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jerryking : bricks-and-mortar   60

For Sephora, the store is core to its beauty
July 24 2019 | | Financial Times | by Harriet Agnew and Hannah Copeland in Paris.

**Sephora stores focus on experience, allowing consumers to test products digitally on a virtual mirror for instance or personalise products **

Like its stores in New York’s Times Square and Dubai Mall in the Middle East, Sephora in La Défense has recently reopened after an extensive refurbishment. The investment reflects how bricks and mortar and experiential retail are key to Sephora’s growth. The LVMH-owned group, which stocks about 300 brands alongside its own label, has increased sales fourfold in the past eight years, fuelled by a booming beauty market........“A lot of people are scared of the retail apocalypse so they’re not investing in stores, and that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said chief executive Chris de Lapuente in an interview on the shop floor. “We’re investing in our stores, taking our top 100 stores in the world and renovating them to the best possible standard.”....Mr de Lapuente says one attraction of Sephora is that consumers “discover brands they can’t find anywhere else”, noting that about a third of its offerings are exclusive to Sephora, and it acts as an incubator for upcoming or niche brands....Exclusivity might be with Huda, which began selling false eyelashes in Dubai and subsequently developed a collaboration with Sephora; pop star Rihanna’s cosmetics brand Fenty, which is on track for €500m sales this year; or an exclusive collaboration with Dior for the Dior Backstage range of make-up.

Pointing to the beauty bar where customers can get a free makeover, Mr de Lapuente added: “Experiential retail is crucial to our success. Sephora is a place where people come for advice, they come to listen. We teach, inspire and play . . . You’re not going to get this online. Online you can do your research . . . here you can come and experiment.”

Mr Fujimori agrees, saying Sephora “successfully combines experiential retail with a leading ecommerce presence, leveraging digital technology to enhance the shopping experience in-store and online”......
Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. The challenge now for Sephora is to stay ahead in a world where there are more make-up and beauty brands than ever, and social media has lowered barriers to entry and boosted the speed to market. Meanwhile, Amazon last month announced the launch of its professional beauty stores, aimed at the mass market.

“Amazon is just another one of the many choices out there,” said Mr de Lapuente. “They have a strong e-commerce offering. They don’t have stores. We love that consumers love to shop online and in store.” He says that customers who buy both on- and offline tend to purchase three times more than those who buy using just one channel. Ecommerce represents an average of 20 per cent of sales in each country for Sephora, which uses influencers to build its community. “Amazon just forces us to raise our game.”....

The pressure is on to keep on innovating. “Beauty is so fast-moving, you can’t cruise,” said Mr de Lapuente. He says innovation will come both from new products (citing untapped potential in haircare and wellness), and from the way in which brands reach consumers. He sees opportunities in areas like voice-activated ordering through home assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, and social commerce through platforms like China’s WeChat.

But despite such technological developments, for Mr de Lapuente, the store has a robust future.

At La Défense, customers are returning to work with Sephora’s distinctive striped bags modelled on the black and white stripes of Italy’s Siena Cathedral. “Is physical retail alive or dead?” mused Mr de Lapuente among the throng of shoppers. “It looks pretty alive to me. The store is where the magic happens.”
Amazon  beauty  brands  bricks-and-mortar  customer_experience  cosmetics  digital_influencers  e-commerce  experimentation  experiential_marketing  high-end  in-store  incubators  innovation  LVMH  makeup  millennials  omnichannel  refurbished  renovations  Sephora  women 
july 2019 by jerryking
America’s Biggest Supermarket Company Struggles With Online Grocery Upheaval
April 21, 2019 | WSJ | By Heather Haddon.

Kroger adjusts operations and invests in technology to hang on to customers who avoid stores; ‘we’ve got to get our butts in gear
Amazon  bricks-and-mortar  BOPIS  CDO  cultural_clash  delivery_services  digital_strategies  disruption  e-commerce  e-grocery  grocery  IBM  Instacart  Jet  Kroger  Microsoft  millennials  Ocado  Oracle  pilot_programs  post-deal_integration  retailers  same-day  Shipt  start_ups  supermarkets  Vitacost  Wal-Mart  Whole_Foods 
april 2019 by jerryking
Supercharging retail sales through geospatial analytics
March 2019 | | McKinsey | By Rob Hearne, Alana Podreciks, Nathan Uhlenbrock, and Kelly Ungerman.

A retailer can now use geospatial analytics to understand the interactions between its online and offline channels. With these insights, it can create a higher-performing retail network.
====================================
Is our outlet store in San Francisco hurting foot traffic and sales at our full-price store two miles away? Or is it doing the opposite—attracting new customers and making them more likely to visit both stores? How are our five Manhattan stores affecting our e-commerce revenue? Are they making consumers more likely to shop on our website or to search for our products on Amazon? If we open a new mall store in the Dallas metro area, what impact will it have on sales at our existing stores, at our department-store partners, and online?

The answers to these kinds of questions are increasingly crucial to a retailer’s success, as more and more consumers become omnichannel shoppers......most retailers don’t give adequate thought to the cross-channel impact of their stores. They rely on gut feel or on high-level analysis of aggregated sales data to gauge how their offline and online channels interact.....there’s a way for retailers (and other omnichannel businesses) to quantify cross-channel effects, thus taking the guesswork out of network optimization. Through advanced geospatial analytics and machine learning, a retailer can now generate a detailed quantitative picture of how each of its customer touchpoints—including owned stores and websites, wholesale doors, and partner e-commerce sites—affects sales at all its other touchpoints within a micromarket......US retail sales are on an upward trajectory.....despite the growth of e-commerce, the vast majority of these purchases still happened in brick-and-mortar stores. .....So why have US retailers closed thousands of stores in the past year, with thousands more closures to come?....Because the consumer journey is changing!!......Consumers are transacting in different channels....engaging across multiple channels, often simultaneously rather than sequentially. It’s critical for omnichannel retailers to have a detailed understanding of the interplay between online and offline touchpoints, and between owned and partner networks.

Quantifying cross-channel effects

the starting point is data......from a wide range of internal and external sources. Inputs into a geospatial model would ideally include not just transaction and customer data but also store-specific details such as store size and product mix; site-specific information such as foot traffic and retail intensity; environmental data, including local-area demographics; and anonymized mobile-phone location data.......A simulation model can then quantify the sales effect of each of the retailer’s customer touchpoints on its other channels within a local market. The model must be sophisticated enough to simulate the upward or downward revenue impact of adding or removing a particular touchpoint.

Geospatial analysis reveals that the consistency and magnitude of cross-channel effects vary significantly across channel types and markets.
analytics  bricks-and-mortar  cross-channel  customer_journey  customer_touchpoints  data  e-commerce  foot_traffic  geospatial  gut_feelings  location_based_services  McKinsey  moments_of_truth  omnichannel  privacy  retailers  store_closings  security_consciousness  site_selection 
march 2019 by jerryking
Amazon to Launch New Grocery-Store Business
March 1, 2019 | WSJ | By Esther Fung and Heather Haddon.

Amazon is planning to open dozens of grocery stores in several major U.S. cities....as the retail giant looks to broaden its reach in the food business and touch more aspects of consumers’ lives......The new stores would be distinct from the company’s upscale Whole Foods Market chain. It isn’t clear whether the new stores would carry the Amazon name......Amazon in recent years has become increasingly focused on physical retail, posing a threat to traditional grocers. The new chain would help Amazon in fulfilling a yearslong initiative to build out a physical grocery presence, which was at one point potentially envisioned to reach more than 2,000 brick-and mortar stores in a variety of sizes and formats......Amazon is also exploring purchasing regional grocery chains with about a dozen stores under operation, one person said, that could bolster the new chain......Amazon’s further push into physical retail is its latest move far beyond its origins selling books and music on the web. Over the years it has become a cloud-computing giant, a major player in Hollywood entertainment and a burgeoning provider of logistics services. More recently it has emerged as a major competitor in digital advertising and launched forays in finance and health care......The new stores aren’t intended to compete directly with the more upscale Whole Foods stores and will offer a different variety of products, at a lower price point, these people said. Whole Foods doesn’t sell products with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners, among other quality standards.

Suppliers with big brands have hoped to have inroads into Whole Foods since Amazon bought the chain nearly two years ago. While Whole Foods has gradually expanded the big brands it carries—such as Honey-Nut Cheerios and Michelob beer—a conventional grocer can carry a much larger assortment of items. Amazon has had mixed results with its food-delivery business, and it wants to better understand how it can cater to grocery shoppers....Supermarket operators Walmart Inc., Kroger Co. and others are also trying to find ways to offer delivery and pickup to customers in a more cost-efficient manner...Amazon’s new grocery brand also comes as the retailer rolls out its cashierless Amazon Go stores in urban areas. It is testing that checkout technology for bigger retail stores. Meanwhile, Whole Foods is expanding its national footprint....For its new stores, Amazon is targeting new developments and occupied stores with leases ending soon.....Amazon doesn’t want restrictions on the type of goods it may sell at its stores and wants the ability to change the store and sell health and beauty products for instance......It is unclear whether these new stores will be cashierless, but they will be heavily tilted to customer service and pickup capabilities......a strategy where big retailers combine e-commerce with physical stores is the direction the industry is heading.
Amazon  BOPIS  bricks-and-mortar  cashierless  e-commerce  food  grocery  home-delivery  in-store  Kroger  new_businesses  physical_retail  rollouts  supermarkets  Wal-Mart  Whole_Foods 
march 2019 by jerryking
Store wars: short sellers expect more pain in US retail
February 26, 2019 | Financial Times | by Alistair Gray in New York.

Short sellers who made big bets against US retailers a couple of years ago had hoped for carnage across the board. No one could compete with the rise and rise of Amazon...which would make life hard for every mall tenant across America.

But after a period in which internet shopping seemed to hit almost every brick-and-mortar retailer, the industry seems to be dividing into winners and losers. Casualties are still piling up: bankruptcies since the turn of the year....Payless Shoes ....Sears, the once dominant department store chain, narrowly avoided outright liquidation.

However, some of the biggest companies e.g. Walmart & Best Buy are reporting their healthiest metrics in years......For short sellers trying to profit from falling share prices, it makes for a perilous environment.

“It’s a slow death by a thousand paper cuts, and not the kind of ‘mall-mageddon’ originally anticipated by that trade,”.....“Retail has been much more volatile than many would have expected. It hasn’t been decidedly one way down.”....an over-reaction in 2017 and that led to pretty nice opportunities [for longs] in 2018,”.....Investors who put money on the demise of retail that summer have lost out in many cases......It was almost as if they [shorts] were acting like no retail real estate space can work,” ....overcapacity doesn’t mean retail real estate is dead.”...Shares in the sector have been volatile in part because investors have had to consider a series of seemingly contradictory data points about the health of both the US consumer and the retail business.....Traditional chains are also trying to take on Amazon by improving their online offerings and making their stores more enticing. Both require hefty investment, although successful examples include Lululemon, which offers yoga lessons in its stores. Shares in the company have tripled since a 2017 low.

“Those who are innovating and investing in ecommerce, marketing and social media tend to be doing well...“The US is still over-stored,” ...Ecommerce meant “more of the store base is not economic. That’s going be a secular pressure for years to come. For those retailers that don’t have a digital strategy, it’s just a matter of time before they fall.”
Amazon  apocalypses  bankruptcies  barbell_effect  bear_markets  bricks-and-mortar  commercial_real_estate  death_by_a_thousand_cuts  department_stores  digital_strategies  e-commerce  innovation  investors  investment_thesis  Lululemon  pain_points  overcapacity  retailers  shopping_malls  short_selling  structural_decline  Wal-Mart 
february 2019 by jerryking
Ghost kitchens : the next disruption in the restaurant industry ?
8 Jan, 2018 | intotheminds | Posted By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab.

(1) https://www.restaurant-hospitality.com/operations/ubereats-nudges-operators-toward-virtual-restaurants
(2) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/28/deliveroo-dark-kitchens-pop-up-feeding-the-city-london#img-3

ghost kitchen make perfect economic sense : margins are thin in the restaurant industry, driven by high employees-related costs, rent, expensive equipment and variability in demand. Setting up a restaurant is a bet with a 5 to 20-year time horizon depending on myriad factors : your positioning, the location, and many exogenous factors out of your control. Eliminating all those risks seems like a logical move :

how to make a restaurant less location-dependent ?
how to adapt quickly to demand ?
how to reduce fixed costs (renting and equipping a place) ?
The bright sides : 3 major advantages of ghost kitchens

**The 3 major advantages of ghost kitchens are their answers to the 3 problems listed above :

the restaurant is not location-dependant anymore. If there is an event likely to generate massive flow of potential customers, you can move
ghost kitchens can adapt quickly to demand : the standardized kitchen unit just has to be multipled, which is not possible with street food vans unless you own several of them (which brings us to the 3rd advantage).
ghost kitchens, because they are rented from online platforms like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, transfom fixed costs into variable ones. This is great to test your idea and is a cheap way to do market research and test traction on a market.

** The dark sides of Uber’s and Deliveroo’s ghost kitchens
1. Why would one still rent a place to operate a restaurant ?
Good question indeed. If all hurdles and risks of operating a brick-and-mortar restaurant can be removed, why would you still want to rent a place (fixed costs), buy the equipment (fixed costs), hire employees (fixed costs) and wait on patrons to come in (variable revenues) ? If a platform like Uber or Deliveroo can provide you with customers’ orders, the need to have a brick-and-mortar place would vanish.
But if every single restaurant owner adopts that posture, how will city centers look like on the long run ?

2. Dependence towards platforms
What happened with the hospitality sector may well happen on the middle-term in the restaurant industry too. Uber eats, Deliveroo have disrupted the way we consume food. This is a new societal change that is most to be felt in Europe (urban Americans use already to get food delivered to their homes, most restaurants in US cities proposing at home delivery) : it has become easier than ever to get food delivered at home.
If enough restaurant owners make a significant percentage of their revenues through those platforms, they will eventually become dependent on them and will struggle like hotels are now struggling with Booking.com. Using platforms is a wise strategy to grow revenues but it can also become a very dangerous one if your dependence to them increases.
beyond_your_control  commercial_kitchens  disruption  fixed_costs  food_delivery  kitchens  platforms  restaurants  variable_costs  Deliveroo  Uber  asset-light  event-driven  experimentation  test_marketing  pop-ups  cold_storage  on-demand  dark_side  virtual_restaurants  bricks-and-mortar 
january 2019 by jerryking
Walmart tells investors to expect more risk-taking
October 16, 2018 | Financial Times | Alistair Gray and Pan Kwan Yuk in New York.

Doug McMillon said at an investor meeting on Tuesday that the Arkansas-based company was experimenting with technology ranging from floor-cleaning robots to augmented reality and biometrics as he urged Wall Street to “challenge your thinking about Walmart”.

Walmart superstores have transformed shopping habits and became a dominant force in American retail. The bricks-and-mortar model, however, has been upended in by the rise of ecommerce.

“Looking back, we had a proven model, and we naturally focused on execution. As the numbers grew, we . . . unintentionally became risk averse,” Mr McMillon said at a meeting for investors.

“But today we’re getting to reimagine retail and our business. To do that we take risk — try quite a few things and learn from our failures. That type of behaviour’s in our DNA, and we’re waking up that part of our culture.”.....Online sales, in which Walmart has been investing aggressively as part of its response to Amazon, are expected to increase around 35 per cent for the fiscal 2020 year, compared to the expected 40 per cent for 2019.

Walmart also on Tuesday struck a partnership with Advance Auto Parts, allowing it increase its presence in the car parts business. Under the tie-up the companies will offer home delivery, same-day pick up at each other’s stores and installation of some parts.
Amazon  e-commerce  experimentation  failure  innovation  retailers  risk-taking  Wall_Street  Wal-Mart  augmented_reality  auto_parts  biometrics  bricks-and-mortar  home-delivery  same-day  shopping_habits 
october 2018 by jerryking
How Tech is Drawing Shoppers Back to Bricks-and-Mortar Stores - WSJ
By Rebecca Dolan
Sept. 12, 2018

Robin Lewis, "The New Rules of Retail"

E-commerce’s disruption of malls is impossible to deny, but sometimes shopping in stores is the only way to guarantee quality before you buy. The question: Will these technologies help you make the most of the trip?
books  brands  bricks-and-mortar  customer_experience  e-commerce  high-end  innovation  Nike  retailers  technology  mobile_applications  Nordstrom 
september 2018 by jerryking
Hard Lessons (Thanks, Amazon) Breathe New Life Into Retail Stores
Sept. 3, 2018 | The New York Times | By Michael Corkery.

Barbara Kahn, a marketing professor and former director of the retailing center at the Wharton School, has written “The Shopping Revolution” describing the disruption in the retail industry.

It may be too early to declare the death of retail. Americans have started shopping more — in stores. From the garden section at Walmart to the diamond counters at Tiffany & Company, old-school retailers are experiencing some of their best sales growth in years....Stores that have learned how to match the ease and instant gratification of e-commerce shopping are flourishing, while those that have failed to evolve are in bankruptcy or on the brink....Amazon has forever changed consumer behavior....Many successful stores are now a cross between a fast-food drive-through and a hotel concierge......Doomsayers have predicted that online shopping, led by Amazon, would one day conquer all of retail, rendering brick and mortar obsolete....But the pace of closings has slowed, as the most unprofitable stores have been culled and the weakest companies have collapsed....Far from retrenching, many retailers are expanding their physical presence or spending billions to overhaul existing stores......Many of the new stores are supposed to be all things to all shoppers — what the industry calls an “omni-channel” experience.

Customers can order online and pick up at the store. They can order online and have their purchases delivered home, in some cases, on the same day. Or they can visit the store
Amazon  BOPIS  bricks-and-mortar  consumer_behavior  e-commerce  home-delivery  instant_gratification  lessons_learned  omnichannel  retailers  revitalization  same-day  store_closings  Target  Tiffany  books  Wharton 
september 2018 by jerryking
Amazon’s Ripple Effect on Grocery Industry: Rivals Stock Up on Start-Ups
Aug. 21, 2018 | The New York Times | By Erin Griffith.

When Amazon bought Whole Foods Market. The $13.4 billion deal shook the grocery world, setting off a frenzy of deals and partnerships that continues to intensify. Traditional retailers pursued digital technology, and online companies reconsidered their relationship with brick-and-mortar retail......“Are technology folks like us going to figure out retail faster than the retailers figure out technology?” [the Great Game] ..... “In some ways we’re all kind of fighting the same fight against the gigantic folks online.”

Food shopping is one of the last major holdouts to online retail. Groceries are unique in that their inventory is perishable, fragile and heavy. Grocery customers often shop at the last minute, like to see the food they are about to eat and don’t want to pay high delivery fees.

Even Amazon, with its Amazon Fresh online grocery service, has struggled to gain ground in the business. The company’s Whole Foods deal, paired with Walmart’s 2016 acquisition of Jet.com, underscored that the future of selling food and household items requires cooperation between the digital natives and the old-school retailers.....Grocery companies “are realizing that with Walmart and Amazon moving at their pace, you need to pick yours up, too,” .... “I wouldn’t call it fear. I would call it a wake-up call.”....... Market research conducted by Morgan Stanley in July found that 56 % of consumers who were likely to order groceries online said they would most likely order from Amazon, compared with 14 % who would go to a mass merchandiser and 10 % who would use their local supermarket. Phil Lempert, a grocery industry analyst, predicted store closings for chains that do not evolve to meet the changing needs of customers. Stores offering curated selections, specialty items, cooking classes and the option to buy online and pick up in person will thrive,......Josh Hix, chief executive of Plated, a meal kit start-up, said the Amazon-Whole Foods deal had immediately changed his discussions with grocery chains. Meal kit companies have a checkered record. But the grocery companies saw an opportunity to use Plated’s data and research on recipes and taste preferences......Most of the big grocers “have wanted to kill us, partner with us, invest in us or buy us — all probably in the course of the same conversation,”......The ownership structure allows Boxed to license its technology to its retail competitors in the United States as they try to become more digital. The company is in talks with 10 or so potential partners for various pieces of its technology. They include mobile app technology, personalization software, a packing algorithm that maximizes space in shipping boxes, software that tracks item expiration dates, order management software and warehouse robotics automation........Grocery delivery is difficult to do affordably, but tech-driven efficiencies like those developed by Boxed, Amazon and others have forced change on the industry.

“Consumers want convenience and will pay more for it,
Amazon  AmazonFresh  bricks-and-mortar  e-commerce  home-delivery  partnerships  retailers  same-day  start_ups  the_Great_Game  Whole_Foods  fulfillment  grocery  supermarkets  ripple_effects  e-grocery 
august 2018 by jerryking
India’s Biggest Competitors to Walmart and Amazon? Mom and Pop - WSJ
By Eric Bellman and Vibhuti Agarwal | Photographs by Smita Sharma for The Wall Street Journal
May 28, 2018 9:00 a.m. ET
Amazon  bricks-and-mortar  convenience_stores  e-commerce  family_business  India  local  mom-and-pop  retailers  Wal-Mart  small_business 
may 2018 by jerryking
Can Smartphones Stop the Death of the Salesman? - WSJ
By Khadeeja Safdar | Photographs by Dominick Reuter for The Wall Street Journal
April 15, 2018 8:00 a.m
smartphones  retailers  mens'_clothing  suits  apparel  salespeople  bricks-and-mortar 
april 2018 by jerryking
Les Wexner, the man behind Victoria’s Secret
Barney Jopson MARCH 30, 2018

Propped against the wall are boards from recent presentations about customer loyalty schemes and the nearby Easton open-air shopping complex, which was conceived by Wexner, a staunch and often lonely defender of bricks-and-mortar retail....Since his existential crisis, Wexner has devoted part of his time and fortune to philanthropy, funding leadership training and the Wexner Center for the Arts and Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, his alma mater.....The typical lifespan of a fashion business, Wexner says, is 15 years. Most retail chains, whatever they sell, don’t survive beyond 20 or 30 years. Yet Wexner has been in charge for 55 years. Behind him in the Fortune 500 longevity stakes is Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has run Berkshire Hathaway for a mere 53. The key to survival, Wexner says, is to reinvent yourself as your shoppers evolve. “When the customer zigs, you zig.”

But he is facing his stiffest trial yet. Amazon, which has conquered a series of retail categories, is now getting into underwear. Online-only lingerie specialists are trying to steal Victoria’s Secret customers....His eventual point is that most people want to express their individuality, which has a lot to do with sexuality, which means lingerie is loaded with powerful “emotional content” for women.......I talk about the predictive power of data and algorithms (one of Amazon’s great assets) but he pooh-poohs their relevance. The response is similarly dismissive when I ask Wexner — who did not marry his lawyer wife Abigail until he was 55 — whether he sourced lingerie ideas from the women he dated. “N-n-nooo,” he says. “You can’t ask. Fashion is about latent demand. You can’t research it. If I say, ‘what colour are you going to buy next fall?’, no one is going to say, ‘I think purple’s going to be a great colour’.”
........He says the death of shops has been greatly exaggerated. Sure, 9,000 US stores closed last year by some estimates. Sure, habits are changing. People used to wile away four hours at the mall and visit 20 stores. Now they skip the mediocre shops and make a beeline for just one or two, Wexner says. But humans are still “pack animals” who like to mingle. And where they go, they spend more. Amazon is great for buying commodity products when you know exactly what you want. But fashion stores are about stumbling upon “things you haven’t seen before”, Wexner says. The doom-mongers are looking at average sales across all shops. “I think they’re missing the wheat from the chaff,” he says.
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Leslie_Wexner  Victoria's_Secret  moguls  CEOs  entrepreneur  retailers  L_Brands  intimate_apparel  personal_care_products  lingerie  bricks-and-mortar 
april 2018 by jerryking
How One Investor Made a Fortune Picking Over the Retail Apocalypse - WSJ
By Khadeeja Safdar and Miriam Gottfried
March 21, 2018

While private-equity firms and public investors have been shying away from traditional retail, Sycamore has made bigger bets on the sector. It bought Staples Inc. in September for $6.8 billion—the largest U.S. leveraged buyout of 2017.... strong demand from pension funds and other institutions to co-invest to tap Sycamore’s retail wizardry.

With Sycamore’s strategy, it isn’t necessary to spruce up a purchased company. The firm often buys struggling retailers and sells off their most valuable pieces. It cuts costs at whatever remains, sometimes using the savings to extract dividends.

The firm tells investors its returns “need not depend” on successfully identifying growth opportunities for its retail targets, according to documents for its new fund.

Sycamore also extracts returns from clothing chains by acting as a middleman between them and suppliers, using a company it owns to sell inventory to the retailers, sometimes as they struggle to remain solvent, according to industry executives and court filings.....“Sycamore is the best of the bunch in the retail sector,” .....Sycamore’s team doesn’t usually get involved in day-to-day operational decisions such as selecting merchandise and designing store layouts, preferring instead to hire consultants and veteran retail executives, said former executives at some of its portfolio companies.
private_equity  retailers  cost-cutting  investors  bricks-and-mortar  apparel  Staples 
march 2018 by jerryking
Imagining the Retail Store of the Future
APRIL 12, 2017 | The New York Times | By ELIZABETH PATON.

What will the store of the future look like? Gleaming robots using facial recognition technology to personalize sales pitches to mood or past spending preferences? Voice-activated personal assistants, downloading the availability, color and fit of any and every garment to your smartphone? 3-D printing stations? No checkout counters when you leave? Holographic product displays on the shop floor that change when a customer walks by? Virtual fitting rooms via virtual reality headsets? Drones dropping deliveries in the backyard or on the front steps?.......is this the sort of shopping experience that customers really want?
Scores of leading retailers and fashion brands increasingly say no.........Farfetch — the global online marketplace for independent luxury boutiques — held a daylong event at the Design Museum in London. There, in front of 200 fashion industry insiders and partners, José Neves, the founder of Farfetch, unveiled “The Store of the Future,” a suite of new technologies developed by his company to help brands and boutiques bridge the worlds of online and offline.......A report by Bain suggests that although 70 % of high-end purchases are influenced by online interactions, stores will continue to play a critical role, with 75 % of sales still occurring in a physical location by 2025.

What may change, however, is a store’s primary purpose. Forget e-commerce, or bricks and mortar, or even omnichannel sales; according to Mr. Neves, the new retail era is one anchored in “augmented retail,” a blend of the digital and physical allowing a shopper to shift seamlessly between the two realms.....Holition is an augmented-reality consultancy and software provider based in London that has worked with some well-known retail brands.......“The holy grail for retailers is creating digital empathy....No one knows what the future will look like....those using technology and data to create bespoke personalized shopping experiences...are more likely to come out on top.”.....boutiques and physical events remained vital “marketing opportunities,” with a more specialized inventory selection and the opportunity for customers to do more than buy merchandise......talks, film screenings and designer meet-and-greets, along with social media lessons, exercise classes and floristry sessions.......“Stores cannot just be row after row of product rail anymore,” he added. . “To survive, they have to tell stories — rooted in a sense of community and entertainment — and have points of view that makes the owner stand out.”.......“Ultimately the use of data to transform stores will separate those who make it to the next step and those who won’t.
reimagining  retailers  physical_place  shopping_malls  cashierless  e-commerce  reconceptualization  future  shopping_experience  brands  fashion  omnichannel  bricks-and-mortar  MatchesFashion  Holition  Yoox  facial-recognition 
february 2018 by jerryking
How Retailers Can Thrive in the Age of Amazon - WSJ
By Stephen Moore
Dec. 15, 2017

How can a retailer flourish in such a daunting environment? By providing “emotional fulfillment,” = the joy customers take in seeing, touching, sniffing and testing the product before they pull out the credit card. A computer can’t match that experience...“We are social animals. We aren’t robots who are going to make all our purchases from robots.”

Somewhat counterintuitively....e-commerce is “not our enemy” but is becoming complementary to retail. Here’s his challenge to anyone who thinks digital sales are set to crush the old analog kind: ...If that isn’t enough, he adds: “Guess what’s one of our most successful stores we just opened up three months ago? Amazon. They already mastered online book sales. Why are they creating a physical presence? Because they know they need to connect and fuse with you as a consumer.” That’s what he means by emotional fulfillment.

He sketches out a strategy for retail in the digital age. It starts with making the mall an appealing place to visit. Parking is free, he says, and the stores are full of helpful employees. “We tell our retailers that one of the primary value added of retail shopping is the expertise that the salesclerks can offer customers,” he says, “They better be knowledgeable about what they are selling, or people will go online or to a discount store.” He urges his tenants to pay well more than the minimum wage to attract better employees, and he says most of them do
retailers  Amazon  contra-Amazon  shopping_malls  e-commerce  bricks-and-mortar  emotional_connections 
january 2018 by jerryking
Some Big Retailers Are Still Betting On Brick and Mortar
NOV. 14, 2017 | The New York Times | By MICHAEL CORKERY.

Target’s new store near Herald Square in New York City, down the block from Macy’s flagship store and other national retail chains. It is one of about 130 smaller format stores Target has opened or plans to open by the end of 2019. The new stores are scaled back versions of the big-box Targets that predominate in the suburbs.

The company’s store strategy stands out at a time when just about everyone seems to be questioning the relevance of brick-and-mortar retail. Amazon is seizing an ever-larger share of consumers’ wallets, reducing foot traffic to stores.....The retail industry has been pushing back against the pessimism. This summer, the IHL Group, a retail and hospitality advising firm, produced a report that showed retailers will open more new stores than they will close this year. (Most of the growth, however, came from restaurant openings, not new department stores or big box retailers.)....

“The negative narrative that has been out there about the death of retail is patently false,” Greg Buzek, the group’s president, said in August when the report was published.

Some of the biggest growth in brick-and-mortar stores is coming from discount retailers, like TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. E-commerce may offer convenience and instant gratification. But shoppers are still willing to go into a store to hunt for a good bargain.“......The big challenge is how do you get customers to come into a store if they don’t have to,” said Melina Cordero, head of retail research for Americas at CBRE, the real estate firm.....Walmart is also trying to generate more buzz around its stores, which had drawn complaints from some customers in recent years for being too cavernous and unpleasant to shop in.

This month, Walmart is holding holiday parties — complete with toy demonstrations and workers in reindeer hats — as it “cranks up the volume on store experiences.”...Retailers like Walmart are hoping they can build a more profitable business that incorporates both brick-and-mortar and online shopping — a strategy known in the industry as “omni-channel.”

Online retailers like Amazon face high transportation costs, particularly as they guarantee free two-day and even same-day delivery. They are also bearing the cost of processing free returns.

Many analysts and retail executives said Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods and its more than 460 stores validated the relevance of brick and mortar. Still, e-commerce continues to grow at a blistering rate, far outpacing the increase in overall retail sales. Unless that growth abates, analysts and economists question how so many stores — from suburban malls to hip boutiques — can survive.
retailers  Target  bricks-and-mortar  small_spaces  store_closings  big-box  CBRE  Wal-Mart  omnichannel  e-commerce 
november 2017 by jerryking
Kenneth Cole on keeping retail fashionable in a modern age
Nov. 2, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | SUSAN KRASHINSKY ROBERTSON.

About a year ago, your company announced the closing of all but two of your stores in the United States. Why?

The retail model needs to be re-imagined. We're looking to focus on the brand experience in the virtual universe, and then recreate a new physical experience.

How much of your sales in the future do you envision coming from the brick-and-mortar space?

Everyone is trying to figure it out. The shopping experience needs to be very different. It's happening really fast. It will be an interesting time. A lot of people will not survive it. At the end of the day, you'll have a stronger, more efficient marketplace.

More than three decades into the business, how has your view of advertising changed?

In the past, my goal was to sell my brand. Over the past five years, it seems everybody is their own brand – they wake up every day and curate it on their Facebook, their Twitter feed, their Instagram feed. My goal is to hopefully convince you to allow me to be part of your brand. All of that is changing.
Kenneth_Cole  brands  Susan_Krashinsky  retailers  fashion  bricks-and-mortar  cause_marketing  advertising  store_closings  shopping_experience  physical_experiences 
november 2017 by jerryking
Why traditional retail hasn’t hit rock bottom — yet
October 4, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | ERIC REGULY.
.....it's fashionable—and not wrong—to blame Amazon for most of the retailers' woes, other factors, from stale retail formats to the new anti-stuff movement, are at play too. Put together, the financial and cultural forces battering the retailers seem relentless.

The outlook is so grim that Bespoke Investment Group of Harrison, New York, invented a "Death by Amazon" list of 54 retail stocks that it thought would get whacked by Amazon and other forces conspiring against the sector......Traditional retailing, of course, is not entirely doomed because only the brave or bone-headed would buy some expensive items—diamond earrings, high-end suits, musical instruments, mattresses, Persian carpets, prescription sunglasses—without hands-on examination. And some shoppers, me among them, like the pleasure of propping up independent stores that sell high-quality goods.

But I don't shop much for general merchandise any more, because I am sick of clutter and, with university fees for my kids, don't have the spending power for non-essential items..... blamed shifting consumption patterns for much of the old-style retailers' distress........ blamed shifting consumption patterns for much of the old-style retailers' distress...money spent on smartphones and wireless services is unavailable to be spent on T-shirts and shoes.....middle-class incomes have stagnated, healthcare costs have climbed, and highly leveraged consumers are more interested in paying off debt than buying new TVs. Something had to give, and it was the department stores, whose shares are down by 40% or more in the last year or so (Macy's, J.C. Penney)......Amazon's endless virtual aisles sells Fiat cars in Italy, Nike shoes and and Sears' Kenmore appliances. Amazon recently bought Whole Foods and dropped its prices, which put the mainstream supermarkets into a panic........ 55% of product searches start on Amazon, far more than the 28% that start on search engines. The popularity of Amazon Prime (which provides free, two-day delivery as well as TV and movie video streaming) and the construction of massive warehouses have accelerated its growth. .....captures an estimated 40% of every shopping dollar spent online and is already the second-biggest apparel seller in the U.S., behind Wal-Mart. No wonder the traditional retail sector is in free fall.
And here's another question: As traditional retailers weaken or go out of business, and anchor stores disappear from North America's crazily over-malled shopping geography, can the real estate investment trusts be far behind? Betting against Amazon seems a fool's game.......
Eric_Reguly  retailers  decline  bricks-and-mortar  shifting_tastes  Amazon  REITs  shopping_malls  bankruptcies  department_stores  seismic_shifts  high-quality 
october 2017 by jerryking
Toys ‘R’ Us versus Amazon: No contest
September 17, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | BARRIE MCKENNA.

It's a new era all right...The industry is grappling with the relentless onslaught of Amazon and Alibaba, excess retail space, the retreat of department-store mall anchors and intense price competition. Meanwhile, consumers are shifting their spending from things to experiences, including entertainment and dining-out
The harsh reality for Toys "R" Us and other big-box stores is that they aren't indispensable any more as North Americans discover new and different ways to shop. You don't have to schlep to a suburban shopping strip to find the newest Lego set, video game or electronic gadget. Order it online, and you can have it delivered to your door, often for free the next day, at the best price available anywhere.

....retail experts have warned that a tipping point was coming for the industry as more and more shopping moved online. This looks like the year.....Analysts predict that a record 9,000 retail stores will close across the U.S. in 2017. That would eclipse 2016, when roughly 6,200 stores closed....
Retailers have been filing for protection from creditors at a faster pace this year than at any time since the 2008-09 recession. Toys "R" Us joins a long list of famous retail casualties of 2017 in Canada and the U.S., including Sears Canada, The Limited, Wet Seal, BCBG, Payless Shoes, Sports Authority, Gymboree, Aéropostale and American Apparel. And there are still three-plus months to go.....The rise of Amazon is proof that consumers are embracing new ways of buying. The company's North American sales grew five-fold to $80-billion (U.S.) between 2010 and 2016. Half of U.S. households now subscribe to Amazon Prime, a fee-based service that offers free two-day shipping, music and video streaming plus other perks......What's alarming isn't so much the share of shopping that has moved online, but the speed at which it's moved.

Warren Buffett sold off nearly $1-billion worth of Walmart stock earlier this year, explaining that traditional retailing is "too tough" a business in the age of Amazon. "The world has evolved, and it's going to keep evolving, but the speed is increasing," Mr. Buffett said.

Amazon and China's Alibaba won't be the only winners in this new era. A vast array of other businesses feed off the online industry, including shippers and logistics companies, plus a vast network of technology companies, including store platforms (Shopify), analytics companies and app makers.
Amazon  Alibaba  e-commerce  store_closings  Barrie_McKenna  retailers  bricks-and-mortar  toys  Toys_"R"_Us  bankruptcies  brands  Amazon_Prime  home-delivery  accelerated_lifecycles  Warren_Buffett  Wal-Mart  big-box 
september 2017 by jerryking
The Future of Shopping
Darrell K. Rigby
FROM THE DECEMBER 2011 ISSUE

omnichannel retailing. The name reflects the fact that retailers will be able to interact with customers through countless channels—websites, physical stores, kiosks, direct mail and catalogs, call centers, social media, mobile devices, gaming consoles, televisions, networked appliances, home services, and more.......The experience of shopping.
Traditional retailers have suffered more than they probably realize at the hands of Amazon and other online companies. As volume trickles from the stores and sales per square foot decline, the response of most retailers is almost automatic: Cut labor, reduce costs, and sacrifice service. But that only exacerbates the problem. With even less service to differentiate the stores, customers focus increasingly on price and convenience, which strengthens the advantages of online retailers.

If traditional retailers hope to survive, they have to turn the one big feature that internet retailers lack—stores—from a liability into an asset.
retailers  future  HBR  omnichannel  bricks-and-mortar  downward_spirals  experiential_marketing  contra-Amazon  hourly_workers  sales_per_square_foot 
august 2017 by jerryking
Latest to Be Blamed for Retailers’ Woes: Private Equity - WSJ
By Lillian Rizzo
Updated July 30, 2017
A wave of retail bankruptcies washing through court has revived an old debate about the role of private-equity firms in accelerating the problems of companies in distress......"During that same time, Payless was also grappling with dwindling mall foot traffic, consumers shifting to spending online, changing trends and many store leases. Since the bankruptcy filing, hundreds of Payless stores have been closed, and employees have been laid off."

Vendors and landlords alleged in court papers that the dividend payouts, along with other payments to the investors, left the retailer particularly vulnerable to collapse just as technology and shifting consumer behavior upended the retail industry.

“The depletion of their coffers put the company on a dangerous path that ultimately led to this instant bankruptcy filing,” a group of Payless’s unsecured creditors said in June court papers.
retailers  bricks-and-mortar  private_equity  investors  bankruptcies  foot_traffic  creditors  store_closings 
july 2017 by jerryking
E-tailers joining the real world - The Globe and Mail
PAUL ATTFIELD
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jun. 26, 2017

Online retailers establishing a presence in the real world, in addition to their virtual ones, is an emerging trend in retail, not to mention an opportunity for landlords to find a new wave of tenants......“I think the days of being an online-only company are going to be coming to an end, whether that’s three years from now, five years from now or what have you,”.....
e-commerce  bricks-and-mortar  omnichannel  foot_traffic  Vistaprint  online-only  cabinets  in_the_real_world 
june 2017 by jerryking
As Retailers Race to Close Stores, a Web Startup Is Opening Them - WSJ
By Khadeeja Safdar
April 30, 2017

Online brands are treading more carefully into physical retail. Several brands, such as Everlane, Casper and Warby Parker, have opened temporary stores to test out foot traffic and experiment with new concepts. ....One challenge for online brands is to ensure that new locations increase sales, rather than cannibalize existing business.

“We have to see the interplay between our online and offline channels,” said Ms. Ulman. “A customer who shops online and offline is supposed to be very valuable, but we want to understand just how much more valuable.”....Online apparel brands are finding that they don’t need much to set up a store. The evolution of point-of-sales technology means that transactions can now be made on phones and tablets. Some newer retailers don’t even keep much inventory. Bonobos, which started out selling men’s clothing online, lets customers try on items at its more than two dozen “guideshops” and mails purchases to their doorsteps.

Greats sells eight core styles of shoes in different colors and materials, making its business more mobile than that of a traditional retailer. At its new locations, the company plans to bring its own interior elements such as shelving, greenery and lighting.

“You can do a lot within four walls,” said Ms. Ulman. “All we really need is some Wi-Fi.”
clicks-to-bricks  sneakers  pop-ups  e-commerce  retailers  store_closings  shopping_malls  landlords  bricks-and-mortar  foot_traffic  omnichannel  short-term  leasing  inventory-free  cannibalization  Bonobos  Everlane  Casper  Warby_Parker  point-of-sale  brands  Wi-Fi  mens'_clothing  apparel  physical_retail 
june 2017 by jerryking
Three Hard Lessons the Internet Is Teaching Traditional Stores
April 23, 2017 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.
Legacy retailers have to put their mountains of purchasing data to work to create the kind of personalization and automation shoppers are getting online
(1) Data Is King
When I asked Target, Walgreens and grocery chain Giant Food about loyalty programs and the fate of customers’ purchasing data—which is the in-store equivalent of your web browsing history—they all declined to comment. ...Data has been a vital part of Amazon’s retail revolution, just as it was with Netflix ’s media revolution and Google and Facebook ’s advertising revolution. For brick-and-mortar retailers, purchasing data doesn’t just help them compete with online adversaries; it has also become an alternate revenue source when profit margins are razor-thin. ....Physical retailers must catch up to online retailers in collecting rich data without making it feel so intrusive. Why, exactly, does my grocery store need my phone number?

(2) Personalization + Automation = Profits
Personalization and Automation = Profits
There’s a debate in the auto industry: Can Tesla get good at making cars faster than Ford, General Motors and Toyota can get good at making self-driving electric vehicles? The same applies to retail: Can physical retailers build intimate digital relationships with their customers—and use that data to update their stores—faster than online-first retailers can learn how to lease property, handle inventory and manage retail workers? [the great game ]

Online retailers know what’s popular, and how customers who like one item tend to like certain others. So Amazon’s physical bookstores can put out fewer books with more prominently displayed covers. Bonobos doesn’t even sell clothes in its stores, which it calls “guideshops.” Instead, customers go there to try clothes on, and their selections are delivered through the company’s existing e-commerce system.

Amazon’s upcoming Go convenience stores, selling groceries and meal kits, don’t require cashiers. That’s the sort of automation that could position Amazon to reap margins—or slash prices—to a degree unprecedented for retailers in traditionally low-margin categories like food and packaged goods.

While online retailers are accustomed to updating inventory and prices by the hour, physical retailers simply don’t have the data or the systems to keep up, and tend to buy and stock on cycles as long as a year, says George Faigen, a retail consultant at Oliver Wyman. Some legacy retailers are getting around this by teaming up with online players.

Target stocks men’s shaving supplies from not one but two online upstarts, Harry’s and Bevel. Target has said that, as a result, more customers are coming in to buy razors, increasing the sales of every brand on that aisle—even good old Gillette. Retailers have long relied on manufacturers to drive customers to stores by marketing their goods and even managing in-store displays. The difference is this: In the past, new brands had to persuade store buyers to dole out precious shelf space; now the brands can prove themselves online first.

(3) Legacy Tech Won’t Cut It

Perhaps the biggest challenge for existing retailers, says Euromonitor’s Ms. Grant, is finding the money to transition to this hybrid online-offline model. While Target has announced it will spend $7 billion over the next three years to revamp its stores, investors fled the stock in February after Target reported 2017 profits might be 25% less than expected.

When Warby Parker, the online eyeglasses retailer, set out to launch stores across the U.S., the company looked for in-store sales software that could integrate with its existing e-commerce systems. It couldn’t find a system up to the task, so it built one from scratch.

These kinds of systems allow salespeople to know what customers have bought both online and off, and what they might be nudged toward on that day. “We call it the ‘point of everything’ system,” says David Gilboa, co-founder and co-chief executive.

Having this much customer knowledge available instantly is critical, but it’s precisely what existing retailers struggle with, Mr. Faigen says.

Even Amazon is experiencing brick-and-mortar difficulties. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Go stores would be delayed because of kinks in the point-of-sale software system.

Andy Katz-Mayfield, co-founder and co-chief executive of Harry’s, is skeptical that traditional retailers like Wal-Mart can make the leap, even if they invest heavily in technology.

The problem, he says, is that selling online isn’t just about taking orders through a website. Companies that succeed are good at selling direct to consumers—building technology from the ground up, integrating teams skilled at navigating online marketing’s ever-shifting terrain and managing the experience through fulfillment and delivery, Mr. Katz-Mayfield says.

That e-commerce startups are so confident about their own future doesn’t mean they are right about the fate of traditional retailers, however.

A report from Merrill Lynch argues Wal-Mart is embarking on a period of 20% to 30% growth for its e-commerce business. A spokesman for the company said that in addition to acquisitions, the company is focused on growing its e-commerce business organically.

It isn’t hard to picture today’s e-commerce companies becoming brick-and-mortar retailers. It’s harder to bet on traditional retailers becoming as tech savvy as their e-competition.[the great game]
lessons_learned  bricks-and-mortar  retailers  curation  personalization  e-commerce  shopping_malls  automation  privacy  Warby_Parker  Amazon_Go  data  data_driven  think_threes  Bonobos  Amazon  legacy_tech  omnichannel  Harry’s  Bevel  loyalty_management  low-margin  legacy_players  digital_first  Tesla  Ford  GM  Toyota  automobile  electric_cars  point-of-sale  physical_world  contra-Amazon  brands  shelf_space  the_great_game  cyberphysical  cashierless  Christopher_Mims  in-store  digital_savvy 
april 2017 by jerryking
Brandy Melville and the rise of the Instabrand
March 17, 2017 | FT via | Evernote Web | by Jo Ellison.

its place in the broader fashion landscape has remained deliberately low-profile. It has never placed an advertisement. It keeps its store numbers low — although it has a busy online business. And, unlike the showy founders of comparable youth-centric fashion brands, such as the now-defunct American Apparel, its executives rarely do press.
Instead, Brandy Melville is an entirely millennial phenomenon, propagated and fed by its mostly pubescent patrons, for whom it holds a cult-like appeal. Most discover it on Instagram, where its 3.9m followers can admire a seemingly never-ending feed (pictured below) of honey-blonde, tawny-limbed beauties skipping around piers, beachfronts, cafés and libraries in teeny-tiny shorts and cute slogan cropped tops.....The social media site launched in 2011 and has been tagging, sharing and enrolling followers ever since: many of its stars are professional models; others are just fangirls who have been picked up as brand ambassadors, picking up hundreds of thousands of their own acolytes in the process.....What’s interesting is how efficiently the brand has communicated its message. While labels have traditionally depended on print campaigns, bricks-and-mortar visibility and custom-built marketing, Brandy Melville’s success has been built on shares and likes alone.
And parents, like me, have been complicit in its success.....quite thrilling to have discovered a brand about which I knew nothing at all, and which never wanted my attention, either. Although it will happily use me as a conduit for cash. Instabrands like this are now popping up all over the retail landscape, and there’ll be more to come as the culture becomes ever more evolved. As a lesson in millennial shopping habits
fashion  brands  girls  retailers  California  millennials  Instagram  social_media  teenagers  bricks-and-mortar  shopping_habits 
march 2017 by jerryking
Amazon’s Living Lab: Reimagining Retail on Seattle Streets
FEB. 12, 2017 | The New York Times | By NICK WINFIELD.

While Amazon has never articulated the grand strategy behind its expansion into physical stores, analysts and tech executives believe its goal is to capture a bigger share of some forms of shopping — food being the biggest — that may never move entirely online....the most obvious reason the company tries out new ideas in its own backyard is that it makes life easier for corporate leadership to see them in action without having to get on planes. Executives closely scrutinize how customers use new stores and tweak them as they gather data....Amazon Go customers enter the store through a gate with a smartphone app and simply walk out with their goods when they’re done.....Seattle has long been receptive to new ideas in retail. REI, Costco Wholesale and Nordstrom are among the store chains that got their start here.....One of Amazon’s more puzzling retail experiments in Seattle is the Treasure Truck, a roaming delivery truck retrofitted with carnival-style lights and signs, from which customers can pick up items offered during flash sales through the Amazon mobile app. The truck, which seems like the offspring of a billboard and an ice cream truck, has sold wild mahi-mahi steaks, paddle boards and Nintendo game consoles.
Seattle  Amazon  retailers  reimagining  convenience_stores  flash_sales  AmazonFresh  BOPIS  pop-ups  Starbucks  Amazon_Go  bricks-and-mortar  bookstores  experimentation  e-commerce  cashierless 
february 2017 by jerryking
Amazon’s Next Big Move: Take Over the Mall
November 14, 2016 | Technology Review | by Nicholas Carr .

What’s Amazon doing with Amazon Books?...Wall Street analysts and tech writers have filled the void with conjecture. The stores are all about selling gadgets, goes one popular idea, with the books there just to lure customers. The stores are data-gathering machines, goes another, enabling Amazon to extend its tracking of customers into the physical world. Or maybe the company’s secret plan is to use the stores to promote its cloud computing operation, Amazon Web Services, to other retailers....The theories are intriguing, and they may contain bits of truth. But the real impetus behind the stores is probably much simpler: Amazon wants to sell more books....Not long ago, the common wisdom held that Amazon would remake the book business in its own image. Its Web store would kill off bookstores, and its Kindle would render physical books obsolete. ...
“Pure-play Web retailing is not sustainable.”Bezos underestimated the allure of bricks and paper. With his bookstore chain, he now seems to be admitting that if Amazon is to expand its share of the book market, it will need to invest in bricks as well as bits....Having come up short in its plan to supplant books and bookstores with digital alternatives, the company is taking its revenge by attacking traditional bookshops on their own turf. Unlike the mom-and-pop independents, or even the struggling Barnes & Noble chain, Amazon has the scale and the cash required to wage a war of attrition. It can sustain losses on its stores for a long time.....Amazon Books may be just the vanguard of a much broader push into brick-and-mortar retailing by the company. In October, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Amazon is planning to open a chain of convenience stores, mainly for groceries, along with drive-in depots where consumers will be able to pick up merchandise ordered online. It has also begun rolling out small “pop-up” stores to hawk its electronic devices. It already has more than two dozen such kiosks in malls around the country, and dozens more are said to be in the works.

Even after 20 years of rapid growth, e-commerce still accounts for less than 10 percent of total retail sales. And now the rise of mobile computing places new constraints on Web stores.At the same time, the smartphone, with its apps, its messaging platforms, and its constant connectivity, gives retailers more ways to communicate with and influence customers, even when they’re shopping in stores. This is why the big trend in retailing today is toward “omnichannel” strategies, which blend physical stores, Web stores, and mobile apps in a way that makes the most of the convenience of smartphones and overcomes their limitations.....Beyond its expertise in Web sales, Amazon brings distinctive strengths to an omnichannel operation. Its vast, efficient network of warehouses and distribution centers can supply outlets and process returns. It has, thanks to the largesse and patience of its investors, a reservoir of cheap capital that it can draw on to fund a building spree. And it has a much-admired brand. What Amazon lacks is experience in the touchy-feely world of traditional retailing (e.g. merchandising??). The company’s proficiency in software and data crunching is unquestioned. Its people skills are another matter..... another of the store’s goals: to promote the Prime program, which is central to Amazon’s strategy of locking in customers....I feel let down. I had convinced myself that I was going to witness something fresh and unexpected at Amazon Books. What I found was an annex to a website—a store that, despite the bricks and paper, retains the coldness of the virtual.
e-commerce  shopping_malls  Amazon  Amazon_Prime  books  sterile  soulless  Nicholas_Carr  Amazon_Books  bricks-and-mortar  Jeff_Bezos  pure-plays  bookstores  omnichannel  strengths  smartphones  mobile_applications  loyalty_management  impersonal  people_skills  Achilles’_heel  weaknesses  convenience_stores  pop-ups  kiosks  voids  merchandising  AWS  physical_world  mom-and-pop  coldness  touchy-feely  cyberphysical  emotional_connections  empathy_vacuum  Amazon_Go  cashierless  locked_in  distribution_centres 
february 2017 by jerryking
Retailers Turn to Silicon Valley to Lure Customers - WSJ
By LAURA STEVENS
Jan. 20, 2017

With online pricing and inventory easily accessible, consumers are increasingly becoming brand and retailer agnostic. So retailers are turning to Silicon Valley for everything from artificial intelligence to data to draw consumers in......Still, it is unclear how willing some retailers are to embrace something that goes beyond algorithmic search recommendations and into true customization, in part because it requires merchants letting go of control over some aspects of the shopping experience,
Amazon  personalization  retailers  deep_learning  e-commerce  Silicon_Valley  Nordstrom  artificial_intelligence  bricks-and-mortar 
january 2017 by jerryking
Amazon Working on Several Grocery-Store Formats, Could Open More Than 2,000 Locations - WSJ
By LAURA STEVENS and KHADEEJA SAFDAR
Updated Dec. 5, 2016

Amazon.com Inc. unveiled Monday its first small-format grocery store, Amazon Go, one of at least three brick-and-mortar formats the online retail giant is exploring as it makes a play for an area of shopping that remains stubbornly in-store....The Amazon Go store, at roughly 1,800 square feet in downtown Seattle, resembles a convenience store-format in a video Amazon released Monday. It features artificial intelligence-powered technology that eliminates checkouts, cash registers and lines. Instead, customers scan their phone on a kiosk as they walk in, and Amazon automatically determines what items customers take from the shelves. After leaving the store, Amazon charges their account for the items and sends a receipt....While Amazon is moving into brick-and-mortar grocery shopping, other large retailers are expanding their online services. Wal-Mart’s curbside pickup service offers some convenience without the cost of home delivery.
Amazon  Amazon_Go  grocery  supermarkets  analog  home-delivery  e-commerce  small_spaces  store_footprints  bricks-and-mortar  artificial_intelligence  AmazonFresh  convenience_stores  cashierless  in-store 
december 2016 by jerryking
All hail the hashtag: How retailers are drawing you in, one Facebook post at a time - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2015

Welcome to Retail 3.0, in which retailers use social media in a bid to draw young shoppers such as Campos back to bricks-and-mortar outlets.

Just a few years ago trendy shops lured consumers with an in-store coffee bar or barber shop. But today a hot brew or hair trim isn’t enough: Retailers increasingly feel the pressure to attract cyber-savvy shoppers to their physical outlets with eye-catching social media experiences that can be shared multiple times.

The social-media initiatives range from fitting rooms in Kate Spade stores that provide a backdrop for selfies with “like?” in a speech bubble to luxury parka purveyor Nobis installing photo booths at its store launch parties; and department store Nordstrom, whose roots are in shoes, encouraging shoppers to “shoefie” (take a selfie of their footwear) next to the store’s name. The images, uploaded on social media, put a spotlight on the brands.....social-media posts can pump up sales during an event as much as 20 per cent. About 60 per cent of Canadian consumers say they’ve come into contact with different products and brands through social media and, of those, 46 per cent say the interactions resulted in them making more purchases, up from 32 per cent in 2014, according to a survey this year by consultancy PwC.
digital_influencers  event-driven  social_media  Retail_3.0  imagery  Marina_Strauss  product_launches  selfies  retailers  millennials  Instagram  Facebook  e-commerce  bricks-and-mortar  in-store  footwear 
october 2015 by jerryking
LET'S REINVENT THE BOOKSHOP | More Intelligent Life
Rosanna de Lisle asks four firms of architects and designers to create the bookshop of their dreams

From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, May/June 2014
architecture  design  e-commerce  retailers  creativity  reinvention  bricks-and-mortar  booksellers  bookshops 
august 2015 by jerryking
Web Retailers, Now With Stores, Teach New Tricks - WSJ
By SUZANNE KAPNER
Aug. 11, 2015 | WSJ

Retailers have been stealing ideas from online rivals about how to run websites for years. Now they are borrowing ways to run brick-and-mortar stores.

In Manhattan Beach, Calif., Macy’s Inc. revamped its swimsuit and workout sections this spring to display only samples, a strategy used by online retailers that have opened physical stores.

Instead of stuffing racks with every size and style in these departments, Macy’s displayed only one item of each style. Shoppers used an app on their mobile phones to alert Macy’s sales staff of the style and size they wanted to try on and that item was sent to a specified dressing room.

By not putting all the sizes on the sales floor, Macy’s was able to display more styles and avoid the tangle of hangers. Shoppers didn’t have to go back and forth into the fitting rooms to find the right size. The effort sought to marry the ease of online with something the Internet can’t offer—the ability to see, touch and try on goods.
clicks-to-bricks  retailers  apparel  e-commerce  bricks-and-mortar  mobile_applications  mobile_phones  experiential_marketing  inventories  Macy’s 
august 2015 by jerryking
Nine retailers closing the most stores
Mar 13, 2014 | The Courier | McIntyre, Douglas A; Hess, Alexander EM

Brick-and-mortar retailers have been suffering from slow economic activity for years, as well as from increased competition fr...
retailers  exits  bricks-and-mortar  e-commerce 
april 2015 by jerryking
No place for Future Shop as shopping’s future shifts - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail (includes correction)
Published Sunday, Mar. 29 2015
Marina_Strauss  retailers  e-commerce  consolidation  Future_Shop  Best_Buy  marketing  branding  bricks-and-mortar 
march 2015 by jerryking
Nine retailers closing the most stores
Douglas A. McIntyre and Alexander E.M. Hess, 24/7 Wall St. 8:30 p.m. EDT March 12, 2014

A number of factors can lead companies to close stores. One is mergers and acquisitions activity. As organizations join forces under a single umbrella, locations that once competed for sales can become redundant, leading to store closings. The most recent example of this is the marriage of Office Depot and OfficeMax, completed late last year. Management has made it plain that the merger would produce cost savings by consolidating jobs and closing stores.

The pressures businesses face from the growth of online retail is another factor that can contribute to store closings....Outside of those retailers undergoing mergers, or shrinking to limit costs and preserve their bottom lines, a number of retailers have had to shrink their store count in order to shift into new markets. ...Companies close stores for different reasons. In the case of Sears Holdings, is likely to shutter a number of locations as part of a larger strategic overhaul to fund its transformation and make operations more efficient. Closing stores "frees up capital, reduces losses and de-risks our model," the company said in an earnings presentation.

In contrast, J.C. Penney is only closing stores that noticeably underperformed.
bricks-and-mortar  consolidation  de-risking  downsizing  e-commerce  LBMA  mergers_&_acquisitions  retailers  store_closings  store_footprints  under-performing 
march 2015 by jerryking
The incredible shrinking retail sector - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA
The incredible shrinking retail sector
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 12 2015

Entire categories of products are moving online, making many bricks-and-mortar stores redundant. Video and book stores are all but gone. Office supply, electronics and department stores are in retreat. A future without auto showrooms and movie theatres may be coming.

The era of the big-box store has peaked as city dwellers move back downtown, where space is at a premium.
Barrie_McKenna  retailers  size  mergers_&_acquisitions  downsizing  small_spaces  grocery  supermarkets  pharmacies  proximity  convenience_stores  store_footprints  post-deal_integration  bricks-and-mortar  consolidation  distribution_channels  Target  Wal-Mart  Loblaws  competitive_landscape  e-commerce  fresh_produce  perishables  big-box  supply_chains 
february 2015 by jerryking
The End of the Impulse Shopper - WSJ
Nov. 25, 2014 | WSJ |By SHELLY BANJO and SARA GERMANO.

An endangered species in the retail landscape is the ''impulse buy''...grocery shoppers are becoming more intentional and this is paving the way for more innovation in physical and digital merchandising.....Many Americans have the money and the will to spend. But they are time-pressed and deal savvy, visiting stores only when they run out of items like cereal or toilet paper and after doing extensive research on purchases online and with friends. They buy what they came for—and then leave. Those habits threaten more than just gum sales at checkout. Impulse is why stores offer deep discounts on loss leaders, why they put the milk in the back corner and why marketers spend heavily to pile up products in displays at the ends of the aisles. If shoppers just target the deals and don’t let their eyes wander, long cherished models for boosting sales fall apart...the symptoms of the industry’s malaise are clear enough: extended declines in shopper traffic, weak sales growth, and a discount-driven race to the bottom that is sapping pricing power.
impulse_purchasing  bricks-and-mortar  retailers  grocery  supermarkets  habits  discounting  shopping  shopping_experience  Turnstyle  intentionality  discretionary_spending  loss_leaders  foot_traffic  merchandising  frugality  decline  symptoms  endangered  time-strapped 
january 2015 by jerryking
Warby Parker Adds Storefronts to Its Sales Strategy - WSJ
By DOUGLAS MACMILLAN
Updated Nov. 17, 2014

Many e-commerce players have tested the waters of physical retail, but most of these efforts are still experiments. RentTheRunway has three shops where women can pick up high-end fashion to rent, and it plans to open its fourth, in Washington, D.C., this month. Amazon.com Inc. is expected to open its first brick-and-mortar location in New York in time for the holidays.

New York-based men’s apparel retailer Bonobos aims to have 40 outlets by 2016, up from 10 at the end of 2011. The stores have limited inventory for sale and are designed primarily to help customers try on clothes so they can order them from the website.
clicks-to-bricks  Warby_Parker  eyeglasses  bricks-and-mortar  e-commerce  retailers  customer_experience  Bonobos  RentTheRunway  omnichannel 
november 2014 by jerryking
Tristan Walker Raises $6.9 Million From Andreessen, Others - Digits - WSJ
June 17, 2014 | WSJ | By KATHERINE ROSMAN.

Walker's Bevel (https://getbevel.com/) brand of razors, shaving creams and salves has sold well, with more than 90% of customers returning for more products, Walker says. He won’t reveal revenue or sales numbers, though.

Walker plans to use the newly raised money to develop new and existing products, and to get Bevel into brick-and-mortar locations like barber shops and specialty stores. He also is planning in-person and video-conference educational programs to teach African Americans how to shave.
Tristan_Walker  Andreessen_Horowitz  start_ups  Bevel  Foursquare  entrepreneur  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  African-Americans  underserved  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  bricks-and-mortar 
july 2014 by jerryking
Shopify leaping from Web to storefront as startups dream big - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 28 2013 | The Globe and Mail| SEAN SILCOFF.

The Ottawa-based company is launching a comprehensive system that allows retailers to run their entire operation, from cash register to inventory management to online storefront, from an iPad. Shopify attracted tens of thousands of retailers by offering a system that allows users to set up web-based store fronts in minutes...
“The distinction between online, mobile and bricks-and-mortar retailing shouldn’t exist,” Shopify chief platform officer Harley Finkelstein said of Shopify POS, which launches Wednesday.
Shopify  start_ups  retailers  e-commerce  bricks-and-mortar  m-commerce  product_launches 
october 2013 by jerryking
Why retailers love customers who shop on their smartphones - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 18 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SUSAN KRASHINSKY.
The study found that, unsurprisingly, even the most plugged-in consumers do not tend to click on digital ads. Of the smartphone owners surveyed, two-thirds said they “rarely” or “never” click on online advertisements, with the minority reporting that they do so regularly. It helps when an ad is personalized. In that case, 49 per cent said they would regularly click on ads. But even then, just over half still said they would rarely or never consider it. The greatest opportunity for marketers is arguably not in advertising to those digitally connected consumers; it is in offering them something they will find useful....“We are witnessing a seismic change in consumer behaviour due to the emergence of social and digital platforms and the significance and ubiquity of mobile as a consumer platform,” Mr. Schultz told analysts on a conference call in April to discuss the company’s earnings. The data Starbucks can now collect on those users are crucial for it as a marketer.

“Retail has historically been a rather anonymous transaction for many,” said Lori Bieda, executive lead for consumer intelligence at SAS Canada. “… Mobile makes a consumer known to retailers.”...The SAS research showed that people want their phones to act as “personal shoppers.” Those surveyed said they would be more likely to return to a store that sent them offers on their mobile devices – but that’s highly contingent on those offers being relevant and targeted to that person’s preferences.
bricks-and-mortar  consumer_behavior  customer_loyalty  Indigo  market_research  mobile_applications  mobile_phones  online_advertising  personal_shoppers  retailers  seismic_shifts  smartphones  Starbucks  Susan_Krashinsky 
july 2013 by jerryking
Internet’s creative destruction in retail just getting started - The Globe and Mail
ROBERT CYRAN

Published Monday, Apr. 29, 2013
the Web's creative-destructive powers are best seen in the overlay of the Internet on traditional industries. Online sales of shoes, furniture and fashion all made the list of rapidly-growing sectors. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart.com usually offer lower prices than traditional retailers – and convenient home delivery. That's bad news for struggling retailers like Sears, Best Buy and J.C. Penney.

Specialty websites, like Zappos for shoes, also offer a wider selection than can be found in rival DSW's bricks-and-mortar shops. The shoe retailer warned that same-store sales are now falling. And the Web's ability to remove middlemen with high fixed costs means nimble startups can dislodge entrenched players. Warby Parker sells eyeglasses for a fraction of the price of the local optician. That also threatens the $25-billion business Luxottica has built in making and selling high-margin spectacles in its LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and Oliver Peoples shops.

The impact of electronic delivery of digital goods, from books to music to games, has long been evident. And it hasn't been pretty for the incumbents. If this latest survey is on the mark, traditional retailers will soon feel the same pain.
creative_destruction  digital_artifacts  retailers  e-commerce  bricks-and-mortar  Amazon  Warby_Parker  value_destruction  home-delivery  Sears  Best_Buy  department_stores  J.C._Penney  bad_news 
may 2013 by jerryking
From Gutenberg to Zoobert - WSJ.com
AUG. 8, 2010 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ . "Barnes &
Noble, whose more than 700 stores make it the largest bricks-and-mortar
book chain, put itself up for sale. Its market capitalization is less
than $1 B vs. Amazon's $55 B. This reflects both the better economics of
Web sales of print books and the increasingly uncertain future of print
books in an e-book world...Technology has made the physical scale of
B&N a liability...the iPad, with color and Web access, is pointing
the way to a new genre of e-books--called enhanced, multimedia or
"transmedia" versions of books, with video, audio and
interactivity...Textbook publishers offer e-books with video,
interactive testing and built-in research links...it's important to note
the costs...Lower sales of print books pressure publishers, which
usually get lower profits on e-books --> fewer opportunities for
aspiring authors until new business models emerge...it will take time
for book publishers and authors to find new revenues.
Barnes_&_Noble  creative_destruction  Johan_Gutenberg  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  e-books  publishing  textbooks  business_models  authors  bricks-and-mortar 
august 2010 by jerryking
Hot New Marketing Trends
August 2006 | Entrepreneur Magazine | By Gwen Moran. Go
Online:
"Think globally, act locally" is now the mantra for entrepreneurs
advertising online. Online ad spending is up as much as 33 percent over
last year, says David J. Moore, chairman and CEO of digital marketing
firm 24/7 Real Media Inc. in New York City. Earlier this year, Google
announced a new local advertising program linked to its map service and
AdWords program, allowing businesses to drive some of Google's traffic
to their brick-and-mortar locations.

"[Entrepreneurs] should pay attention to any targeting that allows them
to increase advertising efficiency by reaching users in their particular
geographic area," says Moore. Online ads are also migrating to podcasts
and blogs, where advertisers can reach very specific niche audiences.
And with increased access to broadband and the falling cost of video
production, Moore foresees a rise in online video ads for businesses as
well.
marketing  trends  local_advertising  City_Voice  targeting  target_marketing  bricks-and-mortar  web_video  pay_attention 
july 2010 by jerryking
Digital Revolution Shakes Foundations of Book Retailing - WSJ.com
MAY 21, 2010 | WSJ | By JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG. The digital
revolution sweeping the media world is rewriting the rules of the book
industry, upending the established players which have dominated for
decades. Electronic books are still in their infancy, comprising an
estimated 3% to 5% of the market today. But they are fast accelerating
the decline of physical books, forcing retailers, publishers, authors
and agents to reinvent their business models or be painfully
crippled....Even more problematic for brick-and-mortar retailers is the
math if sales of physical books rapidly decrease: Because e-books don't
require paper, printing presses, storage space or delivery trucks, they
typically sell for less than half the price of a hardcover book. If
physical book sales decline precipitously, chain retailers won't have
enough revenue to support all their stores.
competitive_landscape  e-books  retailers  digital_disruption  Barnes_&_Noble  Ron_Burkle  pricing  books  e-readers  bricks-and-mortar  digital_revolution 
june 2010 by jerryking

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