Will a smaller Macy’s be a better Macy’s?

This is a smart move by Macy’s. The reality is that they have A, B, C and D stores with the grades denoting exactly how they perform. Macy’s needs to shutter the C and D locations and concentrate on their huge online business. Their Bluemercury concept is a winner and I see the curated idea with a smaller footprint and local product as another innovation that will help reinvent the brand.

Will expanded fresh and frozen food selection drive Target’s pickup business?

This is a winning strategy for Target. I happened to be shopping there yesterday and was surprised at the quality, the selection (they actually had bleach) and the price. There is clearly a move to BOPAC which won’t be toggling back after this pandemic. In a recent survey by Cambridge Retail Advisors 56 percent of C-level executives feel that it is likely or very likely that consumers will move exclusively to BOPIS or BOPAC. The challenge will be to integrate pickup within the footprint as the walk-around fulfillment model of folks like Instacart is broken, causing too much congestion and extended shopping time due to picker/customer interaction. Micro-fulfillment is one answer to this problem in a dark or semi-dark (hybrid) store environment.

Getting your associates ready to reopen stores

I would be sure to teach them how to deescalate conflict with irate customers. We are seeing a rash of angry customer moments as we start to reopen. Problems with social distancing, masks and just pent up, free flowing anger. We need to be sure to protect our associates and guests from this pandemic madness by scripting responses to situations and instructing how to identify, deescalate and respond appropriately.

Dick’s goes off-price with two new clearance concepts

I think it makes perfect sense for Dick’s to enter the off-price sporting goods business. They are creating a new space and have little or no competition. The history of off-price success following an economic downturn has been well documented so what better time to launch this concept. Many sporting goods retailers have been disintermediated by the vendor community which leaves Dick’s as almost the last chain standing. To remain standing they must reinvent themselves and this is a great start at exactly the right time.

Should retailers boycott Facebook?

I believe Facebook has crossed the line. They are more interested in profit than people. They are partly responsible for the political situation we now find ourselves in. They claim platform immunity but are really just courting favor in DC. What they are doing is giving a voice to the darkest element in our society and they are on the wrong side of history. They cannot be neutral when faced with fascism and white nationalism, they need to stand up for what is right.

Four innovative services to drive customer traffic post-COVID-19

A new Cambridge Retail Advisors (CRA) report recommends that brick-and-mortar retailers think beyond BOPIS to gain customer trust. According to “Flipping the Script,” a white paper from CRA, the physical store will endure the COVID-19 shutdown. However, as retailers reopen brick-and-mortar stores, CRA recommends they ensure customer confidence and loyalty with the following innovative shopping features.

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The Role of Stores and Restaurants is Evolving to Meet New Consumer Expectations for a Theatrical Experience.

​Despite a disastrous start to the new decade, the physical store will endure. Data shows that an overwhelming number of consumers prefer to shop more frequently at brick-and-mortar than online stores and dine in restaurants than order take-out or delivery. However, in a post-pandemic world, the new expectations and shopping behaviors of consumers will push operators to adopt creative new strategies to combat consumer fears and address their new expectations. The new Cambridge Retail Advisors (CRA) white paper, Flipping the Script – Transforming the Store to a Stage, provides insights and strategies for retailers and restaurateurs to adapt to consumers’ expectations for entertaining shopping and dining experiences.

The Flipping the Script – Transforming the Store to a Stage white paper outlines the ways consumer expectations will now require retailers to:

  • Offer compelling reasons to return to brick-and-mortar stores
  • Provide convenient, safe and contactless transactions
  • Ensure continuity of product supply
  • Leverage emergent technologies

Download and read the full report to see the complete insights.

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Do retailers need a chief health officer?

Retailers and restaurants should consider creating a c-level position focused on public health to address pandemic-related concerns, according to a new study. “Customer experience and employee satisfaction are more dependent on enhanced protection protocols than ever before,” wrote Cambridge Retail Advisors.

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