers where people will travel multiple hours to spend the day there. We think they play a very important role in the consumer engagement landscape going forward. Not every space can be one of those, but the learnings that have to be brought back from these facilities are ‘What are the unique experiences that I can bring to my property that would draw traffic to it and allow all of my tenants to feed off that property?’”</p></div> #RIC18: Digital Strategies, Omnichannel Commerce And Operations Track Coverage 2018-05-29T09:25:47-04:00 2018-05-29T09:25:47-04:00 https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/omnichannel-cross-channel-strategies/ric18-digital-strategies-omnichannel-commerce-and-operations-track-coverage The RTP Editorial Team feed@retailtouchpoints.com <div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>The 2018 <a href="hub/ric18" target="_blank">Retail Innovation Conference</a> featured more than 20 breakout sessions, organized into six tracks:</p> <ul> <li>Digital Strategies</li> <li>Omnichannel Commerce</li> <li>Operations</li> <li>Marketing/Customer Engagement</li> <li>Retail Innovation</li> <li>Customer Experience</li> </ul> <p>These small-group sessions allowed attendees to dive deeply into hot topics and hear in-depth case studies from retail executives, as well as analysis and best practices from consultants and industry experts. Here’s a quick recap of the sessions from the <b>Digital Strategies, Omnichannel Commerce</b> and <b>Operations</b> tracks, with live links to videos for a more detailed look. Recaps of the other three tracks will be published on June 1.</p> <h2>DIGITAL STRATEGIES: Use Storytelling To Attract And Delight Today’s ‘Spoiled’ Shopper</h2> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8k4fXlGBtg" target="_blank"><b>How To Infuse Storytelling And Personalization Into Your Digital Merchandising Strategy</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC1" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC1.png" height="226" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jennifer Fisher, Sr. Director of e-Commerce Americas for <b>Crocs</b>, addressed how she and her team built a first-class digital merchandising strategy that focused on buying/planning, storytelling and personalization.</p> <p>Crocs’ challenge was stagnant and flat sales YoY. “It was coming along but it wasn’t really growing,” said Fisher, adding that the company tackled the problem through three different viewpoints: the <b>order structure</b>; a go-to-market strategy focused on <b>storytelling and personalization</b>; and the process to create a <b>cross-functional team.</b></p> <p>Key takeaways include:</p> <ul> <li>Think about the <b>stories you want to tell</b> and why they matter to your consumers.</li> <li><b>Identify your key items</b> and create a “never out of stock program.” Crocs took the top 25 items and made sure they would never go out of stock in key sizes.</li> <li>Focus on <b>collections versus items</b>, and think about who those collections are targeted to.</li> </ul> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-wlTZCC1mE&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><b>Best Practices For Building A Private Label Brand In The Digital Era</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC2" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC2.png" height="225" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kelly Sayre of IHL Group sat down with Jeff Gamsey of <b>Boxed.com</b> and Stacie Moore of <b>KIDBOX</b> to discuss the retailers' current and up-and-coming private label brands. Gamsey shared the strategies around Boxed.com’s brand Prince &amp; Spring, stating that the company’s goal was “to do private brand in the grocery world better than what has been done before.” He also noted that the importance of product design can’t be understated: “We think of the packaging as a canvas to connect with customers.”</p> <p>Moore discussed KIDBOX’s foray into private label with a not-yet-launched brand that was developed based on customer feedback. “We are able to develop products based on pieces we think are missing,” she said, highlighting that it’s important to listen to customer needs and offer products to fill in the gap.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsqudrxQH0E" target="_blank"><b>Experiential Storytelling: Extending The Brand Beyond The Store To Drive Demand</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC3" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC3.png" height="226" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Angela Gearhart, VP of Brand Experiences at <b>Sleep Number</b>, showcased how the company uses experiential storytelling to extend the brand beyond the store and drive demand — all with digital at the core. “It’s the most powerful way to engage with the customer; we can change how people think, feel and act through the power of experience,” she said. Sleep Number achieves this through proprietary sleep innovations, exclusive distribution and lifelong customer relationships.</p> <p>Key lessons learned include:</p> <p><b>Know Your Customer</b>: Know not only where your consumer likes to shop, but where they like to play and live, so you can reach them in a place where they don’t expect you to be.</p> <p><b>Test Then Scale</b>: “We didn’t just do 5,000 events a year. We did two events, 10 events, etc., and tried multiple different locations in addition to retail in a way that was easy to scale,” said Gearhart.</p> <p><b>Build, Buy or Partner</b>: “Start with partnering. Who can you partner with and use to gain their audience first? What can you buy that’s already developed?”</p> <p><b>It’s Never Perfect</b>: “Every time you think you just about got it, something will change.”</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwMf6gPQl_s&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><b>Shopper Brains, Habits, Behaviors And Expectations: How To Attract Today’s Spoiled Shopper</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC4" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC4.png" height="224" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ed King and Laura Davis-Taylor of <b>HighStreet Collective</b> and Joé Lloyd of <b>Nanolumens</b> dove into:</p> <ul> <li>Six new expectations shoppers bring with them to the store, including <b>price transparency</b> and <b>peer reviews</b>;</li> <li>Why <b>resolving friction</b> isn’t enough to keep customers coming back; and</li> <li>How <b>in-store technologies</b> such as digital displays can help bridge the gap to satisfying and delighting online-addicted shoppers.</li> </ul> <p>“This [new] generation [of shoppers] are like aliens to legacy retail,” said Davis-Taylor. “They’re highly expectant people and they know that their lives are completely enabled by digital, including shopping. We really need to think about that while we have time.”</p> <h2>OMNICHANNEL COMMERCE: Case Studies From America’s Mattress, Carhartt and AT&amp;T</h2> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br5A9Q6Mefg&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><b>How To ‘Nail &amp; Scale’ Local Retail Digital Campaigns</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC5" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC5.png" height="224" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Stephen Day, Senior Manager of Program Development for <b>Serta Simmons</b>, explained how new marketing technology enables 300+ <b>America’s Mattress</b> stores to execute personalized, streamlined digital marketing at scale. Day recommended retailers take total control of their brand by localizing their web sites, making it easy for retail partners to adopt their programs and tactics, and find a technology partner to scale digital results. America’s Mattress stores that incorporated a digital marketing strategy with Netsertive have seen an <b>11.8%</b> increase in year-to-date sales in 2018, a large boost from the <b>3.9%</b> sales differential in 2017.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7_WbhDJ0DU" target="_blank"><b>Personalize, Optimize And Merchandise To Keep Up With Customer Expectations</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC6" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC6.png" height="225" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Aaron Nilsson, Manager of Digital Experience, <b>Carhartt</b>, revealed how the 127-year-old brand has moved firmly into digital with tools such as location- and weather-based personalization and educational cross-selling. “Our core expectation is that whenever a customer gives us a bit of information, we will listen and do something with it,” said Nilsson. Even though many Carhartt customers are “creatures of habit” that buy the same product over and over, the retailer’s merchandising crew is making headway by showing products that are relevant to the individual customer, including telling them what’s selling well in their geographic area.</p> <p>Positive results have included:</p> <ul> <li>Cross-selling within shopping cart driving a <b>5%</b> lift in click-through rate (CTR);</li> <li>A <b>4.5% </b>CTR on product detail page (PDP) recommendations; and</li> <li>Positive lifts in both conversion rates and Average Order Value (AOV) with category-level recommendations.</li> </ul> <p><b>Digital Transformation: Creating Virtually Seamless Shopping Experiences</b></p> <p>The objective of digital transformation is not to add more technology, asserted Michael Colaneri, VP/Retail for <b>AT&amp;T </b>Global Business-Enterprise Solutions. Rather, it is “the fundamental improvement of the consumer’s path to purchase.” Using this approach, AT&amp;T’s 5,400 domestic stores were restaged as “tech-driven experiences in a home setting,” he explained. A “sleek, cutting-edge” store design was paired with an investment in personnel: associates were trained as technology experts who could dialog with consumers, and they were armed with mobile devices that enable them to handle an entire transaction through checkout. “The message is that AT&amp;T is integrated into the lifecycle and lifestyle of our consumer,” Colaneri said.</p> <h2>OPERATIONS: Combine The Basics With Strategic Disruption To Avoid ‘Zombification’</h2> <p><b>How To Avoid Becoming A Zombie Retailer</b></p> <p>The 550-store Canadian consumer electronics chain <b>The Source</b> used a three-pronged approach to avoid turning into a zombie retailer, according to Ron Craig, VP of Marketing and Operations:</p> <ul> <li>Changing its marketing strategy to <b>become a place for “I want that,”</b> in part with the use of more irreverent and humorous ads;</li> <li>Using a direct ship model for many categories of online sales to “significantly extend our aisle,” and creating a new <b>mobile-first platform with responsive design</b> that “scales to whatever device you’re using.”; and</li> <li>Updating store designs to make the most of a small footprint, with product <b>accessible for trial and demonstration</b>.</li> </ul> <p>The Source has averted “zombification”: Traffic is up <b>34%</b>, sales have increased <b>30%</b> and margins are up <b>22%</b>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KUoJUa88I8" target="_blank"><b>Transforming How People Pay: Commerce For Every Device</b></a><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KUoJUa88I8" target="_blank"><br /></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC7" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC7.png" height="224" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Andrew Morris, Chief Content Officer for <b>Money 20/20</b>, and Kiki Del Valle, SVP of Commerce For Every Device at <b>Mastercard</b>, discussed how the spread of transactional capabilities to the IoT-enabled smart home, wearable devices and AR/VR will provide retailers with new ways to connect with their customers.</p> <p>“People want to pay with the device that’s most convenient,” said Del Valle. “In some cases a wearable device is more convenient than using a mobile phone, for example if I don’t want to dig into a big purse to make a payment. At home, when your mobile device might not be carried on your body, that’s when voice devices come into play. We’re also working with GM for an in-vehicle commerce experience.”<b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDzmHmtam9o" target="_blank"><b>Wall Street Panel — State Of The Industry</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC8" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC8.png" height="224" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Three leading retail industry financial analysts — Charlie O’Shea, <b>Moody’s</b>; Brian Nagel, <b>Oppenheimer &amp; Co.</b>; and Simeon Hyman, <b>ProShares</b> — agreed that while brick-and-mortar retail is far from dying, legacy retailers must move online for the sake of future growth. “In Q4, online retailers generated <b>30% growth</b>, while legacy retailers generated <b>6%,</b>” said Hyman. Even though a retailer’s stock price may take a hit when they invest in online, “they must feel some short-term pain if they want to be competitive in the long run,” said O’Shea. Nagel saw a somewhat bitter silver lining in <b>Amazon</b>’s impact on the entire retail industry: “I think it’s helped to cull the herd,” he noted. “If we were overstored 20 years ago, we’re more overstored now.”</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRjVcogNRac&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><b>Disruptors Panel: Don’t Play By The Rules, Make New Ones</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC9" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC9.png" height="225" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Shivika Sinha, CEO of <b>The Veneka Group</b>; Eileen Mockus, President and CEO of <b>Coyuchi</b>; and Monique Salvador, CEO of <b>Blushup</b>, discussed their strategies for standing out from the competition in a crowded retail environment, with a focus on making sure shoppers’ voices are heard. Their recommendations included:</p> <ul> <li><b>Investing in social good:</b> Customers appreciate retailers that reflect their own values, such as Coyuchi’s eco-friendly practices;</li> <li><b>Make the shopping journey painless:</b> Getting a last-minute beauty appointment is difficult, but Blushup makes it easy; and</li> <li><b>Consider the shopper at every step:</b> Veneka Group noted that customers’ needs should be a retailer’s “North Star.”</li> </ul></div> <div class="K2FeedIntroText"><p>The 2018 <a href="hub/ric18" target="_blank">Retail Innovation Conference</a> featured more than 20 breakout sessions, organized into six tracks:</p> <ul> <li>Digital Strategies</li> <li>Omnichannel Commerce</li> <li>Operations</li> <li>Marketing/Customer Engagement</li> <li>Retail Innovation</li> <li>Customer Experience</li> </ul> <p>These small-group sessions allowed attendees to dive deeply into hot topics and hear in-depth case studies from retail executives, as well as analysis and best practices from consultants and industry experts. Here’s a quick recap of the sessions from the <b>Digital Strategies, Omnichannel Commerce</b> and <b>Operations</b> tracks, with live links to videos for a more detailed look. Recaps of the other three tracks will be published on June 1.</p> <h2>DIGITAL STRATEGIES: Use Storytelling To Attract And Delight Today’s ‘Spoiled’ Shopper</h2> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8k4fXlGBtg" target="_blank"><b>How To Infuse Storytelling And Personalization Into Your Digital Merchandising Strategy</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC1" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC1.png" height="226" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jennifer Fisher, Sr. Director of e-Commerce Americas for <b>Crocs</b>, addressed how she and her team built a first-class digital merchandising strategy that focused on buying/planning, storytelling and personalization.</p> <p>Crocs’ challenge was stagnant and flat sales YoY. “It was coming along but it wasn’t really growing,” said Fisher, adding that the company tackled the problem through three different viewpoints: the <b>order structure</b>; a go-to-market strategy focused on <b>storytelling and personalization</b>; and the process to create a <b>cross-functional team.</b></p> <p>Key takeaways include:</p> <ul> <li>Think about the <b>stories you want to tell</b> and why they matter to your consumers.</li> <li><b>Identify your key items</b> and create a “never out of stock program.” Crocs took the top 25 items and made sure they would never go out of stock in key sizes.</li> <li>Focus on <b>collections versus items</b>, and think about who those collections are targeted to.</li> </ul> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-wlTZCC1mE&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><b>Best Practices For Building A Private Label Brand In The Digital Era</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC2" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC2.png" height="225" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kelly Sayre of IHL Group sat down with Jeff Gamsey of <b>Boxed.com</b> and Stacie Moore of <b>KIDBOX</b> to discuss the retailers' current and up-and-coming private label brands. Gamsey shared the strategies around Boxed.com’s brand Prince &amp; Spring, stating that the company’s goal was “to do private brand in the grocery world better than what has been done before.” He also noted that the importance of product design can’t be understated: “We think of the packaging as a canvas to connect with customers.”</p> <p>Moore discussed KIDBOX’s foray into private label with a not-yet-launched brand that was developed based on customer feedback. “We are able to develop products based on pieces we think are missing,” she said, highlighting that it’s important to listen to customer needs and offer products to fill in the gap.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsqudrxQH0E" target="_blank"><b>Experiential Storytelling: Extending The Brand Beyond The Store To Drive Demand</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC3" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC3.png" height="226" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Angela Gearhart, VP of Brand Experiences at <b>Sleep Number</b>, showcased how the company uses experiential storytelling to extend the brand beyond the store and drive demand — all with digital at the core. “It’s the most powerful way to engage with the customer; we can change how people think, feel and act through the power of experience,” she said. Sleep Number achieves this through proprietary sleep innovations, exclusive distribution and lifelong customer relationships.</p> <p>Key lessons learned include:</p> <p><b>Know Your Customer</b>: Know not only where your consumer likes to shop, but where they like to play and live, so you can reach them in a place where they don’t expect you to be.</p> <p><b>Test Then Scale</b>: “We didn’t just do 5,000 events a year. We did two events, 10 events, etc., and tried multiple different locations in addition to retail in a way that was easy to scale,” said Gearhart.</p> <p><b>Build, Buy or Partner</b>: “Start with partnering. Who can you partner with and use to gain their audience first? What can you buy that’s already developed?”</p> <p><b>It’s Never Perfect</b>: “Every time you think you just about got it, something will change.”</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwMf6gPQl_s&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><b>Shopper Brains, Habits, Behaviors And Expectations: How To Attract Today’s Spoiled Shopper</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC4" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC4.png" height="224" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ed King and Laura Davis-Taylor of <b>HighStreet Collective</b> and Joé Lloyd of <b>Nanolumens</b> dove into:</p> <ul> <li>Six new expectations shoppers bring with them to the store, including <b>price transparency</b> and <b>peer reviews</b>;</li> <li>Why <b>resolving friction</b> isn’t enough to keep customers coming back; and</li> <li>How <b>in-store technologies</b> such as digital displays can help bridge the gap to satisfying and delighting online-addicted shoppers.</li> </ul> <p>“This [new] generation [of shoppers] are like aliens to legacy retail,” said Davis-Taylor. “They’re highly expectant people and they know that their lives are completely enabled by digital, including shopping. We really need to think about that while we have time.”</p> <h2>OMNICHANNEL COMMERCE: Case Studies From America’s Mattress, Carhartt and AT&amp;T</h2> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br5A9Q6Mefg&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><b>How To ‘Nail &amp; Scale’ Local Retail Digital Campaigns</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC5" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC5.png" height="224" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Stephen Day, Senior Manager of Program Development for <b>Serta Simmons</b>, explained how new marketing technology enables 300+ <b>America’s Mattress</b> stores to execute personalized, streamlined digital marketing at scale. Day recommended retailers take total control of their brand by localizing their web sites, making it easy for retail partners to adopt their programs and tactics, and find a technology partner to scale digital results. America’s Mattress stores that incorporated a digital marketing strategy with Netsertive have seen an <b>11.8%</b> increase in year-to-date sales in 2018, a large boost from the <b>3.9%</b> sales differential in 2017.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7_WbhDJ0DU" target="_blank"><b>Personalize, Optimize And Merchandise To Keep Up With Customer Expectations</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC6" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC6.png" height="225" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Aaron Nilsson, Manager of Digital Experience, <b>Carhartt</b>, revealed how the 127-year-old brand has moved firmly into digital with tools such as location- and weather-based personalization and educational cross-selling. “Our core expectation is that whenever a customer gives us a bit of information, we will listen and do something with it,” said Nilsson. Even though many Carhartt customers are “creatures of habit” that buy the same product over and over, the retailer’s merchandising crew is making headway by showing products that are relevant to the individual customer, including telling them what’s selling well in their geographic area.</p> <p>Positive results have included:</p> <ul> <li>Cross-selling within shopping cart driving a <b>5%</b> lift in click-through rate (CTR);</li> <li>A <b>4.5% </b>CTR on product detail page (PDP) recommendations; and</li> <li>Positive lifts in both conversion rates and Average Order Value (AOV) with category-level recommendations.</li> </ul> <p><b>Digital Transformation: Creating Virtually Seamless Shopping Experiences</b></p> <p>The objective of digital transformation is not to add more technology, asserted Michael Colaneri, VP/Retail for <b>AT&amp;T </b>Global Business-Enterprise Solutions. Rather, it is “the fundamental improvement of the consumer’s path to purchase.” Using this approach, AT&amp;T’s 5,400 domestic stores were restaged as “tech-driven experiences in a home setting,” he explained. A “sleek, cutting-edge” store design was paired with an investment in personnel: associates were trained as technology experts who could dialog with consumers, and they were armed with mobile devices that enable them to handle an entire transaction through checkout. “The message is that AT&amp;T is integrated into the lifecycle and lifestyle of our consumer,” Colaneri said.</p> <h2>OPERATIONS: Combine The Basics With Strategic Disruption To Avoid ‘Zombification’</h2> <p><b>How To Avoid Becoming A Zombie Retailer</b></p> <p>The 550-store Canadian consumer electronics chain <b>The Source</b> used a three-pronged approach to avoid turning into a zombie retailer, according to Ron Craig, VP of Marketing and Operations:</p> <ul> <li>Changing its marketing strategy to <b>become a place for “I want that,”</b> in part with the use of more irreverent and humorous ads;</li> <li>Using a direct ship model for many categories of online sales to “significantly extend our aisle,” and creating a new <b>mobile-first platform with responsive design</b> that “scales to whatever device you’re using.”; and</li> <li>Updating store designs to make the most of a small footprint, with product <b>accessible for trial and demonstration</b>.</li> </ul> <p>The Source has averted “zombification”: Traffic is up <b>34%</b>, sales have increased <b>30%</b> and margins are up <b>22%</b>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KUoJUa88I8" target="_blank"><b>Transforming How People Pay: Commerce For Every Device</b></a><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KUoJUa88I8" target="_blank"><br /></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC7" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC7.png" height="224" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Andrew Morris, Chief Content Officer for <b>Money 20/20</b>, and Kiki Del Valle, SVP of Commerce For Every Device at <b>Mastercard</b>, discussed how the spread of transactional capabilities to the IoT-enabled smart home, wearable devices and AR/VR will provide retailers with new ways to connect with their customers.</p> <p>“People want to pay with the device that’s most convenient,” said Del Valle. “In some cases a wearable device is more convenient than using a mobile phone, for example if I don’t want to dig into a big purse to make a payment. At home, when your mobile device might not be carried on your body, that’s when voice devices come into play. We’re also working with GM for an in-vehicle commerce experience.”<b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDzmHmtam9o" target="_blank"><b>Wall Street Panel — State Of The Industry</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC8" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC8.png" height="224" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Three leading retail industry financial analysts — Charlie O’Shea, <b>Moody’s</b>; Brian Nagel, <b>Oppenheimer &amp; Co.</b>; and Simeon Hyman, <b>ProShares</b> — agreed that while brick-and-mortar retail is far from dying, legacy retailers must move online for the sake of future growth. “In Q4, online retailers generated <b>30% growth</b>, while legacy retailers generated <b>6%,</b>” said Hyman. Even though a retailer’s stock price may take a hit when they invest in online, “they must feel some short-term pain if they want to be competitive in the long run,” said O’Shea. Nagel saw a somewhat bitter silver lining in <b>Amazon</b>’s impact on the entire retail industry: “I think it’s helped to cull the herd,” he noted. “If we were overstored 20 years ago, we’re more overstored now.”</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRjVcogNRac&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><b>Disruptors Panel: Don’t Play By The Rules, Make New Ones</b></a></p> <p><img style="margin: 8px; float: left;" alt="0aaRIC9" src="images/storiesv3/0aaRIC9.png" height="225" width="400" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Shivika Sinha, CEO of <b>The Veneka Group</b>; Eileen Mockus, President and CEO of <b>Coyuchi</b>; and Monique Salvador, CEO of <b>Blushup</b>, discussed their strategies for standing out from the competition in a crowded retail environment, with a focus on making sure shoppers’ voices are heard. Their recommendations included:</p> <ul> <li><b>Investing in social good:</b> Customers appreciate retailers that reflect their own values, such as Coyuchi’s eco-friendly practices;</li> <li><b>Make the shopping journey painless:</b> Getting a last-minute beauty appointment is difficult, but Blushup makes it easy; and</li> <li><b>Consider the shopper at every step:</b> Veneka Group noted that customers’ needs should be a retailer’s “North Star.”</li> </ul></div>