DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Dollar General to open 1,000 stores, two DCs in 2017

BY Marianne Wilson

Dollar General isn’t boasting when it calls itself one of America’s fastest-growing retailers.

The extreme-value discounter will open 1,000 stores and two distribution centers in 2017, resulting

In the creation of approximately 10,000 new jobs. The announcement comes as Dollar General is testing a new, smaller-store format under a new banner.

The new jobs will translate into a roughly nine percent overall increase to its workforce and mark the largest one-year employee increase through organic store and distribution center growth in the company’s 78-year history.

In mid-January, Dollar General debuted its smaller-store format, called DGX, in Nashville. The 3,400-sq.-ft. store is designed to serve urban shoppers in a convenient, easy-to-shop format. The merchandise mix is geared toward instant consumption and includes a soda fountain, coffee station and grab-and-go sandwiches.

Additional items include a limited assortment of grocery offerings, pet supplies, candies and snacks, paper products, home cleaning supplies, an expanded health and beauty section and items not typically found in quick-trip stores, including a carefully edited assortment of home décor, electronics and seasonal offerings

“We are excited about our new smaller store concept and the opportunity to serve busy, city-dwellers with everyday low prices on the essentials they need in a convenient, easy-to-shop format,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO. “The DGX format is geared to meet the needs of the millennial shopper, which is an emerging and important part of our customer base and will help us broaden our appeal to attract a new segment of urban customers who put a high premium on value and convenience.”

The retailer is scheduled to open a second DGX, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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REAL ESTATE

Luxury department store retailer in Fort Worth opening

BY Marianne Wilson

Neiman Marcus will unveil its relocated store in Fort Worth, Texas, at The Shops at Clearfork, on Feb. 10.

The nearly 95,000-sq.-ft. store is the anchor tenant — and first to open — at the new upscale open-air center, which is being developed by Simon Property Group.

The new Neiman Marcus blends a modern, luxurious design with state-of-the art technology and an array of special services.

Exterior: Alamo Architects took special care to ensure the exterior of store drew upon the surrounding area’s natural features and climate. The building façade, which draws inspiration from woven fabric patterns, was created with artisanal pre-cast concrete. sustainable panels. Several of the panels feature white and clear hand-broken quartz, which glistens in the sun throughout the day.

Interior: Designed by CallisonRTKL, the interior holds closely to Fort Worth’s rich heritage by offering a bright and inviting ambience. Textures such as rope, leather and rebar are used in new and unusual ways. Culturally significant items evoking the city’s history were reinterpreted into the space.

Keeping in the Neiman Marcus tradition, art is integrated throughout the space, and includes new works from local artists or artists with strong ties to the area. The retailer worked directly with various galleries, dealers, and artists to assemble the collection, which includes original Halston sketches in each of the eight Couture fitting rooms.

The store boasts a full-service restaurant and bar, and a new open-sell concept in cosmetics. An oval shaped, glass walled Fragrance Room offers customers an interactive experience, with product testers displayed at central banks and organized into eight fragrance categories. The user-friendly space grants customers easy access to product via open shelving.

The latest in technology is integrated throughout the store. Tech features include two Memory Mirrors, eight Memory Makeover Mirrors, one Sunglass Mirror, and Rockbot, a modern day interpretation of a jukebox. Customers can lock their phones in a secure locker space to be charged while they shop. Digital directories are found at store entrances and the customer service area.

Other store features include:

• The Club Room for Men (an enhanced dressing lounge);

• The Girlfriend Room (an intimate area designed for friends to discuss clothing options and use Neiman Marcus’ iconic Memory Mirror); and

• The Presentation Room is a true jewel box of a space, with the dramatic wall covering and cozy nature providing a private space to try options from the Precious Jewels Salon.

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ECOMMERCE

AI helps lingerie brand bolster revenue by 60%

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Cosabella has found a way to future-proof its business, and simultaneously drive sales.

The luxury lingerie brand had no trouble attracting shoppers. But to ensure longevity, brands must convert contacts into loyal customers if they want to grow their market share. Cosabella took a proactive step in this process by adopting an artificial intelligence (AI) platform from Emarsys, to revolutionize the role of its marketers.

The AI-enabled marketing automation platform is designed to enhance customer engagement and acquisition, and conversion growth. By applying data science to its marketing initiatives, Cosabella is positioned to execute marketing efforts into truly personal interactions among billions of customers, the company said.

“Our customers have to navigate a dynamic, but crowded luxury retail landscape to find a product that offers both style and comfort,” said Courtney Connell, marketing director at Cosabella. “It is therefore critical for us to have an intelligent marketing partner to help us cut through the noise and engage effectively with our customers across different channels.”

Specifically, Cosabella uses the suite’s Automation, Predict Web Extend, Smart Insight and CRM Ads products, all which work in concert to deliver better engagement and value for both its business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) customers.

For example, the Emarsys B2C Marketing Cloud integrates customer intelligence, personalization, predictive recommendations, and omnichannel marketing at scale, and across all devices and social channels into a single cloud-based platform. By combining machine learning and AI, the platform converts raw consumer data into a deep understanding of each customer’s identity, creating highly personalized customer experiences and journeys.

“Emarsys defines true personalization and effective cross-channel automation,” Connell explained. “It is delivering a major uptick in new customers, and unlocking previously hidden avenues of revenue creation.

Since integrating the platform in October 2016, Cosabella has increased the number of its new email subscribers — a move that doubled its subscription base, and grown the luxury brand’s emailed revenues by more than 60% compared to 2015. The platform is also paving the way for a wider AI integration during 2017.

“We are looking to expand our work by adding more features from the Emarsys marketing platform and realize the benefits of AI to execute omnichannel campaigns at scale,” Connell said. “This will, we hope, position us as the brand of choice in the luxury lingerie and intimate clothing space.”

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