Retail Ops Industry Insights

  1. Why Agile Merchandising Is A Win-Win For Retailers

    Partnering with brand reps to provide fun, profitable in-store promotions, displays, and buying experiences is one part art and one part science. But it always starts with a passion for meeting the needs of today’s wired-up and infinitely distracted consumer, especially as the retail sector continues to undergo massive transformation powered by changing consumer tastes, cost pressures, and the growth of online channels. Not to mention the resurgence of niche retailers and other direct channels that strive to offer greater convenience and unique value added services or packaging. Meanwhile, more funding continues to flow into upstart brands and new retail concepts driven by Amazon and other innovators, creating both a lot of noise and opportunity. To stand-out and succeed, retail merchandisers need to move fast, use their data, and think like a disruptor.

  2. Making The Most Of Data Migration

    When organizations embark on major data migration projects, many assume their vendor will do much of the upfront planning, data clean-up, and extracts. After all, that's the way it used to be. But things have changed. Vendors have shifted much of the data migration burden to their customers. Now, to reduce their quotes and shift risks, more software implementers are making data migration their customers' responsibility.

  3. Is Retail Out Of The Woods?

    In 2017, the U.S. retail industry experienced unprecedented turbulence and many in the industry see more challenges to come in 2018. The impact of Amazon and other online retailers has disrupted how retailers do business and reach consumers. Store closings have reached record levels. Numerous large, well-known retail companies have filed for bankruptcy, restructured, and in many cases closed down their businesses. The continuing evolution of shoppers creates new demands on retailers that impact all aspects of the business, from stores to backstage operations to information technology and supply chain capabilities — including home delivery. The disruption continues to drive concern with investors, creditors, industry analysts, and — most of all — companies themselves.

  4. Retail’s Reckoning: The Great Fragmentation

    Americans are now living in the fragmented states of America, and the implications for retailers and brands are life altering. Retailers will need to do even more to make themselves compelling and convenient to an increasingly diverse set of niches.

  5. Bridging The Gap Between Data And The UI

    Online consumerism has dramatically increased over the last few years. As major brick-and-mortar stores close due to online retail growth, the need to provide more personalized online experiences is even more imperative. Shoppers have become increasingly tech savvy and reliant upon their digital devices, and they seek efficiency, independence and personalization when determining from which site they make their final purchases. While users are not interested in dealing with in-store sales associates, a good portion of “shoppers like a personal touch that reflects their history with a brand … and want product recommendations based on past purchases.”

  6. 2018 Retail Bankruptcies: Who’s Next?

    If the past is any prediction of the future, we can expect future bankruptcy filings by those retail companies nearing maturity on significant debt obligations, while at the same time experiencing decreased profits caused by under-performing stores and an inadequate e-commerce platform.

  7. For Merchants, The Future Of Payments Is Everywhere

    As e-commerce continues to grow, there’s one thing that’s clear for brick-and-mortar retailers: consumers are no longer obligated to venture out to physical stores every time they want something.

  8. Gender Pay Equity In Retail: A Long Way To Go

    In the 1990s, the Saturday Night Live “Gap Girls” skit — featuring comedians Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, and David Spade — became an instant pop-culture classic. Spoofing a day in the life of retail workers was right on target then and, unfortunately, remains all too much on point now two decades later. As was true then, women continue to be overrepresented in low-paying, front-line retail jobs and underrepresented in in-store and C-suite management. There have been some encouraging signs recently that the retail industry is moving ahead on gender pay equity, but there is still a long way for the sector to go.

  9. The Perfect Storm Of Data Exploitation

    It is practically indisputable that we are in the midst of a perfect storm for customer data to be stolen, sold, and exploited as evidenced by the outrageous number of breaches, a low amount of concern about data security among millennials, and widespread security blunders in many companies. In the short run, there does not seem to be any improvement on the horizon. I remain, however, optimistic, fueled by some patches of blue sky trying to show through, promising a brighter future. You can call me a dreamer, but I am optimistic breaches will slow significantly in the future. However, there is some bad news: Breaches will continue to increase for the next few years until three improvement areas are addressed.

  10. Over- And Under-Supplying Hurts Profits: A New Methodology To Help Retailers Improve Inventory Decisions

    With the madness of Black Friday and holiday shopping behind us, retailers are taking stock of inventory. Matching expensive supply to uncertain demand each holiday season — and beyond — remains a central problem they and their suppliers face.