October 24, 2011

The National Retail Federation is predicting holiday retail sales to rise almost 3% to $465.6 billion, which represents far slower growth than last year’s 5.2% gain. Based on a shaky economy and high unemployment, many retailers are taking a wait-and-see approach to stocking their shelves this year, which has resulted in a later “peak” season than normal. For many businesses, this phenomenon will result in a rush to get goods on shelves if demand picks up at the last minute, driving the need for more air cargo shipments. 


October 24, 2011

Mark your calendars now: On Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, for the third consecutive year, the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) will unofficially kick off the annual National Retail Federation Convention and EXPO by bringing together some of retailing’s most prominent IT thinkers in a high-level information-sharing event. Called SuperSaturday, this year’s forum will be held at the PwC Auditorium, 300 Madison Ave., New York City. 


October 24, 2011

In the 39 years Michael Howard has been with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (the Exchange), he has traveled the world and proudly held leadership roles in one of the nation’s oldest and most far-flung retail organizations. Now in its 116th year of operation, the Exchange is responsible for some 3,024 facilities worldwide, including sites that serve troops deployed in combat locations or the most remote areas.

October 24, 2011

The retail workforce is typically young, inherently social and incredibly smart. Optimizing the power of these employees will require retailers to develop social, “gamified” platforms that enable associates to connect with each other, their work, rich information/content and real-time inventory information. The vision: People, inventory and work are all accessible via a social networking platform. Work is performed collaboratively, and with an array of available resources.


October 24, 2011

In its seventh year, the annual Top Redevelopers survey took a little turn. Chain Store Age’s coverage of the prior year’s redevelopment highlights has been expanded to include an additional six-month period in order to make the results as current as possible. So, instead of covering redevelopment projects that occurred during calendar year 2010, this year’s results include the first six months of 2011, as well.


October 24, 2011

Christmas may be right around the corner, but retailers can still do a lot in the final weeks leading up to the big day by making last-minute tweaks that can impact how and where consumers shop this season. Thanks to the flexibility of the Web, e-commerce, mobile and social networking channels are rich with opportunities for retailers to lure shoppers in and keep them coming back for more.


October 24, 2011

For commercial, on-premise signs, luminance (brightness) emerged as a key issue in 2005, when the California Energy Commission (CEC) first adopted the Title 24 regulations for electric signs. 


October 24, 2011

Product diversification combined with major growth always translates into increased supply chain complexity. Such was the case for online specialty retailer Hayneedle, which started business in 2002 as Hammocks.com with a single-niche category site. Flash forward seven years, and the company had expanded its offerings to include more than 200 product categories. Given its growing business, an optimized distribution process became a top company priority. 


October 24, 2011

Amid an uneven and slow recovery at home and financial volatility in established European markets, U.S. chain retailers are increasingly looking to emerging global markets to expand operations, increase overall revenues and gain a competitive advantage. The reasons are obvious: Consumer spending is on the rise in many of these areas, boosted by, in some instances for the first time ever, a growing middle class. Equally important, emerging markets present significant opportunities for store growth.

October 24, 2011

Amid an uneven and slow recovery at home and financial volatility in established European markets, U.S. chain retailers are increasingly looking to emerging global markets to expand operations, increase overall revenues and gain a competitive advantage. The reasons are obvious: Consumer spending is on the rise in many of these areas, boosted by, in some instances for the first time ever, a growing middle class. Equally important, emerging markets present significant opportunities for store growth.


October 24, 2011

When the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) was launched three years ago, its goal was to raise awareness of — and develop solutions for — orphans and other vulnerable children around the globe. Fast forward to 2011, and the charitable foundation, which is made up of IT-focused retail executives, consultants and vendors, remains laser-focused on its mission. Leveraging the power and influence of retailers, RetailROI is changing for the better the lives of vulnerable children globally.


October 24, 2011

The rapid growth of multichannel sales has put new pressure on retailers to find a way to fulfill orders fast and inexpensively. Among the more innovative strategies is Kiva Systems’ mobile-robotic fulfillment system. Kiva’s Mitch Rosenberg, VP marketing and product management, discusses the company’s solution, which is designed to enable extremely fast cycle times with reduced labor requirements, from receiving to picking to shipping — all without conveyor.

October 24, 2011

With gloomy consumer sentiment surveys reflecting dysfunction in both Wall Street and Washington, stagnant GDP growth, stubborn 9% unemployment and the ongoing housing slump, most experts are calling for a conservative holiday season.

October 24, 2011

An active post office no more, The Old Post Office Pavilion has secured its survival over the decades via a myriad of commercial uses. 


October 24, 2011

Much has changed at Reitmans (Canada) Ltd. over its 85-year history as the company has grown into one of the country’s largest fashion retailers, whose seven banners operate a total of more than 950 stores. But what hasn’t changed is Reitmans’ mission to remain nimble and responsive to consumer demand and customer service.

October 24, 2011

Retailers sometimes overlook the common areas that surround their shop. The outdoor landscape can be the unspoiled extension of shop interiors, providing indoor and outdoor continuity for a positive shopping experience that enthralls all our senses. Interior plants and landscaping work together synergistically to create store interiors that are more favorable for retail activity.

October 24, 2011

GE Lighting devised an innovative way to educate retailers about lighting trends and products, and has been on the road since February with its GE Lighting Revolution Tour. Chain Store Age talked with GE’s Cate Gutowski about the tour, its objectives and what lies ahead for retail lighting.

October 24, 2011

Sustainability is fundamental to The Timberland Co., which has committed to reducing its environmental footprint by cutting emissions from its facilities and stores by 50%. The company has identified lighting, which accounts for a significant portion of its total energy use, as a prime source for energy reduction. In 2009, it replaced incandescent and halogen track and flood lighting in many of its stores with LED technology.


October 24, 2011

Ultra Diamonds has unveiled a contemporary prototype that provides the ideal home for its sparkling merchandise. The design showcases the breadth and diversity of the jewelry retailer’s assortment, while putting a stylish new spin on the space.


“It also makes the environment more inviting and accessible,” said Gordon Eason, creative director, JGA, Southfield, Mich. 


September 27, 2011

Albert Boscov, chairman and CEO of Boscov’s Department Stores, began his retail career at the ripe age of 6 when his father Solomon Boscov, the company’s founder, ‘hired’ him to catch flies in the family-owned store in downtown Reading, Pa. Little Albert didn’t have to travel very far: The store, founded in 1911, was located upstairs in the building where he and his family lived. 


September 27, 2011

Energy cost savings, government incentives, and customer attraction and retention are driving energy efficiency in the retail sector, according to the results of the fifth annual global “Energy Efficiency Indicator” survey. The survey of nearly 4,000 building owners and operators representing 24 industry segments worldwide was led by Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association and the Urban Land Institute.


September 27, 2011

Twitter and Facebook aren’t just for consumer networking anymore. 


With more and more retailers and shopping centers jumping on the social media bandwagon, Chain Store Age and Cleveland-based shopping center developer Forest City Enterprises surveyed CSA’s readership to find out where retailers are trending in terms of social media engagement and communication tools.


September 27, 2011

When Donahue Schriber made the decision to renovate its Del Mar Highlands asset two years ago, the objective was far different than the customary shopping center rehab. 


The 20-year-old Carmel Valley property was already the flagship of the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based developer’s portfolio, so the renovation wouldn’t be about fixing something that was broken, but rather improving an already successful center.


September 27, 2011

With more than 6,800 stores nationwide, Family Dollar is a leader when it comes to operating a tight ship. Most recently, with threats of rising operating costs, the Matthews, N.C.-based discounter put a renewed focus on inventory management. An important priority: automating inventory auditing operations in an effort to speed up the recording process and improve reporting accuracy.