REAL ESTATE

New Nordstrom Rack planned for Utah

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Nordstrom plans to open a Nordstrom Rack at University Crossing in Orem, Utah.

The approximately 30,000-sq.-ft. store is scheduled to open in spring 2015. University Crossing is owned and managed by University Crossing Shopping Center.

Nordstrom first arrived in Utah in 1980 when it opened a full line store in downtown Salt Lake City. The first Nordstrom Rack opened at Sugarhouse in Salt Lake City in 1991 and the company currently has two other Racks at Station Park in Farmington and Commons at South Towne in Sandy. The company also operates two full line stores at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City and Fashion Place in Murray.

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News

Kroger initiative digitizes stores

BY CSA STAFF

Kroger has unveiled a bold initiative to digitize every aspect of its physical store in an effort to measure a breadth of operational metrics to enhance the shopper experience.

The company announced a partnership with eInfochips, Wincor Nixdorf and several other partners on a new enterprise IT architecture called Retail Site Intelligence. This architecture for stores of the 21st century uses ZigBee wireless mesh networks to integrate long battery life sensors, hand held devices, point-of-sale devices and video management software into a next generation platform for retail applications such as in stock optimization, loss prevention, store automation and video analytics which can be integrated with Kroger’s industry leading loyalty program data.

"Retail Site Intelligence is, above all, about customer 1st innovation," said Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm. "We are leveraging technology to help customers have the best possible shopping experience in retail stores, whether by more easily finding the products they want or saving time at checkout. We expect Retail Site Intelligence to be the cornerstone of the technology infrastructure for Kroger stores in the future."

The introduction of the RSI architecture, and the deployment of new retail business solutions by Kroger, culminates two years of global collaboration between Kroger and eInfochips to develop the underlying technology products for the company’s Stores of the 21st century initiative. The results of the most recent phase of development are new wireless devices such as cameras, scanners and scales that feature ZigBee wireless technology and a proprietary video management software system called Vigil360.

Commercial versions of the RSI solutions being rolled out by Kroger will be available later in 2014 with support and customization services delivered globally.

"Most IT products are developed by design teams insulated from the user and application," said Frank Berry, founder and senior analyst with IT Brand Pulse. "Kroger's hands-on involvement in the development process has yielded products that are innovative and tailor made for digitized store environments."

Parag Mehta, chief marketing officer at eInfochips noted, "Our collaboration with Kroger to develop products for their Retail Site Intelligence Initiative embodies the trend of businesses partnering with technology companies to develop intellectual property for a sustainable competitive edge. The results of the Retail Site Intelligence project demonstrate why this trend is gaining momentum."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Nearly all consumers are omni-channel shoppers

BY Marianne Wilson

Ann Arbor, Mich. — These days, virtually everyone is a cross-channel shopper: 95% of consumers frequently or occasionally shop a retailer’s website and store, according to a recent survey by CFI Group that was sponsored by eBay Enterprise.

The study, “Omni-Channel Insights,” reveals that consumers expect exceptional service, while having the convenience of seamless in-store and online shopping.

"With consumers wanting more options when shopping, especially within the realm of cross-channel shopping, it is important for retailers to increase their customer service standards both online and in-store," said Terry Redding, VP of marketing and product development. "Tactics such as staying consistent across channels with stock as well as coordinated cross-channel promotions will help consumers stay loyal to a brand, and stores will gain higher customer satisfaction rates."

The study makes it clear that consumers want convenience. Almost all consumers want to be able to return online orders to local stores, or make a purchase online and be able to pick-up that purchase in a local store. Seventy-eight percent of consumers consider in-store pickup of online orders important, while nearly half consider it extremely important.

The persistence of consumers when it comes to out-of-stock and back-ordered items was revealed by the report. Consumers may want a product, but may not be willing to wait for it for very long. Of those surveyed, 47% say they may wait for the products to come back in stock depending on how long it will take the retailer to fulfill a request. Consumers indicated if they want a product badly enough they would not have a problem contacting the retailer’s customer service or contact centers to check on local in-store availability. Not only is in-store availability important to a consumer, but the demand of cross-channel inventory weighs-in heavily as well.

The report finds that 56% of consumers will continue shopping with a retailer as long as they receive the best price offered – regardless of channel. What consumers are really paying attention to is the lack of consistent/informed information across channels. Consumers expect store associates to be knowledgeable on all channel promotions, similarly, they expect contact center agents to be aware of both in-store and online promotions and offerings. Consumers revealed that when they asked questions of one channel about the other, 75% of respondents indicate they get incorrect information at least occasionally, if not frequently.

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S.Krishnan says:
May-08-2014 02:38 pm

http://bit.ly/1hrViqk
Interesting details from the survey. Customers certainly look to their comfort zone when it comes to shopping and retailers adopting a multichannel approach will do well in gaining customer satisfaction. Also leveraging new and innovative technologies will go a long way in ensuring the desired results are met. I work for McGladrey and there's a whitepaper on our website that offers good information on the above topic that readers of this article will find interesting " The one constant in retail is change " @ http://bit.ly/1hrViqk

S.Krishnan says:
May-08-2014 02:38 pm

Interesting details from the survey. Customers certainly look to their comfort zone when it comes to shopping and retailers adopting a multichannel approach will do well in gaining customer satisfaction. Also leveraging new and innovative technologies will go a long way in ensuring the desired results are met. I work for McGladrey and there's a whitepaper on our website that offers good information on the above topic that readers of this article will find interesting " The one constant in retail is change " @ http://bit.ly/1hrViqk

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