DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Jeweler makes stylish debut on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile

BY Marianne Wilson

David Yurman has opened his first boutique on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

Conceived by the Yurmans, the 3,250-sq.-ft. space reflects the brand's aesthetic and the family's unique artistic expression, and has a two-story historical façade that was maintained and restored to its original condition. The entrance lobby features a heritage wall that visually narrates the Yurmans' journey from art to jewelry with examples of David's early sculptures and wearable art pieces alongside more current designs.

The interior was inspired by the colors of the brand's most iconic gemstones and the hues in Sybil Yurman's paintings that hang throughout the space. The store's focal point is the central display column, featuring six cylindrical vitrines placed around a pillar of metal rods, reminiscent of the metal strands used in the crafting our jewelry. This feature acts as a focal display for the brand's most iconic pieces, and invites patrons to meander through the space. In the main area, violet motifs that were hand-applied over white gold leaf on decorative panels offer a subdued elegance.

Other distinct features include a men's jewelry area and a private salon. The men's area has a distinctly masculine feel created through the use of darker materials and found objects.

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE/ANALYTICS

California grocer’s educates customers at the shelf’s edge

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Raley’s is helping its customers make more informed food purchasing decisions in-store and online.

Called the Raley’s Shelf Guide, the program features icon-based shelf tags that educate shoppers about current food trends and industry research — and also sets stricter standards for packaged food claims. Overall, the service is creating label transparency when it comes to helping customers understand packaged goods’ ingredients, food processing and nutritional value.

The California-based supermarket chain developed the program through a partnership with Label Insight. The data science company’s proprietary data-as-a-service platform uses machine learning, semantic engine technology, and unique attribute IP to deliver complete and accurate product information for more than 400,000 products. Results were used to develop a set of custom attributes for the Raley's Shelf Guide.

By converting these details into simple and colorful icons found on shelf tags, Raley’s Shelf Guide helps customers quickly interpret whether a product meets their needs, without having to analyze multiple labels. The grocer also created two of their own shelf tag descriptions – making it easy for customers to find food that is minimally processed and nutrient dense.

Also available online, the program is part of Raley’s click-and-collect service. When using the grocer’s eCart program, online shoppers can sort for products using Shelf Guide icons to quickly find products that meet their health and wellness needs. More than 13,000 items in center store have at least one icon.

“We knew that Raley’s could develop a program that truly addresses the needs of our customers and serve as a trusted advisor. Raley’s Shelf Guide attributes will help our customers make easier decisions when shopping our stores,” said Michael Teel, owner and CEO, Raley's. “Only foods that meet the strict standards of Raley’s will qualify for the Shelf Guide tags. I challenge food manufacturers to aspire to meet our Shelf Guide standards for their products at Raley’s.”

Raley's operates 122 stores in Northern California and Nevada under four banners: Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source.

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C-SUITE

GNC taps Rite Aid chief as CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Ken Martindale has stepped down as chief executive of Rite Aid Stores to take the reins of the struggling GNC Holdings.

The specialty retailer of vitamins and supplements on Wednesday announced that Ken Martindale would succeed GNC interim CEO Bob Moran, effective Sept. 11. As part of the transition, Moran will become chairman, replacing Michael F. Hines, who will remain on the board.

Martindale most recently served as CEO of Rite Aid Stores and president of Rite Aid Corporation, where he was instrumental in leading the drug store chain's transformation, including the roll out of a new store format and an expansion of the company's loyalty program. His exit comes some three months after Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid scrapped a $9.4 billion merger agreement.

Martindale joined Rite Aid in 2008 as senior executive VP merchandising, marketing and logistics and rose through the ranks. In 2013, he was promoted to president and COO, and took on the additional role as CEO of Rite Aid Stores in 2015. Prior to joining Rite Aid, he was co-president, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Pathmark Stores.

"Ken is a proven leader with deep retail expertise, intimate knowledge of our business through his years of leadership with our partner, Rite Aid, and a record of success in transforming retail business models," said Hines. "I want to thank Bob for stepping in as interim CEO and for putting GNC on the right path."

GNC has struggled with declining sales in recent years. The company is working to turnaround its business with new marketing, a simplified pricing structure for customers and a revamped loyalty program. In July, the company reported net income of $15.7 million for its second quarter, down from $64 million in the year-ago period. Revenues totaled $641.0 million, down from last year's $673.2 million.

"We made good progress in the second quarter, and our investments in pricing, loyalty and improving the customer experience continued to deliver positive results," interim CEO Bob Moran stated in July. "For the second quarter in a row, we saw meaningful transaction growth, improvement in our dot.com business and increased enrollment in our loyalty programs. We believe this business is headed in the right direction, and we remain focused on execution and sales growth."

As of June 30, 2017, GNC had approximately 9,000 locations, of which approximately 6,800 are in the United States (including 2,378 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in approximately 50 countries.

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