The long established buzzword, “localization” is more important today than it has ever been. The approach of ever broadening assortments has clogged shelves, exaggerated mark-down costs and compromised returns; with slotting fees no longer sufficient to bridge the gap.
An unlikely hero is emerging at the back of a store. A store’s back-room space has become a secret weapon in the war for e-commerce market share. It enables goods processing, returns and a new delivery channel: ship-from-store.
The recent cyber attacks on Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels Stores had an immediate and profound impact on sales, as well as a widespread and ongoing ripple effect on consumer confidence in the safety of credit-card information at point-of-sale terminals.
The winter of 2014 brought record cold and snow throughout North America and its impact on business and consumer spending were widespread and significant. How impactful was it? Well, for the S&P 500 companies, the word “weather” was mentioned in almost 200 earnings calls from January through March, which is a 81% increase compared to last year.
Modern retailers operate in an omnichannel, “pull” environment where constantly connected consumers decide what products they want, when and where they want them, what they want to pay, and search for the retailer who best meets their demands.
American shoppers are in a sea of sticker shock. Rising retail prices are dominating store shelves and in turn, are hurting consumers’ wallets. Food prices have been hit especially hard — skyrocketing by more than 4% in February alone, which represents the biggest jump in more than two years.