OPERATIONS

A.T. Kearney study: Retailers under-utilizing customer data

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — Leading retailers are much better than other retailers at collecting data, measuring activities, acting on their insights, and measuring again to see the results, according to A.T. Kearney’s 2013 Achieving Excellence in Retail Operations (AERO) Study.

The study also revealed that even with the proliferation of technology and vast quantities of store and customer data, retailers also need to focus on the core principles of retailing – employees, customers and the interactions among them. The retailers that most actively engaged their employees and customers were the most successful, according to the report.

“Leading retailers encourage measurement of the right data, invest in the skills to gain insights from that data, and use those insights effectively to frame future actions,” said Joel Alden, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the study.

In the area of store operations, the AERO study analyzed the importance of field managers. The study findings show that across the board – at the district and regional level and above – managers are overseeing more stores than in the 2010 study. Retail field managers are spending too much time on administration and not enough time in the field.

The AERO study also addressed the importance of front-line staff, and found that while these employees interact with customers all day long, gaining valuable insights into customer needs, few retailers take full advantage of these insights.

Adam Pressman, A.T. Kearney principal and co-author of the study, commented, “The problem today is a lack of formal requirements or processes to gather these employee insights. Leading retailers create formal pipelines that capture and use these insights.”

To access the full report go to www.atkearney.com/AERO

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Jamba Juice selects NCR to enable mobile ordering

BY Staff Writer

New York — Jamba Juice tapped NCR Corporation to help it make mobile ordering easier for its customers. NCR, in collaboration with PayPal, has developed a series of customized mobile solutions, including a Jamba Juice branded iOS and Android mobile ordering and payment solution.

The ordering functionality is available in select Jamba Juice locations via the PayPal app and allows consumers to place mobile orders and pay directly from their smartphones. The customized mobile ordering solution will seamlessly integrate with the NCR Aloha point-of-sale platform. It is expected to improve speed of service and offer a differentiated experience to Jamba Juice customers, enabling them to skip the line to pick up their order.

“Today’s consumer wants to leverage technology in an integrated way to make everyday life easier,” said Robert Notte, CTO, Jamba Juice. “Working with NCR and PayPal we are using mobile ordering and payment technologies to align with our brand essence of a healthy, active lifestyle and help us deliver more value to our customers."

“Solving real problems for merchants and consumers is one of PayPal’s primary goals, and our collaboration with NCR helps to create a great experience for loyal Jamba Juice customers,” said Don Kingsborough, VP of retail services at PayPal. “In 2012, we worked with Jamba Juice to create a fantastic mobile ordering experience and NCR is a key ingredient to bringing this innovation to more locations across the U.S.”

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Michaels sees same store sales slightly dip

BY CSA STAFF

IRVING, Texas — Michaels reported net sales of $993 million for the first quarter ended May 4, an increase of 1.5% from $978 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

Although same-store sales decreased 0.7% due to a 3% decrease in transactions, it was offset by a positive 1.7% impact from a higher average ticket and a positive 0.6% impact in deferred custom framing revenue. Michaels experienced its strongest sales increases for the quarter in custom framing and yarn.

The company opened 15 Michaels stores, relocated four and closed one. In addition, Aaron Brothers closed three stores. The specialty retailer of arts, crafts, framing, floral, wall décor and seasonal merchandise for the hobbyist and do-it-yourself home decorator currently owns and operates more than 1,113 Michaels stores in 49 states and Canada and 123 Aaron Brothers stores. It produces 11 exclusive private brands including Recollections, Studio Decor, Bead Landing, Creatology, Ashland, Celebrate It, Art Minds, Artist’s Loft, Craft Smart, Loops & Threads and Imagin8.

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