ECOMMERCE

Athletic footwear brand steps up retailing experience

BY By Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Shoe Palace is moving into the cloud to enhance its omnichannel operations.

A preferred Nike retailer, Shoe Palace is known for its high-end athletic footwear and apparel, and top-notch customer service. The family-run business opened its first store in San Jose, California in 1993. Today, the company operates 118 stores nationwide, and an e-commerce site.

As Shoe Palace has grown, so has consumer demand for seamless, personalized shopping experiences. To ensure it can consistently deliver its reputable service to its valued customers, Shoe Palace is investing in the Aptos Singular Commerce suite of retail technology solutions.

The platform integrates information across channels to support one complete view of customers, inventory, orders, customer relationship management (CRM), and other operations, ensuring customers never leave the store unfulfilled. Since the platform integrates every part of the enterprise, Shoe Palace is positioned to deliver a seamless customer experiences no matter where, when or how customers shop across the brand.

“Shoe Palace was built on a strong belief that amazing service is the most important reason why any business flourishes,” said George Mersho, Shoe Palace CEO.

“We take great pride in offering customers a rewarding experience every time they step foot into one of our locations,” he said. “We achieve this by offering the best selection of premium and in-demand footwear and apparel brands, by putting the most resourceful associates on the store floor, and now by enhancing customer engagement with our Aptos investment.”

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ECOMMERCE

Walmart in big remodeling push

BY CSA STAFF

Walmart will be making big changes to a lot of stores this year, according to a report from MLive.com. Among the roughly 400-640 stores that will get a remodel this year are 12 Michigan locations, the report said.

MLive notes that among the changes coming to stores undergoing a remodel will be a lounge-like area for in-store pickup, the locations of which will move to the front of the store, more fresh and organic offerings, wider aisles and changed sightlines. Three markets in Michigan also will see the piloting of online grocery ordering for in-store pickup, the report said.

When the company announced it Q1 financial results, president and CEO Doug McMillon said, “"We're moving faster to combine our digital and physical assets to make shopping easier and more enjoyable for customers."

Also among the remodeling priorities are increasing customer interaction, MLive said.

To read more, click here.

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News

Long-delayed megamall inches closer to reality with new financing

BY Marianne Wilson

American Dream, the long-stalled retail, dining and entertainment destination in New Jersey, has a new opening date — and some badly needed new funding.

Triple Five Group of Companies, owners and operators of Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall, announced that it has closed on $1.67 billion private construction financing for American Dream. The project, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and close to Manhattan, is now slated to open in March 2019.

“We are pleased to have worked with J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs on the financing for this transformational project. The construction loan paves the way for the completion of American Dream, and allows us to aggressively move forward with the construction and opening of the project,” said Don Ghermezian, president and CEO, American Dream.

American Dream, formerly known as Xanadu, broke ground more 12 years ago, but its construction was never completed, delayed by various problems, including bankruptcies, lawsuits and financing difficulties. In 2011, Canadian developer Triple Five Group officially took over control of the project and rebranded it as American Dream.

The developer has signed up an impressive list of entertainment attractions for the project, including DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, Big Snow Indoor Ski & Snowboard Park, a 1,350-seat live-performance Cirque Du Soleil theater, Sea Life Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center, Kidzania, an 18-hole miniature golf course, and an NHL-size ice rink. The project will also feature an expensive lineup of department stores and specialty retailers, ranging from Saks Fifth Avenue to Hermès, along with an assortment of restaurants.

The new financing deal announced by Triple Five is expected to set the for a billion-dollar bond issuance that would provide the rest of the funding for the 2.9 million-sq-ft. first phase of the project, according to northjersey.com.

To read more, click here.

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