New Nordstrom board member could bolster innovation
A luxury retail giant just made a move that could step up its digital efforts.
Nordstrom appointed Stacy Brown-Philpot to its board of directors, and she will also serve as a member of the board’s finance and technology committees. She replaces Enrique 'Rick' Hernandez, Jr., who announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking re-election.
Brown-Philpot has been CEO of freelance job site TaskRabbit since April 2016. Prior to taking on this role, she was the company's COO. Before joining TaskRabbit in 2013, she spent the latter half of 2012 as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at GV, the venture capital investment arm of Alphabet, Inc.
She also spent nearly a decade at Google in various roles, including senior director of global consumer operations. Here, she also oversaw online sales and operations. Brown-Philpot has also served as a senior analyst at Goldman Sachs and senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
This is not Brown-Philpot’s first seat on a corporate board. She has been on HP’s board of directors since 2015.
Overall, Nordstrom hopes to leverage Brown-Philpot’s knowledge in the digital space. “Stacy brings a breadth of unique innovation, operational, and entrepreneurial experience to our Board," said Phil Satre, chairman of the board of directors for Nordstrom. "We're thrilled to have her join us and look forward to adding her e-commerce expertise as we work to improve the omnichannel shopping experience for our customers."
With a stronger focus on innovation, the company could explore new practices aimed at boosting dipping in-store sales. For its first fiscal quarter ended April 29, 2017, Nordstrom’s total net sales increased 2.7% to $3.3 billion. While same-store sales fell 0.8%, online sales accounted for 24% of total net sales during the period.
Top four items on retail tech wish list
Self-checkout technology tops the list of items that IT professionals would like to see in use over the next year, according to a poll by CompCom.
“It’s perhaps not surprising to see self-checkout rise to the top in the poll, since paying for purchases is probably the least pleasurable part of the shopping experience, and making the process as quick and easy as possible is increasingly important to retailers," said Tom Alvey, senior VP, retail solutions group at CompuCom.
Respondents to the CompuCom poll were asked, “Which new retail technology would you most like to see in use in the next year?” Here is how their answers broke down:
• Self-checkout technology – 43%
• Interactive/personalized signage and displays – 21%
• Interactive fitting rooms – 19%
• Shopping from new screens – 17%
"As we talk to retail clients about the ‘store of the future,’ customization and speed emerge as key themes," added Alvey. "And self-checkout equipment emerged as an important enabling technology – along with technologies such as mobile payments, digital coupons and signage, self-service kiosks and more – which aligns with these poll results."
North Carolina mixed-use center to rise up around new Ikea
Ikea announced last week it would build a new location adjacent to a CBL property outside Raleigh, and this week CBL announced it would capitalize on that occasion to transform its Cary Towne Center into a mixed-use project.
CBL has been working with the town of Cary — an affluent and growing community in the Research Triangle — to start the zoning process to allow the construction of a multi-phase renovation of the property. Plans call for a mix of high-end retail, dining, entertainment, residential, office, and green space.
“CBL is thrilled that IKEA has chosen Cary Towne Center for its next potential location in North Carolina,” said Stephen Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL. “Cary Towne Center is ideally located, and there is strong demand to elevate the center to the next level.”
The Cary market area holds some 170,000 residents with average household incomes above $90,000.
This is the second big project destined for Cary. Last month, Columbia, South Carolina-based Columbia development announced plans to erect a 2-million-sq.-ft. multi-use project called Eastern Cary Gateway.