Stores Weekly
First Edition

The prospect of returning products may be the biggest obstacle to shopping online, so online peer-to-peer sales company Tradesy is piloting a system with startup Happy Returns that lets customers return products to physical locations. Shoppers can bring returns to the company’s Return Bars or partnering malls’ concierge desks and receive instant credit for the return.

   
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The cross-border e-commerce Chinese market is an ideal fit for Australia’s Pharmacy 4 Less, but the discount chain’s strategy to actively cater to that market brought significant challenges. Looking for an on-the-ground partner, the company turned to Azoya International to set up its e-commerce presence in the country.

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Trends

Amazon is viewed favorably by 86 percent of Americans, according to the latest Harris Poll on corporate reputation, making it the second year Amazon has received top ranking in the list. Wegmans and Publix Super Market rounded out the top three.

Five reasons why Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Market, announced last week, is good for both companies.

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

We’ve all heard that retail is in trouble — even serious trouble, depending on who you listen to. But reports of the industry’s death are greatly exaggerated. NRF Vice President of Research Mark Mathews looks at the numbers to see what’s really going on in the age of retail reinvention.

Like many startups, menswear brand Hugh & Crye was born from a frustrating consumer experience — in this case, that “dress shirts should be fitting better,” says co-founder Phillip Soriano. This week on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast, Soriano shares his entrepreneurial journey from corporate finance to men’s fashion retail and discusses how Hugh & Crye developed its signature line of products.

Now in its fourth round, the Shop.org Digital Commerce Startup of the Year competition is searching for companies that will significantly improve or radically alter the retail industry. Finalists benefit from opportunities to connect with retail and technology executives, and will be invited to deliver a TechTalk at the annual Shop.org conference in September.

   
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Retail Deals

National fabric and craft retailer Jo-Ann Stores has partnered with AgilOne, the enterprise customer data platform for B2C marketers, to activate customer data across a broad marketing technology ecosystem and drive more relevant experiences for customers in all of its 865 stores, and also across its digital and mobile channels.

 

Amazon has acquired Whole Foods Market in a record-setting $13.7 billion deal.

 

Walmart has agreed to acquire the men’s clothing company Bonobos for $310 million.

 

Online luxury fashion retailer Moda Operandi and marketing technology company Curalate will team up to offer remote checkout via Amazon Pay from Moda Operandi’s Like2Buy shoppable social gallery on Instagram. The collaboration provides a more seamless path to purchase for consumers who discover products on Moda Operandi’s Instagram account and highlights the synergy between fashion, technology and social media.

 

In an exclusive partnership and joint product development with Twitter, Sprout Social is launching “Bot Builder,” a new set of tools that empowers brands to resolve customer issues at a faster rate and offer unique marketing experiences for their customers and followers. The new offering enables brands to create, preview and deploy Twitter chatbots in a matter of minutes.

 

ParTech Inc., a leading global provider of point-of-sale and workforce efficiency solutions to the restaurant and retail industries, announced that Uncle Maddio’s Pizza has deployed PAR’s cloud-based Brink POS Software and EverServ 500 and 550 terminals for 50 locations, with plans to expand locations.

 

Lowes Foods has selected Logile Inc.’s enterprise labor planning and workforce management solutions to implement across their nearly 100 stores in the Carolinas and Virginia.

 

JDA Software Group Inc. announced that Mills Fleet Farm has expanded its JDA footprint as it implements a new supply chain strategy anticipated to improve inventory management for its 37 stores. Mills Fleet Farm has been a JDA customer for more than 20 years and will be implementing several JDA Demand, JDA Fulfillment and JDA FlowcastingTM solutions to support its new distribution strategy.

 

Alliance Data Systems Corporation, a global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions, has signed a new multi-year agreement to provide private label credit card services for Diamonds International, one of the world’s largest duty-free jewelers.