Retailers That Get the Value of Loyalty Programs

As we have noted before, several retailers have dropped or cut back on their customer loyalty programs. And we have questioned the wisdom of those decisions — especially in today’s highly competitive cross-channel marketplace.
So, take a look at this infographic from Visual.ly that features some retailers around the globe that do get the value of customer loyalty programs.

 

The Best Loyalty Cards Around

 

Posted in Global Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Popularity of U.S. Pizzerias and Italian Restaurants

We know that pizzerias and Italian restaurants are EXTREMELY popular in the United States. But just how popular?
As CHD Expert, which serves the global food service industry, reports:
The Pizza restaurant industry landscape is one of the most popular in the United States, with more than $62 billion in annual pizzeria and Italian restaurant retail sales. As of March 2014, there were more than 98,000 restaurants in the USA that fall into the Pizza, Pasta, and Italian Simplified Menu Type. More than 70,000 of those restaurant operators are sub-classified in the Pizzeria Menu Type. California and New York lead in the number of pizza restaurant establishments. Half of the pizzerias and 84 percent of Italian restaurants in the United States are independently operated.”
Here is an infographic overview from CHD Expert.

 

 

Posted in Global Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Do Container Store, Costco, and Whole Foods Have in Common? (Besides Their Success)

While the national debate about the minimum wage still rages (see 1) — and many retailers oppose any increase, some retail chains have gained a competitive edge through higher wages. They believe that happy employees mean happy customers. Three such retailers are Container Store, Costco, and Whole Foods.
As reported by Jolie Lee for USA Today:
“Container Store employees make on average nearly $50,000 a year, CEO Kip Tindell says. That’s more than double the $23,690 average national salary ($11.39 per hour) of a retail sales worker, according to 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even by paying employees a higher salary, the Container Store is able to make money,Tindell told Business Insider. He says that he believes a great employee is three times more productive than just a good employee. ‘You can pay them twice as much and still save, since you get three times the productivity at two times the cost,’ Tindell, who is also the incoming chairman of the National Retail Federation, said in the interview.”
“Costco employees start at $11.50 per hour and make $21 per hour on average, well above the national average. In 2013, Whole Foods paid its employees $18.89 per hour or $39,289 a year.”
 Click the image to read more.

 

Photo: Richard Drew, AP

 

Posted in Career Useful Information, Careers in Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Will Weak Wages Impact Holiday Shopping?

Although the U.S. unemployment rate has come down in the years following the Great Recession, wages have not really bounced back in real terms (taking inflation into account). And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the gap between the haves and have nots has steadily increased. This is NOT good news for retailers who appeal to middle-income consumers, as well as those selling non-necessities, as they gear up for the peak 2014 holiday shopping season.
As reported by for the New York Times:
“The typical American family makes less than the typical family did 15 years ago, a statement that hadn’t previously been true since the Great Depression. Even as the unemployment rate has fallen in the last few years, wage growth has remained mediocre. Last week’s jobs report offered the latest evidence: The jobless rate fell below 6 percent, yet hourly pay has risen just 2 percent over the last year, not much faster than inflation. The combination has puzzled economists and frustrated workers.”
“The great wage slowdown, or the end of it, will help set the tone for American life in the coming decade. It has already done so in the century’s first 15 years, causing widespread unhappiness with the country’s direction and leading voters to shift partisan directions multiple times. The political turmoil isn’t likely to end until the economic reality changes.”
Click the NYT chart to read more.
 
Income Decline

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Today’s Outlet Stores: Are They TOO Popular?

Outlet stores (and shopping centers) have been around for decades. When they first opened, they sometimes occupied old factory buildings, focused on end-of-season merchandise and irregulars, and located miles away from traditional retailers so as not to hurt their retailers’ business. Most of the outlets featured manufacturers’ merchandise (and some still do now).
Today, outlet stores and shopping centers are more attractive (although clearly plainer than traditional stores), feature newer merchandise — as well as merchandise only carried by the outlets, are more conveniently located, and have many more retailers’ own outlet stores.
So, the question for retailers is this: Are they growing their outlet business at the expense of shopping at their traditional stores and at lower profit margins?
Consider these observations Suzanne Kapner, writing for the Wall Street Journal:
“Retailers long built walls around their outlet businesses to keep the bargain hunters from the gates of their full-price stores. Now, those walls are coming down. Desperate for growth at a time when outlet stores are a rare bright spot for shopper traffic, chains are taking the once unthinkable step of putting outlets near their mainline stores in cities and suburban malls and even putting full-price stores in outlet malls.”
“High-priced, luxury chain Neiman Marcus has been opening its discounted Last Call outlet stores in major markets like Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans. Nordstrom  plans to open 27 Rack outlet stores this year, many of them near its full-priced department stores. Meanwhile, Macy’s is anchoring a wing of full-priced stores that opened last summer at an outlet mall in Gurnee, Ill. Macy’s chief financial officer said the company would consider opening more such locations.”
Click the WSJ chart to read more of Kapner’s story.

 

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Are YOU as Cyber-Secure as You Should Be? Some Video Tips

Identity theft and loss of privacy are BIG issues. In this video, we point out several “scary” aspects of cyber security as well as offer several tips.
Protect YOURSELF. We can be our best friend — and our worst enemy.

 


 

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

From Online to Offline: More Companies Doing It

Amazon — which recently announced that it would open a brick-and-mortar in Manhattan — is only the latest online retailer (but certainly the biggest :-) ) to decide to go multichannel. Other firms that have been making the move include Athleta, Boston Proper, Bonobos, and Warby Parker. In all of those cases, the brick-and-mortar stores supplement the main online business.
Recently, the American Express U.S. Small Merchant Group held a panel discussion about how various retailers were transitioning from clicks-only businesses to a multichannel strategy.
As reported by Jill Krasny for Inc., online retailers said they go offline for a variety of reasons, including these:
  • They can gain further customer insights — At Rent the Runway, “The opportunity to sync online data with offline experiences was just too good to pass up. It’s rare to [personalize data], but knowing a customers’ size, style, and habits really soups up the in-store experience.”
  • Customers want it — “For Bonobos’ founder Andy Dunn, opening a store in Manhattan provided an opportunity to help guide his shoppers.”
  • Opportunities to Educate — “Katia Beauchamp, Birchbox’s founder, was inclined to open a store because it really sucked to purchase beauty products on the Internet. Customers need to touch the products and put it in the context of their lives.”
 Here is a short video on the American Express panel discussion.

 

 

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