Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 4, 2013 03:35 PM
Apple has 400 stores of its own and partnerships with Best Buy, Walmart and Target to showcase its products, but its sales secret is out. One of its main competitors in the smartphone marketplace, Samsung, took a page from its playbook and announced Thursday that it will open mini-stores in 1,400 Best Buys nationwide by the end of June, according to the New York Times.
The Samsung Experience Shops will be stuffed with Samsung’s smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, televisions and accessories as well as offer service for Samsung products. That last part sounds a little bit like Apple’s Genius Bar, no? One big difference between the two Best Buy experiences is that Samsung will have its own checkout, Forbes reports, while those wanting to buy Apple gear will need to go through the main checkout like everybody else.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 28, 2013 03:25 PM
J.C. Penney recently resumed its marketing strategy of raising prices, then discounting them on its private brands which include St. John's Bay, jcp and Stafford and Arizona, which generate more than half of the company’s overall revenue.
"While our prices continue to represent a tremendous value every day, we now understand that customers are motivated by promotions and prefer to receive discounts through sales and coupons applied at the register," JCP spokeswoman Daphne Avila told Reuters.
That means an Arizona crewneck T-shirt with an "everyday" price of $5 now has a $6 pricetag to accommodate a better markdown and arrive at the same price. The move is an effort to reverse a 25 percent drop in fiscal year sales. The practice is common in retail and used by rivals Macy’s and Kohl's.
“The company said that it has now realized that coupons and sales attract more customers and that this is the market trend,” writes Nautilus Investment Strategies on the reversal of CEO Ron Johnson’s earlier "no sale" stance. “Market analysts feel that at this point no strategy change is going to change the fate of the company as a large number of customers have already gravitated towards other retailers such as Target and Macy’s.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 28, 2013 02:28 PM
But wait—there's more! As in: There's more to the stories about Walmart planning to have lockers at its stores where online customers can pick up packages. It turns out that the chain may also want to turn its real-life locations into busy hubs for outgoing deliveries of goods by renting space and time in the vehicles of some of its customers.
Reuters reported that Walmart is considering such an initiative for same-day delivery to keep up with advances by Amazon and Google planned for that realm. The idea faces a lot of legal, regulatory and privacy obstacles, but it could be coming to a Walmart near you soon.
"I see a path to where [delivery] is crowd-sourced," Joel Anderson, chief executive of Walmart.com in the United States, told the news service. Another executive added: "This is at the brain-storming stage, but it's possible in a year or two."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 27, 2013 03:31 PM
In many respects, the future of retail is a moving target that continues to shift in response to consumer demand. Retailers are now using mobile payments to help them succeed in a market that is increasingly mobile even as they scramble to reinvent and preserve the in-store experience.
When you bring these two trends together, they represent a not-so-subtle blending of distinctly different worlds: the physical store and the online store. It is here that battle lines are being drawn to determine who really owns the future of retail. That war is most evident when you examine some of the recent strategic moves by the top players.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 22, 2013 05:49 PM
Consider retailing a two-pronged challenge: On the one hand, retailers must accommodate the increasingly mobile consumer. On the other hand, the traditional retailer can't ignore the need to drive that consumer to a physical store.
As highlighted in our previous post on the future of retail, there is a flurry of activity surrounding online retail initiatives right now, with particular emphasis on mobile. Mobile payments in particular are getting a lot of attention as retailers figure out ways to transfer the shopping experience to every sort of handheld device.
But there is an equally intense effort to reinvent the traditional store. In fact, many retailers are beginning to realize that rather than close stores, they can sustain them by giving them a much-needed facelift. More than a surface makeover, however, reinventing the store involves a thorough rework that often includes a growing trend: creating a "brand story" to engage and involve a consumer in the shopping experience.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 19, 2013 03:49 PM
Is this a sign of things to come for Canada's retail darling? Lululemon, the Vancouver-based lifestyle brand and highly successful global retailer, over the weekend pulled its Luon black yoga pants from store shelves after discovering the sheer material was just too sheer, a result, some say, of poor quality control on the company's part. On Monday, the retailer announced it would be pulling various—but unnamed—styles of its popular (and pricey) yoga pants, explaining, “Some of our bottoms were made with a batch of black luon that doesn’t meet our standards so we’ve pulled them from our floors and our website.”
“At lululemon, our most important relationship is with our communities and our guests. We recently learned some information about some product that arrived in our stores and we wanted you to know right away,” according to the retailer's blog post. “We are working with our supplier to replace this fabric and other manufacturers to replenish the affected core items as fast as we can. What that means is there will be a shortage of these styles in our stores and online until our new stock arrives. We are also in conversation with our manufacturing partner to understand what happened during the period this fabric was made.”
The brand said it will offer refunds or exchanges to customers who bought the affected item in March, either online or in stores. Lululemon—which was just named Canada's top retail brand by Interbrand's 2013 Best Retail Brands report—is known for turning around products on short order. "Our guest knows that there's a limited supply, and it creates these fanatical shoppers," CEO Christine Day, a former Starbucks executive, told the Wall Street Journal. But the reported pants issue isn't a calculated sales strategy to boost demand and drive sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 18, 2013 03:32 PM
If Joe Fresh could rescue Ron Johnson, the Canadian apparel brand probably would, but opening Joe Fresh boutiques in nearly 700 of J.C. Penney's 1,100 U.S. department stores on Friday might be only the first step in a long line of right moves the Penney CEO must make in order to save the iconic retail brand from itself—and him.
In Canada, Joe Fresh, which is owned by supermarket brand Loblaw, appears mainly in Loblaw stores or in standalone stores next door. Yet Johnson was able to pluck it out of many possibilities as a fresh, edgy brand to occupy one of the first waves of "store-within-a-store" boutiques that are supposed to begin helping JCP escape the consequences of the CEO's strategy for tearing down the old brand in order to build a new one.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 13, 2013 02:23 PM
Plenty of businesses were unhappy when President Obama suggested raising the minimum wage, but Costco CEO Craig Jelinek recently let the world know that he’s all for raising it to $10.10 an hour—and the news isn’t hurting business, either.
Last quarter, Costco's revenue ballooned to $537 million, which is up from $394 million in the same period one year ago, The Huffington Post reports.
“At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business,” Jelinik said last week. “Instead of minimizing wages, we know it's a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.”Continue reading...