Another Record Mother’s Day Expected for Retailers

Finally, there is some good news for retailers. Mother’s Day 2017 is expected to generate about 10 percent more in retail revenues than in 2016.
As reported by Ana Serafin Smith for the National Retail Federation:
“Consumers say they will spend more than ever on Mother’s Day this year as they shower moms with everything from jewelry to special outings at favorite restaurants, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. ‘Consumers are planning to open up their wallets a little bit more to celebrate the women with the most important jobs in the world on Mother’s Day. We will see older Millennials (25-34) spend the most, and younger consumers are putting their online shopping skills to good use to purchase their moms the perfect gift,’ Prosper analyst Pam Goodfellow said.” 
“When searching for the perfect gift, 35 percent of consumers will head to department stores and 31 percent will shop at specialty stores such as florists, jewelers, or electronics stores, while 24 percent plan to shop at a local small business. Meanwhile, 30 percent will shop online, up from 27 percent last year. Among smartphone owners, 34 percent will research gift ideas on their phones while 19 percent will use them to make a purchase.”
Click the chart to read more.

Also, check out this video from the NRF.

 

Posted in Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amazon Dives into Custom Clothing

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly. Not only is Amazon getting more involved in apparel retailing, it is also patenting a unique custom-clothing process.
As Nick Wingfield reports for the New York Times:
“This year, Amazon will surpass Macy’s to become the largest seller of apparel in America, by several analysts’ estimates. It is looking at ways to keep expanding, too. Amazon is exploring the possibility of selling custom-fit clothing, tailored to the more precise measurements of customers, and it has considered acquiring clothing manufacturers to further expand its presence in the category.”
“If there are tipping points in retail — moments when shopping behavior swings decisively in one direction — there’s a strong case to be made that apparel is reaching one now, with broad implications for jobs, malls, and shopping districts.”
Also for the New York Times, Wingfield and Kelly Couturier describe Amazon’s customization effort:
“In April [2017], Amazon received an intriguing patent for an ‘on demand’ apparel manufacturing system, which can quickly fill online orders for suits, dresses and other garments. Here’s how it would work. (1) The process starts when customers submit online orders to the retailer for shirts and other articles of clothing, accessories, bedding, curtains, and towels. The patterns, printed onto rolls of fabric or other material, are arranged to reduce scrap.”
“(2) A “cut engine” then carves out the various pattern pieces, while cameras analyze them to make sure they aren’t being distorted in the process. (3) A robotic arm with a mechanical gripper places all the pieces into a tote on a conveyor belt. (4) The conveyor belt delivers the totes to a sewing station, where ‘an attendant and/or automated sewing machine’ stitches the item together. The items are then examined at a quality control station, packed up and shipped to customers.”
Click the image for many other figures that visually highlight Amazon’s customization process.

Source: Amazon 

 

Posted in Online Retailing, 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 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quotes to Inspire You

There are times when all of us need some inspiration to keep us motivated. Our favorite (as reflected in the blog subtitle is to “live life every day.” 🙂 What is YOUR  favorite  inspirational quote?
For more inspiration, check out the 50 motivational quotes from Inc. (curated by Jeff Haden). Here is Inc.’s top ten:
  1. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Walt Disney
  2. “Fear is the disease. Hustle is the antidote.” Travis Kalanick [Uber]
  3. “The question I ask myself almost every day is, ‘Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?'” Mark Zuckerberg [Facebook]
  4. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Chinese proverb
  5. “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.” Florence Nightingale [founder of modern nursing]
  6. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” Amelia Earhart [aviation pioneer]
  7. “Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda [Star Wars]
  8. “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” Mark Twain [author]
  9. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu [Chinese philosopher]
  10. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker [author]

     

    And check out this Inc. video on Richard Branson.

     

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

Five Fashion Retailers That Have Nailed It

Although many fashion retailers are suffering, there are some bright spots among fashion retailers.
Fast Company has identified five of them:
“The following five companies illustrate the power of building a brand atop an authoritative editorial voice, whether it’s in the form of viral videos and lifestyle blogs or influencer ‘grams and disappearing Snaps. They’re also fostering conversations with consumers—sneakerheads, fashionistas, and beauty obsessives alike—that inform everything from product design to distribution and marketing. In their hands, content has become a robust engine for commerce.”
  • GLOSSIER  — “For collaborating with customers to create cult cosmetics. The beauty industry has generally flowed in one direction: Executives in glass towers decide which products they’re going to put on shelves, and women buy them (or don’t). Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss has turned this process into a two-way conversation by asking readers of her beauty news and reviews website, Into the Gloss, to weigh in on every aspect of her skin-care and makeup company.” 
  • KENZO — “For ripping up the seams of fashion marketing. When actress Margaret Qualley shot lasers from her fingers during a dance routine in the Spike Jonze–directed short film Kenzo World, that’s likely when marketers went slack-jawed. Commissioned to celebrate the launch of the French fashion house Kenzo’s Kenzo World fragrance, the spot (which went viral) and won a top industry award, led to a wildly successful soft launch of the perfume — no paid media or marketing required. (Parent company LVMH cited the campaign as helping drive the 8% growth in its perfumes and cosmetics division in 2016.)”
  • CLIQUE MEDIA GROUP — “For parlaying fashion advice into retail gold. Clique Media leaped out of the digital world and into the physical one in January 2016 with a clothing line for Target. The millennial-minded Who What Wear collection offers runway trends at big-box prices ($34.99 for velvet pants, $44.99 for a cape blazer) and keeps up with the frenetic pace of fashion by committing to 12 updates a year. It’s a natural evolution for the company, which grew out of the Who What Wear blog started by Elle magazine veterans Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr.”
  • HYPEBEAST — “For uniting sneakerheads into a lucrative demographic. ‘In the world of hype, in the world of cool, you need to be the coolest platform selling the coolest products,’ says Kevin Ma, the unflappable founder of the Hong Kong–based streetwear site Hypebeast. Championing edgy brands such as Raf Simons, Vetements, and Hood by Air, Ma’s site has grown from a simple sneakerhead review hub (created in his Vancouver bedroom) to a multifaceted arbiter of all manner of urban fashion and culture that includes Hypebeast, the year-old female-focused Hypebae, and an online marketplace called HBX that sells everything from Yeezy Boosts to Leica cameras.” 
  • REWARDSTYLE — “For giving influencers a must-have accessory. Founder Amber Venz Box has channeled her frustration as a fashion blogger who wanted to make more money into a full suite of back-end publishing and tracking tools. Today, RewardStyle allows her and her fellow bloggers and Instagram personalities the chance to earn commissions on the products they promote. ‘Our mission is making [influencers] as economically successful as possible,’ she says. Users who like a RewardStyle influencer’s ’gram receive an E-mail on where to buy the featured look.”

     

    Click the image to read more about these five firms.
     

    Emily Weiss, Glossier’s CEO, engages in social media to bring customers into the firm’s cosmetics creation.

     

Posted in Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In-Store Pickup Playing a Bigger Role

Bricks-and-clicks retailers are finding that many shoppers like the convenience of ordering online and picking up merchandise in the store rather than waiting for shipping.
According to Kibo (formerly Shopatron):
“When it comes to satisfying consumer fulfillment expectations, the ability to buy online and pickup in store ranks near the top of the list. In fact, two-thirds (67%) of shoppers said that while they welcome the convenience of shopping online, sometimes it is just easier/more efficient to have the product sent to a physical store for pickup.”
“A win-win strategy for all involved, in-store pickup helps shoppers get their products quickly and on their schedule, while eliminating shipping expenses and driving in-store sales for retailers. But this increasingly popular fulfillment method requires sophisticated coordination between retailers’ commerce technology and store associates, making it challenging to implement and maintain.”
Take a look at this interesting infographic about in-store pickup.


 

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Retail Not Bubbling As Much Today

As we have noted several times before (for example, see 1, 2, 3), these are tough times for many retailers around the globe, not just from the United States. The new Wall Street Journal chart (below) sums things up nicely for the U.S.
Suzanne Kapner reports for the WSJ that:
“The seeds of the industry’s current turmoil date back nearly three decades, when retailers, in the throes of a consumer-buying spree and flush with easy money, rushed to open new stores. The land grab wasn’t unlike the housing boom that was also under way at that time. ‘Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst.’ Richard Hayne, chief executive of Urban Outfitters Inc., told analysts last month.”
“The over-storing, including the influx of fast-fashion and off-price chains, resulted in a brutally competitive landscape that made it difficult for retailers to raise prices. ‘A pair of men’s dress pants costs less today than they did a decade ago,’ Manny Chirico, chief executive of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger parent PVH Inc., said in a recent interview.”

 

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who’s on Top with E-Commerce?

It’s no surprise that Amazon is the leading online U.S. retailer. But would you be surprised to learn that Amazon’s online revenues for its most recent year were greater than the next 14 U.S. retailers COMBINED (according to eMarketer)? Or that Apple’s most recent annual online revenues exceeded those of Walmart?
In the following chart compiled by us from eMarketer, E-commerce and store revenues are shown for the 15 leading online U.S. retailers. Highlighted in the chart are E-revenues, growth in E-revenues, E-revenues as a % of company revenues, store sales and store sales growth, and overall revenues and revenue growth for the firms’ most recent reported year.  [Note: The table shows that Amazon had more than $40 billion in B2B revenues].
Among store-based retailers in the chart, E-revenues as a % of company revenues are highest for Williams-Sonoma, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Gap. They are lowest for Walmart, Costco, Target, and Home Depot.
Click here to see data from eMarketer on many more retailers. Click the chart for a larger version of it.
 

 

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment