REAL ESTATE

Expansion-minded rue21 opens its 1,000th store

BY Marianne Wilson

Warrendale, Pa. — Rue21 on Thursday celebrated the opening of its 1,000th store. Located in the Enid Crossing Shopping Center in Enid, Okla., the location is one of the company’s new rueGuy format stores and features an expanded assortment of young men’s apparel and accessories in addition to the girls’ apparel, jewelry, footwear and beauty product.

“This was a pivotal year for our Company: we launched our online website, introduced our new rueGuy store format, and transitioned from a publicly held to a privately owned company. We are looking forward to continuing our store expansion strategy and developing our brand as we grow past the one-thousand-store mark," stated Bob Fisch, rue21’s president and CEO.

Rue21 has opened over 100 stores each year since going public in 2009. The retailer anticipates growing to more than 1,700 stores in the continental United States

"Our real estate model gives us the opportunity to open successfully in strip centers, regional malls and outlet centers in small or midsized communities where there are few teen specialty apparel retailers," said Bob Thomson, senior VP of real estate for rue21.

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News

Kronos real-time workforce analytics technology helps Puma reduce costs

BY Dan Berthiaume

Orlando, Fla. — Puma is improving the performance and reducing operational cost of its retail stores by giving district managers access to custom payroll and labor reports on a daily basis.

David Schaub, manager of retail operations at Puma North America, explained that Puma employs workforce analytics technology from Kronos to enable real-time analysis of how store employee hours trend against payroll goals. “We forecast payroll goals by week and target the amount of hours employees can work based on those forecasts,” explained Schaub during a presentation at the KronosWorks conference in Orlando, Fla. “We then compare payroll trends against the forecast for the rest of the week and change the forecast daily.”

Schaub said district managers receive daily email updates of how payroll forecasts are changing based on employee work trends and have access to current analytical data at any time.

“It’s the oxygen district managers live with every day,” said Schaub. “They need the information that allows them to manage payroll.”

Schaub said taking a longer-term, comparative view of payroll and labor also enables Puma to avoid drastic short-term corrective measures that can hurt overall store performance.

“How many customers and sales do we lose trying to cut people on the sales floor?” he asked. “We had a high amount of hours in fiscal September of this year and were able to make it up in the first week of fiscal October.”

Looking ahead, Schaub said Puma plans to provide store managers with access to Kronos analytics.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Staples celebrates Black Friday all week

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – In addition to opening stores at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Staples is extending Black Friday sales the entire week of Nov. 24 through Cyber Monday on Dec. 2.

The retailer’s Black Friday promotions include online daily deals changed on a daily basis, trade-in/trade-up technology recycling programs that give holiday shoppers cash toward to the purchase of a new product, and free shipping for members of the Staples Rewards loyalty program and on all purchases of more than $45.

“At Staples, we’re making it easy for shoppers to find the perfect gift with amazing deals leading up to Black Friday through Cyber Monday,” said Alison Corcoran, senior VP of North American stores and online marketing, Staples. “Staples provides more ways than ever to shop this holiday season, including our new Staples.com online storefront, in store with our knowledgeable associates, new Staples.com kiosk or at the Holiday Center.”

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