Motorola RBM Technologies, Retail Communications, Localization

RBM Technologies Offers Retail Communications Platform for Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise Tablet

Android-Based ET1 Enterprise Tablet Brings Visual Merchandising from the Back Office to the Store Floor to Drive Precise Execution at the Point of Sale

RBM Technologies, provider of the only retail communications platform that ensures store compliance with fixture-based planograms and localized execution, today announced that its Visual Merchandising ManagerTM (VMM) solution will be available on the new Motorola ET1 Enterprise Tablet. VMM was one of the key retail applications chosen to highlight on Motorola Solutions’ recently launched enterprise-class tablet – the only tablet solely focused on the needs of the enterprise.

Motorola RBM Technologies, Retail Communications, Localization

VMM is a Web-based in-store visual merchandising management solution that empowers store managers of large retail chains with instant directives on where, when and how to place items within a store, right down to the fixture level. By putting this planogramming power into the hands of store managers using the Android-based ET1 Enterprise Tablet, RBM enables an unparalleled level of localization and real-time reporting to headquarters.

“Motorola Solutions works with retailers around the globe to help transform associate effectiveness and the shopping and buying experience, as well as supply chain efficiency and store operations,” said Frank Riso, senior director of global retail solutions, Motorola Solutions. “The combination of RBM’s Visual Merchandising Manager on our new ET1 Enterprise Tablet aligns with our vision of enabling the next generation of enterprise mobility by empowering the mobile workforce with a device that is appropriate for their role, allowing them to deliver a richer and more interactive shopping experience.”

Using the VMM on the Motorola ET1 Enterprise Tablet, retail store managers can:
  • Ensure that the right products are on the right fixtures at the right time
  • Make certain that promotional campaigns are properly localized for each store neighborhood
  • Send photos of the executions tied to the campaign planograms to confirm store compliance
  • Deliver training and instructional videos at the point of execution for maximum impact

“Retail stores are incredibly expensive to run and maintain, yet many retailers aren’t getting the most out of their stores’ potential because there is no way to tell whether merchandising and promotional campaigns are being executed according to plan,” commented Dan Wittner, chief customer officer at RBM Technologies. “By equipping store managers with tablets running VMM, retailers can ensure that every store location is optimized for peak sales performance.”

To learn more about the benefits of running VMM on the ET1 Android Enterprise Tablet please visit or contact [email protected].

About RBM Technologies

RBM Technologies provides the only retail communications platform that ensures store compliance with fixture-based planograms and localized execution. The company’s Web-based visual merchandising management solution cuts the cost of in-store merchandising and promotions and drives revenue with localized campaign planning and compliance reporting for some of the world’s largest brands including AT&T, Verizon, Harris Bank, T-Mobile, O2 and Bell Canada. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., RBM is led by a team of retail and technology visionaries who have redefined the concept of visual merchandising management through a unique set of solutions and services. For more information about RBM Technologies visit, call (800) 532-2468 or email [email protected].

Samsung Passes Apple, Nokia In Global Smartphone Shipments

Samsung passes Apple, Nokia in global smartphone shipments

Apple may be seeing some success in the courts when it comes to its war on Samsung, but Samsung has the upper hand when it comes to sheer shipment numbers. According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, Samsung shipped 27.8 million smartphones globally during the third quarter of 2011, up from a mere 7.5 million during the same quarter in 2010. That’s an increase of 370 percent year-over-year, allowing Samsung to leapfrog both Apple and Nokia.

Apple, by comparison, shipped 17.1 million handsets during Q3 2011, up from 14.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Nokia’s smartphone shipments dropped from 26.5 million in Q3 2010 to just 16.8 million in Q3 2011, according to Strategy Analytics’ numbers. This puts Samsung at 23.8 percent of the global smartphone market, with Apple coming in second at 14.6 percent and Nokia at 14.4 percent. “Others” made up 47.3 percent of the market.

Strategy Analytics credited Samsung’s success to the popularity of Android, extensive global distribution, and “elegant hardware designs.” Samsung has taken some flak for its product designs as of late, with a German court ruling in August that Samsung had violated Apple’s European Community design registration for the iPad, and a US judge mirroring those comments earlier this month. US District Judge Lucy Koh still has yet to determine whether Apple’s US design patents should even be considered valid, but said that if they were, Samsung would be violating them.

Although these statements have so far applied to the Galaxy Tab and the iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones mimic the design of the Galaxy Tab, so they all share similar characteristics. The Galaxy SII in particular, which Strategy Analytics credits as offering tough competition to Apple, is strikingly similar to theiPhone 4 and 4S.

But Samsung’s “elegant hardware designs” are only one part of the story—Strategy Analytics noted that these numbers came in before the launch of the iPhone 4S. “We believe Apple’s growth during the third quarter was affected by consumers and operators awaiting the launch of the new iPhone 4S in the fourth quarter, volatile economic conditions in several key countries, and tougher competition from Samsung’s popular Galaxy S2 model,” Strategy Analytics director Neil Mawston said in a statement.

Indeed, the iPhone 4S has been setting new records for Apple. The company sold 4 million devices during the first three days after launch, beating its previous record of 1.7 million iPhone 4s in the first three days after its launch in 2010. The increase can largely be credited to wider distribution and more carrier partners this time around, but 4 million in one weekend is still nothing to sneeze at. Meanwhile, Nokia took its lumps as it transitioned from Symbian to Windows Phone 7 for its smartphone operating system—Strategy Analytics described it as a “very challenging process”—but the firm remains optimistic that Nokia will see some recovery soon.

“The recent launch of the new Microsoft Lumia portfolio has helped to raise Nokia’s profile, and Nokia will be hoping the partnership with Microsoft can drive at least an L-shaped recovery in its global smartphone market share over the next few months,” director Tom Kang said.

Nokia does look as if it could bounce back with the help of the sleek-looking Lumia 800 and its little brother Lumia 710. They are some of the nicest smartphones Nokia has introduced to date, and they will both run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango.”

[via Wired]

Wireless Retail, In-Store Media

90 percent of wireless retailers looking to improve the in-store experience

Wireless Retail, In-Store Media

iQmetrix, a provider of retail management software for the North American wireless industry, has announced the results of its 7th annual “State of the Wireless Industry” survey released at its Wireless Summit held in Miami, FL Oct. 16-18. The survey, conducted by iQmetrix, polled 158 independent wireless resellers across North America, and provides an inside peek at trends, challenges and plans for expansion.

The most significant finding was that despite economic uncertainty, the majority of mobile resellers expect growth over the next five years. Additionally, nearly half of the mobile resellers surveyed see recruiting and retaining staff to be one of their biggest business challenges.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • Nearly 70 percent of respondents believe the industry will continue to grow over the next five years, with the same percentage planning to expand their businesses.
  • More than 85 percent plan to improve the in-store experience in 2012 with a focus on employee training (88 percent) and store design (63 percent).
  • Mobile payments, digital signage, interactive retail and location-based advertising will be the top in-store investments for 2012.
  • 70 percent of respondents are currently using social media to communicate with their customers and many are planning to invest in mobile advertising in the near future.
  • Trends and technology that respondents consider important for the future include: 4G, mobile broadband growth beyond traditional devices with a continued growth of tablets and mobile payments.


5 Necessary Steps for Integrating Your Mobile and In-Store Retail Channels

The rapid surge in mobile and tablet device usage has captured the attention of retailers in a big way.

Forrester estimates that mobile commerce is expected to reach $31 billion by 2016 and 51 percent of the U.S. population will own a smartphone by the end of 2011.

As smartphone and mobile device sales have skyrocketed, retailers will see increasing numbers of in-store customers using these devices to enrich their shopping experience. In the U.S., more than 55 percent of smartphone users believe using their phone during the in-store shopping experience will make it more enjoyable and, according to Internet Retailer, a staggering 73 percent of shoppers with smartphones report a preference for using their mobile devices while in store rather than asking a sales associate for help. Statistics like these are hard to ignore, and the time is now for retailers to adapt and offer a solution that meets the needs of their increasingly mobile inclined customers.

To successfully integrate their mobile and in-store channels, retails should carefully consider five key touch points: Pre-store, en-route, in-store, checkout, and post-purchase.

Integrating mobile retail


Integrating mobile retailRetailers have an opportunity to start engaging customers long before they arrive at a store and mobile is a powerful channel through which to start the relationship. An intuitive mobile-optimized website that allows for easy product browsing and purchasing is critical for consumers to engage with the retailer anytime and anywhere. By incorporating high-quality pictures and detailed information about products, a mobile site empowers consumers to begin their shopping experience before entering the store. Consumers can not only learn about products they are interested in, but they can also find out about upcoming promotions, in-store events and specials that are relevant to them.

While mobile-optimized websites are a great way to reach a large number of consumers, an app allows for users to integrate smartphone functionality into the mobile experience and take advantage of features such as GPS and camera. Additionally, apps can simplify the user interface, enabling consumers to search for products and easily make purchases from a mobile device within just a few clicks or find a store with availability to purchase locally. Apps can improve the pre-store planning experience as well, by allowing consumers to scan barcodes of products they already have at home to add items to a mobile shopping list, easily add items when they think of them and share lists with friends and family members.


Integrating mobile retailMobile devices enable customers on-the-go to seek out store locations, receive promotional messages and access special deals no matter where they are. Store locator functionality serves as a crucial link between mobile and traditional in-store retail channels and eliminates the potential initial pain point of the in-store shopping experience: getting to the store. Store locator app functionality give consumers the capability to locate stores and get directions quickly and easily as well as access store hours, and basic information that previously required a phone call to store employees.

GPS-enabled smartphones allow retailers to incorporate location-based promotions into the shopping experience that provide immense value to consumers. For example, customers with an enabled retailer app who enter a geo-fenced area surrounding store locations can be sent alerts with discounts, current in-store promotions or special offers. Location-based promotions have the power to drive store traffic, increase sales, and solidify the smartphone as an integral part of the multi-channel equation.


From the moment customers walk into a store, mobile unlocks the potential to enhance all aspects of the shopping experience. By using a retailer app, customers can “check-in” to receive store coupons and promotions as well as access countless features the retailer chooses to implement. Some retailers provide additional information that improves the store experience such as store maps, product advice and personalized suggestions based on shopping history. Once in the store, customers can research products by scanning product barcodes with a smartphone camera to compare prices, read reviews, add items to a wishlist, or share items with friends via social networks. Customers will be able to interact with promotional signage in stores by scanning quick response (QR) codes to create a more interactive store experience; customers can enter contests, obtain style/gear advice, access news and media to further engage with the store.

Additionally, QR codes can provide invaluable customer preference insights that can be used to deliver personalized and relevant campaigns. Barcode scanning grants customers access to extended product information allowing for more informed purchasing decisions—this convergence between mobile and the in-store channels is a core element of the multi-channel retail strategy. Incorporating mobile in stores enables customers to have a highly personalized, distinctive, relevant and fun shopping experience – while the retailer seamlessly integrates multiple channels.


Retailers that enable customers to make payments with a mobile device will make the check-out experience quick, convenient and easy. Currently there are numerous mobile payment options and the solution that retailers offer will depend on the type of retail segment and resources available. Many retailers are implementing mobile app scanners or NFC devices at registers to allow customers to pay quickly with their phones.

Mobile POS devices can eliminate slow-moving check-out lines, poor customer service and missed selling opportunities. Importantly, linking inventory to a mobile POS device can dramatically decrease distribution and labor costs as well as allow for employees to be more knowledgeable and helpful to customers. Home Depot recently made a $64 million investment in the largest mobile POS roll-out to date. The newly launched Home Depot First Phone is a phone, mobile POS, receipt printer, inventory tracker and walkie-talkie and allows employees to quickly provide valuable information to customers. Despite the large investment, Home Depot claims the labor savings realized through this implementation will cover the cost within the first year of roll out.


Apple Store, Grand Central Station, Retail Localization

Grand Central’s Apple store will be open by Black Friday

Apple Store, Grand Central Station, Retail Localization

Manhattan’s getting close to having another "Big Apple."

The enormous Apple Store in Grand Central Terminal is set to open in time for Black Friday, and could possibly open sooner, a source told

The store, Apple’s fifth in Manhattan, will be one of the company’s biggest in the world, taking up some 23,000 square feet in the highly trafficked terminal. (Up to 700,000 commuters trek through every day.) The deal was finalized this summer.

Apple — which certainly has no shortage of cash — will pay about $1.1 million in the first year of its 10-year lease, with the rent increasing every year. The deal was first announced this summer, with construction estimated to take 120 days — putting a November opening date right around schedule.

Apple’s not the only new tenant for GCT. Everyone’s favorite stand-in-line-for-an-hour burger joint Shake Shack is also moving in. Its lease, which also runs 10 years and increases yearly, starts out at $435,000 plus a share of profits.

The MTA declined to comment. Apple didn’t return calls.

[via AM New York]

Joe Fresh, Retail Localization

Canada’s Joe Fresh makes U.S. debut

Joe Fresh, Retail Localization

Joe Fresh, the Canadian value-priced apparel brand, has opened its first permanent U.S. store, in Bridgewater Mall, Bridgewater, N.J., and another in Roosevelt Field Mall, Garden City, N.Y. The company will make its New York City debut, in Manhattan’s Flat Iron District, on Nov.3. A second store will open in spring, on Fifth Ave.

In addition, the retailer is opening two Joe Fresh Holiday Fashion pop-up stores in Manhattan. (This past summer, the brand operated a summer pop-up in East Hampton, N.Y.)

Designed by the Canadian firm Burdifilek, the stores have a neutral backdrop that highlights the merchandise. The selection includes apparel and accessories for women and men; the Bridgewater location also features the brand’s kids’ collection.

Joe Fresh, part of Loblaw Cos. Ltd., is available in more than 300 Loblaw stores across Canada and also in 10 standalone locations.

Joe Fresh was created by Joseph Mimran, who founded Club Monaco in 1985. In 1999, he sold the company to Polo Ralph Lauren.

[via Chain Store Age]

Lord & Taylor In-Store Media, Shopper Marketing, Retail Localization

Lord & Taylor expanding

Lord & Taylor In-Store Media, Shopper Marketing, Retail Localization

Lord & Taylor plans to open three new department stores in the coming year, according to The New York Post.

Two locations are slated to open in March — an 80,000-sq-ft. store at a lifestyle center in Yonkers, N.Y., and a 120,000-sq.-ft. store in a mall in Rockingham, N.H.

In fall 2012, Lord & Taylor will open an 80,000-sq.-ft. location in Boca Raton, Fla., bringing the total number of full-priced Lord & Taylor stores to 50.

[via Chain Store Age]

iPads in-store media shopper marketing

Sears puts iPads in shopper hands to enhance in-store shopping

iPads in-store media shopper marketing

Sears Holdings Corp. is rolling out iPads and iPod touch devices to almost 450 Sears and Kmart stores around the country as it continues to look for ways to bridge digital and in-store shopping.

Associates will be able to use the devices to help customers check available inventory, order products online and access product information and videos. At the same time, Sears said it will offer free Wi-Fi at various locations so customers can use their smartphones to surf the Web, shop at and compare prices.

“We wanted to enhance the relationship between customers and associates and improve the overall shopping experience,” said Kimberly Freely, spokeswoman for Sears, Chicago.

“We wanted to make it a more personal experience,” she said. “It is part of our strategy to become more of an integrated retailer and combining the digital and retail formats within the company.”

Other retailers to follow
The devices will enable shoppers to check product reviews online, compare prices and see a larger assortment of products than is available in the stores.

The IT group for Sears is upgrading the entire network and technology infrastructures, including enhancing wireless coverage, to provide customers with free Wi-Fi access.

Sears plans to add new applications and features to the devices throughout the year to make shopping easier and more exciting for its customers as they plan their holiday shopping.

Large retailers such as Sears, and recently Lowe’s, have been embracing mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets for in-store use.

However, the appeal of mobile devices for in-store use is much broader.

“Even smaller retailers, local retailers, can use these devices to improve customer service,” said Joy Liuzzo, senior director of mobile research at InsightExpress, Stamford, CT. “Tablets provide the untethered nature of mobile with a richer experience than computers – a powerful mix in any environment, large or small.”

Ms. Liuzzo expects more retailers will incorporate this technology in the near future.

“These devices will allow floor sales people to engage with customers right where they are standing, sharing the screen rather than having a monitor in between them,” Ms. Liuzzo said. “It’s another way to break down barriers and make the sales process better for everyone involved.”

For Sears, the strategy of providing in-store mobile devices and better Wi-Fi access is giving the retailer a way to enhance the relationship between customers and associates and create a more personalized shopping experience.

“We’re already one of the best in class mobile markets, in that our stores are uniquely linked between mobile commerce and bricks and mortar,” Sears’ Ms. Freely said.

“Shoppers can already order online and pick up at store through their mobile devices,” she said. “Most shoppers have limited reception in malls so now they can come into the stores and order directly.”

[via Mobile Marketer]

Wegman's Massachusetts Retail Localization

Wegmans opens first Massachusetts store; evokes rural theme in design

Wegman's Massachusetts Retail Localization

Wegmans Food Markets has opened its first location in Massachusetts, in the town of Northborough. The 138,000-sq.-ft. store, the largest supermarket in New England, has a warm, welcoming feel.

“As you approach the store,” said Corinne Chiogna, who headed Wegmans’ design team’s effort, “there’s a rooster-themed weathervane atop a cupola in the center of a gabled roof. It’s a reminder of food’s roots in agriculture. The stonework on the face of the building, the diagonal bracing, and soft neutral colors with red accents on the roof make you think of a barn in the countryside. We chose traditional rather than trendy themes because we wanted everyone to feel comfortable in this space.”

Rural landscapes are echoed indoors, too, but with light, fun touches. As one enters the store, a hand-painted mural over the Coffee Bar is a rendering of Wegmans’ Organic Farm located on the edge of Canandaigua Lake, in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region. Every half hour, the barn door in the mural opens, the sun lights up, and a crowing rooster pops out of the three-dimensional barn anchored in the mural.

Approximately one-third of the space is devoted to prepared foods, with another 15,000 sq. ft. for a liquor department and a 300-seat cafe. The giant store features 70,000 products and some 30 checkout lanes.

[via Chain Store Age]

Gap and Lowe's close stores

Gap and Lowe’s Close a Combined 209 Stores

Gap and Lowe's close stores

U.S. retailers Gap and Lowe’s announced last week that they will close a combined 209 stores as part of their expansion strategies. Lowe’s will close 20 stores and expects to open 10 to 15 stores per year in North America from 2012 forward. Gap will close 189 stores as well as downsize an undisclosed number of Old Navy stores and expand overseas growth.

The Lowe’s store closing strategy aims to profit from its top stores by closing 20 underperforming stores in California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mane, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Ten locations closed on October 16 and the remaining 10 will close in one month, following an inventory sell-through.

Additionally, the company announced it has discontinued a number of planned new store projects. Lowe’s now expects to open 10 to 15 stores per year, compared to a prior assumption of approximately 30 stores per year.

“We have an obligation to make tough decisions when necessary to improve profitability and strengthen our financial position,” says Robert A. Niblock, CEO of Lowe’s. “Lowe’s remains committed to making strategic investments and focusing resources in a manner that will generate the greatest shareholder value, enhance the customer shopping experience and create sustained customer loyalty over the long term.”

For long-time struggling Gap, having a strong set of stores is also a top priority in its store closing and expansion plans. The retailer plans to reduce the number of brand stores by 21%, from 889 to 700, by the end of 2013. Expansion plans include the opening of an Old Navy store in Japan and nearly tripling the number of Gap stores in China to 45 by the end of next year. The company’s first Banana Republic flagship in Paris is scheduled to open this year.

[via RIS News]