josabank
MOBILITY

Men’s retailer improves online searches

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Jos. A. Banks hopes to better connect with its shoppers during online searches by “speaking their language.”

In its quest to create a more inspiring online experience, especially one that could would make product searches more consistent and relevant, Jos. A. Banks is taking steps to improve its product descriptions. The retailer began this journey by adding the Edgecase Product Intelligence Platform, a solution that helped create more than 60,000 new product values, or attributes, to define online merchandise.

Armed with more accurately tagged merchandise, the platform can normalize search and navigation language, making product easier to curate. The solution also helped the chain deliver consistent and structured product data, which enables customers to more easily find the right product using search terms that are more familiar to them, the company said.

“Prior to working with Edgecase, not all products on the Jos. A. Bank site were tagged with all the right product attributes,” said Samantha Lee, VP of site management and customer experience, Tailored Brands.

“Edgecase not only cleaned up those attributes, but added more relevant ones to better help our customers find the right products. Furthermore, this platform has saved us significant hours in product curation time,” she said. “The Edgecase team exceeded our expectations with their work on the Men’s Wearhouse site experience, so it was an easy decision to utilize the platform for Jos. A. Bank to ensure consistency in product attribution across the company.”

The retailer added product enrichment for nearly 8,000 products across the Jos. A. Bank site in a brief 30 days – a feat that would have required 11 full time resources if attempted without Edgecase technology, the retailer reported.

From there, the company expanded to 43 total product attributes across the Jos. A. Bank site. This was a 617% increase, beyond the same six attributes per category per page — including fit, size, color, material, collections. And the service continually feeds 7,500 new product values per month, Jos. A. Banks added.

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DEVELOPMENT/REDEVELOPMENT

Casto to build project in rundown area of Columbus

BY Al Urbanski

Next week, Casto and local officials will stick shovels in the ground in the East Franklinton section of Columbus and signal a major event in the rebuilding of what was the original settlement of Franklin County, Ohio.

Columbus five years ago razed the crime-ridden Riverside-Bradley public housing complex in the area on the city’s west side, and it is there that Casto will build River & Rich, a mixed-use project with 230 garden and townhouse apartments and 25,000 sq. ft. of retail.

“We’re excited to break ground on River & Rich, and to contribute to the vibrant community and growth of East Franklinton,” said Brent Sobczak, Casto’s director of multifamily development and finance.

A summer 2018 opening date has been set for River & Rich, which the Columbus-based developer is building in partnership with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, Robert Weiler Co., Kelley Cos., and Smoot Construction.


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WORKFORCE

Starbucks in hiring spree fueled by continuing store expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

Starbucks Corp. is ramping up its job hiring, here and abroad. It’s also doubling down on its commitment to the nation’s veterans.

Hosting its 25th annual shareholders meeting in Seattle, the coffee giant announced plans to create more than 240,000 jobs around the world, including 68,000 jobs in the United States, by 2021.

Fueling the company’s ambitious hiring plans is its continuing aggressive store growth. Starbucks will open 3,400 U.S. stores and 12,000 global stores by 2021.

Starbucks said it had reached its initial goal, announced in 2013, to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses ahead of the original 2018 deadline. The retailer is increasing the goal to 25,000 total hires by 2025.

By 2020, the chain also plans to hire 100,000 younger employees who are either not in school or unemployed, building on its earlier commitment it made to hire 10,000 by 2018. Starbucks exceeded that goal also.

In addition, Starbucks plans to open 100 additional military family stores throughout the U.S. during the next five years. These stores are designed to support military communities and are staffed by veterans, advocates and military spouses. To date, the company has opened 32 locations.

Starbucks created an uproar on social media when it announced in January that it planned to hire 10,000 refugees in its stores worldwide in in response to President Donald Trump's executive order to bar U.S. entry of refugees from several predominantly Muslim countries. Many critics seemed unaware the chain had a strong program in place to hire veterans and their spouses.

The annual meeting comes as the company faces an important milestone: On April 3, CEO George Schultz will be succeeded by company president and COO Kevin Johnson.

“As we approach our 25th year as a publicly traded company, the Starbucks brand is as relevant today as it has ever been, driven by the 330,000 people who proudly wear the green apron,” Schultz said at the meeting. “As I move into my new role as executive chairman, there is only one person who can lead us into the future. For his skill, his leadership, and above all, his love for the company, I am proud to call Kevin Johnson the next CEO of Starbucks. He is perfectly positioned to lead our brand into the future together with the strongest leadership team and board in the history of Starbucks.”

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D.Haugen says:
Mar-24-2017 06:38 pm

Correction
Quick heads-up: Starbucks' outgoing CEO is Howard Schultz (not George as stated in the article).

D.Haugen says:
Mar-24-2017 06:38 pm

Quick heads-up: Starbucks' outgoing CEO is Howard Schultz (not George as stated in the article).

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