Stores Weekly
First Edition

Most conversations about the Internet of Things in retail quickly move to discussions of checkout-less stores or artificial intelligence. The reality is less cutting-edge; experts say new uses for old technology — such as radio frequency identification — is where IoT is headed in the near-term.

It doesn’t take much to become a victim of cyberattacks, says attorney Kimberly Peretti, and developing response plans isn’t enough. Businesses must monitor and track identified vulnerabilities, as well as understand the degree to which they depend on third parties to host sensitive data or critical systems.

   
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Despite predictions and hopes, credit and debit cards remain the standard for non-cash payments at retail stores. Retailers seem more consumed at present with implementing EMV; a 2016 study found that implementing EMV is the retail industry’s highest payments priority.

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Trends

Buzzfeed site Tasty produces one-minute cooking videos; now, realizing that videos aren’t the only way people learn to cook, it has come out with a physical cookbook. The difference? It’s personalized.

Toronto men’s clothier Gotstyle offers a service designed to help online daters improve their profile pictures — the $99 price includes a discount for purchases made.

 


The digital edition of STORES includes must-read pieces, including the articles featured here. Read the current issue and browse the archives for issues you may have missed.

NRF News

Retail Gets Real, NRF’s new podcast, features unfiltered, insightful conversations with the industry’s most interesting people. Hear retail executives, industry experts, entrepreneurs and influencers discuss trends, their career stories and the future of retail. The first episodes will be available on Monday; listen to the preview and subscribe now.

Mike Festa won an internal hackathon at Wayfair to become the founding leader of its research and development lab, Wayfair Next. He now spends his time directing initiatives that use 3D scanning, augmented reality and virtual reality to create an entirely new way for consumers to visualize home décor before buying. Festa is just one of the digital retail rising stars presenting industry-shaking ideas at Shop.org in Los Angeles, Sept. 25 to 27.

If being an entrepreneur is hard, being a young entrepreneur is even harder. With less experience and more to prove, they are constantly faced with pressure to overcome the odds. To celebrate Small Business Month, NRF spoke with three entrepreneurs who didn’t let youth limit their dreams of opening their own retail businesses.

April retail sales grew 0.3% seasonally adjusted over March and 3% unadjusted year-over-year, according to NRF’s calculations, which exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants. When looking at business lines, performance in April was driven by online and other non-store sellers, electronics stores and building materials and supplies.

   
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Retail Deals

Synchrony Financial, a consumer financial services company, announced a multi-year contract providing consumer financing for e-commerce leader Zulily. Synchrony Financial has also renewed the consumer financing program for QVC. Both QVC and Zulily are wholly owned subsidiaries of Liberty Interactive Corporation.

 

SweetIQ, a business unit of ReachLocal, is now an official Snapchat partner. SweetIQ clients can now launch, manage and measure all their Snapchat geofilter campaigns directly through the SweetIQ hub.

 

AIDS Healthcare Foundation has opened the first Out of the Closet Thrift Store in St. Petersburg, Fla. The facility will also house a state-of-the-art AHF pharmacy and administer confidential free one-minute HIV testing.

 

Samsonite, a worldwide leader in travel bags, luggage and accessories, has selected Aptos Enterprise Order Management to enhance its omnichannel operations and improve order visibility, flexibility, profitability and speed.

 

Reflektion, the artificial intelligence-driven customer engagement solution for retailers and brands worldwide, announced a strategic alliance with Mad Mobile, a leader in mobile-first retail transformation. The alliance represents a unified commerce solution for joint customers and extends Reflektion’s understanding of individual online shoppers into physical retail environments.

 

Wayfair Inc. announced the launch of “Search with Photo,” a new feature that leverages artificial intelligence to make it easier for shoppers to find the furnishings they want for their homes.

 

Diane von Furstenberg, a global luxury fashion brand, is expanding its use of Salesforce Commerce Cloud to accelerate its unified commerce vision and connect with its customers in entirely new ways. With the addition of Commerce Cloud Store and Commerce Cloud Einstein, DVF will merge online and offline experiences and power AI-driven recommendations throughout the shopper journey.