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.

Delaware Supermarkets Gives 1,000 Employees Bonuses, Credits Tax Cut

  • Published in News Briefs
Prompted by the recently signed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Delaware Supermarkets Inc. is giving 1,000 non-management and union-represented employees bonuses of $150, in addition to any holiday and performance bonuses to which they may be entitled. An additional $150,000 will be allocated to employee training and development programs. The…

Former Bon-Ton CFO Joins Pier 1 Imports

Nancy A. Walsh, former CFO of Bon-Ton Stores, has joined Pier 1 Imports as EVP and CFO, effective Jan. 25, 2018. She will be tasked with leading financial operations and accounting, including financial reporting, planning and analysis, treasury, tax and investor relations.

Bon-Ton Names New CFO

New year, new jobs. Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. has named Michael Culhane as EVP and CFO of the company, effective immediately. Culhane succeeds Nancy Walsh who is leaving to take the CFO position at Pier 1 Imports.

Amazon-Target Prediction Attracts Media Attention And Industry Skepticism

Like almost any other Amazon-related sound bite, Loup Ventures’ prediction that Amazon might acquire Target this year garnered a lot of attention in the media. Some retail experts, however, expressed doubt about both the prediction and the rationale behind it. In an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Managing Partner Gene Munster doubled down on the “boldest” of the eight 2018 predictions he posted on New Year’s Day. However, neither Amazon nor Target has made any public comments on Munster’s prediction since then.

Retail Gives Back: How Best Buy, Target, Walmart Helped Those In Need In 2017

2017 may have given the retail industry its fair share of bruises, but that didn’t deter retailers from giving back to those in need. While Walmart and Rite Aid focused their charitable efforts on those affected by the devastating natural disasters in the U.S. and Mexico, others, including Target and the Container Store, focused on today’s youth. Ace Hardware and Belk were among the retailers that took a localized approach, empowering individual stores and their customers to select charities that work effectively in their communities.  Read on to learn how these and other retailers gave back in 2017.  Ace Hardware Achieves 98% Philanthropy Participation Rate Every year, Ace Hardware is committed to giving back to the communities it serves and even conducts an annual survey to gauge each store’s philanthropic efforts. In 2017, the retailer revealed that 98% of stores that participated donated money, products or services to nonprofit or charitable organizations or causes. The types of organizations the retailers and its employees helped included veterans’ organizations, youth education and advocacy programs, local business commerce organizations and more. Belk Builds Home, Launches Localized Charitable Initiative  Over the holidays, department store retailer Belk partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build a…

Report: Store Closures To Reach 12,000 In 2018

2017 was a whirlwind for U.S. retailers, with more than 20 retailers filing for bankruptcy and brick-and-mortar store closures reaching a record 6,985, according to Fung Global Retail and Technology. But the storm isn’t over. In fact, it may be growing more severe. One report from Cushman & Wakefield, a…

Belk Launches New Localized Philanthropic Initiative

  • Published in News Briefs
Department store Belk launched a new community relations platform called Belk: Project Hometown during the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29, 2017. The retailer announced a $15 million commitment over the next five years to organizations that support their hometowns and local communities.

Vitamin Shoppe Adds Multichannel Options To Auto Delivery Service

  • Published in News Briefs
Vitamin Shoppe is providing greater convenience for its SPARK Auto Delivery subscribers —and an additional relationship-building tool for store associates — by enabling enrollment and management of the service through the POS system in the chain’s 775 stores, the VShoppe mobile application and SMS messaging. Since the service launched in…

Second Texas DC Supports Dollar General’s Growth

  • Published in News Briefs
Dollar General is supporting its aggressive store growth strategy with the addition of its 17th distribution center in Longview, Texas. Construction of the new facility, which will span nearly one million square feet, is expected to begin in early 2018. The new DC will serve more than 1,000 stores operating…

Study: Outdated Planning Solutions Hamper Customer-Centricity

Retailers know that success in today’s environment requires them to align their systems and organizations around fulfilling customer-led demand. But outdated planning systems and the legacy of channel-specific inventories still present major stumbling blocks many retailers. Still, brands including Uniqlo, Zara and Bonobos have solved some of these challenges, in part by more closely aligning customer data with planning systems. In its 2017 Merchandise Planning Benchmark Survey, Boston Retail Partners (BRP) set out to gauge the current state of retail planning processes and systems, including merchandise planning, assortment planning and localization, store planning, allocation, omnichannel demand planning and space planning. “To innovate the customer experience, [retailers] must transform their disparate systems, processes and organization into one cohesive environment with the ability to offer customers a seamless shopping environment across any channel and the capability to deliver merchandise immediately — wherever it is needed,” according to the report.

Is Walmart Raising The Stakes For Cashier-Free Shopping?

Walmart is taking its war with Amazon to the store experience by testing cashier-free technology designed to rival Amazon Go, according to a report from Recode. Store No. 8, Walmart’s startup incubator, is developing a technology-heavy store experience dubbed “Project Kepler,” that uses computer vision and cashier-free checkout similar to the “Just Walk Out” technology. Mike Hanrahan, Co-Founder and former CTO of, is leading the test project out of Hoboken, N.J.

Electronic Express Adopts Omnichannel Solution Suite

  • Published in News Briefs
Electronic Express has selected the Jesta I.S. retail platform to support its goal of unified commerce. The Nashville-based retailer, which was founded in 1983 as a single 80-square-foot store, has grown into the largest independent consumer electronics and appliance retailer in Tennessee. However, rapidly increasing e-Commerce sales had created a significant…

Can Mobile POS Systems Boost Retail Sales At Peak Season?

Christmas is fast approaching and stores across the country are bracing themselves for a surge in activity. For many, this is the busiest and most lucrative time of the year, though it can be fraught with problems if not managed well. Significantly higher footfall and fierce demand for products mean that retailers have to work hard to maintain good customer service. Long queues, poorly arranged stock and a lack of available assistants frequently result in frustration for customers, even if their previous encounters with the brand have been positive. While others may be willing to hang around to grab a bargain, others will simply walk out of a store without making a purchase, or worst still, shun the shops altogether, preferring to spend their money online instead.

How To Track Competitor Prices With Machine Learning

Today, keeping loyal customers is easier said than done. Since there are a fair number of retailer brands to choose from, companies are finding it harder than ever to continuously hold on to customers because they can easily switch from one store to another. However, companies that are able to stand out from the competition do so by, for example, unique branding ideas or incredibly competitive prices. What should you focus on?

When Shoppers Touch Products, They Generally Purchase

Understanding shopper behavior at retail is the foundation to designing environments that promote purchasing, but retailers face a number of hurdles to get shoppers to notice products, let alone buy them. To answer some of these vexing questions, we recently conducted eye-tracking research in six stores nationwide to generate insights into the retail experience. By observing actual shopper behavior, we were able to measure key levels of consumer engagement, including:
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