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Loyalty Programs Take a New Turn

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Retail Dive recently wrote about the upsurge of premium loyalty programs. The Great Recession had retailers scrambling for customers and sales. Coupons, discounts and loyalty programs were key in attracting hard-pressed shoppers looking for good deals and values. Upscale retailers balked at this approach, which undercut their image, making it difficult to compete with stores that offered lesser or middle-of-the-road quality. Gary Friedman, CEO and Chairman of Restoration Hardware, said in a recent letter to shareholders, “The multiple sale...

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Prepping for Generation Z

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The big furor over the past couple of years has been all about Millennials, and even though Millennials occupy the largest demographic of any generation, it’s getting to be old news. Retailers need to get ready for the new generation of consumers: Generation Z. This is the group that was born between 1996 and 2010. The Wharton School Of Business calls them “Millennials on Steroids.” Millennials prefer to spend money that’s focused on experiences rather than ...

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Retailers Face Labor Challenges

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JD Software group just released a study of over 250 store managers where more than half felt unprepared to face the labor challenges of the omni-channel marketplace. The factors that are causing this uncertainty are new and demanding customer needs, omni-channel operations, new labor legislation and the millennial workforce. About 52% of respondents have not yet deployed a modern workforce management solution into their planning process. The consumer demands seamless methods of shopping on all channels and to accommodate this demand, 62% of...

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Hot New Retailers – Present and Future

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Consumer and retail account for more than 20% of the U.S. economy. With the maturing of Millennials’ financial situation and innovations in shopping and retail, new brands and stores are debuting in every consumer category. This is really something to crow about since pundits have been writing about the demise of bricks and mortar for the last several years. Last year, consumer and retail entrepreneurs selected winners from the CircleUp selection of nominees (CircleUp has an online platform for...

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Target-CVS Partnership is Blossoming

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Since CVS has taken over the pharmacies in Target’s stores, Target is increasing its focus on its Connected Health section, which provides customers access to products designed to allow them to digitally monitor their health anywhere, 24/7. Over the next six months, all 1,660 of Target’s pharmacy locations will become CVS-branded units. Additionally, the No. 2 discount retailer’s 80 in-store health clinics will rebrand as CVS MinuteClinic locations. So far, about a third of Target’s 1,800 stores...

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Make Employees Your Brand Cheerleaders

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Several months ago we talked about encouraging your store employees to be your brand advocates. Recently, Altimeter Group released a study on this fast-growing social business program and what many retailers are now focusing on. Respondents from companies with more than 250 employees cited top reasons for their investment in employee advocacy programs: Increasing the reach of messages in social networks (awareness): 54% Driving increased understanding and brand health of the organization: 47% Engaging employees more deeply in the company mission and their...

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Millennials’ Path to Purchase

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Don’t let the mobile generation fool you. Many Millennials still prefer to shop in a physical store where they can touch and feel products before they buy. Millennial shopping habits also indicate they enjoy the social element of shopping in-store with their friends. Peer opinions matter, after all, and these folks like to get others’ thoughts on everything they do, including what they purchase. A report released at the end of 2015 by Coupons.com Inc., “Uncovering...

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Overall Customer Experience: A Taste of the Top 100 Retailers

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Retail Customer Experience recently issued its Top 100 retailers as far as overall customer experience. The results include online, brick-and-mortar, and omni-channel experiences. While the list is long, we’ll only focus on a handful of these worthy recipients, in no particular order, except for the top dog in retail, which is a repeat winner, Amazon. Everyone in retail envies its success. Amazon is just a fact of retail life that isn’t going away. 7-Eleven is another winner,...

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The Retail Evolution

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It’s no secret that while brick-and-mortar stalwarts like Macy’s, Kohl’s, JC Penney and Gap are closing stores, retailers that started life online are going offline to Main Street. Bonobos (menswear), Warby Parker (eyeglass frames), Athleta and Fabletics (trendy sportswear), and Birchbox (cosmetics) have all opened physical stores. Co-CEO of Warby Parker Neil Blumenthal says, “Our stores offer customers an additional way to experience our brand. We don’t think of the future...

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Shopping Small is In

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Big one-stop shopping environments seem to be losing traction in favor of smaller footprints and formats. In the grocery sector, two major chains indicate that this shift is gaining momentum. Outside of Boston, Ahold opened the first of its “bfresh” smaller-format stores. It combines grocery and food take-away in 10,000 square feet and shows how the blurring of lines is materializing. Its high quality food-to-go sets it apart from many of its urban-centric competitors. Going up the New England...

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