EasternOutfitters
FINANCE

British retailer buys bankrupt U.S. chain

BY Marianne Wilson

Britain's largest sporting goods retailer is extending its presence in the United States.

Sports Direct International Plc has bought Eastern Outfitters, parent company of Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Outfitters. Sports Direct, which operates some 700 stores in the U.K. and continental Europe, has been wanting to expand in the United States. Last year, it bid for the intellectual property of Sports Authority, but lost out to Dick's Sporting Goods.

Eastern Outfitters, which operates about 90 stores, filed for bankruptcy protection in February

In addition to its namesake retail stores, Sports Direct has a portfolio of fitness, fashion and sports brands that include Everlast, No Fear and LA Gear. In February, it took an 11% stake in apparel brand French Connection. The company is under pressure to make acquisitions to boost profits to meet its growth targets, according to a report by The Guardian.

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menswherehouse
ECOMMERCE

Two menswear brands step up digital personalization

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank are not just enhancing customer experiences across their websites — they are personalizing them.

Tailored Brands is partnering with Certona to provide online shoppers across its Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank divisions with a highly personalized digital experience — one very similar to those they are used to during in-store visits. This is a strategic move as digital shoppers expect a seamless and cohesive individualized shopping experience — even as they move across multiple channels and touchpoints.

Using Certona’s personalization solutions, Tailored Brands can leverage deep shopper insights, real-time context and predictive analytics to deliver more relevant experiences to each individual shopper as they engage with the brand online and via mobile. Major aspects of the shopper experience journey, from the homepage to checkout, will be dynamically personalized. Shoppers will also have access to new capabilities, including visual search and navigation and product finder capabilities.

“At Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, our customers receive a one-of-a-kind shopping experience that prioritizes convenience and personal style preferences,” said Samantha Lee, VP of site management and customer experience of Tailored Brands. “We see omnichannel personalization as a strategy for evolving the way our customers engage with our brands.”

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Online_shopper_frustrated
ECOMMERCE

Study: Even millisecond delays impact customer engagement, revenue

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The user experience is critical to e-commerce success, a factor that makes snafus in Web performance unacceptable.

Performance is so critical that even a 100-millisecond delay in website load time can hurt conversion rates by 7%. Meanwhile, a two-second delay in Web page load time increase bounce rates by 103%, according to the “State of Online Retail Performance,” a report from Akamai Technologies.

The study represents one month’s worth of anonymous user data from top online retailers, equating to approximately 10 billion user visits. The report was previously issued by SOASTA, which was acquired by Akamai in April 2017.

According to the report, half of consumers browse for products and services on their smartphones. However, due to poor Web performance, only one in five complete purchases using those phones. Currently, 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.

Bounce rates were also highest for mobile phone shoppers, while tablet shoppers had the lowest bounce rate, the report said.

“Results from our State of Online Retail Performance report have shown that user experience is critical to e-commerce success, and things aren’t getting any easier,” said Ash Kulkarni, senior VP and general manager, Web experience division, Akamai. “Customers have extremely short attention spans, and degradations in website performance — no matter how small — can cause consumers to go elsewhere in an instant. Sharing our findings about performance gives online merchants the actionable data they need to stay competitive.”

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