Stores Weekly
First Edition

In a presentation at NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show, two executives of QVC Group discussed how the giant direct-sales media company is investing in — and ruthlessly evaluating — technological innovation to manage its rapidly expanding portfolio of brands and channels.

Beth Comstock, former vice chair for General Electric, took the stage at NRF 2018 along with Arianna Huffington and Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health, to speak about their experiences in navigating corporate and cultural change.

In a well-attended session at NRF 2018, Scott Friend, managing director of Bain Capital Ventures, and Lori Flees, senior vice president for next gen retail and principal of Walmart’s Store No 8, discussed “Building the More Innovative Innovation Lab.”

Apex Supply Chain Technologies

Recent disasters may have directed the spotlight to companies willing to help. But in many cases, businesses that “do good” have been doing good all along. A trio of speakers from Gallery Furniture, Red Wing Shoe Company and The Home Depot spoke at NRF 2018 about the ways their companies found alignment with good deeds.

In the early 1990s, you might have found Daymond John selling FUBU T-shirts on the corner outside the Javits Convention Center. The entrepreneur spoke at the Student Program at Retail’s Big Show about starting the apparel company by selling shirts on the street while he worked at Red Lobster.

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A surge of fresh ideas, a different way of thinking and young leaders unafraid to dive in head-first are converging to fuel transformation in the retail industry. In two sessions at the NRF Foundation’s Student Program at NRF 2018, over 800 students heard from entrepreneurs who revolutionized established retail concepts.

Potomac River Running, a family-owned running specialty store with eight locations in Virginia and Washington, D.C, has found a way to enhance customer service without adding to inventory — one location also offers customized insoles through a FitStation from Superfeet, a designer and manufacturer of insoles for running and casual shoes.

Oki Data Americas, Inc.
NRF News

With monumental advances in retail technology, it can be difficult for retailers to decide which solutions are best for their business. Salesforce Senior Vice President of Retail Industry Shelley Bransten and PwC partner Ian Kahn joined Retail Gets Real to discuss how retailers can use data and technology to their advantage.

According to NRF, retailers added 11,100 new jobs in January over December. The largest contribution to retail employment was led by clothing and clothing accessories stores. The Labor Department also reported that the overall economy added 200,000 jobs.

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“After a strong holiday season, the consumer is clearly feeling positive,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With consumer confidence high, unemployment low and net worth increasing, all the fundamentals are in place for that to continue.”

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Axis Communications Inc.
Retail Deals

Bucherer, the leading European retailer for fine watches and jewelry, has acquired Tourneau, the largest U.S.-based luxury watch retailer, from an investor group led by Green Equity Investors IV L.P., an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners L.P. Established in 1900 and based in New York, Tourneau has 28 retail locations across 10 states and a fully integrated ecommerce website.


Office Depot Inc., a leading omnichannel provider of business services, products and technology, unveiled its market makeover of 14 stores in Austin, Texas, including a flagship location — BizBox: Powered by Office Depot — that integrates the company’s recently launched BizBox offering into its retail locations. The reimagined stores offer a first-of-its-kind suite of services for small business owners.


Amazon and Whole Foods Market announced that Treasure Truck will pop up at various Whole Foods Market locations across the country with new offers and incentives. Treasure Truck handpicks new, trending, local or delicious items, loads them on the truck and cruises around town spreading joy for everyone with a smartphone and an appetite for fun.


Le Tote, the largest fashion rental subscription service, announced plans for international expansion with the launch of Le Tote China. A groundbreaking initiative, Le Tote is the first U.S. subscription service to enter the highly competitive Chinese market. Currently in beta, Le Tote China will open to the general public this spring.


Aspect Software has announced a partnership with Lidl UK to deliver a fully automated, AI-powered Facebook Messenger chatbot, which will help U.K. customers easily select the best wine for their meal or moment. Lidl’s new chatbot — named Margot — will become Lidl shoppers’ virtual wine consultant at the tap of a screen.


Mastercard announced that Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have chosen the company to be the network for the outdoor retailer’s combined consumer credit co-brand portfolio, unifying North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company’s portfolios.


Vericool, makers of 100 percent compostable and recyclable thermal packaging, announced a multi-year, multi-million-dollar contract with Raised Real, the subscription-based, meal delivery service created specifically for growing babies and young children. This month, Raised Real will start shipping its organic, nutritious and fresh meals in the world’s most reliable and sustainable packaging — the Vericooler III.


Leading women’s lifestyle brand FabFitFun is partnering with beauty influencer Alex Garza on a new line of products from its makeup line, ISH. Founded in 2016, ISH, which stands for “I’m smoking hot,” is committed to creating fresh and innovative makeup products that celebrate beauty from the inside out. The first product, co-developed by Garza, is an 11-color Lip Statement Palette that will be included in the Spring FabFitFun Box.


Indix, the world’s leading product AI company, announced that the Samsung Mall, which lets users shoot and shop on-the-go, is powered by Indix. The Samsung Mall is built into the Samsung Galaxy On7 Prime smartphone and represents the next evolution of mobile shopping.


Aptos Inc., a market leader in retail technology solutions, announced that WSS, a Los Angeles-based premier athletic specialty footwear retailer, has successfully deployed Aptos’ Singular Commerce platform in the cloud to support authentic customer engagements and the expansion of its store footprint to new markets. WSS selected Aptos’ end-to-end technology suite to support its continued growth.


OutMatch, a leader in delivering actionable predictive analytics to build world-class workforces, has been selected by Forest City Realty Trust Inc., an NYSE-listed national real estate company, to provide pre-hire assessment solutions to improve hiring and retention, reduce operating costs, and enhance business performance. Headquartered in Cleveland, Forest City owns, develops, manages and acquires commercial and residential real estate in markets across the United States.


Kibo, the world’s leading cloud-based omnichannel commerce platform, and HOBO, a premier manufacturer of beautiful, authentic leather goods, announced the launch of The new ecommerce site highlights the exquisite quality, craftmanship and functionality of their handbags, wallets and accessories, and allows shoppers to easily navigate and shop by parameters such as style, color and price.


Woolworths Proprietary Limited, a prominent South African retail chain, has selected Centric Software to provide its product lifecycle management solution for its fashion, beauty and home business. Centric Software provides the most innovative enterprise solutions to fashion, retail, footwear, outdoor, luxury and consumer goods companies to achieve strategic and operational digital transformation goals.

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