Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mid-Week Retail News & Notes

  • Wal-Mart Says Its Smaller Stores Make Inroads (WSJ)
  • Price beats speed for online shoppers (Internet Retailer) and Three Ways Same-Day Delivery Will Change Retail (AdAge)
  • Zappos' Secrets to Building an Empowering Company Culture (Entrepreneur)
  • Personalized Marketing Drives Buyer Readiness and Sales (MarketingProfs)
  • Why eBay Redesigned To Look More Like Pinterest (FastCo Design)
  • Clothing Companies Try to Find More Direct Paths to Customers (NY Times)
  • Amazon Fashion Debuts First TV Commercial (Mashable)
  • What J.C. Penney's Ron Johnson must do now (Fortune) and The Ron Johnson Disaster Timeline: How The Apple Guru Humbled JCPenney (Business Insider)
  • Data-Driven Comparison Shopping Platform FindTheBest Raises $11 Million (TechCrunch)
  • RadioShack and Adidas Find Store Locators Ring Up Sales (ClickZ)
  • America’s Favorite Fashion Retailers (Market Force Information)
  • Google tests same-day delivery, raising marketplace speculation (Reuters) and Google’s Foray Into Home Delivery Is a Sideshow in the Real War With Amazon (Wired)

The latest commentary from retail executives show the major focus in 2013 is omni-channel integration - here is a handful of examples:

Karen Hoguet, CFO - Macy's - Q4 Earnings Conference Call:
"In the fourth quarter, we saw the beginning of the enormous opportunity in front of us from approaching our business from an omni-channel perspective. We are working to provide our customers with seamless experiences no matter how they choose to shop with us and to utilize the strengths of each channel to satisfy demand and service the customers' needs better than we could if we didn't operate multiple channels."
Gregg Steinhafel - CEO - Target - Q4 Earnings Conference Call:
"Our investments in the website and mobile technology drive guest engagement with Target,
and lead them to shop more across all of our channels. For example, following the launch of free wireless in all of our stores in the fourth quarter, Target.com was, by far, the site most commonly accessed by guests while they were shopping in our stores."
Kevin Mansell - CEO - Kohl's - Q4 Earnings Conference Call:
"We're (also) making the necessary investments to ensure our customer has the omni-channel shopping experience that she desires. All of our stores are now equipped with WiFi, so she can share her shopping experience real time with her friends. We replaced our gift registries with more modern kiosks and have plans to further improve the kiosk and the gift registry experience on it later this year. We will pilot mobile POS in the third quarter."
Neiman Marcus - FY 2012 Annual Report:
We operate in both the in-store and on-line retail channels to provide our customers the ability to shop "any time, anywhere and any place." We believe this omni-channel model maximizes the recognition of our brands and strengthens our customer relationships. We are investing and plan to continue to invest resources to ensure a seamless shopping experience across channels consistent with our customers’ expectations as well as our core value of exceptional customer service.
We believe the combination of our retail stores and our on-line selling efforts is the main reason that our omni-channel customers spend more on average than our single-channel customers (approximately four times more in fiscal years 2012 and 2011).

Wednesday's Retail Quick Fact: Publix Supermarkets, the largest employee-owned and 7th largest private company in America, has been named as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by Fortune for 15 consecutive years, one of only 3 companies that can make that claim.

The chain has never had a layoff in it's more than 82-year history, and all employees become stockholders and get generous annual stock infusions after just 1 year of employment.

Publix sports a ridiculously low 3% voluntary turnover rate, more than 20,000 employees have worked at the company for longer than a decade, and more than 6,000 employees have been with the company for at least 20 years.

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