Apple Trademark store design, retail localization

Apple granted trademark for its store design

Apple Inc. has been granted a trademark from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its store design. The trademark covers the furniture and fixtures, floors, lighting and shelves found in Apple stores, along with the “Genius Bar.”

Apple Trademark store design, retail localization

In addition, the trademark covers Apple’s all-glass storefront design.

According to various reports, Apple first applied for the trademark in 2010, but its application was rejected by the patent office. A second application by the company also was rejected. According to the Apple retail news site Ifoapplestore, the earlier rejections came because the company failed to prove the design was “inherently distinctive.”

[via Chain Store Age]


Beatles HQ Abercrombie. Retail localization

Beatles’ Former London HQ Planned as Abercrombie Shop

The Beatles’ former London headquarters, where the band performed for the last time on the rooftop, may become an Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) store after planning authorities recommended the proposal over objections from retailers in the area.

Beatles HQ Abercrombie. Retail localization

The U.S. company intends to open a children’s outlet at 3 Savile Row, which is listed as a historic preservation site, according to documents sent to the Westminster borough council before a vote next week. The property is close to century-old tailors’ shops like Gieves & HawkesH. Huntsman & Sons and Henry Poole & Co.

Shoppers hold Abercrombie and Fitch shopping bags outside the store in London. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The building housed the offices of the Beatles’ Apple Records label when the band’s final performance was filmed, 44 years ago today, for the movie “Let It Be.” Abercrombie, whose stores for teens and adults are known for their nightclub vibe with shirtless employees and subdued lighting, shouldn’t be allowed to have models stand at the entrances, hold promotional events featuring celebrities at the shop or play loud music, planners recommended.

The building’s leasehold is owned by AFH Stores U.K. Ltd., according to a filing to the Land Registry. Apple Records sold the property in 1980, a document filed with the planning application shows.

Abercrombie & Fitch declined to comment. The New Albany, Ohio-based company opened its first London store at 7 Burlington Gardens, around the corner from Savile Row, in 2007.

Local Protests

The plan to open a new store sparked protest among retailers including the Savile Row Bespoke Association, which seeks to preserve the area’s character as a center for upmarket men’s tailoring.

The council received objections stating the store would have “an unacceptable impact on the character and function of Savile Row, inappropriate congregation of crowds on the street outside, increased footfall will lead to safety issues on the highway, and potential noise and disturbance to surrounding properties,” according to the documents.

“It is necessary to provide specific protection for the unique clusters of specialist uses, which are central to London’s character, and ensure these clusters are not eroded by pressure from other commercial uses,” Mark Henderson, chairman of Gieves & Hawkes, said by e-mail.

[via Bloomberg]



Macy’s names a chief omnichannel executive

With the coming retirement of Tom Cole, the chief administrative officer who led development of Macy’s Inc.’s “omnichannel” retailing strategy, the retail chain has created the new position of chief omnichannel officer to oversee the integration of store, online and mobile operations.

Macy's Omnichannel marketing, shopper marketing

Filling the new position is Robert B. Harrison, who since last July has been executive vice president for omnichannel strategy, during which he developed and managed strategies for integrating the retailer’s store, web and mobile retail channels. As chief omnichannel officer, Harrison will take on the additional responsibility for overseeing the systems and technology, logistics and related operations the retail chain uses to manage its strategy across the company’s retail channels, Macy’s says. He will also join the company’s executive committee and report to CEO Terry Lundgren.

Macy’s describes omnichannel retailing as providing consumers a consistent shopping experience across multiple retail channels, including the ability to view updates of all available inventory whether shopping online or in stores. In the past year, for example, Macy’s has been equipping hundreds of its more than 840 stores to fulfill orders customers place online, providing online shoppers with products that might not otherwise be available via the web.

As chief omnichannel officer, Harrison oversees how the multiple retail channels work together, but he is not responsible for each channel separately. The online channel is headed by Jeffrey A. Kantor, chairman of; the stores are led by chief stores officer Peter Sachse.

Industry analysts applauded the retailer’s creation of the new chief omnichannel executive position. By making a single senior executive responsible for coordinating online and offline activities, Macy’s has taken an important step to addressing how modern consumers like to shop across retail channels, says Paula Rosenblum, managing partner of research and advisory firm Retail Systems Research. “It’s a strong statement,” she says. “Macy’s is committed to treating inventory as a shared asset and meeting the customer with products wherever she likes.”

Leslie Hand, research director at IDC Retail Insights, says the appointment of Harrison “reaffirms the company’s commitment to not just serving customers well in each channel, but becoming an organization that serves customers well wherever and however they engage. Macy’s omnichannel charter takes yet another step ahead of the competition.”

Nikki Baird, also a managing partner at Retail Systems Research, adds that other retailers likely will follow Macy’s move, and that by giving Harrison responsibility for both the business and technology operations behind omnichannel retailing, Macy’s is better positioned to “delivering omnichannel service efficiently and effectively.”

Rosemblum adds that a natural next step for Macy’s would be to create a position for a customer experience officer, to ensure that the retailer is satisfying customers no matter how they shop.

[via Internet Retailer]

Apple Employees, Fortune 500, Retail Localization

Top 10 Retailers to Work For

Judgments about how “good” an individual person is are notoriously subjective: people can find things to criticize even among winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. But apparently it is possible to objectively measure how good a company is. The 2012 Good Company Index (GCI) ranks Fortune 500 companies using measurements of employee satisfaction, treatment of customers, commitment to sustainability and adherence to ethical standards.

Apple Employees, Fortune 500, Retail Localization

Index authors Laurie Bassi, Ed Frauenheim and Dan McMurrer inaugurated the GCI last year, but the 2011 assessment was limited to 84 companies in the Fortune 100. The 2012 rankings have been expanded to include 300 of America’s largest public companies in the Fortune 500. The GCI assigns positive or negative points to companies based on their performance and tallies the totals, with the range of possible scores running from a low of -9 to a high of +8.

RIS analyzed the results for the 43 retail companies on the list to discover the Top 10 Best Companies to Work For. In cases where two companies’ aggregated scores were the same, the retailer’s ranking as an employer was used to break a tie, followed by its ranking as a seller (i.e. its treatment of customers). There were two ties where all scores were identical: Office Depot and Kohl’s at number seven and and Advance Auto Parts at number 10.

Top 10 Best Companies to Work For

1. Apple
2. Costco Wholesale
3. Best Buy
4. Gap
5. O’Reilly Auto Parts
6. Whole Foods Market
7. Office Depot; Kohl’s (tie)
8. Nordstrom
9. Starbucks
10. Amazon; Advance Auto Parts (tie)

Even though the authors widened the scope of companies they analyzed for this year’s report, several retailers made encore appearances in this year’s Top 10 Retailer list, including Apple, which topped the list for the second year in a row. Other repeats were Office Depot, Whole Foods, O’Reilly and Costco, which moved up from tenth to second this year.

[via RIS News]

Starbucks drive thru, retail localization

Starbucks targets drive thrus for U.S. growth

More than half of the 1,500 new coffeehouse locations Starbucks Corp. plans to open in the United States over the next five years will be drive-thrus, company officials said Thursday in a first-quarter earnings call.

Starbucks drive thru, retail localization

The Seattle-based company also reported a 13-percent increase in profit for the quarter that was boosted by the strongest holiday season in its 42-year history, with an estimated 1-in-10 U.S. adults receiving a Starbucks gift card.

Starbucks chair, president and chief executive Howard Schultz said the record results were delivered despite a backdrop of lackluster consumer confidence and a weak global economy, “demonstrating the strength, unique resilience and increasing relevance of our global business and brand.”

Drive thrus drive profit, growth

Starbucks plans to add 1,300 new units globally this year, including about 600 in the Americas, mostly in the United States, about half of which will be licensed. Another 600 locations are scheduled to open in the China/Asia Pacific region, about half of which will be in China.

U.S. growth will focus on drive-thru locations, which the company said has become a highly profitable format. About 60 percent of the 1,500 U.S. units planned in the next five years will have a drive thru.

[via NRN]

JC Penney sales, shopper marketing

Sales events to make a comeback at J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney is changing course on its no-sales policy. It was just one year ago that the retailer, amid much fanfare, announced it was nearly eliminating sales events from its stores in favor of a three-tier pricing strategy and everyday low pricing. But on Monday the Associated Press reported that J.C. Penney is not only bringing back sales promotions to its stores, but will also add price tags or signs for approximately half of its merchandise that will show the “manufacturer’s suggested retail price” next to J.C. Penney’s “everyday” price.

JC Penney sales, shopper marketing

For store branded items, J.C. Penney will show comparison prices for similar merchandise from competitors. Comparison prices, however, will not be shown for merchandise that is part of the exclusive partnerships J.C. Penney has entered into with brands such as Mango.

J.C. Penney’s decision to strictly limit promotional events, one part of CEO Ron Johnson’s ambitious reinvention plan for the company, has not gone over well with consumers. The company has struggled, reporting three consecutive quarters of drops in sales and profits. Industry analysts expect more of the same for the fourth quarter. J.C. Penney will announce its results in February.

J.C. Penney is not revealing how many sales events it will offer. But the company said the number will be well below the nearly 600 that it used to offer prior to Johnson’s new strategy, according to the report.

Johnson told the Associated Press that the decision to bring back sales was an “evolution” of his strategy.

[via Chain Store Age]

Brooks Brothers Suit Yourself, NRF's Big Show 2013

Customer-Centric Innovation at Brooks Brothers

During his breakout session at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, Ken Seiff, executive vice president for direct and omni-channel at Brooks Brothers, outlined the tenets of the company’s strategy to create a unique and personalized experience for each customer across all channels.

Brooks Brothers Suit Yourself, NRF's Big Show 2013

Brooks Brothers, a nearly 200 year-old American brand, solidifies its position as one of the most resilient by continuously innovating, developing new ways to serve its customers through extraordinary products and legendary service.

“We are not good because we are old,” Brooks Brothers Chairman and CEO Claudio Del Vecchio told’s Artemis Berry in an interview. “But rather, we are old because we are good.” While not in attendance at the NRF breakout session, Del Vecchio illustrates the brand’s ability to recognize shifting trends in the retail landscape and meet those changes head on.

The company has a long history of understanding the needs of its customers and has gone to great lengths to meet them:

  • During the late 1800s and early 1900s, store locations were relocated to be closer to their customers
  • The Gold Rush sparked the concept of ready-made clothing. People needed suits in a hurry as they moved out West to strike it rich. Customers did not have 7-10 days to wait for their suit to be tailored;
  • Women became a driving force in the workplace in the 1970s, leading Brooks Brothers to team up with Vogue to create shirts specifically for working women.

To translate this longstanding customer-driven approach into an omni-channel strategy that meets the needs of today’s consumer, Brooks Brothers looked to existing in-store practices and listened to feedback from current customers. The result was a desire to bring the individual attention customers received in the brick-and-mortar store to the digital realm. Seiff noted that technology, by nature, is impersonal and has to be configured in a way that engages the customer. For an effective omni-channel experience to take hold, they would need to bridge that gap.

As Brooks Brothers’ employees can not be present to assist customers through online and mobile channels, the company developed a personalization algorithm, a process to remember, listen and make recommendations for returning online customers, to continually serve the consumer.

The company’s Spring 2013 Suit Yourself online campaign is the latest culmination of its omni-channel approach. The process of purchasing a suit is one that is reliant on the brick-and-mortar store. Sizes differ from designer to designer, or even store to store, the sales associate and the tailor have always been important in finding a suit that fits perfectly. Suit Yourself is an online series designed to educate and empower the customer before they ever step foot in the store.

While the brick-and-mortar store will always be Brooks Brothers’ main platform to engage the customer, the store floor is now a retail experience that extends into online and mobile realms. The result is a one-on-one, customer-focused experience across all retail touchpoints.


Zoe Saldana, myLook by Lenscrafters, visual merchandising

myLook: Lenscrafters’ technology to see better and look your best!

LensCrafters, the world’s leading eyewear retailer, recently launched myLook, an innovative in-store technology that can help customers find the perfect pair of glasses. With the help of a trained LensCrafters associate, consumers can use myLook to compare their appearance in up to four frames to help them see and choose the style that looks best.

Zoe Saldana, myLook by Lenscrafters, visual merchandising

From the runway to the basketball court to the silver screen and just about everywhere else in between, glasses have become a distinctive fashion accessory, highlighting the personality of the individual and the look they want to convey.

LensCrafters tapped American actress Zoë Saldana to be the face of the myLook campaign, featuring her effortless style in advertising, in-stores and online at

Whether it’s an annual eye exam, shopping for the latest designer frames or just getting a quick adjustment to your glasses, LensCrafters has vision care covered.  Innovation and technology are always at the forefront of the customer experience and that includes LensCrafters exclusive digital measurement system, AccuFit, which allows for a five times more precise measurement than the traditional manual approach. AccuFit enables LensCrafters’ skilled opticians to measure the exact location of the pupils, the spacing between eyes, and the shape of glasses to ensure the best possible placement of the prescription in your new glasses. The accuracy of these measurements determines how well you see with your new eyewear.

[via 4 Traders]

Amy Poehler, Best Buy Super Bowl commercial, visual merchandising

Can Amy Poehler save Best Buy?

Fresh off rave reviews for her Golden Globes co-hosting duties, Amy Poehler is about to tackle a more daunting task –- the Super Bowl ad for the troubled Best Buy chain.

Amy Poehler, Best Buy Super Bowl commercial, visual merchandising

The comedian and actress, who scored what was probably the most oft-repeated line of the Golden Globes fest (it’s at about the 1-minute, 50-second mark of the opening), will be the star of a 30-second ad for the electronics chain during the first quarter of the game, according to the Associated Press.

“Amy is this comedic everyperson who can make things simple,” said Scott Durchslag, president of Best Buy’s online and global e-commerce. “And Best Buy is trying to accomplish the same thing — making technology simple.”

Simple? That’s the message?

Well, maybe after last year — which was no laughing matter for Best Buy — the chain is waxing nostalgic for simpler times when it was not being crushed by online competitors.

For the third quarter of 2012, the company reported a loss of $10 million, compared to a profit of $156 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Also during 2012, Chief Executive Brian Dunn stepped down after it was revealed that he had a personal relationship with an employee. Company founder Richard Schulze, who also left in the wake of the messy affair, later made moves to try to take back the chain.

[via LA Times]

Walmart supply chain, retail localization

Wal-Mart issues ‘zero tolerance’ policy for global suppliers

Wal-Mart Stores is tightening the reins on its global suppliers. Effective March 1, the retailer is implementing a “zero tolerance” policy for any supplier who subcontracts work to factories without the company’s knowledge, the Associated Press reported. Previously, Wal-Mart gave suppliers three chances to correct mistakes.

Walmart supply chain, retail localization

As part of the new rules, Wal-Mart will require all factories in Bangladesh to undergo an electrical and building safety assessment from an independent agency.

“While an overall global approach is necessary, there is a need for heightened attention to the risks specifically related to building structure in Bangladesh,” Wal-Mart said in a 10-page letter to suppliers Tuesday.

In addition, beginning June 1, suppliers must have an employee stationed in countries where they subcontract to ensure compliance. In the past, suppliers relied on third-party agents to monitor activity.

[via Chain Store Age]