6 Retail Stories Making Headlines—and Why You Should Care
“Retail isn’t dead, bad retail is dead,” said CVS Pharmacy president Kevin Hourican at NRF’s Shop.org conference in Las Vegas last week. It was a common theme throughout the week, where leaders and luminaries agreed that smart, customer-focused retail is in fact succeeding. While the headlines tend to focus on the doom and gloom (store closings, Amazon is killing everyone), the truth is, the companies who are looking forward and eager to innovate based on customers’ wants, desires, and habits are the ones to watch. Forecasters are already predicting a holiday boom in sales (specifically, a 15 percent growth for e-commerce holiday purchases this year, up from a 13 percent jump last year). Here are the other conversations happening that are worth the read.
1. How Tech is Drawing Shoppers Back to Bricks-and-Mortar Stores [Wall Street Journal]
Brick-and-Mortar stores aren’t dead yet, according to this Wall Street Journal article from September 12 and are, in fact, drawing in new customers with innovative technology and apps that make shopping in store a unique experience. Brands such as Nike, Reformation, and Nordstrom are experimenting with tools such as tech-enhanced changing rooms, curbside service, and digital lockers.
2. How online retailer Eloquii uses physical stores to rope in new customers [Digiday]
Speaking at the Digiday Retail Forum, Eloquii talked about the importance of LTV, the lifetime value that a customer can bring to a business and CAC, the cost to acquire that customer. For Eloquii, the best way to acquire new customers is through physical stores.
This in-depth report shows how Kohl’s has made changes to its operations to integrate online and physical store retail, with a focus on its inventory management system and a smaller store footprint model.
4. Big Brands are Popping Up in Small Spaces [PYMNTS]
The pop-up trend continues. Macy’s and Glossier test out new concepts and products with shoppers in a pop-up retail setting, without spending the time and money to build out a large, permanent store. Macy’s will be renting a 1,000 square foot space in Los Angeles for a few months, while Glossier recently opened a pop-up in Chicago for three months.
While e-commerce and m-commerce sales growth continues, there is a strong cohort of consumers who have a “need for touch,” which heavily influences their purchase decisions. Enter: Haptic marketing, a discipline that focuses on the use of tactile sensations to influence purchasing.
On the heels of a successful IPO, Farfetch, the leading global luxury digital marketplace for high-end boutiques and designers, is one to watch. The company, which creates digital platforms for iconic fashion labels and institutions, is helping revolutionize brick and mortar retail through innovative partnerships (see: Chanel and their augmented retail experience).