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Joseph Abboud joins Men’s Wearhouse as chief creative director

BY Staff Writer

Fremont, Calif. — Men’s Wearhouse said Wednesday that menswear designer Joseph Abboud has been named the company’s chief creative director.

According to the company, Abboud will leverage his industry and design knowledge to work directly with Men’s Wearhouse’s merchants and sourcing team to enhance and improve the company’s offerings.

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Motorola study: Most retail managers say consumers better informed than associates

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Schaumburg, Ill. — A holiday shopping study released Wednesday by Motorola Solutions found that technology continues to radically transform the traditional holiday shopping experience, as 61% of surveyed retail managers believe that shoppers are better connected to information than in-store associates, increasing from nearly 59% in 2011 and 51% in 2010.

Surveyed shoppers echoed a similar sentiment – as nearly one-half (46%) of Gen Y shoppers, 38% of Gen X shoppers and 32% of Boomer shoppers felt better connected to product information than associates.

According to the study, the increasing utilization of shopping-related technologies is having an impact on the shopper experience across varied age demographics. Key findings include:

  • 64% of Gen Y and 52% of Gen X shoppers used their personal mobile device for shopping-related activities compared to only 37% of Boomer and less than 15% of pre-Boomer shoppers.
  • 46% of Gen Y and 36% of Gen X shoppers agreed that they can more readily locate information on their personal mobile device rather than asking a store associate for assistance. Only 19% of Boomer and less than 12% of pre-Boomer shoppers agreed.
  • 54% of Gen Y and 43% of Gen X shoppers were likely to access guest Wi-Fi for shopping-related activities. This compares with 34% of Boomer shoppers and 20% of pre-Boomer shoppers.
  • Boomers are four times more likely to increase their spending as the result of a helpful associate than by using self-service technology.
  • 47% of respondents asserted they have a better experience when sales associates use the latest technologies to assist them.
  • 48% reported that helpful store associates motivated them to spend more in-store.
  • More than half of 72% of shopping-related walkouts resulted in lost sales – an average loss per abandonment of $156.
  • 63% of store managers agree that they need more real-time information to better ensure customer satisfaction.

“It is clear that retailers who embrace technology to enable their store associates to directly engage shoppers are creating differentiation through customer service,” said Eduardo Conrado, SVP and chief marketing officer, Motorola Solutions. “With nearly one-half of surveyed shoppers stating that they have a better experience when retail associates use the latest technology, retailers’ adoption of the right technology that targets shoppers of various age groups will help drive greater customer satisfaction and increased sales opportunities.”

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R.Von says:
Mar-16-2013 04:56 am

This is true, technology has been enhancing consumer's holiday shopping efforts, making it more easier and comfortable. - Rich Von Alvensleben

R.Von says:
Mar-16-2013 04:56 am

This is true, technology has been enhancing consumer's holiday shopping efforts, making it more easier and comfortable. - Rich Von Alvensleben

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Kroger tops consumer survey for customer service

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Toronto, Ontario, Canada — Survey results released Wednesday by customer experience management firm Empathica Inc. revealed that customer service is the key driver of brand advocacy in retail pharmacy.

In the survey, during which the Empathica Consumer Insights Panel surveyed consumers on their perception, attitude and opinion towards the retail pharmacy experience, Kroger ranked highest in customer service among both mass and small-chain pharmacies.

The top six pharmacies in terms of market share are Costco, CVS, Kroger, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Walmart. Of these pharmacies, Kroger received top marks in nearly all customer service categories, including choice, service and trust.

Four-out-of-five Kroger customers agree or strongly agree that they would recommend their pharmacy to friends and family. For other brands, only about 40% surveyed would advocate for their primary pharmacy.

“Retail pharmacies can create a ‘win-win’ relationship with consumers by providing exemplary customer service; in turn, there is an opportunity for customers to ‘work’ for their primary pharmacy as brand advocates,” said Dr. Gary Edwards, chief customer officer, Empathica. “There is little room for winning a price war in pharmacy retail. The real battlefront for pharmacies is in customer service and convenience.”

While the survey results showed a strong link between customer service and customer advocacy, there are several areas where pharmacies can make adjustments to enhance the customer experience. Of the three mass retailers (Walmart, Kroger, Costco) and three specialty drug chain retailers (Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid), results showed that both types of pharmacies can improve by learning from the other’s best practices.

Empathica found that mass retailers are lacking in terms of providing loyalty programs. Only one-third of mass retail pharmacy customers indicated that they are aware of loyalty programs, compared to 43% of specialty drug chain retail customers.

Specialty drug chain retailers can look to mass retailers as exemplars in providing in-store promotions. While only 32% of specialty drug chain retail customers answered that they “always” find attractively-priced promotions, 44% of mass retail customers had the same response to this question. It appears that while mass retailers capitalize on buyer power to offer the best deal, specialty drug chain retailers are better suited to relying on loyalty programs.

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J.Iris says:
Mar-18-2013 05:56 am

It is true that a business firm should know about their customers more, like what they want, in order to easily understand them and serve them profitably. - Michael Courouleau

J.Iris says:
Mar-18-2013 05:56 am

It is true that a business firm should know about their customers more, like what they want, in order to easily understand them and serve them profitably. - Michael Courouleau

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