Stores Weekly
First Edition

Robin Beighley, director of retail operations at Fossil Group, says effective and consistent communication is the key to maximizing productivity; it can unlock efficiency and increase associate engagement, opening the door to improvements in profitability.

With more than 1,200 Follett outlets spread across campuses nationwide, Follett has become the premier operator of college bookstores in North America. With built-in customer bases, long-term contracts with institutions and the growth of higher education, what could go wrong? Just about anything.

   
Windstream Services, LLC
      
Zebra Technologies
   

2018 Top 100 Retailers
Whether it's a revolution in retailing or just a major upheaval, whatever is happening in the industry belies the remarkable stability among the nation's leading merchants. The annual snapshot that is STORES Magazine's Top 100 Retailers has changed very little over the past several years.

Trends

When words won’t do and ice cream isn’t enough, say it with a frozen emoji. Carvel has released new Emoji Ice Cream Cups, which include emojis for tears of joy, kissy face, sunglasses, winky and, of course, smiley.

New England-based Jordan’s Furniture has launched a promotion for baseball fans: Buy furniture between now and the All-Star Break in July and if a Red Sox pitcher throws a no-hitter between then and the end of the season, everyone’s purchases are free.


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.

   
Opterus Inc.
      
Datalogic USA, Inc.
   
NRF News

Serving military troops, families and veterans at home and abroad, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service operates more than 2,700 facilities around the world and last year opened its online shopping benefits to veterans. On NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast, Director and CEO Tom Shull talks about how the exchange supports the military in all aspects of life, leans into retail disruption and embraces innovation.

Voice recognition technology is poised to become the most immediate, relevant and revealing tool for retailers. At the Shop.org conference in September, a panel of experts including Wayfair Director of Next Gen Experiences Shrenik Sadalgi will discuss what factors to consider when implementing voice technology, how the company is successfully using it, and what the future holds for artificial intelligence-based voice recognition programming.

Hughes Network Systems, LLC
Build a Foundation for Your Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation improves operations and enhances customer experiences but building the right foundation is a key first step. Solutions from Fortinet and Hughes provide secure connectivity and help drive innovation within your distributed enterprise.
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Nominations are now open for the America's Retail Champions program, which honors small retailers who advocate for the industry. Accepted nominees will receive a complimentary trip to Washington, D.C., to attend NRF’s Retail Advocates Summit in September and meet with lawmakers about the issues that matter to retail. Nominate yourself or a deserving retailer here.

Retail Deals

JDA Software Inc., a leading provider of end-to-end supply chain and retail solutions, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Blue Yonder, the market leader in AI solutions for retail. This acquisition reflects the increasing importance of connecting intelligent data and insights to enable more profitable, Autonomous Supply Chain decisions and optimized customer experiences.

 

H-E-B announced that Favor, the Austin-based on-demand delivery company, will now offer beer and wine delivery throughout Texas, exclusively from H-E-B stores. Favor rolled out its new service in over 30 cities on June 29, with free delivery on beer and wine orders through Labor Day.

 

Shopgate, Inc., the leading SaaS shopping app platform, has joined the Shopify Plus Technology Partner Program to help retailers take advantage of the benefits of a mobile app. Shopgate will work with Shopify Plus merchants to connect with their most loyal buyers through a mobile app to increase engagement and conversions.

 

Amazon and PillPack have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire PillPack. PillPack is a pharmacy designed to provide the best possible customer experience in the U.S. for people who take multiple daily prescriptions. PillPack delivers medications in pre-sorted dose packaging, coordinates refills and renewals, and makes sure shipments are sent on time.

 

Cdiscount, a leading French e-tailer and part of Casino Group since 2000, is deploying RELEX’s retail planning solutions to manage its entire assortment across all its distribution centers.

ARM Inc.
Webcast: IoT cold chain solutions
The need for secure, IoT-enabled cold chain solutions are being driven from multiple industries including regulations in pharmaceuticals and food safety, increased consumer demands on quality and visibility. In this webcast, Arm, BOSCH and Exosite explain how to develop next-generation cold chain solutions to meet compliance on demanding industry standards.
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Differential Brands Group Inc., a portfolio of global consumer brands comprised of Hudson, Robert Graham and SWIMS, has entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Global Brands Group Holding Limited, a Hong Kong listed company, to acquire a significant part of GBG’s North American licensing business, comprised of licensed brands such as Disney, Star Wars, Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Tommy Hilfiger, BCBG, bebe, Joe’s, Buffalo David Bitton, Frye, Michael Kors, Cole Haan and Kenneth Cole, for a purchase price of $1.38 billion, subject to adjustment.

 

Mirakl, a leading global marketplace solutions provider, announced that Bluefly, a highly-curated fashion marketplace for the style-obsessed, has selected the Mirakl Marketplace Platform to increase its marketplace seller network and operational agility, while decreasing seller on-boarding time for third-party brands.

 

Wayfair Inc., one of the world’s largest online destinations for the home, launched Archie & Oscar, a new Wayfair-exclusive line of furniture and household accessories for pets. Archie & Oscar features more than 500 unique and stylish items ranging from aquariums and gerbil cages, to food and toy storage containers, to outdoor chaise lounges and murphy beds thoughtfully designed for dogs and cats.

 

Staples Inc., the world’s largest office solutions provider, announced that it has acquired HiTouch Business Services, one of the largest independent and progressive office products dealers in the United States. HiTouch will now be a part of the Staples Business Advantage delivery organization, and its customers will have access to a greatly expanded assortment of products, the latest e-commerce tools and a world-class supply chain.

 

Fexy, a food focused content and technology company, launched Relish Network, a web app that allows recipe publishers to add features like saved recipes, menu planning, scalable shopping lists and shoppable recipes integrated with multiple grocery delivery services, including Amazon Fresh. The app, releasing first on Fexy’s owned and operated properties — Simply Recipes and Serious Eats — will be launching with a number of top food publishers in the upcoming months.