OPERATIONS

Hibbett Sports announces board transitions

BY Staff Writer

Birmingham, Ala. — Hibbett Sports announced that effective February 2, 2014, Mickey Newsome will transition from his current position as executive chairman and employee of the company to non-executive chairman.

The retailer also announced that Jeff Rosenthal, president and CEO, has been appointed to the board of directors, effective immediately, thereby increasing the size of the board to ten members.

Mickey Newsome stated: “It has been my life’s work and privilege to lead Hibbett Sports for the past 48 years, as well as to bring many of the world’s leading brands to the communities we serve. The end of this fiscal year is an appropriate time for me to transition from my day-to-day executive duties to my responsibilities as non-executive chairman. I’m confident that the team, under Jeff’s leadership, will continue to deliver the growth, customer service, associate development and strong shareholder returns that we have all come to expect from Hibbett.

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Changing of the guard at Hibbett Sports

BY CSA STAFF

Hibbett Sports has put its succession plan into motion. Effective Feb. 2, 2014, Mickey Newsome will go from executive chairman of the board and CEO to non-executive chairman. Additionally, president and CEO Jeff Rosenthal has been appointed to the board, bringing the total number of members 10.

“It has been my life’s work and privilege to lead Hibbett Sports for the past 48 years as well as to bring many of the world’s leading brands to the communities we serve," said Newsome. "The end of this fiscal year is an appropriate time for me to transition from my day-to-day executive duties to my responsibilities as non-executive chairman. I’m confident that the team, under Jeff’s leadership, will continue to deliver the growth, customer service, associate development and strong shareholder returns that we have all come to expect from Hibbett. I’m pleased that Jeff’s many contributions have been recognized with his appointment to the board.”

“On behalf of a grateful board and more than 7,500 associates, I’d like to thank Mickey for his leadership, commitment and vision," added Al Yother, lead director of Hibbett Sports. "As part of the company’s ongoing succession planning, he has assembled what we believe is the best and most talented team in the sporting goods industry. From 13 stores in 1980 to more than 890 today, he has led Hibbett Sports through a tremendous period of growth and exceptional standing within the vendor, landlord and investment communities. We are confident in the company’s continued success under Jeff’s leadership and I look forward to working with both of them on the board of directors.”

Hibbett Sports operates sporting goods stores in small to mid-sized markets, predominately in the Southeast, Southwest, Mid-Atlantic and the lower Midwest regions of the United States. The company’s primary store format is Hibbett Sports, a 5,000-sq.-ft. store located in strip centers and enclosed malls.

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Using Wi-Fi to Your Advantage: 5 Tips to Get Mobile-Savvy Shoppers to the Checkout Line

BY CSA STAFF

By Sreekanth Kannan, Senior Marketing Manager, Aerohive Networks

As more and more consumers prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes or even on-the-go with their mobile devices, brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to lure shoppers into their stores and to get them to purchase. Technological advances have triggered this sea change in the retail industry and physical retailers have come to see e-tailers as an undeniable threat, fearing that shoppers comparing products online will walk out empty-handed. But instead of resisting the tide of change, traditional retailers must realize that only by embracing and integrating Wi-Fi technology in their stores will they be able to stay ahead of the curve.

Let’s take a look at the top five ways stores can leverage Wi-Fi technology to turn the mobile trend into one that gets shoppers to the checkout line:

Retail Analytics
Today, the mobile trend has reached a tipping point. Depending on the store and customer demographics, typically 40 to 70% of all store visitors at any time are carrying a phone with Wi-Fi that can be measured.

Offering free guest Wi-Fi provides shoppers an incentive to stay longer in stores by enabling more informed shopping. But more importantly, with analytics software, retailers can transform in-store Wi-Fi into a consumer analytics tool for optimizing retail operations and maximizing per-store revenue. Actionable shopper insights can be gleaned via in-store analytics and shoppers’ mobile phones, just like the online analytics e-tailers have long leveraged to optimize the customer experience and better target shoppers.

Leveraging wireless networks and analytics software together, retailers can tap into Wi-Fi signals to help stores better understand shopper engagement and in turn make better business decisions. These analytics can help retailers:

  • Gain an accurate understanding of total foot traffic inside and around the store.
  • Understand how well their window displays are capturing potential shoppers and pulling them in store.
  • Identify shopping applications that customers use and collect numbers of walk-by customers, visits, and percentages of people that come inside the store.
  • Track visits’ durations and identify shoppers staying longer than 30 minutes to evaluate engagements. This data can in turn be used to tailor the sales process, improve in-store operations and lengthen shoppers’ visits.
  • Monitor line lengths, sales associate availability, and wait times to improve service levels.

Geofencing
By leveraging this location-aware technology in tandem with tailored mobile apps, retailers can better target shoppers with on-the-spot information and special promotions specific to their locations. This has the advantage of encouraging more impulse buys with special offers down to a shopper’s aisle location. Geofencing can empower retailers to:

  • Improve engagement with customers: Analytics data lets you track traffic patterns, assess promotional effectiveness, personalize in-store coupon and “specials” when customer is in the store, and capture data for maximizing social media effectiveness
  • Enhance customer loyalty: Track visit and walk-by frequency, repeat visits, and recent visits to identify premier customers and develop programs for increasing loyalty.

Mobile Checkout
With Wi-Fi-enabled tablets integrated with PCI-complaint point-of-sale billing applications, retailers are eliminating the traditional checkout lanes in favor of store employees completing the purchase when the customers are amidst the store aisles, enhancing shopper satisfaction and employee efficiency.

Real-Time Product Location
Retailers can allow shoppers to track down products in-store via mobile apps, enabling them to better self-serve and seek out what they need easily and efficiently, while also freeing up employees. By providing Wi-Fi guest access and mobile apps designed to enhance the in-store experience, retailers can empower customers to easily self-serve with product location, aisle navigation, product code scan and product availability.

Price Matching
Though physical retailers have come to despise the practice of showrooming, by offering to match prices, traditional retailers can convert shoppers into buyers.

Many customers like to compare prices on their phones while shopping, but as customers walk towards the middle of any store, data signal on smartphones degrades rapidly. Yet, fearful of losing sales by encouraging product and price comparison, stores have been reluctant to provide guest Wi-Fi.

However, today’s mobile-savvy shoppers want to make informed decisions and are more likely to make immediate purchase decisions in store with more information at hand. By enabling easy price comparison via guest Wi-Fi and subsequent price matching, stores can ensure shoppers purchase.


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