REAL ESTATE

Online fashion subscription retailer JustFab opens its first store

BY Marianne Wilson

El Segundo, Calif. — JustFab, the online fashion subscription retailer, has opened a 3,000-sq.-ft. flagship at the Glendale Galleria, Glendale, Calif. It is the company’s first physical store.

“We have created the global leader in fashion subscription in just three short years and will now bring our customized shopping experience into physical stores to enable customers to touch and feel our products," said co-CEO Don Dom Ressler.

Launched in 2010 as a web-only fashion brand offering women’s footwear, JustFab has since expanded into international markets and into new product categories such as handbags, jewelry, denim and other accessories. It counts over 33 million members worldwide.

"We’ve heard from our members that being able to see and try on products before they buy is still an important part of the shopping experience for them," said co-CEO Adam Goldenberg. "With the JustFab flagship, we are giving current VIP members and new customers a new way to connect with the brand and to experience the JustFab world in person."

JustFab’s retail space was designed to mirror the brand’s online shopping experience, with cohesive, trend-driven collections showcased against sleek white surfaces. Customers are able to shop curated product displays, with trend story videos and in-store personal “stylists” offering inspiration and fashion advice on how to wear the trends featured. Customers can register at the boutique for exclusive VIP member pricing that was previously available online only. Casual shoppers can opt to purchase items at regular retail price.

JustFab has merged technology and fashion at its retail store to deliver an efficient and seamless shopping. The company’s product team custom-engineered a proprietary retail application that maximizes sales floor efficiency, allowing stylists to focus on providing superb customer service. Using the app’s floor activity toolsets, JustFab associates are able to check inventory instantly or to send product requests from anywhere within the boutique on their iPad mini devices, eliminating the need for associates to physically check inventory or pull requested styles from the stockroom. The retail app also makes it easy for stylists to create wishlists for customers, or to get real-time status updates of customer requests.

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OPERATIONS

Staples to open e-commerce development center in Seattle

BY Marianne Wilson

Framingham, Mass. — Staples plans to open a dedicated to e-commerce and engineering center in Seattle that will house teams responsible for driving major initiatives to enhance areas, including next generation digital platforms, personalization, and big-data. It will be the chain’s first office on the West Coast.

“Seattle is an innovation hub rivaling Silicon Valley and features some of the world’s biggest technology companies,” said Faisal Masud, executive VP global e-commerce, Staples. “Staples new Development Center will allow us to tap into the wide range of talented engineering and e-commerce professionals on the West Coast.”

Staples is adding software development, product management, usability, analytics and online merchandising positions as it continues to invest in omnichannel capabilities that let customers shop however and whenever they want, across mobile devices, desktops and stores. The company is currently working on several new e-commerce and mobile commerce initiatives.

“Staples is investing in areas with high concentrations of the e-commerce and engineering talent that will be key to our success,” said Prakash Muppirala, VP e-commerce engineering, Staples. “We will build integrated, collaborative teams with the goal of making the shopping experience easy.”

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FINANCE

Kroger Q2 profit rises 14%

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati — The Kroger C0.’s second-quarter net income rose 14%, helped by lower charges and increased revenue. The supermarket company also lifted the low end of its fiscal 2013 outlook for a key revenue metric.

"Kroger’s strong second quarter results have us on target to deliver the earnings per share growth we promised for the year," said David B. Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.

Kroger earned $317 million for the quarter ended Aug. 17, up from $279 million last year, topping estimates.

The latest quarter included an accounting-related charge of $13 million, compared with a $35 million charge in the prior-year period.

Revenue increased 5% to a better-than-expected $22.72 billion from $21.73 billion, topping Wall Street’s estimate of $22.69 billion.

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