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June 24, 2014

Unlike most consumers, the retail industry doesn’t take a holiday in the summer. As we head into July, three very different retail companies are very much in the news. One has the industry all abuzz over who will be its next chief, while another has launched a pioneering employee initiative. And the newly appointed chief of the third wants to turn a cult L.A. brand into a global powerhouse. I’m fascinated by all three:

June 12, 2014

In mid- May, over 30,000 professionals from the shopping center industry gathered in Las Vegas for the ICSC’s annual RECon event.

June 4, 2014

The long established buzzword, “localization” is more important today than it has ever been. The approach of ever broadening assortments has clogged shelves, exaggerated mark-down costs and compromised returns; with slotting fees no longer sufficient to bridge the gap.

May 21, 2014

Don't expect a lot from Target this quarter. The data breach and subsequent fallout - including leadership turnover and ongoing shopper trust issues - weigh like an albatross around the retailer's neck.

May 1, 2014

The recent cyber attacks on Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels Stores had an immediate and profound impact on sales, as well as a widespread and ongoing ripple effect on consumer confidence in the safety of credit-card information at point-of-sale terminals.

May 1, 2014

There is no substitute for a strong brand — whatever the sales channel. That’s the basic underlying premise of Interbrand’s annual “Best Retail Brands” report, which ranks the top 50 North American and international retailers by brand value. It’s a premise worth keeping in mind amid all the online versus offline talk. As Interbrand global CEO Jez Frampton puts it: “In the end, it is the brand, not the footprint, that will endure.”

April 30, 2014

As consumers busy themselves with spring gardening and plans for summer travel, their favorite retailers are already planning for back-to-school and the 2014 holiday season.

April 23, 2014

Ever since the major retailer breaches last year, outsiders have been pointing fingers at the victim merchants demanding to know how something like this could happen. But cyber risk in the payment card industry is a problem greater than any one company.

April 21, 2014

A number of recent class actions highlight three California privacy laws that were rarely litigated a decade ago.

April 17, 2014

Grocers are operating in a rapidly changing environment — an exploding omni-channel marketplace in which competitive strategies that worked five years ago are obsolete.

April 15, 2014

Target’s massive data breach continues to reverberate in the headlines, but in reality it’s just one of countless attacks that affect the retail industry on a daily basis.

April 7, 2014

Retailers are bending over backwards to meet the growing demands of today’s ever-connected consumer; however, most are still coming up short. The traditional rinse-and-repeat practices — slashing prices, offering free shipping and promoting exclusive products — aren’t winning over fickle consumers or helping gain a leg up on the competition.

April 2, 2014

Hazardous waste management for retailers and retail pharmacies has entered a critical new phase that may change the rules governing what is considered waste and how to properly dispose of it.

March 19, 2014

We shop almost every day – picking something up at the drug store or buying lunch, clothes shopping or getting groceries, looking for a gift or checking out a promotion – and we are doing this on the way to work, at work, at night while watching TV, online, at a store and increasingly across mobile devices. There is one thing that unites consumers in all of these instances: we expect the experience to be unified, personalized, constant, connected and, above all, seamless.

March 17, 2014

According to a recent IBM report, retailers should no longer feel threatened by the practice of retail showrooming. Agreed, and also great news for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.

March 4, 2014

By most accounts, 2013 was a banner year for IPOs. According to Renaissance Capital, a total of 222 companies went public in 2013, marking the best year for the IPO market since 2000. As we predicted in a previous article in Chain Store Age, the retail and consumer products industry played a key role in this IPO activity, accounting for 19 offerings and $8.3 billion in proceeds. This marked a notable increase from the number of offerings seen in 2012 (15) and 2011 (12), according to Renaissance Capital.

March 4, 2014

Think brick-and-mortar retail is doomed in an increasingly digital world? Visit Sephora, where consumers line up to sample the dizzying array of beauty products. Watch as a bunch of excited kids go through the rounds at Build-A-Bear-Workshop. Listen as a pharmacist at Walgreens gives some advice to a harried mom whose kids are coming down with something. Stop in at H-E-B, Whole Foods Market or some other great supermarket and breathe in the tantalizing aromas. Fool around with the latest gadgets at Apple or one of the new generation of AT&T and Verizon stores.

March 4, 2014

From mat management to the use of proper cleaning products, prevention is, of course, key to slip and fall management in retail stores. But there are two additional key areas that should be addressed — management communication and accountability. Indeed, sharing information and holding department managers accountable for results can reap numerous benefits for a company.

February 26, 2014

It’s a well-known industry fact that refrigeration and freezer appliances, which are no longer exclusive to supermarkets, are major electricity “hogs” in retail stores.

February 18, 2014

As weather patterns and energy costs become less predictable, the need to maximize savings, gain control and monitor energy usage with minimum staff effort moves from the “nice-to-have” to “must-have list.”

February 10, 2014

Looking ahead at a year that will most certainly see a continued evolution of what retail is and what it does, I am excited at the prospects of participating in, toying with and influencing that evolution.

January 28, 2014

When the 2013 holiday shopping season ended, it resulted in sluggish results for U.S. retailers. Price-match policies worked to fend off some showrooming, but these discounts also ate up margins at a very unhealthy rate.

January 24, 2014

Welcome to the new Customer Disruption newsletter from Chain Store Age.

January 2, 2014

Omni-channel strategies are helping chain stores compete with pure-play e-commerce retailers, but it is also driving major changes in their e-commerce logistics models. In an omnichannel strategy, which seamlessly integrates sales channels such as the store, web and/or mobile, consumers can choose the most convenient way to order, receive and return their purchases.

© 2014