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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.

Walmart Abandons Cashierless Mobile Checkout

  • Published in News Briefs
Just a few months after announcing that it would expand the Scan & Go solution to 100 U.S. stores, Walmart has dropped the program, citing a lack of customer usage. The mobile app allowed shoppers to scan items as they moved through the store and then bypass the checkout line…
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Retail Winners Are Taking A New Approach To Space Management

More stores opened than closed in 2017, according to IHL Group, with retailers like T-Mobile adding 1,500 new locations. Yet, JCPenney, Foot Locker, Toys ‘R’ Us and others have shuttered hundreds already this year. How are some retailers increasing sales in retail and expanding their store footprint, while others shut their doors? While there are many factors, successful retailers are taking a new, more aggressive approach to space management. Instead of relying on traditional clustering and one-size-fits-all planograms, they are taking a more ‘store-centric’ approach — investing in building robust digital models of their entire store footprint, putting digital merchandising tools in the hands of their associates, and using automation to enable visual merchandisers and space planners to quickly and easily create store-specific plans.

#RIC18: Adore Me And Bedgear Take Divergent Paths Into Brick-And-Mortar

In an omnichannel world, innovators can choose multiple avenues to break into an existing market. Because of its relatively low cost of entry, many upstarts gravitate to e-Commerce first. Other startups choose to work with existing retailers to take advantage of their brand recognition, customer base and operational capabilities. At the Retail Innovation Conference, speakers from two companies that are less than 10 years old — Adore Me and Bedgear — explained why (and how) they took different routes to become players in the lingerie and mattress/bedding businesses, respectively.

#RIC18: For Dunkin’ Brands, Data Identifies CX Pain Points

Paul Murray, Director of Digital Experience, Dunkin' Brands   Data can provide retailers with a lot of answers — but in some cases, its most useful function is identifying which questions the retailer needs to ask. Paul Murray, Director of Digital Experience at Dunkin’ Brands, shared several real-world examples of how the retailer used surveys, analysis and AI technology to figure out why the expected didn’t happen or the unexpected occurred. At the Retail Innovation Conference session titled Closing The CX Chasm, Murray was joined by ERDM Founder Ernan Roman. “Customers have unprecedented and unmet expectations about personalized value,” said Roman. “There’s a chasm between the customer experience (CX) fantasy that brands have versus reality.”

#RIC18: How TechStyle Optimizes Personalization With Continuous Testing

For most retailers, one-to-one personalization is a goal to work towards rather than an actual achievement — but TechStyle Fashion Group is an exception. The retailer, which includes the Fabletics, JustFab and ShoeDazzle brands, has succeeded in making personalization practical. At the 2018 Retail Innovation Conference, Traci Inglis, Brand President for JustFab and ShoeDazzle, shared some key statistics that chart TechStyle’s progress: • The retailer sends unique emails to each of its 2.5 million members;• The emails utilize dynamic one-to-one merchandising across thousands of styles, individualized based on the customer’s preferences, clicks and purchases;• Targeted subject lines highlight the customer’s first name and the email offer; and• TechStyle personalizes the web pages members see based on their fashion and style preferences as well as their location.

#RIC18: West Elm Innovation VP: ‘Move From Outputs To Outcomes’

Retail organizations today — especially those set up with more traditional structures, hiring and employment — are challenged with understanding how to foster digital innovation. In a keynote presentation at the Retail Innovation Conference, Luke Chatelain, VP of Innovation for West Elm, shared best practices for how retail leaders can tackle technological change successfully. For Chatelain, there are two noteworthy points:

New American Apparel Owner Plans First Physical Store

Montreal, Canada-based Gildan Activewear will continue its efforts to resuscitate the American Apparel brand by opening a physical store in Q4 2018 on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles — the site of one of the former chain’s largest units. The store will be interactive and take the “American Apparel experience…
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#RIC18 Store Tours: From Luggage, Books And Running Gear To Kitchenware And Candy

Every year, Retail TouchPoints kicks off its annual Retail Innovation Conference by hosting a Store Tours event that gives attendees a first-hand look behind the scenes at leading retail brands. This year, attendees spent Monday, April 30 at The Shops at Columbus Circle in New York City, visiting five retail locations and hearing about them straight from the executives themselves. The stores included: TUMI, the luggage and travel company that operates a small, partner-owned retail store that produces top sales-per-square-foot figures; Sugarfina, an “adult candy store for grown-ups” that houses many delicious sweets in a kiosk store format; Williams Sonoma, a kitchenware and home furnishings store that offers classes, book signings and private events in its flagship location; Amazon Books, a physical version of the e-Commerce giant’s online offerings; and New York Running Company powered by JackRabbit, a one-stop-shop for everything a runner or athlete could possibly need, from top brands such as Brooks, ASICS, Nike and more. Read on to get an inside look at some of the highlights from this year’s Store Tours event!

Oracle Partners With WorkForce For Scheduling Solutions

WorkForce Software scheduling solutions will now be available to Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud customers, allowing these users to schedule employees in alignment with complex rules, employee availability and multiple business drivers. The partnership allows retailers to integrate the WorkForce solutions with Oracle Cloud Time and Labor and Absence…
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21 Innovative Solutions Showcased At #RIC18

At the 2018 Retail Innovation Conference, innovation wasn’t limited to the educational sessions. Sponsors showcased solutions for some of the retail industry’s most pressing concerns, including marketing personalization; mobile applications; making loyalty and referral marketing programs more effective; deepening connections between retail associates and shoppers; and the latest in design and digital signage. Following is a roundup of the sponsors’ offerings.

#RIC18: 17 Quick Quotes Provide Taste From Smorgasbord Of Retail Topics

The 2018 Retail Innovation Conference featured more than 50 retail industry executives and experts speaking on a wide range of the hot topics — from the sometimes-difficult move from online to brick-and-mortar to optimal use cases for AI, voice and personalization. These 17 quick quotes provide a “tasting menu” for those that couldn’t make the conference, which was held April 30-May 2 in New York City. “If you want the rewards of creativity and innovation, you have to take the risk. Comfort zones are great, but nothing actually grows there. They’re deserts.” — Ken Hughes, Award-Winning Shopper BehaviouralistCreativity can’t be cultivated by simply creating the right environment — you have to work personally to generate fresh ideas and innovations. Trendy accoutrements like beanbag chairs or coffee bars are what Hughes calls “lipstick on a gorilla” — they’re superficially attractive, but don’t actually improve the creative process, which is ultimately a personal responsibility.

#RIC18: Unlocking The Secrets Of Gen Z Shoppers

Retailers are engaged in a “race for relevance” as they try to meet the needs not only of Millennials but the generations following them, Gen Z and Gen Alpha. According to Shopper Behaviouralist Ken Hughes, these current and future consumers are motivated by a set of values based on growing up as true digital natives. “For them, a [print] magazine is a broken iPad,” said Hughes, showing a video of an infant trying, in vain, to activate the pages of a print magazine. “In retail, one of our challenges is not to be a magazine.”

#RIC18: Walmart CIO Embraces People-Led, Tech-Powered Strategy

The 2018 Retail Innovation Conference, April 30 to May 2, began with Store Tours on Monday, and then the content section kicked off Tuesday morning with an informative “fireside chat” with Walmart CIO Clay Johnson and Retail TouchPoints Editor In Chief Debbie Hauss. Additional reporting on the sessions, the event’s Top Tweets and a sponsor roundup will be appearing in the coming days.
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