Stores Weekly
First Edition

As retail continues its rapid transformation, technology is ensuring that the jobs within the industry are different as well. Walmart’s efforts to change with the times include a new entry-level training program and raising employee pay rates, while fashion retailer Ashley Stewart champions kindness, transparency and a focus on the core customer.

   
GlobalShop
      
Tata America International Corporation
   

The nation’s largest retailer is committed to altering the way business is done and evaluated, says Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer of Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation. Putting action — and money — behind its words, the company announced a $2 million grant to the NRF Foundation for its Retail Industry Fundamentals program, part of NRF’s RISE Up initiative.

Shoppers have long used social media for authenticity and relationships on an individual basis, so they expect brands to do the same. Influencers — who present lifestyles that others want to emulate, in an accessible way — can help; one large retailer spent $30,000 to work with three influencers on a holiday campaign, says Melissa Davis, EVP and general manager for ShopStyle, “and those three influencers drew more than $500,000 in sales.”

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Trends

It’s not the Super Bowl without buzzy commercials, big screen TVs, chili, beer, nachos … or a grid of boxes pitting friend against friend. This year the picking has gone digital: Squares Pick’em, produced by Pizza Hut and Yahoo Sports, lets football fans play along with the big game while devouring piping hot pizza.

Home goods, beauty supplies, clothing and food — nothing is off-limits to the subscription box crowd. Last month came news that Amazon is entering the fray: Its STEM Club delivers age-appropriate top-quality science, technology, engineering and math toys designed to encourage children to learn through play.

One Colorado gift shop owner had a back-to-nature moment recently, when an elk walked through the open front doors. Luckily it wasn’t a “bull in the china shop” — while the mammoth creature stayed for 45 minutes, it remained calm and didn’t cause any damage in the store.

   
InterTrade Systems Inc.
      
Naylor Association Solutions
   
NRF News

When Target Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Digital Officer Mike McNamara started with the company two years ago, he quickly discovered that his team needed to prioritize the 800 different technology products they were working on. At Retail’s BIG Show, McNamara spoke to attendees about implementing his vision and explained why, when it comes to technology, “less is more.”

Everything Rebecca Minkoff does is designed around a digital viewpoint or digital lens. The fashion designer and digital pioneer made a big announcement at Retail’s BIG Show: Her eponymous brand is joining with Quotidian Ventures to launch the first domestic venture capital fund focused on fashion technology. The fund will concentrate on investments in technology that have applications in fashion, e-commerce and retail.

Total consumer spending around Super Bowl LI is expected to top $14.1 billion. NRF’s annual survey finds that 189 million Americans plan to watch the game on Feb. 5, about the same as last year. Viewers and partygoers plan to spend an average $75 on food, decorations, team apparel and more.

Retail Deals

Natural Insight, a leader in enterprise cloud and mobile applications for retail merchandising and workforce management, announced today that RHODDY Marketing Group has signed on as a new client. The Toronto-based marketing firm is known for creating memorable brand experiences for its clients such as Tim Hortons, WestJet, Volvo and Facebook.

 

Retailers can now access 360pi’s real-time retail intelligence directly within IBM Watson Commerce Insights. 360pi delivers online retail intelligence including pricing, availability, regional and shipping information for exact matched products and “like” items. Through the IBM Watson Commerce ecosystem, retailers can embed 360pi’s real-time competitive intelligence directly within their IBM Watson Commerce Insights merchandising workspace.

 

ChannelAdvisor Corporation, a provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions that enable retailers and branded manufacturers to increase global sales, announced the availability of its Algorithmic Repricer for Walmart. The new repricer helps sellers on Walmart maximize margin through machine learning and real-time analytics.

 

Fabletics announced its exclusive and long-term partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, a “by girls, for girls” movement that empowers girls to become a force for change for girls everywhere. Girl Up believes that when you begin with providing adolescent girls education, access to basic health services and a safe environment, they can transform their communities. 

 

JDA Software Group Inc. announced that chairman and CEO Bal Dail is stepping down and that the company’s Board of Directors has appointed former Tyco executive Girish Rishi as the company’s new CEO. The leadership change is effective immediately; Dail will remain at JDA through the first quarter of 2017 to help ensure a seamless leadership transition.

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