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Jones Group implements Epicor Retail Mobile Store enhance ops, service

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New YorkEpicor Software Corp. said Monday that The Jones Group Inc. is rolling out its Epicor Retail Store offering which is fully mobile-enabled for deployment and use on Apple iPad, iPod and Windows mobile devices, and brings information directly to sales associates’ fingertips.

Mobile Store allows retailers to create and complete transactions from anywhere – the sales floor, dressing room, sidewalk, special event, pop-up store, kiosk, etc. Associates can access on-hand inventory and quickly find out-of-stock items to be delivered or picked up without ever having to leave the customer. Store personnel also gain efficiencies with Mobile Store to perform day-to-day inventory management functions such as receiving, shipping, and physical inventory processing.

Now in pilot across numerous stores, The Jones Group has armed store associates with iPod devices complementing traditional registers. Using the iPod devices, store associates are free to assist customers on the floor, “untethered” from the register. Customers paying via credit card can be completely checked out by the associates using the iPod devices, and pick up their receipt via a centralized printer in the store.

“At The Jones Group, we’re committed to doing all we can to make the in-store shopping experience interactive and efficient, and we view mobile as key to enhancing our store operations and customer service efforts,” said Scott Bowman, group president of Global Retail and International Development of The Jones Group. “Armed with a simple mobile device such as an iPod, our store associates have all the same functionality as they have on a traditional register – right in the palms of their hands.”

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S.Gacho says:
Mar-22-2013 04:30 am

A Fortune company that consist over 1000 employee's. most of them are marketer and wholesaler. - J. Kale Flagg

S.Gacho says:
Mar-22-2013 04:30 am

A Fortune company that consist over 1000 employee's. most of them are marketer and wholesaler. - J. Kale Flagg

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Saks CEO new chair of NRF board

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — The National Retail Federation has elected Saks chairman and CEO Stephen I. Sadove to chairman of the NRF board of directors and chairman of its executive committee. Sadove succeeds NRF’s chairman, Terry J. Lundgren, who is chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s.

The Container Store chairman and CEO Kip Tindell was elected first vice chairman of the board, treasurer and chairman of the finance committee, and HSNi CEO Mindy Grossman was elected second vice chair of the board and secretary. The three executives join NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay to form NRF’s leadership team. Each board officer will serve a two-year term.

“Representing the breadth and diversity of the retail industry from small business owners to global brands, the board will help shape NRF’s strategic objectives and advocacy agenda,” said Shay. “The expertise and experience of these retail leaders will leverage our ability to shine a spotlight on the industry’s role in building careers, growing communities, and driving innovation.”

Other newly elected retail board members included Beth Aberg, president, Random Harvest Inc.; Sasha Bopp, CEO, Crate and Barrel; Brendan Hoffman, president and CEO, Bon-Ton Stores Inc.; and Ravi Saligram, president and CEO, OfficeMax.

State retail association executives elected as ex officio board members included Michelle Ahlmer, executive director, Arizona Retailers Association and Roland Myers, president and CEO, Tennessee Retail Association.

Associate Member Advisory Council representatives re-elected to the board included Karen Lowe, general manager, Global Retail Industry, IBM Corporation; Ramón B. Martin, president, Merchant Services Americas, American Express Company; and Alison Paul, principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP.

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The Future of Small Business Rests on the Shoulders of the Elusive Millennial

BY CSA STAFF

By Jill Puleri, [email protected]

For retailers, brands and marketers, the millennials have created quite the conundrum. This segment makes up a large part of the consuming world — around 95 million consumers in the U.S. alone. And with $1.7 billion in spending muscle to flex, their influence is only going to increase as the years roll by. By 2030, they will outnumber the vaunted baby boomers by more than 20 million.

Millennials represent the first generation who practically sleep with their laptops and mobile devices — constantly stimulated, yet perpetually seeking more. Unlike previous generations, they display an insatiable desire and high comfort level with new technologies, celebrate cultural diversity, publically share personal thoughts and feelings, expect on-demand access to entertainment and instant gratification, and practice, no, are experts at extreme multitasking. 


With two teenage sons, I have found myself checking off their list to Santa this past year one electronic gadget at a time. From gaming systems to Bluetooth music streaming devices, my sons have taken me to the popular YouTube to show me the product reviews by consumers who are, guess what, millennials! As younger generations continue to influence markets, the time to secure their customer loyalty is now. For small businesses, how can they make a dent in a world where each millennial has the ability to connect with thousands of people with a click of a button? As we move full speed ahead in a world with virtually infinite options, small business retailers are finding that they aren’t too different from their digitally-savvy market base. To begin, entrepreneurship is a shared value. According to American Express Open Form, three-quarters of millennials say they want to work for themselves one day — meaning they see small businesses as somewhat of entrepreneurial kindred spirits. Especially when it comes to green business and grassroots campaigns, millennials are the biggest advocates of these initiatives, often considering business operators as their peers.

Similarly, younger populations place more value on businesses they trust, which in turn is largely influenced by the opinions of their social communities. In fact, they prefer knowing more about where their products and services come from and who’s behind them, making small businesses the ideal candidate to do business with.

In addition, these empowered consumers are extremely optimistic about the ability of business and government to influence global change. They are more likely than non-millennials to purchase products that support a cause, and when they make direct donations, they will likely donate through mobile devices. With these new emerging consumer needs — the desire to be recognized, share opinions and information and be part of groups that make a difference — is bringing a new dimension to brand loyalty. And as soon as these millennial consumers start engaging, the viral element of social means the reach extends from simple loyalty to the power of influencing. To capitalize on that influence, small businesses can use this social data to create better recommendations and promotions that enrich the user experience. In addition, they need to make sure that their product information is seamlessly available in all forms — mobile, in-store, online — so that millennials can access it anytime, anywhere at the drop of a hat.

While many small businesses don’t have the luxury of placing a large number of small bets across a wide variety of marketing activities to target this group, these retailers know they need to respond quickly — on their terms – and take the time to get to know them. Small businesses, in particular, can play up their connection with their local community by holding local events or producing local merchandise to get these consumers to keep returning. 


Understanding what resonates well with these consumers can help bring insight and impact into developing products, services and promotions, enabling retailers to break through this challenging and influential segment. 


Smaller businesses must keep pace with this new, highly engaged generation while they tweet while watching TV, text while shopping, Facebook while listening to music — all across a multitude of platforms. Things like offering free Wi-Fi are simply the norm nowadays, and it’s not what Millennials want, but rather, what they expect. Confronted with this millennial reality, retailers are in the midst of evolving the way they are serving these consumers — rethinking current practices and experimenting with new channels and tactics to grab and keep their attention. Simple “big retailer” practices, like launching a retailer’s homepage when customers log into Wi-Fi, are powerful, yet mighty tactics to engage customers and lock in their loyalty for a lifetime. It is new way of thinking, but if small businesses truly want to reach and connect with millennials, they need to engage in methods and media where millennials live every day, and they need to do it now.

Jill Puleri is VP and global retail industry Leader, IBM Global Business Services. She can be reached at [email protected].


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