REAL ESTATE

DSW plans new stores in Texas, Ohio

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – DSW Inc. plans to open two new stores in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Mentor, Ohio. Both stores are scheduled to open March 27.

DSW Rewards is a free loyalty program in which customers earn certificates toward future DSW purchases and receive special member-only offers. Customers can also participate in a Shoe Lover community on Facebook to receive exclusive offers and giveaways.

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REAL ESTATE

Cabela’s to open Indy-area store in fall 2015

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sidney, Neb. — Cabela’s Incorporated plans to open a store in Noblesville, Ind., serving the greater Indianapolis area. Construction is scheduled to begin later in 2014 and the store is expected to open in fall 2015.

The 80,000-sq.-ft. store will be located in the new Saxony Campus development adjacent to Hamilton Town Center. It will be Cabela’s second Indiana store, joining the Hammond location opened in 2007, and is expected to employ approximately 170 full-time and part-time employees.

The store will be built in Cabela’s next-generation layout, designed to surround customers in a complete outdoor experience. The building’s exterior will reflect Cabela’s popular store model with log construction, stonework, wood siding and metal roofing. A large glass storefront will allow customers to view much of the store’s interior as they approach the building.

The interior will feature thousands of quality outdoor products, as well as museum-quality wildlife displays, a mountain with a built-in aquarium, gun library, bargain cave, indoor archery range and archery tech room, fudge shop and deli. Currently, Cabela’s operates 51 stores across North America and has announced plans to open an additional 23 over the next two years

“We hope outdoorsmen and women across Indiana are as excited as we are about this store, which will be extraordinary in every way,” said Tommy Millner, Cabela’s CEO. “For years, thousands of Hoosiers have faithfully supported Cabela’s through our catalogs, website and neighboring retail locations. Now those loyal customers have a second Cabela’s store to call their own.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Net-a-Porter.com tops in online customer service in February

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Net-A-Porter.com topped all competitors across all retail verticals for customer service in February, according to Stella Benchmarks. The retailer was particularly strong in fulfillment, besting all other retailers in both shipping and returns.

Net-A-Porter.com provided a pre-paid, adhesive return label in all orders handled by StellaService analysts. In addition, Net-A-Porter.com issued refunds in less than a week on average.

“Net-A-Porter knows its customer base and that’s definitely apparent in its service efforts,” said Kevon Hills, VP of research at StellaService. “Orders arrive fast and they’re beautifully packaged, which is what a luxury shopper demands. They also put a lot of thought into reducing the friction involved in the returns process.”

Each month, StellaService analyzes the service performance of online retailers within their respective retail categories. The companies are measured across four service areas: phone, email, shipping and returns. Phone and email are measured daily, while shipping and returns are measured across multiple orders. Stella Benchmarks are designed to provide consumers with guidance for smarter shopping and retailers with an independent, reliable benchmark for measuring and improving customer service.

Looking at combined scores for all four service areas in Benchmarks, the following were strongest overall:

Top 10 – February 2014

1. Net-A-Porter.com
2. LLBean.com
3. Zappos.com
4. JCrew.com
5. RalphLauren.com
6. Fab.com
7. Store.Apple.com
8. Shopping.HP.com
9. Shop.Lululemon.com
10. KateSpade.com

Looking at all companies included in Stella Benchmarks, the following companies were best overall performers within the four service areas measured:

• Phone: Reebok.com
• Email: Modcloth.com
• Shipping: Net-A-Porter.com
• Returns: Net-A-Porter.com

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