Short-term pop-up concepts at the Mall of America, mannequins that more accurately represent customers, community retailing and interactive shoppable films: Brands got creative in 2016 with plenty of ideas worth incorporating into your own retail storyline.
Recognizing that employees learned best when they were working with someone else on the floor, McDonald’s began using an interactive system that enables education on mobile devices. The system also allows the incorporation of additional information to help provide context and company tidbits, as well as easy changes and updates to information.
QuickChek just entered the digital age two years ago with an enhanced website and digital app; now the convenience store chain is taking a quantum leap, using data that tracks where consumers live, work and drive to target customers. A pilot that ran last summer resulted in tens of thousands of people who had not been in a store in the previous 30 days visiting a QuickChek location.
Finding that many customers need financing to afford the high-ticket home furniture, appliances and electronics for sale, ABC Warehouse switched to a system that provides access to multiple lenders with one link. Not only does it allow the Pontiac, Mich.-based retailer to offer credit to a wider range of demographics, but store associates are free to focus on the core business of selling products.
Visitors to Eataly’s landmark NYC location may think they’ve found the place of their culinary dreams, but the founders of the brand have something even bigger in mind: A 20-acre “Italian factory farming” theme park is set to open in Italy next fall, offering 25 different food stalls and restaurants, as well as the chance to see agriculture in progress at the complex’s pastures, gardens and orchards.
A new clothing-swap app, FriendIts, was founded by a teenager and lets users borrow, lend and give away goods. “All closets aren’t created equal and some of our friends have more than others,” says 14-year-old Mercer Henderson, who also created music and emoji mash-up app Audiots and founded 4GirlsTech. “I realized there was a need to help friends share with each other more easily.”
Happy Returns is hoping to change the face of online returns via a network of physical Return Bars located in premier shopping centers and other highly accessible locations. Online retailers currently participating in the program include Tradesy, Eloquii and Shoes of Prey.
Talent — attracting and retaining top employees — is a key consideration for retailers, and the first keynote at Retail’s BIG Show is a panel discussion on building tomorrow’s workforce. A livestreaming video of the session will be available online for those who can’t make it to New York on Sunday morning.
Ahead of their keynote appearance at Retail’s BIG Show this month, Lars Petersson, president at IKEA U.S., and Christopher Gavigan, co-founder and chief purpose officer at The Honest Company, share lessons on building a purpose-driven brand and engaging socially conscious consumers.
Technology is dramatically changing the retail landscape, but one thing remains the same: Retail is about providing high-quality, engaging experiences for customers. Pioneering companies like ModiFace, Obsess, Living in Digital Times and ShopStyle use technology to enhance the human element of retail, not replace it.
The Fresh Market Inc. has chosen ReposiTrak to manage regulatory and business documentation compliance within its supply chain.
RangeMe, an online platform that streamlines new product discovery between product suppliers and retailers, is partnering with Sephora to scale its retail buying efforts in the United States. The company has also partnered with Ahold USA, parent company of Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant Landover, Giant Carlisle and online grocery Peapod.
The Gymboree Corporation has selected the Aptos Store and Mobile Store point-of-sale solutions along with Aptos Enterprise Order Management to deliver continuous customer experiences no matter where, when or how customers shop.
WHSmith has selected the Aptos Store point-of-sale solution to increase productivity and customer engagement at more than 900 locations in Europe. The multi-year agreement includes the utilization of Aptos Store at WHSmith Travel locations that sell a range of products to cater to people on the move or in need of a convenience offer.
Payment Alliance International (PAI), a leader in electronic payment processing solutions, has acquired Louisville-based ATM operator Avery Scott LLC. The acquisition adds more than 400 ATM locations throughout the Louisville metro area, surrounding counties and states to PAI’s existing nationwide network of over 74,000 ATMs.