Stores Weekly
First Edition

STORES Magazine’s annual list of the country’s largest retailers tells the story behind the newly minted winners and the radical thinkers who power these numbers and shape the future of retail. Walmart has held the No. 1 spot for decades, but a quick glance at the companies within arm’s length suggests the game is just getting started.

   
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Tapped to lead Neiman Marcus’s Innovation Lab in 2012, Scott Emmons says customers “want a white-glove, awesome experience” in the luxury fashion business. Neiman Marcus leverages technology to innovate the customer experience, including Memory Mirrors, mobile phone charging stations and devices that allow associates to instantly communicate store-wide.

Offering customers the ability to buy online, pickup in store is a proven way to generate incremental sales as consumers come into stores to collect purchases and then impulsively shop. There is a downside, though: Chip-and-signature cards, which can help reduce in-store fraud, provide no protection when the card is not present at purchase.

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Trends

The golden standard of snack cakes has received a major update; Hostess announced the debut of Chocolate Cake Twinkies this spring after the concept scored high in blind taste tests. Consumer feedback led to another update: Chocodiles now come in a larger size with an intensified fudge coating.

Nintendo’s new home gaming system sold faster in its launch month than any other video game system in the company’s history. With a new 2DS XL debuting this month, though, some wonder if Nintendo isn’t on the verge of disrupting itself.


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

In episode 8 of NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast, Bluemercury co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Barry Beck discusses his views on changes in the retail industry and how retailers can adapt to never-before-seen consumer behavior. Beck also shares insights into his company’s strategy on using education and entertainment to build a loyal customer base.

Americans are expected to spend $7.1 billion on cookouts and picnics as they celebrate Independence Day this year, says an NRF survey conducted by Prosper Insights, up from $6.8 billion in 2016. Two-thirds of those surveyed plan to take part in a cookout or picnic, spending an average $73.42.

The annual National Retail Security Survey, now in its 26th year, covers theft and other inventory shrink, employee integrity, external retail crime and more. Participants were asked about their companies’ loss prevention performance and actions in 2016.

   
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Retail Deals

Office Depot Inc. is entering into an exclusive licensing agreement with Centriq Technology Inc. to develop a unique business application utilizing their award-winning asset management platform.

 

First Insight Inc., a technology company transforming how leading retailers make product investment and pricing decisions, and U.S. specialty retailer Chico’s FAS Inc. have announced a partnership agreement. Using First Insight’s consumer-driven predictive analytics, Chico’s FAS will be able to more quickly and accurately make design, buying and pricing decisions on the apparel, shoes, accessories and jewelry it offers to its consumers both in stores and online.

 

Casey’s General Stores has selected Gilbarco Veeder-Root as their exclusive dispenser and payment terminal provider for forecourt EMV acceptance. Casey’s will install Gilbarco Encore 700 S dispensers and FlexPay IV retrofit kits to enable EMV/chip payments.

 

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions has been selected by Forever 21 to provide the fashion retailer with wall-to-wall client services and equipment for their corporate stores in 16 countries.

 

Visa and Klarna have reached an agreement for Visa to invest in Klarna, and intend to develop a future strategic partnership. Klarna is one of Europe’s fastest growing online payments companies, serving 60 million consumers and 70,000 retailers.