DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Furniture giant opens first-ever retail store

BY Marianne Wilson

Furniture manufacturer Herman Miller continues its transformation from a maker of modern office furniture to a lifestyle brand with the opening of its first retail store.

The 6,000-sq.-ft. Herman Miller store is located on the ground and second floors of Herman Miller's flagship building on Park Avenue South in Manhattan. The building houses corporate office space for Maharam, Design Within Reach, and Geiger — all Herman Miller owned companies — along with commercial showrooms for Herman Miller and Geiger.

The new store is designed to offer consumers the opportunity to connect with Herman Miller through a new channel.

"In addition to growing the Design Within Reach studio footprint and our global e-commerce platform, having our own physical retail presence in a major U.S. market will further cement Herman Miller's position as a premium lifestyle brand with unrivaled multi-channel capabilities,” said CEO Brian Walker. “Our goal is to create fans, not customers, and this store will connect us with new fans in a tangible way."

The store's floorplan is laid out as a modern home, with rooms that demonstrate problem-solving designs for living, working, dining, socializing, and sleeping. The display and inventory blend current and vintage Herman Miller furniture, lighting, and accessories with a curated set of complementary products from likeminded vendors and skilled artisans from around the world.

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SECURITY/RISK

Study predicts big fraud increase during holidays

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Cyber-criminals will be up to no good this holiday season, and they are using the Europay, Mastercard, Visa (EMV) shift as their way in.

The EMV mandate may be adding a layer of protection at store-level, however, it is increasing card-not-present (CNP) fraud for digital retailers. In fact, global retailers can expect 12% growth in online fraudulent activity in the upcoming holiday season, compared with the same period last year.

These are among the findings of a report by ACI Worldwide. The study was based on information from 125 retailers that have been using ACI services for the last two years, and the “hundreds of millions of transactions” they have processed between Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2015, and Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2016.

As EMV protects card transactions at store-level through encryption, fraud-sters are shifting their focus to online sources, CNP fraud attempt rates in the United States are expected to increase by 43%, the study found.

“Fraud is increasing at a rate nearly equal to general retail growth globally — and is exponentially increasing in the U.S., due to a seismic shift from in-store to online activity,” said Mike Braatz, chief product officer, ACI Worldwide. “And because fraudulent activity is now considered to be an everyday occur-rence, consumers and merchants must take every precaution as we head into peak holiday shopping season.”

In the U.S., attempted fraud average ticket value (ATV), or a retailer’s average size of individual sales by credit card, is expected to decline from $239 to $219, an 8% decrease. Alternative shipping methods, such as buy online/pick-up in-store (BOPIS), low-priced electronics and promotions could be spurring this slight decline, the study reported.

However, retailers must stay on their game. The expected peak fraud attempt day will be Christmas Eve, with nearly 2.5% fraud, due to the popularity of gift cards and last-minute shopping via buy online-pick up in-store. However, that doesn’t mean brands are out of the woods on Cyber Monday or Black Friday. Specifically, Cyber Monday will have the highest processing volumes of any day of the year — followed closely by Black Friday, the study said.

“Merchants need to understand their peak days and the sales that drive those high velocity times to ensure risk strategies are effective and efficient,” said Braatz. “It’s important to prioritize real-time fraud detection without alienating the consumer experience.”

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Amazon continues aggressive expansion of fulfillment network

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon continues to expand its already considerable fulfillment capabilities.

The online giant is set to open its third distribution center in Nevada, a move that will service customers in the southwest.

The new 800,000-square-foot facility, which will open in North Las Vegas, will employ more than 1,000 full-time workers who will pick, pack and ship larger customer items, such as big-screen televisions, kayaks and patio furniture.

The warehouse complements Amazon’s Reno distribution center, as well as an existing North Las Vegas facility, both of which currently employ more than 1,500 associates, according to a company statement.

“Our ability to expand Nevada operations is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce in the state,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s VP of North American operations. “We are excited to expand in Nevada by growing our team, creating good jobs and partnering with members of the southern Nevada community.”

Amazon did not reveal when the distribution center would open.

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