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Store Operations

Store Operations examines the issues and challenges facing today’s store operators. From workforce management to merchandising and new store openings, this section is designed to help retailers improve the bottom line while holding the line on costs. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Pandora Adds Sparkle To The Customer Experience With Microsoft Dynamics

Pandora, a jewelry and accessories retailer, has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, especially with its line of charms and charm bracelets. With a vision to become the “world’s most recognized jewelry brand,” Pandora also has a mission “to offer women high quality, hand-finished, modern and genuine jewelry at affordable prices,” said Phillip Kennedy, Director of IT for Pandora, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The vision and missions both are communicated throughout our entire organization.” To ensure all customers have a great experience while browsing and buying, Pandora has recently increased its investment in customer relationship management (CRM). After initially implementing Microsoft Dynamics in 2009, CRM “has evolved into a system that touches almost every aspect of our business — from marketing to sales, merchandising and consumer affairs,” Kennedy said. Microsoft Dynamics also plays a role in IT management and operations, and helps the retailer develop comprehensive reports for various areas of the business.

Lands' End Consults Borderfree For International E-Commerce Strategy

Retailers are discovering that a significant growth opportunity for their businesses is to expand e-Commerce browsing and buying capabilities to consumers worldwide. Lands’ End, an established American lifestyle brand and retailer, has been selling to consumers in approximately 180 countries for more than 15 years. Although the retailer was able to ship products to these shoppers, there was a real opportunity to become more strategic in international growth initiatives, according to Carl Atwell, VP of International at Lands’ End.

Holiday Predictions Uncertain In Light Of Government Shutdown

Predictions from Deloitte Consulting indicated that retailers and consumers alike were going to have a more pleasurable holiday season, with total sales expected to climb between $963 billion and $967 billion, an increase of approximately 4.5% over 2012. Although Deloitte’s predictions noted that consumer spending and sentiment would improve consistently through the holiday season, the looming debt ceiling deadline and government shutdown are causing a stir among retail industry players and consumers alike.

American Express Research Shows Promising Future For SMBs

Retailers of all sizes and categories are faced with the same pressures: driving sales, improving awareness and garnering long-term loyalty. However, the methods merchants use to address these challenges vary greatly by size. For example, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) put their “entire business on the line, every season,” Ed Jay, SVP of U.S. Small Merchants at American Express, said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Larger companies don’t necessarily have the same type of risks riding on them every time they release new products.” But research from the American Express U.S. Small Merchants group has confirmed that consumer spending within the fashion SMB market is on the rise — especially among younger consumers. In fact, spending in the small merchant fashion category outpaced overall fashion spending for the third consecutive quarter. Total fashion spending increased by 3% in Q2 2013. However, smaller merchants saw overall sales improve 5% over the same period of time.

National Roper’s Improves Inventory Processes With Celerant

Multichannel retailers are investing in new solutions to help improve their ordering and delivery processes. National Roper’s Supply (NRS), a major Western-style clothing chain in Texas, currently has three brick-and-mortar stores and an e-Commerce site. The company also does a high volume of sales through its catalog, call centers and mobile devices. To better track and fulfill orders across all channels, NRS implemented all-in-one retail management software from Celerant Technology. Using Celerant solutions to manage inventory, POS and web site optimization, NRS has increased sales and created a more enjoyable customer experience with more flexible inventory management and delivery options.

Cutting Losses With Online Reference Checks

For retailers, a bad hire can mean lost revenue, shrinkage, a poor customer experience, or worse. Brian Gilbert, Director of Business Development for SkillSurvey, Inc., explained how online reference-checking platforms can help retailers hire employees with the behaviors and skills that increase customer loyalty and sales. For example, Burlington Coat Factory launched reference checking with considerable success. The solution helped the retailer avoid hiring low-scoring candidates and saved potential losses.

RFID: The Key To Tracking Inventory For Omnichannel Success

Following is Part 2 of the Retail TouchPoints feature focused on inventory best practices. This article will focus on new developments in RFID, benefits of the technology and successful retail implementations. Click here to download a PDF version of the complete inventory report. Progressive retailers are revising their inventory management, delivery and fulfillment strategies to align with evolving consumer demands. “Companies are looking into a variety of inventory process improvements,” said Kevin Permenter, Senior Research Associate at Aberdeen Group. “Retailers are looking at their inventory mix, re-assessing their safety stock setting policies and are also looking to optimize their inventory placement, or where geographically to hold their inventory. All of these things are critical, but they are made even more important when you are managing these concerns across multiple channels.”

Aligning Inventory Strategies With Omnichannel Demands

Following is Part 1 of the Retail TouchPoints feature focused on inventory best practices. This article will share insights around the current state of omnichannel inventory fulfillment, as well as key challenges retailers face in ensuring inventory visibility across all touch points. Part 2 of the feature will publish in the Sept. 17 newsletter. Shoppers today are hopping from their smartphones and tablets, to brick-and-mortar stores and online pure plays such as Amazon.com throughout the day to research items and complete purchases. As customers make purchases across channels, they expect retailers to keep pace by offering more flexible delivery and return options, according to the 2013 UPS Pulse Of The Online Shopper survey. Almost two thirds (62%) of consumers want to be able to buy items online and complete returns in a store, while 44% want the option of buying items online and picking them up in a store. These factors drive consumers' likelihood to shop with a specific retailer across channels.

14 Retailers Win Store Operations Superstar Awards

 Store operators are faced with numerous challenges, from employee hiring to product merchandising. Successful store operations strategies improve the customer experience and ultimately, the bottom line. But today’s store operators are constantly juggling a variety of tasks, from managing mobile technology to motivating employees. As competition continues to heat up, along with pressure to hold the line on expenses, store operations executives are faced with an uphill battle. In our second annual Store Operations Superstar Awards, Retail TouchPoints is recognizing companies that have implemented the most innovative, successful store operations strategies related to: Workforce Management Mobile Technology Loss Prevention Customer Engagement Inventory management

Fast-Fashion Retailer Boosts Sales With Real-Time Big Data Analysis

Sales representatives that leverage data on a day-to-day basis can increase revenue productivity by 17%, according to Gartner. However, many retailers still have issues collecting and disseminating relevant information to specific stores and managers in real time. Bohme, a regional fast-fashion retailer, has captured a real-time, comprehensive view of business operations and results since implementing multichannel business intelligence (BI) software from Domo. Using the solution, employees across the organization — from C-level executives to sales associates — have access to detailed insights on consumer trends and product sales. As a result, the retailer saw a 15% increase in sales shortly after implementation in September 2012.

Mr Price Implements End-To-End Retail Planning Solution

To accelerate growth and achieve business goals, brands and retailers must ensure they have the most efficient internal processes and solutions in place. Mr Price Group is implementing the end-to-end retail planning solution from JustEnough to set a foundation for its growth strategy, according to Andrew Kenny, Group ERP Director at Mr Price. The company is in the process of adopting the Merchandise Financial Planning, Assortment Planning, Demand Forecasting, Inventory Planning, and Allocation and Replenishment solutions, which will provide the merchant team with a consolidated view of the entire business.

VeriFone Launches Pay-As-A-Service

VeriFone Systems today announced the launch of VeriFone Point pay-as-a-service solution during the RetailNOW event in Las Vegas. Designed to help retailers and their service providers — such as ISVs, acquirers and ISOs — better manage the complexities of payment in retail, Point features a cost-predictable subscription model for obtaining and maintaining all the components of a complete payments solution, including software, management services, device acquisition, and maintenance. The solution tackles “the complexities of managing PCI, EMV and emerging payments and mobile wallet technologies,” said Jennifer Miles, President of VeriFone Americas.

Warby Parker Taps Internal Surveys To Drive Innovation And Growth

Since the inception of Warby Parker in 2010, the multichannel eyewear retailer has evolved from a small startup to a nationally recognized brand. With this consistent growth, however, the retailer started struggling to maintain personal relationships and improve collaboration among a growing employee base. “In a little over three years, we've gone from eight employees sitting around a table to more than 250 employees split across two offices, two stores and multiple showrooms,” said Colleen Tucker, Talent Manager at Warby Parker. Today Warby Parker keeps a constant pulse on team member sentiment and leverages that feedback for constructive improvement using the 15Five Employee Feedback System. 

Haggar Clothing Leverages Epicor Retail Solutions To Drive Expansion

More than one quarter (30%) of the 250 largest retail companies in the world are based in the U.S., according to the 2013 Global Powers of Retailing report, conducted by Deloitte Consulting. In order to continue growing, many of these retailers are recognizing the value of extending their brands beyond U.S. borders, and are implementing detailed plans for expansion. One retailer, Haggar Clothing, a Texas-based men’s apparel manufacturer, has implemented the Epicor Retail Suite to support expansion throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Leading Retailers Use Interactive Technology To Improve Brand Experiences

  Following is Part 2 of the Retail TouchPoints series, titled: How Innovative Technologies Are Saving The Store. This section spotlights how best-in-class retailers are leveraging digital technologies in stores to increase customer engagement. Click here to access a complete PDF version of the feature. The rapid development of e-Commerce and mobile technology has greatly impacted the ways brands and retailers connect with consumers. As a result, consumers have become accustomed to the interactivity of mobile and the convenience that e-Commerce vendors provide. Several retailers have implemented in-store technology solutions that cater to these rising customer expectations, including Build-A-Bear, Bloomingdale’s and Left Shoe Company. One way to address technology offerings is to target specific consumer segments. Providing a tactile, user-driven experience is especially important for retailers that cater to Millennials, especially children and teens. Consumers of this age group are growing up in a time where voice-activated GPS programs and touchscreen computers are ubiquitous. Retailers working in this space must keep in mind that children today have always had instant access to technology, and are accustomed to accessing information immediately.
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