Stores Weekly
First Edition

Ask retail experts about trends in Asia, and a few will undoubtedly come to the forefront: unmanned stores, perhaps. Use of creative technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. Crystal-clear inventory visibility. But there’s also an understanding and application of data intelligence on a grand scale, one that continues to challenge, inspire and impact virtually every other trend.

While many U.S. consumers and retail executives haven’t even heard of WeChat, the multipurpose app is taking China by storm. And with built-in mobile payment capabilities, it is radically transforming retail on a scale unlike anything seen in the West.

   
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Sock maker and retailer Stance has shown there is an audience for a pair of well-made socks. It has all the required elements: proprietary fibers, quality standardization and celebrity cache. Despite this, however, shoppers are only willing to take so much — so when Stance saw lines that were sometimes as long as 30 minutes during the 2017 holiday season, it was clear the retailer needed to do something.

When the conversation turns to retail startups, STORES editor Susan Reda is all in. She soaks up the chance to hear about the origins of a new idea, the highs and lows an entrepreneur faces in “birthing” their concept and their plans for leveraging the initial hypothesis. As much as she embraces the new kids on the block, though, she keeps her eye on the moves stalwart brands are crafting. 

D2L
Retailers should make the move to Modern Learning
The retail industry as we know it is in crisis. From new online competitors to changing consumer demographics, retailers large and small are being forced to reinvent themselves to survive and compete. The industry must not only completely rethink its business model but also its approach to staff learning and development.
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Trends

D’oh! The only real question is why this one took so long: The fictional Kwik-E-Mart convenience store from the animated TV series “The Simpsons” now has a real-life location. Naturally, it’s complete with Lard Lad Donuts, Buzz Cola, Squishee drinks — and memorabilia related to the show.

A lone location of Blockbuster remains in Bend, Ore., where they’re no doubt still kind and remembering to rewind. Now, the long-loved video rental chain has partnered with a local craft brewer to create “The Last Blockbuster” beer.

A new survey from Clutch may nudge those still on the fence about the effectiveness of content marketing to a more secure position. The study showed that 82 percent of people have purchased a product or service from a company as a result of taking in that company’s online content. In addition, 67 percent consider content marketing “useful and valuable.”

   
Opterus Inc.
      
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NRF News

Small business owners and manufacturers are already feeling the effects of tariffs and it’s only a matter of time before the increasing costs trickle down to consumers, employees and communities. NRF's Vice President of Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jon Gold explains what retailers need to know about this complicated topic on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast.

Advances in retail technology have enabled consumers to shop for anything, anywhere, at any time, forcing retailers to rapidly adapt in order to provide a seamless and smart customer experience. At NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show, 10 early stage startups focused on enhancing and scaling customer experiences will discuss the latest tech tools they’ve created during Innovation Lab pitch sessions on Sunday, Jan. 13 and Monday, Jan. 14.

Does measuring success for a modern retail company look different than in the past? To explore that question, NRF recently held its second Candid Discussion on the Future of Retail, bringing together top Wall Street analysts, economists, journalists and retail executives for a conversation about what's going on in retail today and where the industry is headed.

Island Pacific
Smarter solutions for global multichannel retailers
Island Pacific has over 40 years of experience providing software solutions to over 600 global multichannel retailers. Island Pacific SmartSuite is available as a comprehensive, integrated system, or as feature-rich, stand-alone modules. From the creation of initial plans, inventory management, business intelligence, Unified commerce, mobile and fixed counter POS. All modules interact seamlessly, ensuring data integrity and a single view of information driving business growth and consistent Return on investment
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Retail Deals

abercrombie kids, a division of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., has announced a partnership with television personality, entrepreneur and mother, Giuliana Rancic. Rancic and her son, Duke, have teamed up with the retailer to design exclusive items to be featured in the Everybody Collection, a gender-neutral line that first launched in January 2018.

 

FIS, a global leader in financial services technology, has connected LVMH Group to the SWIFT Global Payments Initiative (gpi), enabling the French conglomerate to enhance the efficiency and traceability of its cross-border payments.

 

Yahoo Lifestyle is launching NowWith Network, a celebrity-driven, interactive platform that will connect consumers with top talent, brands and products through premium storytelling and interactive shoppable experiences. Janel Parrish and Nicole Richie are among the first celebrities to participate in the interactive videos.

 

Leading Italian brand Yamamay has implemented an Oracle Retail suite of solutions to help support its long-term global growth strategy. Oracle Retail Merchandising Financial Planning, Oracle Retail Assortment Planning and Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service solutions will help the retailer deliver a faster sell-through of goods, drive more significant insight into customer preferences and inspire management to adapt to local market demands as the company looks to expand.

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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rue21, a U.S.-based fast fashion retailer, announced it implemented action learning, a core methodology used by the University of Liverpool, to achieve complete adoption of First Insight’s predictive analytic technology within its organization.

 

California Pizza Kitchen will pay tribute to veterans and active duty members of the U.S. military this Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, by offering them a complimentary entrée from CPK’s special Veterans Day menu at all participating California Pizza Kitchen locations nationwide.

 

Baylis & Harding, the U.K.-based bath, body and home fragrance brand best known for their luxurious and affordable toiletries and gifts, is expanding within the U.S. market at Walgreens starting in November. The brand will debut a 21-piece gift set collection at over 7,700 Walgreens stores throughout the United States and online at Walgreens.com.