jcpenney
REAL ESTATE

J.C. Penney delays store closures

BY CSA STAFF

Shoppers hoping to get some great bargains at the 138 stores J.C. Penney has slated for closure will have to wait a little while longer.

The retailer told CNBC that due to improving traffic and better-than-expected sales at the locations on the closure list it has postponed the liquidation sales and shutterings.

The new closure date for the stores is now July 31, which is about six weeks later than Penney originally planned, the report said.

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Prada
ECOMMERCE

Luxury retailer eyes e-commerce integration in 2017

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

With its profits taking a hit in 2016, Prada Group is placing a stronger focus on digital.

The luxury goods retailer’s net revenue for the year ended January 31, 2017, declined 9%, while revenue across its retail channel plunged 13%.

Based on these results, the company plans to focus on more digital initiatives to better respond to an evolving marketplace, according to Prada’s CEO, Patrizio Bertelli.

Besides creating new store concepts to enhance customer experiences, “the retail strategy has shifted from geographical expansion to network rationalization and digital integration,” Bertelli explained. “To integrate retail and online channels, we will continue to dedicate significant resources to developing an omnichannel offering through the rollout of our global digital platform, collaboration with e-tailers, and in-store digital integration.”

The retailer has also established a new team to lead the company’s digital strategy, he added.

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Mobile_payment
MOBILITY

Study: The most in-demand technology for retailers is…

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A new survey confirms what many retailers are already living: getting up to speed with digitally speaking is a priority.

The most in-demand new technology for retailers is mobile payment capabilities (65%), followed by self-checkout (49%), scan as you shop (44%), click and collect (41%) and in-store customer analytics (37%), according to research from Zynstra, a U.K.-based enterprise-grade IT software provider, which polled 300 IT managers and c-level professionals in the retail space across the U.S. and U.K.

When asked about current challenges, U.S.-based respondents cited budget, security and lack of skills most frequently. Cost and effort of managing remote systems was the most identified issue (59%), followed by keeping systems up to date and secure (52%), and a lack of in-branch IT skills (31%).

“In the retail branch (store) IT space, technology is playing an ever-more important role in helping businesses meet both current and future demand; not only from an operational point of view, but also in enhancing the customer experience,” said Nick East, CEO, Zynstra. “However, as the research points out, the application of this technology or the readiness to adopt it can be a challenge.”

An overwhelming 97% of businesses see IT as a strategic business asset, and seven in 10 respondents said IT could enable them to meet future demands, including reducing operating costs, speeding up roll-out of new stores, supporting new business opportunities and streamlining IT management.

Yet, a mere 48% of those surveyed said they had the proper resources, support and infrastructure to meet their current demands.

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