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The 8000 block of West Hollywood’s Melrose Avenue has a reputation as a retail incubator. Pop-up shops by micro startups and massive corporations open there to great fanfare, and big brands experiment on the strip to find out which trendy products will push next year’s sales. It’s there in Los Angeles that Nike is looking for the exact right blend of digital and in-store experience that will drive its retail strategy into the 2020s.

For years, consumers thought of their mattresses as big white rectangles. No more. For many people, their bedrooms have become second living rooms and home offices, and favorite places to watch television, read books or check social media. That bodes well for mattress retailers.

   
Florence Corporation
      
Radial
   

In 2011, four recent college graduates took 25 pairs of men’s short shorts they had designed to a California beach to see how well they might sell. Today, Chubbies is a retail/manufacturing company with 11 stores, a website and legions of followers on social media, the brand’s major marketing vehicle. Its product mix has expanded into lounge wear, sportswear, outerwear and sleep wear.

Jason Glassberg is co-founder of Casaba Security, a “white hat” hacking firm that regularly analyzes new malware and hacking techniques used by criminal groups and tracks carding forums in the “dark net.” STORES contributing writer David Schulz spoke with Glassberg about his work and current activities among criminal hackers.

NRF is proud to provide our members with the online Retail Buying Guide to search for trusted vendors, products and services in the retail industry. Our guide is a user-friendly forum designed to bring suppliers and purchasers together. You can search by keyword, location, company name or category. Available whenever you need it, the Retail Buying Guide makes it easy to locate products and professional services geared to the retail industry. Click here to visit the online Retail Buying Guide! To advertise, please contact Sarah Allen for more information.

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

Engagement Labs has introduced a comprehensive study of Generation Z: “Gen Z: The TotalSocial Generation.” Though still teens today, the report says they’ll make up 40 percent of all consumers by 2020. It also revealed that Gen Z is “highly talkative” about brands: They average more than 13 conversations about products and services each day, compared with just under 10 for those 21 and older.

A shortage of cotton and corn? Not quite. But Reebok’s NPC U.K. Cotton + Corn sneaker, which debuted in August, more than a year after the concept was first announced, quickly sold out. At $95, it is the first shoe certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “biobased” and has a 100 percent cotton upper and corn-based rubber substitute sole, in addition to 100 percent recycled packaging.

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.
      
Current, powered by GE
   
NRF News

Blockchain is a popular buzzword, but many people are still learning exactly what it means, how it works and why it matters to retail. To put it simply, “it's a single, immutable, unchangeable ledger that everyone uses,” says Scott Likens, new services and emerging tech leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers. On NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast, Likens helps simplify the technology and discusses current and future implications of blockchain for the retail industry.

The NRF Foundation announced the 25 honorees, which include a wide range of dynamic people impacting retail who will be celebrated at the NRF Foundation Gala on January 13 in New York City. Proceeds from the Gala benefit the NRF Foundation, NRF’s nonprofit arm, which is committed to demonstrating retail as an industry of opportunity and creating programs that help people become trained and find jobs in retail.

Approximately 35,000 attendees will witness the unveiling of the newest innovations, technologies and solutions that are transforming the industry at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show, to be held in New York City Jan. 13-15, 2019. Friday is the last day to receive the advance rate and save up to $200 on a full conference pass.

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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JESTA I.S.
      
Zebra Technologies
   
Retail Deals

Elemis, the number one luxury British skincare brand, has renewed its partnership with Qubit to continue making the customer experience through personalization a top priority for future growth. The brand has been working with Qubit since 2016 to bring data-driven customer experiences to its onsite visitors — powering the purchase journey for both new and returning customers.

 

Stella Connect, a software platform that enables companies to collect real-time customer feedback and use it to build more motivated, higher-performing front-line teams, announced an enhancement to its integration app with Zendesk Inc. The app update takes advantage of Zendesk’s new Customer Timeline feature, which enables contact center agents to access a customer’s full interaction history in a single streamlined view.

 

Ecommerce technology startup NeWants is partnering with Bluefly, the original online fashion retailer, to launch a unique gamified ecommerce platform that's poised to shake up the traditional ecommerce industry. The NeWants platform is a decentralized ecommerce startup that offers buzzworthy tech, home and lifestyle products up to a 95 percent discount through a socially driven gamified flash page.

 

NCR Corporation has acquired StopLift Checkout Vision Systems, a leader in intelligent computer vision systems, to combat theft in the retail business. This transaction reinforces NCR’s strategic focus on self-checkout solutions that provide the best possible shopper experience and return on the investment for retailers.

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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GIANT Food Stores has entered into an agreement with SUPERVALU, a newly acquired subsidiary of United Natural Foods, to acquire five corporately owned Shop ‘n Save locations. Upon completion of the sale, GIANT plans to convert the Shop ‘n Save stores into MARTIN’S Foods stores.

 

The Jobe’s Company has selected Transplace, a leading provider of transportation management services and logistics technology, to manage all transportation activities throughout North America. A leader in the lawn and garden category, Jobe’s will leverage Transplace’s managed transportation services, proprietary technology and industry expertise to optimize its logistics operations to reduce costs, increase visibility and drive greater operational efficiencies across the supply chain.

 

The Michaels Companies Inc. is launching MAKER Nation, a pilot educational program designed to transform Michaels classrooms into true community making spaces for instructors across the country. This will allow local instructors to develop their own classroom curriculum, make their own schedules and set their own class prices.