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.

Addressing A Minimum Wage Increase Without Losing Your Staff

Money talks, but a minimum wage increase will interrupt the conversation. A legislative wage increase might throw your retail business into panic, that is if you don’t already have a strategy in place. When you must begin paying your employees more, it is easy to find and implement the quickest solution; to make up the cost difference and fast. This often takes the form of cutting employee benefits, and while this may be the fasted road to cost saving, it is also the highway to turnover. Cutting benefits means unhappy employees, lower retention and fewer job applications. A minimum wage increase can seem like the perfect storm, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, the legislative change isn’t the problem, you just need to be armed with a sound strategy for when it occurs. Your approach should begin with recognizing the value of your entry-level employees and, in particular, your customer service staff.

Weis Markets Seeks Streamlined Supply Chain Via Scan-Based Trading

  • Published in News Briefs
Scan-based trading (SBT), which allows suppliers to retain product ownership until the point of retail sale, can improve retailers’ and manufacturers’ ability to understand and act on consumer demand signals. Weis Markets, a supermarket retailer with 206 stores throughout the mid-Atlantic, is deploying a scan-based trading solution from ReposiTrak as it…

Shoppers Seeking Convenience Will Drive Adoption Of Unmanned Retail

Consumers have become increasingly accustomed to performing tasks themselves, from checking in at the airport to checking out at the supermarket. The next generation of do-it-yourselfism could be unmanned retail, and its growth is likely to be driven by shoppers’ desire for fast, convenient services. While the Amazon Go store is the most tech-forward example of unmanned retail, simpler solutions like e-Commerce pickup lockers and vending machines provide lower-cost alternatives for retailers. “As you start to think about the idea of unmanned retail, it’s about trying to deliver on convenience,” said Bill Friend, VP of Fluent Commerce in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We already see small examples of unmanned retail, or self-help; if you go to McDonald’s or a supermarket there’s options for purchasing things without ever talking to anybody.” Advances in mobile technology also will provide support for unmanned retail, according to Friend. At the Amazon Go store customers check in using the Amazon app on their phones, and smartphones can be used to open lockers without requiring a physical key. As these systems become more widely adopted, more retailers may open unmanned concepts in U.S. cities, particularly in areas where convenience will be appreciated. Retailers have several…

It’s The Dog Days Of Summer And I’m Already Thinking Of Winter

Like many retailer planners and operators, the August heat doesn’t make me think about cool drinks on sandy beaches. Instead, it brings to mind thoughts of snow, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and yes, retail centers filled with shoppers (who are carrying filled bags of merchandise)! It is around this time of year that retailers are finalizing their plans for the holiday season. As you prepare, keep in mind the following points for making your season a strong one. Start With The End

How A 40M Decrease In Email Promos Increased Revenue At TUMI

Working to deliver a more relevant customer experience, TUMI was seeking to consolidate business functions “that have a direct relationship with the customer on a 1:1 basis,” noted Charlie Cole, Global Chief eCommerce Officer at Samsonite and Chief Digital Officer at TUMI. “We thought all these functions should live in one place,” he explained, “including online analytics, customer service, sales (retail/online/outlet/drop ship), warranty, repair, email send/open/click, social graph data…” Finding the right solution was a challenge, Cole explained: “We didn’t necessarily know where in the vendor landscape we were going to end up, so we talked to all sorts of partners, including email, personalization, more traditional CRM, etc.” After a thorough search, Cole and his team landed on the Customer Data Platform (CDP) from AgilOne. In this Q&A, Cole shares his learnings and results from the implementation.

Brookstone Files For Bankruptcy Again, Will Close 101 Mall Stores

  • Published in News Briefs
Brookstone has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after securing approximately $30 million in post-petition financing, according to numerous published reports. As part of a planned restructuring, Brookstone will shutter its 101 mall-based locations. The retailer hopes to continue operating its e-Commerce, wholesale and approximately 35 airport stores, which have been…

Lids Rolls Out ‘Custom Zone’ Store Experience

Lids is rolling out a new store concept designed to enable shoppers to customize hats to support their favorite professional sports teams and athletes, across more than 1,100 retail locations in North America. While Lids already offers custom embroidery in most of its locations, the updated concepts features a designated “Custom Zone” that serves as a central destination for shoppers. “We feel like the ability for us to offer customization, not only in our stores but online, is a differentiator for us,” said Jeff Pearson, Senior VP of E-Commerce and Marketing at Lids in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “As you know many people certainly like to promote their team or a brand that they have an affinity toward. Customization allows shoppers to personalize their hat with anything from a name to a nickname. We have rights with many of the leagues where you can embroider the actual signature of your favorite player along with their number, or even a quote. We have a library of many digitized graphics that can quickly be reviewed by the customer in the store.”

RadioShack Plans 100 Express Stores In HobbyTown Locations

  • Published in News Briefs
RadioShack’s path back from its second bankruptcy now runs through HobbyTown, a hobby and toy retailer with more than 150 stores in 41 states. The electronics retailer first plans to bring 60 Express store-within-a-store concepts into HobbyTown locations, eventually expanding to 100 of its franchised stores nationwide. The partnership will…

The RealReal Secures $115 Million In Funding, Aims To Expand Store Footprint

The RealReal, an authenticated luxury consignment retailer, has closed a $115 million Series G funding round. With this round, The RealReal has raised a total of $288 million in equity capital. "This new round of funding will allow us to expand our brick-and-mortar footprint into new markets, as well as support our growing supply of luxury goods with new e-Commerce fulfillment centers," said Julie Wainwright, Founder and CEO of The RealReal in a statement. "Over the last seven years, we have re-envisioned the experience of buying and selling luxury goods, and become a leader in the circular economy for luxury goods."

Exclusive Q&A: Explosive Growth Of Direct Brands Reveals Seismic Retail Shift

Earlier this year, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released a report titled: The Rise of the 21st Century Brand Economy, which examined the sputtering growth of traditional retail and CPG brands versus the rise of direct brands over the past decade. To delve deeper into the findings of the report, Retail TouchPoints recently sat down with Randall Rothenberg, CEO of IAB, a trade association for interactive marketing representing more than 600 leading media, marketing and technology companies.

Starbucks Will Open First U.S. Sign Language Store In October

A Starbucks store designed specifically for deaf and hard of hearing customers will open this October in Washington, D.C. near the campus of Gallaudet University, a four-year university for the deaf community. The store, which will employ associates proficient in American Sign Language (ASL), aims to create a “distinctive retail…

Casper Launches Pop-In Shops Within Nine Nordstrom Stores

  • Published in News Briefs
Casperhas been known to experiment with different store formats, having launched more than 15 pop-up shops throughout the U.S. before opening a permanent experiential store in NYC in March. Now the direct-to-consumer mattress company has partnered with Nordstrom to launch “pop-in” locations within nine stores across North America. Sleep-In@Nordstrom featuring…

Petco Debuts Cashier-Less Pilot Store

Petco is entering the cashier-less tech race by launching a new pet care store concept, PetCoach.The pilot opened in San Marcos, Calif., and was designed to highlight the customer experience by providing customers with clear visibility into each service area, casual gathering spaces for personal interactions and educational events. For a monthly fee of $9, members can access the store’s suite of services — including grooming, training, veterinary care, nutrition consultations, day care, self-wash, mobile vet house calls and dog walking — all at a discounted price and all in one location. Additionally, PetCoach offers members up to five free veterinary visits per year at its on-site clinic.

Perch Raises $1.7 Million With New Funding

Perch has raised more than $1.7 million in seed funding, led by follow-on investments from TVC, Corigin Ventures and other leading angel investors. The company also has added former Sephora CEO Howard Meitner to its board of advisors. The Perch interactive retail marketing platform — which can detect the specific products shoppers are interacting with in-store and respond with dynamic digital content — has been deployed by companies including Neiman Marcus, Sunglass Hut, Sephora, Kate Spade and Pernod Ricard.

Carter’s Decision Support Solution Cuts 8 Days’ Inventory Out Of System

Inventory carrying costs remain retailers’ biggest capital expense, but companies are generally cautious about reducing inventory levels as a way to cut costs. That’s because lowering inventory levels can create delays and out-of-stock situations that play havoc with the retailer’s service levels. Carter’s Inc., however, leveraged a decision support solution that helped the retailer trim eight days of inventory from its system, while actually raising service levels for its 800 retail stores and e-Commerce business. For the first seasonal “buy” following the September 2016 implementation of the Anaplan Connected Planning solution, the children’s apparel retailer “shrunk our inventory carrying costs and increased our cash flow by $25 million in working capital, with no impact to our customers,” said Peter Smith, EVP Global Supply Chain at Carter’s. “We got improved service, match levels and fulfillment levels while simultaneously reducing inventory costs.”
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