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jerryking : merchandising   14

At Luxury Stores, It Isn’t Shopping, It’s an Experience - WSJ
By Christina Binkley
April 16, 2017

What do luxury retailers in urban areas do when they face heavy pressure from the internet? Make their stores an experience. The high-end stores of tomorrow won’t try to compete with online retailers on price or convenience. Instead, they’ll do what many luxe shops are experimenting with now—turning themselves into destinations that customers go to visit instead of simply shop.....Stores will offer human connections, entertaining discoveries and dining options. And instead of being designed to feature one kind of inventory, the stores will function like pop-ups—completely changing what they offer from time to time, or even sweeping products aside to host community events......digital-native shoppers will determine how stores look and function, particularly in cities, where online alternatives with two-hour delivery windows are already plentiful.....

“Selling things isn’t going to be obvious. It’s going to be about selling experiences,” says John Bricker, creative director for Gensler, one of the world’s largest architectural firms with a global retail design practice......In some cases, retailers go so far to create destinations that they don’t even try to sell their signature products. The Gensler-designed Cadillac House in the lobby of the car maker’s New York headquarters is an art gallery and coffeehouse, with luxe white sedans on display by the entrance. People wander in for free Wi-Fi, then get familiar with the car brand by examining the vehicles, says Mr. Bricker. (The cars can’t be purchased there; legally, one must buy from a dealer.)....The strategy of providing a total experience is also spreading to independent retailers that aren’t aiming solely at high-end customers......These shifts are being followed by mass retailers as well. The idea: to move beyond the big-box strategy of the past—where companies built giant stores that people would go out of their way to visit—and build specially tailored stores in urban areas where customers live......Target recently decided to invest $7 billion in renovating its huge suburban stores and building new small-format urban stores, in a strategy to use the large stores as distribution centers for digital orders while creating a network of small city stores that will be located within easy reach of urban dwellers, both for offline shopping and picking up or returning online orders.

Brian Cornell, Target’s chief executive officer, says products will be selected for local populations by store managers who place orders from a catalog—less pet food and more snacks and notebooks for a store near a college campus, for instance.

Target looked at stores like Story in forming the strategy. “We learned a lot about agility,” from Story,
retailers  e-commerce  luxury  customer_experience  millennials  experiential_marketing  localization  merchandising  pop-ups  digital_natives  galleries  coffeehouses  brands  personal_connections  Target  agility  small_spaces  big-box  BOPIS  distribution_centres 
april 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
Target Revamps Staffing for Grocery Business - WSJ
By KHADEEJA SAFDAR
Updated Sept. 7, 2016

The stakes are high for Target to improve groceries, which account for about a fifth of its revenue. Fewer shoppers visiting stores to buy its perishable foods has been a drag on profits at a time when the retailer is facing declining sales.

Since taking over in 2014, CEO Brian Cornell has tried to make Target a more compelling destination for groceries. The former Safeway Inc. and PepsiCo Inc. executive has changed leadership in the category, added more organic items to the assortment and invested in store design.
grocery  supermarkets  Target  merchandising  specialization 
september 2016 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
HARNESSING THE GIANT
BRIAN PETERSON

Brian Peterson runs Wal-Mart's perishables, but he knows how to squeeze a tomato and argue in Sicilian when it comes to the products he buys. "Even though I work for the largest reta...
fresh_produce  Wal-Mart  perishables  OPMA  merchandising 
march 2014 by jerryking
Whole Foods' Battle for the Organic Shopper - WSJ.com
Aug. 21, 2013 | WSJ | By Julie Jargon.

"The recession was a wake-up call for us," said co-Chief Executive Walter Robb in an interview.

One of the chain's latest initiatives: nationwide "flash" sales on specific items promoted on Twitter and Facebook FB -0.02% that run for just a few hours, like a five-hour buy-one-get-one-free deal on ice cream last month. The chain also is increasing one-day sales on items like salmon, blueberries and organic chicken to 17 this fiscal year, from 14 last year.

Whole Foods long avoided such supermarket tactics, thriving instead on a pricey mix of products that appealed to clientele in upscale neighborhoods of large cities where most of its approximately 350 stores are located. High prices on everything from meat to vegetables led critics to quip that shopping at Whole Foods would eat up a middle class earner's whole paycheck....Mr. Robb last month told investors the chain is going to engage in "more aggressive price matching against select competitors," and said price reductions and promotions could start "nipping gross margins a little bit."

The strategy carries other risks. Jim Hertel, managing partner at Willard Bishop, a food retail consulting firm, said grocers who rely on short-term gains from discounts can feel compelled to "up the dosage of deals" to keep sales growing. "When you do that you suddenly start to promote so much that you take sales out of the store because everything is on discount," he said. "Customers get trained not to buy on full price."

Deals also can attract new customers who don't buy more than the item on sale and don't necessarily return, defeating the purpose—a phenomenon Mr. Hertel calls "rent a customer."
Whole_Foods  organic  grocery  supermarkets  discounting  social_media  flash_sales  merchandising 
october 2013 by jerryking
Unlikely expansion: When retail brands go wholesale -
Apr. 16 2013 | The Globe and Mail | MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER.

Aldo Group Inc. is on the hunt for retail space – inside the stores of other retailers, as the shoe specialist pursues a cost-conscious expansion in which it is teaming up with a growing roster of indirect rivals.

Merchants ranging from Aldo to fashion purveyor Joe Fresh (owned by grocery giant Loblaw Cos. Ltd.), Reitmans (Canada) Ltd. and Hudson’s Bay Co., have stepped up their partnering efforts, even as they raise the stakes by being tied to sometimes unstable chains....multichannel distribution allows rapid expansion into new markets without the expense or time needed to open new stores....Retailers are trying to cash in on brand awareness and production expertise to reach more customers in a cost-savvy way. But the business model isn’t without drawbacks, as merchants lose some control over the placement, prominence and marketing of their products....For years, in a reverse trend, manufacturers – from Nine West to Apple – have set up their own standalone stores to showcase their products and ensure their brands are not lost among many others within a larger retailer.

“Retailers want to be wholesalers and wholesalers want to be retailers,” Mr. Lichtszral said. “The lines are blurred everywhere … Wholesale distributors are opening their own websites and shipping directly to the consumer and, in doing that, are technically competing with their retail customers.”
growth  retailers  brands  distribution_channels  Aldo  Loblaws  Nine_West  Apple  wholesalers  multichannel  omnichannel  Joe_Fresh  partnerships  Reitmans  HBC  business_models  drawbacks  merchandising  manufacturers  expansions  store_within_a_store  cost-consciousness  Marina_Strauss  standalone  Fortune_500 
may 2013 by jerryking
Walmart Strains to Keep Grocery Aisles Stocked - NYTimes.com
By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
Published: April 3, 2013

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and grocer, has cut so many employees that it no longer has enough workers to stock its shelves properly, according to some employees and industry analysts. Internal notes from a March meeting of top Walmart managers show the company grappling with low customer confidence in its produce and poor quality. “Lose Trust,” reads one note, “Don’t have items they are looking for — can’t find it.”...The retailer’s customers have complained about the quality and freshness in the produce aisle....Walmart charged into the grocery market about two decades ago, realizing that frequent trips by grocery shoppers could help improve traffic. Grocery made up 55 percent of Walmart United States sales in 2012, which was flat from the previous year. The company’s grocery prices are usually about 15 percent below competitors’, according to Supermarket News. ... Safeway customers are 71 percent confident in its fresh produce, the notes said, while Walmart customers are 48 percent confident in Walmart’s produce. In the interview, Mr. Sinclair of Walmart said he did not know where that data came from, but that “we believe that we can improve the perception of quality of produce for Walmart customers.”

The notes highlighted some stocking problems: “1 hour out of Refrigeration = 1 day less product life,” they read, adding that Walmart will change shift responsibilities so fresh food is not stocked overnight and goes out at 10 a.m., not 7 a.m. ...The company just introduced an inventory management system for produce departments nationwide that will track how many days an item has been in transit, how much shelf life remains, and what orders the company should place to meet demand. With delicate items like raspberries, “you almost need to know by the hour how long the product has been through our system,” which was hard to track when 42 distribution centers buying from hundreds of different vendors were sending around products,
cold_storage  Wal-Mart  fresh_produce  customer_experience  grocery  supermarkets  staffing  inventories  consumer_confidence  perishables  quality  tracking  shelf_life  merchandising  distribution_centres  refrigeration 
april 2013 by jerryking
Going small the best route for cash-rich Metro
January 30, 2013 | G & M pg. B2 |by Sophie Cousineau.

Metro is a great operator with an outstanding track record. Its first-quarter results, which on Tuesday reported first-quarter profit of $121.4­ mil1ion compared with $103.7 ­million in the year earlier period, prove it yet again. Yet the Quebec grocery chain has had it relatively easy in recent years. Its main competitor, Loblaw, was its own worst enemy, struggling with its merchandising and its computer systems. Metro dominates the Quebec market with an estimated market share among conventional food distributors.

But the market is changing. WalMart Canada is expanding unreand Target is emerging as a formidable foe from the ruins of Zellers. To say that the competition is heating up is an understatement. These American retailers are shaking a Tabasco bottle over the Quebec and Ontario markets, dotting these provinces with super-sized stores and bountiful grocery aisles.

Target is not considered as serious as a menace as Wal­Mart. Many of Target's stores are located in shopping malls where Metro has exclusivity rights on the sale of food. Wal-­Mart, which started sending out food flyers to Quebec homes, is another story.
But even with an acquisition as important and as as Safeway’s, Metro could never “outscale” or even come close to it. And while Metro has two discount banners. its namesake stores don"t venture into price wars nor would they want to
go on the American retailers' turi war. By putting the accent on the freshest fruits and vegetables and the best shopping experience, Metro is taking a different tack from its American competitors.
Getting scale in the pharmacy business would make a lot more sense for Metro. As a pharmaceutical distributor and a drugstore operator under the Brunet banner, Metro is a regional Quebec player. Yet for there to be an acquisition, Metro needs a seller. While Jean Coutu Group Inc. is aging, the Coutu family has nevel expressed the slightest interest ir selling the business they control through multiple voting shares. Moreover, they are focusing their energy on Canada after retreating from the American market.
supermarkets  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  retailers  price_wars  pharmacies  grocery  ethnic_communities  scaling  Jean_Coutu  Wal-Mart  Target  Metro  competitive_landscape  Sophie_Cousineau  merchandising  shopping_malls 
january 2013 by jerryking
Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare as Corporate Focus Groups - NYTimes.com
By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
Published: July 30, 2012

Companies like Wal-Mart and Samuel Adams are turning social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare into extensions of market research departments. And companies are just beginning to figure out how to use the enormous amount of information available.... “There’s mountains and mountains of data being created in social media,” said Ravi Raj, vice president for products for @WalmartLabs, adding that the company used the data to decide what merchandise to carry where.

In one of its first analyses, performed last summer, @WalmartLabs found that cake pops — small bites of cake on lollipop sticks — were becoming popular. “Starbucks had just started getting them in their cafes, and people were talking a lot about it,” Mr. Raj said.

His team alerted merchants at Wal-Mart headquarters. The merchants had also heard about the product, and decided to carry cake-pop makers in Walmart stores. They were popular enough that the company plans to bring them back this holiday season.
Frito_Lay  Wal-Mart  market_research  social_media  focus_groups  data  merchandising  business_development  data_driven  Starbucks 
august 2012 by jerryking
Finding opportunities with deep customer 'discovery'
February 23, 2009 G&M column by GEORGE STALK JR.

One approach that works for customer-supplier partnerships is something we call "discovery," which goes beyond cost reduction tactics to find opportunities for increasing revenues and improving entire processes....The discovery process goes behind traditional contact points to explore issues that affect the hand-offs, such as consumer usage, retail merchandising, promotional effectiveness and pricing.

By using fact-based analysis, information technology and strong project management, discovery has transformed purchasing department contacts into broader, deeper relationships, helped suppliers and customers create new value in their businesses, and led to dramatically more innovative products and services.
opportunities  business_development  George_Stalk_Jr.  discoveries  partnerships  process_improvements  IT  LBMA  OPMA  customer_insights  cost-cutting  BCG  merchandising  pricing  handoffs  purchasing  relationships  new_products 
february 2009 by jerryking

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