under-armour-brand-house

Under Armour’s Brand House to get NYC Flagship

Launched earlier this year in Baltimore, Under Armour’s Brand House is heading to the Big Apple. According to the Baltimore Sun, plans are set to open their first NYC store, but no information is available yet as to when they plan to open.

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From the article:

Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank briefly mentioned the new store on a conference call Thursday when the company released its third quarter earnings. Plank said the store would open in SoHo in the spring and will be part of the Brand House platform.

Though few details are available, the store is expected to be the largest Brand House yet. It will be an evolution of the prototype the company has been using to highlight growing areas such as women’s and youth apparel and footwear and immerse the shopper in the brand’s “make all athletes better” mission.

The new store is part of Under Armour’s push into New York, set to follow the opening of its first New York office early next year as its seeks to expand the brand beyond sporting goods specialty stores.

In addition to the Baltimore store and plans for Tysons Corner and New York, Under Armour has four other specialty stores, in Westfield Annapolis Shopping Mall, Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda and in Natick, Mass., and Vail, Colo. The designer will have 112 factory outlets by the end of next year.

future-retail-store

What Will Retail Look Like in a Decade?

According to a wealth of research conducted by Shop.org, they believe that the retail store of the future (or at least in ten years) will look vastly different from today’s brick-and-mortars.

future-retail-store

For retailers to remain viable in the future, they need to become innovators and leaders in four distinct areas of their business – customer experience, brand, operations, and administration.

From the article:

Successful retailers in the future will be customer-led. Many retailers today are organized around what is essentially a 20th century operation while trying to serve the 21st century customer. In many cases, internal merchandising teams are divided by channel, marketing teams are carved into areas that ultimately create disparate views of the same customer, IT departments focus on managing risk rather than the impact to the customer, and a digital division is too often silo-ed itself. Going forward, retailers must organize all operations around the customer first – an objective that will take time, resources, investment, flexibility and patience. Nordstrom is one retailer which serves as a prime example of an evolving, customer-led organization.

10 years of “bridge” strategies ahead. Becoming a customer-led organization won’t happen overnight – nor should it. Over the next 10 years, retailers should spend time assessing competencies, shifting and integrating current teams, revising titles and roles at all levels and the talent needed for those, setting and re-setting objectives and incentives, and putting systems and processes in place to develop the organizational structure that is “right” for them. Bridge strategies will be a key – this set of measures will help retailers move from one organizational evolutionary stage to the next while keeping the business growing. One example of this is that several organizations have announced “omnichannel” titles and divisions in the past year, an important bridge step to move the organization forward for now. But this should not be confused with the future retail organization where omnichannel is not a structure but rather a characteristic and philosophy embedded in the organization overall.

wanders_target_bullseye

Target to include in-store pickups during holiday push

Gearing up for the holidays, Target will begin offering in-store pickup at all US retail stores beginning November 1st for orders placed online. According to Chain Store Age, Target will also make a big push during “Cyber Week,” the week including Cyber Monday.

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From the article:

Target’s overall holiday campaign, themed “My Kind Of Holiday,” will extend across all channels, including broadcast, radio, in-store, catalogs, digital and social media.

Beginning in November, Target will invite consumers to join the conversation by using the hashtag #MyKindofHoliday. The company is also bringing social media into its stores and its catalogs. Starting Nov. 18, Target will highlight about 100 holiday products across all areas of its stores that have been trending well on Pinterest. It will also make reference to Pinterest in its holiday catalogs.

In other key initiatives, the discounter is extending the timeframe of its price match policy for the holiday season beyond the typical-seven day window. If a customer purchases a qualifying item at Target between Nov. 1 and Dec. 21 and then finds it for less at Target.com, a local competitor’s printed ad or at select online retailers, Target will match the price.

wardrobing-retailers

Wardrobing might be the next fad to plague retailers

We all may have encountered this before, a friend is wearing a new dress to a wedding or a suit to a job interview and then promptly returns it the next day. This trend, now called “wardrobing,” is taking off according to Main Street – and it’s costing retailers money.

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From the article:

Who exactly are the biggest wardrobing offenders? It seems there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

“There are a lot of people practicing wardrobing—people you would never expect,” says Hitha Prabhakar, chief research officer at AitchPe Retail Advisory. “It ranges from celebrity stylists and wealthy suburban soccer moms to young people who are looking for a job and can’t afford to buy an interview suit.”

But what drives our desire to try and beat the system? Social pressure may be one factor.

“No one wants to be caught wearing the same outfit on multiple occasions,” says David A. McKnight, an image and lifestyle consultant. “I’ve worn things twice, even though they were styled differently, and I’ve had someone say to me, ‘I’ve seen that jacket before,’ as if it’s a sin to wear something twice. Also, in the days of Instagram, a lot of fashionistas are looking to get noticed by posting ‘selfies’ wearing the latest trends, and God forbid they wear something twice.”

supply-chain-transparency

Collaboration and partnerships with suppliers can lead to better supply chain transparency

When it comes to issues in your supply chain, collaborating with suppliers and stakeholders can provide greater transparency into all moving parts. According to Supply Chain Brain this can help prevent disasters and lost revenue.

supply-chain-transparency

From the article:

As a result, retailers are increasingly looking to establish partnerships with their suppliers that promote sustainability and ethical working practices.

At present, large retailers can easily exceed 100,000-plus suppliers, and therefore a scalable approach is required.

As Jo Webb, the head of stakeholder relations for Sedex and member of the UN Global Compact Supply Chain Sustainability Advisory Group, explained: “Risks increase further down the supply chain – whilst at the same time the capacity to address those risks decreases – it is the iceberg of non-compliance lurking beneath the surface. Focusing on first-tier suppliers only is not enough. Collaboration is key. Some of the chronic supply chain issues we are seeing are endemic and no one company can solve them on their own. Duplication is still prevalent.”

Major retailers are now taking action, identifying the challenges with their suppliers so that they can tackle them together, and offering greater equality to workers by encouraging open conversations at all levels.

rent-the-runway

Rent the Runway Opens up Pop-Up Shop

It seems like more and more online retailers are taking their first foray into brick-and-mortar retail by opening pop-up shops. The latest in this trend is Rent the Runway who will be occupying space in the Henri Bendel department store on Fifth Avenue, according to Mashable.

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From the article:

From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Saturday (and noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays), shoppers can examine a selection of dresses and accessories from the company’s 175 brands, which include Badgley Mischka and Vera Wang. Typically, a customer rents a dress for a special occasion, like a wedding, from renttherunway.com; to increase the chances it will fit, the company sends the dress in two sizes, which the customer returns in either a four- or eight-day window. The benefit of the Hendri Bendel showroom is the ability to test fit first-hand: Customers will be able to try on a wide array of dresses and accessories, which they can rent on a number of future occasions.

Rent the Runway is accepting both walk-ins and appointments. A stylist will be on hand to make suggestions about “completing the look” — that is, suggesting some accessories to rent along with a dress. Each fitting room has been outfitted with a scanner and iPad, so that customers can save their favorite selections to their “Virtual Closet.”

A spokesperson for Rent the Runway declined to answer a question about the financial relationship between the startup and Hendri Bendel. Typically, department stores rent out floor space to brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel; it’s not clear if Rent the Runway is likewise paying rent, or if this is a cross-promotional partnership.

target-electronics-department-apple-store

Target takes a page from Apple’s retail playbook

Target’s latest efforts to drive increased focus on their electronics offerings might leave customers feeling a sense of deja vu. According to the Star Tribune, Target is taking a page from Apple’s retail playbook and going for a streamlined, minimalistic approach to their electronics department, similar to Apple’s retail store.

target-electronics-department-apple-store

From the article:

“It’s more a minimalist approach with space for consumers to touch and test the merchandise,” said Chris Christopher, director of consumer electronics at IHS Global Insight in Massachusetts.

And it comes at a time when electronics sellers are seeing a major shift in product mix as the space that used to be devoted to cameras — which are declining rapidly in sales — gives way to square footage for cellphones.

Target is testing the format to give customers a more convenient way to interact with products and services, said spokeswoman Erica Julkowski. “Guests are looking for more interactive ways to make purchasing decisions about the latest technology,” she wrote in a statement.

The concept is being tested at stores in Brooklyn Park, Mankato, Ridgedale and the Quarry location in Minneapolis, as well as outside Minnesota. There was no word on how long the test will last or when Target executives might decide whether to bring the idea to the rest of its approximately 1,800 stores nationwide.

Tiffany-Co-Store-Grand-Opening-Fashion-Show

For one Tiffany & Co. manager, retail is a balancing act

Retail store leaders have the huge responsibility of running a business and helping associates grow in their careers. Susan Pollard Freimanis, general manager at Tiffany & Co. in Chevy Chase, Md., says that after 14 years of management experience, she’s discovered retail is a career that helps her explore her own strengths and weaknesses. “You also have to be strong enough to make tough decisions, but compassionate enough to motivate your team through challenging times,” she said.

You can read the full Q&A on the NRF This is Retail blog.

Tiffany-Co-Store-Grand-Opening-Fashion-Show

From the article:

Good leadership is: balance, fairness and communication. Using common sense and always communicating with your team. They may not like the answers, but they will always respect knowing the information that went into making tough decisions.

I aspire to: continue to grow and develop—I have been with the same company for many years, but always in different positions, so I have never felt “stagnant.” It is important for me to stay motivated, and help keep others motivated as well. I have two mentors at work, my vice president and my group director that hired me. I consistently look to them for guidance. They each have different strengths, and the combination of each of them has truly shaped my career. They have pushed me to strive for more, always supported me. I truly believe that they are responsible for my success. I aspire to be that kind of leader for someone during my career.

Showrooming retail store, shopper marketing

Visa Finds Showrooming to be less of an Issue than Previously Thought

In a recent study conducted by Visa, they found that showrooming is less of an issue for brick-and-mortar stores than was originally thought as more Americans are making purchases online without visiting a store beforehand.

Showrooming retail store, shopper marketing

According to FastCompany, the study also found that more Americans are carrying less cash around with them. In fact, 40% of Americans carry less than $20 in their wallet.

From the article:

The study also finds that showrooming is becoming less of a problem, with only 12% of respondents saying they visited a retail store once a month to check out a product in person with no intention to buy. In contrast, 53% reported never visiting a physical store before making a purchase online.

Here are some other interesting nuggets from the report:

  • The West Coast is considered more tech savvy when it comes to mobile shopping: About 60% of people on the West Coast own smartphones, compared with 46% in the Northeast and Midwest. Of respondents on the West Coast, 37% said they have made purchases using their smartphones compared with 21% in the Midwest and 25% in the South.
  • Overall, 27% of smartphone owners and 24% of tablet owners have shopped using their mobile devices in the last year.
  • The survey found 15% of respondents said they have scanned a QR code to make a purchase in the last year.
  • About 20% to 30% of respondents said they would use their smartphones to pay for public transportation, parking meters, tips, and gas station purchases if they could.

microsoft-surface-tablet-visual-merchandising

What’s in a (Surface) name?

With less-than-optimal sales for their Surface RT and Surface PRO tablet systems, Microsoft is now admitting that they botched the naming of these devices.

microsoft-surface-tablet-visual-merchandising

According to an article on TabTimes, Microsoft executive Jack Cowett, responsible for the marketing of the surface tablets, said some customers didn’t know the difference between the two devices.

From the article:

“We think that there was some confusion in the market last year on the difference between Surface RT and Surface Pro,” said Cowett. “We want to help make it easier for people, and these are two different products designed for two different people.”

Microsoft has since dropped the ‘RT’ for its latest Windows RT tablet, with the tablets now simply called Surface and Surface Pro. Microsoft has reportedly almost sold out on pre-order models, although it has been suggested that the Redmond firm has lightly stocked the channel – The Register last week reported that just 2,000 tablets were available in the UK.