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.

Exclusive NYC Tour: The First Nordstrom Men’s Store

  In this edition of TouchPoints TV, Retail TouchPoints Senior Editor Glenn Taylor chatted with Shea Jensen, Senior VP of Customer Experience at Nordstrom, to understand the innovations at the first-ever Nordstrom Men’s store, located on the corner of 57th and Broadway in New York City. The three-level, 47,000-square-foot store, which opened in April 2018, joins two off-price Nordstrom Rack stores in Manhattan. Nordstrom is just getting started, however: the retailer will open a 320,000-square-foot full-line store across the street from the Men’s store in Fall 2019.

In A Digital World, Don't Forget About Your Physical Shelves

These days, there is so much emphasis on the online path to purchase that we sometimes forget that 90% of all purchases are still in-store. Clearly, that makes retail a make-it or break-it environment for most brands. And here’s what’s frustrating about that fact: While brand marketers can control packaging and marketing communications around a product, they have limited control over its placement on a shelf. That fact alone can have a huge impact on a brand’s potential for success. In fact, research shows that, in a retail environment, overall assessment of a brand category (in other words, a brand’s placement on the shelf) is actually the FIRST thing a consumer notices about a product. It’s not until step two — after the shopper has actually found the product on the shelf — that they react to packaging. The implications of that fact are staggering: All the time and resources poured into package design and testing go down the drain if consumers can’t find your product on the shelf!

What Do Shoppers Really Want From In-Store Technology?

  • Published in News Briefs
Technology can certainly enhance the in-store experience, but only if it solves a specific customer problem or streamlines the shopper journey. Retailers seeking guidance about which in-store technologies to invest in — and which ones shoppers aren’t quite ready to embrace this holiday season — can find answers in the…

New Sam’s Club Store Will Be A Mobile-First, AI-Powered Tech Lab

  • Published in News Briefs
Sam’s Club is set to open its Sam’s Club Now store in Dallas, designed as a real-world technology innovation lab. The store will test technologies including mobile-enabled shopping; smart shopping lists that use machine learning and shoppers’ past purchase data; and augmented reality to tell the “stories” behind products. “At…

Report: Mobile, Payment Top Personalization When It Comes To Retail Innovation

Despite all the buzz about personalization, it gets a relatively low ranking on the Retail Innovation Radar report from HighStreet. That’s because while retailers are collecting much of the data they need to personalize customer interactions, they haven’t yet found effective ways to translate those insights into store-level actions.

The Snuggle Bugz Baby Formula: Abundant Content Builds New Parents’ Confidence

There’s no shortage of advice for parents, particularly first-timers. In fact, it’s all too common for new moms and dads to suffer from a bad case of information overload. Retailers in this space want (and need) to be perceived by shoppers as trusted advisors, so it makes sense that the corporate mission of Canadian baby retailer Snuggle Bugz is to give confidence to customers navigating parenthood. Fulfilling that mission means providing plenty of solid content, both about the products it offers and other parenting issues. Unfortunately, the retailer’s old e-Commerce platform was causing a confidence gap between its in-store and online customer experiences. “Our stores are beautiful, and people can get all the information they need there,” said Sharron Vanderbeek, Director of E-Commerce at Snuggle Bugz, noting that the average employee spends more than 100 hours in product knowledge training each year.

Publix Names New President, Expands CIO’s Responsibilities

Publix has promoted Kevin Murphy, the supermarket chain’s SVP of Retail Operations, to the role of President. Current CEO and President Todd Jones will relinquish the latter title on Jan. 1, 2019. Murphy began his career at Publix in 1984 as a front service clerk, and held positions as a district and regional manager and a vice president before being named to his current job in 2016.

Target Takes Aim At Toy Retailing Crown

Photo: Stephen Allan In the clearest sign yet that Target is striving hard to take the place Toys ‘R’ Us once held, the retailer is expanding both store and digital toy departments for holiday 2018. Target’s multi-part toy campaign includes: • A nearly 250,000-square-foot expansion of store space for toys…

How Ashley Stewart Boosts Revenue With Advanced Data Aggregation

Apparel retailer Ashley Stewart, which caters to plus-size black women, has been learning the value of understanding its most loyal customers — some of whom visit the retailer’s stores as many as three times per week. With the help of a customer data platform that aggregates information about both digital and in-store shopping activity, the retailer has been able to leverage that loyalty into increased sales and revenues. Ashley Stewart has used the AgilOne customer data platform for three years to track customer activity in multiple channels. This allows the retailer to, for example, provide customers with easy access to their spending totals during its “Diva Dollars” promotional periods. “The consumers earn ‘Diva Dollars’ for a 45-day period, and then can spend them during a four-day period,” explained Julie Daly, VP E-Commerce at Ashley Stewart. Daly spoke during a panel discussion at the AgilOne Customer Data Platform Summit held earlier this month in New York City.

CVS Rolls Out Apple Pay Acceptance Chainwide

  • Published in News Briefs
CVS, which once went so far as to deactivate the NFC terminals in its stores in order to thwart customers’ use of mobile wallets, now accepts Apple Pay chainwide. CVS customers with compatible iPhones and Apple Watches can use Apple Pay throughout the 9,800-store chain. In August 2018, Apple CEO…

How Retailers And Suppliers Can Evaluate The Long-Term Impact Of In-Store Demos

The retail landscape is changing rapidly. In order to compete with online options, brick-and-mortar retailers must create amazing in-store experiences. Many are turning to a concept called Retailtainment, or retail marketing as entertainment. Author George Ritzer (in his book, Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption), describes Retailtainment as the "use of ambience, emotion, sound and activity to get customers interested in the merchandise and in a mood to buy." One retailtainment tactic is the in-store demo. Large retailers love them, because they draw customers and not only boost same-day sales of the demonstrated items, but also typically boost category sales. Plus, retailers collect a fee from the manufacturer.

Carrefour Adopts IBM Blockchain To Track Fresh Foods

Carrefour is using the IBM Food Trust blockchain ledger technology to track chicken, eggs and tomatoes from the farm to the store, according to Reuters. The retailer will extend its use of the system to 300 fresh products worldwide by 2022 in a bid to build shopper trust.

Tops Supermarket Debuts Curbside Pickup, Adds Organic Options Online

  • Published in News Briefs
Grocery delivery and curbside pickup have become the latest competitive arenas in supermarket retail, and regional player Tops Friendly Markets has joined the fray. The 169-store chain, with locations in New York, Vermont and northern Pennsylvania, built on its existing relationship with Instacart to offer curbside pickup at three locations…
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