OPERATIONS

Report: Jcrew.com tops in online customer service

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — For the second consecutive month, Jcrew.com ranked No. 1 overall in customer service performance in the Stella Monthly Benchmarks, a ranking of the best online customer service performance in the United States. Rounding out the top five, were the e-commerce sites of Ralph Lauren, L.L.Bean, Kate Spade and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Jcrew.com also showed strength in delivering customer service via email, besting all other retailers in the category. The retailer posted the highest score among other measured companies at issue resolution, meaning the company answered questions completely and did not require further contact.

Each month, StellaService sheds light on the service performance of online retailers within their respective retail categories. The companies are measured across four service areas: phone, email, shipping and returns. phone and email are measured daily, while shipping and returns are measured across multiple orders.

Looking at all 101 companies included in Stella Monthly Benchmarks, the following were the best overall performers within the four service areas measured:

  • Phone: LLBean.com
  • Email: JCrew.com
  • Shipping: SaksFifthAvenue.com
  • Returns: Bloomingdales.com

LLBean.com was best-in-class among all retailers for total-time-to-live-agent via phone, connecting customers in a swift 14 seconds on average. Orders from SaksFifthAvenue.com were received by StellaService Analysts about a day faster than the retailer’s competitors in the Department Stores vertical. And, Bloomingdales.com showed adeptness for speed of returns, processing refunds two days faster than its nearest competitor in the metric.

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News

Kohl’s gears up for holiday shopping season

BY CSA STAFF

Like other retailers, Kohl’s is preparing for the holiday shopping season and plans to hire more than 50,000 people nationwide to support business in stores and growth on Kohls.com.

“Kohl’s customers know to expect great things from us when shopping in our stores or on Kohls.com. In order to ensure we provide excellent customer service during the busiest time of the year, Kohl’s is hiring more than 50,000 associates across the country to maintain the high level of service our shoppers appreciate,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief customer officer. “These additional associates will help us provide an enjoyable and convenient shopping experience to our valued customers.”

Kohl’s anticipates hiring an average of 40 employees per store at its 1,158 stores in 49 states. In addition, the company anticipates hiring approximately 6,400 seasonal positions at distribution centers across the country and approximately 350 seasonal credit operations positions.

Seasonal employees can work anywhere from a few hours to more than 20 hours per week. Typical store jobs include unloading trucks, freight processing, stocking and cash register duties. Hiring began this month, and most jobs will be filled by mid-November. Hiring for holiday positions at the company’s distribution centers began last month. Associates working at distribution centers help ensure Kohl’s products get to the retail stores and into the hands of Kohls.com customers. Associates working in Kohl’s credit operations perform a variety of jobs, including assisting customers with Kohls.com orders.

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REAL ESTATE

Spirit Halloween opens 1,050 locations across North America

BY Marianne Wilson

Egg Harbor Township, N.J. — Spirit Halloween, the largest seasonal Halloween retailer in North America, has officially opened the doors of some 1,050 plus locations in the United States and Canada for the 2013 Halloween season. The company this year is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Spirit stores provide one-stop shopping for everything from top costumes and decor, to accessories and party goods. The stores are feature a variety of interactive displays designed to entertain and — in tune with the season — thrill shoppers.

"For the past 30 years, we’ve led the way in Halloween trends and we’re excited to continue that tradition this year," said Steven Silverstein, President and CEO, Spirit Halloween. "Halloween enthusiasts will find anything and everything needed for the long weekend of celebrations this year. Spirit Halloween offers the widest variety of costume options and best products in the market."

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