Biography for Laura Heller
Laura Heller is the Executive Editor of Fierce’s portfolio of retail publication. She has been reporting on mass-market retail trends and initiatives since 1995 as a reporter for trade magazines, business outlets and Web sites including Forbes and The Week. She began her career covering the retail and consumer electronics industries for leading B2B publications including Discount Store News/Retailing Today, Drug Store News, Grocery Headquarters, Chain Store Age, Consumer Electronics Daily, Home Channel News, License! Global and Shopper Marketing Magazine. She has appeared on national TV and radio programs discussing retail trends including ABC News Now and National Public Radio. Her blog – “The Point of Purchase” -- appears on Forbes.com.
Articles by Laura Heller
The role of the store is changing in the new omnichannel order, but the technology needed to fuel it is still underutilized. Case in point, RFID and in-store fulfillment for online orders.
Design house and retailer BCBGMaxazria had several brands, more than 700 stores and supplies goods to department stores including Bloomingdales, Macy's and Nordstrom. But while resources had been allocated toward growing the brand, omnichannel initiatives had lagged behind.
It's not unusual for retailers to blame the weather when sales go south, but one of the great benefits of omnichannel is that the impact of bad weather is minimized. The storms of 2015, thus far, may have buried parts of the United States but they aren't burying retailers.
With just nine months until the deadline, more than half of all retailers are still not prepared for EMV migration, according to a new survey by ACI Worldwide. ACI polled attendees at NRF's Big Show earlier this month and discovered that roughly one-quarter are not ready for chip-and-PIN technology, despite the October deadline.
Nearly 90 percent of data breaches could have been easily prevented. That's the results of a new report from the Online Trust Alliance (OTA). Its 2015 Data Protection Best Practices and Risk Assessment Guide analyzed more than a thousand breaches involving the loss of personally identifiable information in 2014, and found that only 40 percent were the result of external intrusions.
Retail has always evolved, from the days of the general store to catalog operators, mass merchants and category killers. Now it seems that entertainment provider and original content creator is also part of the merchandise assortment as more retailers try to emulate Amazon and it's Prime Instant Video service.
Online retailer Overstock plans to join Amazon as a provider of streaming services with the launch of a tiered subscription service of its own.
Apple has reported record sales and revenue, shattering former records. And with a record number of new handsets flooding the market, Apple CEO Tim Cook has declared 2015 the year of Apple Pay.
Sears Holdings has begun rolling out Connected Solutions shops to 200 Sears and 300 Kmart stores nationally as the Internet of Things (IoT) gains ground with consumers. A larger home demonstration and display is also in the works for a single store in San Bruno, California.