The traditional supermarket is undergoing a major overhaul as it changes in appearance, offerings and customer preferences. Part of the shift stems from the mounting pressure created by other channels such as dollar stores, big-box retailers, convenience stores and even drugstores that are jumping into the competitive market of food sales. Even online grocery delivery will make up around 10 percent of the marketshare by 2025.
The state of Indiana is at the center of a firestorm this week that puts retailers on the front line of a pitched battle between conservative politicians and those voicing support of gay rights. And while it's being done in the name of religious freedom, one of the side effects of this law is forcing retailers to take a position.
A friend of mine was very excited about her first click-and-collect purchase, I could see the triumph on her face. She had made the perfect purchase: something she needed, accessible quickly and locally. A guaranteed happy ending.
Traditionally, when retailers hear the word "local," several images come to mind. It conjures up mom-and-pop shops, regional farms and community gatherings. And for a national chain retailer, the localization of stores was about getting the assortment tailored toward the right demographic, such as weather-related gear or apparel for the right geographic location. But in 2015, local, or "hyper-local," as it's sometimes referred to, is taking on a new connotation. It's associated with digital technology and the in-store experience.
Dooney & Bourke was running on a bare-bones e-commerce platform installed more than a decade ago. Saddled with outdated systems, the fashion brand and retailer sorely needed to relaunch its website and create a more powerful online presence.
To that end, Dooney & Bourke adopted a cloud solution from Demandware to create a more compelling experience for online shoppers that also served the luxury brand's 50 stores and 150 boutiques.
The initiative required an entirely new platform because the previous incarnation had been a stripped-down companion to a back-end fulfillment solution installed in 2004. It also required a commitment stretching all the way up the chain of command. Getting that kind of C-suite approval is something that many retailers struggle with as IT, stores, marketing, and merchandising departments vie for limited expansion funds.
> Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores announced that CEO and President Bruce Johnson will leave the company on August 1, 2015, by mutual agreement with the company's board of directors. Thus, he won't stand for re-election to the board at the company's May 27 annual meeting, but will continue to serve on the board until then. Sears has begun the search for a new CEO and has retained the services of Heidrick & Struggles, a global executive search firm, to assist in its efforts to identify and evaluate external and internal candidates. Johnson has served as director, CEO and president of the company since July 2012. Before that, he was executive VP from February 2011 to July 2012, interim CEO and president from February 2008 to February 2011, and was previously executive VP of supply chain and operations for Sears Holdings. Story
> TJX Companies, home of TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls and Sierra Trading Post, announced that Chairman of the Board Ben Cammarata has decided to retire, effective June 11, 2015, after 40 years with the company. The board plans to elect CEO Carol Meyrowitz as its new director, while Cammarata will remain with the company as founder and executive advisor. Meyrowitz has acted as CEO since 2007 and has been a director since 2006. Cammarata has been chairman since 1999 and founded TJ Maxx in 1976. He was president of the retailer until 1987 when he became CEO of TJX, a position he held for 13 years. Meyrowitz joined the company in 1983 and has served as CEO since January 2007. She previously acted as senior executive VP of TJX and president of The Marmaxx Group. Story
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On The Hot Seat
Ryan Ross, HSN's senior VP of digital commerce, discovered a unique opportunity to use TV as a retail platform when he joined the company. While TV retail may be the company's bread and butter, HSN has been steadily evolving toward new horizons. Now, it's an omnichannel shopping experience that includes online and mobile platforms.
Walmart plans to focus on fresh foods, a grocery segment that U.S. CEO Greg Foran believes the retailer can improve upon. Grocery accounts for 56 percent of the retailer's annual sales. Foran told analysts that tackling fresh food offerings in the right way is challenging, reported The City Wire. It requires working with everyone up and down the supply chain so that items are still fresh when they get to shoppers.
For the first time ever, Amazon reported the quarterly results of its Web Services unit, revealing that revenue rose 49 percent to $1.57 billion. Overall, Amazon's sales rose 15 percent in the latest quarter to $22.7 billion, beating analysts' estimates, reported Bloomberg. It seems Amazon's recent additions, ranging from the expansion of one-hour delivery to video programming, are paying off.
Troubled teen retailer Wet Seal is implementing a turnaround plan, just three months after it declared bankruptcy. The company, rather than blaming fast fashion for its demise like other teen retailers, said its problems came from within, reported Women's Wear Daily. Ed Thomas is on his third stint as CEO at Wet Seal. When he joined back on in September, the company had already gone through an interim management team, two CEOs and several new strategies.
Sears Canada announced that it has picked up two fashion lines that Target in Canada previously had exclusive rights to carry. Both brands, Cherokee apparel and shoes and Liz Lange maternity clothing, are still stocked in Target's U.S. locations and will be run in Sears Canada now that Target is closing. Sears Canada is aiming to benefit from Target's exodus from Canada, reported the Globe and Mail. On Jan. 15, Target announced plans to shutter all 133 Canadian stores. The retail chain never recovered from the initial blunders of its Canadian expansion.
For Macy's, a five-year plan has powered it past many pure plays as the retailer looks to the future and the next five years. And for Macy's the future is in stores. "If you had asked me five years ago if I had too many stores, I would have had a different answer five years ago than today," said Macy's Chairman, President and CEO Terry J. Lundgren. "The consumer has changed in a rather dramatic way and Macy's has gone from a traditional department store to an omnichannel retailer."
From Our Sister Sites
Facebook, Google and Yahoo announced new developments in their video advertising platforms as the Interactive Advertising Agency pointed to the rapid growth of the sector.
Google began to roll out a search algorithm update that favors mobile-friendly sites this week, and the sky did not fall.