Insights

Retail 2015: Five Trends to Expect

BY CSA STAFF

Here are five retail trends to expect in 2015 — and the opportunity each trend presents — from the folks at T1Visions, a provider of interactive touch-screen technology.

1. Stores as Experiences = opportunity to create new ways to interact with product; focus on experience over the sale; customize the experience whenever and wherever possible.

2. Stores as Digital Showrooms = opportunity to blend online and in-store inventory into one seamless, “endless aisle” shopping experience, with little inventory actually housed on-site.

3. Stores as Fulfillment Centers = opportunity to implement creative ways to pick-up inventory featuring kiosks, self-serve lockers, drive-thrus and more. Buy online, pick up in store is here to stay.

4. The Death of the Checkout = opportunity to reimagine traditional POS systems and repurpose real estate within the store.

5. Revamped Role for Associates = opportunity to better educate associates; provide them more sophisticated + clienteling technology to make the customer’s visit more valuable and time- sensitive.

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REAL ESTATE

GNC plans 125 net new domestic stores in 2015

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pittsburgh – GNC Holdings Inc. is looking to 2015 as a year of expansion. The retailer plans to open 125 total net new domestic (including both company-owned and franchised stores) and retail segment locations, approximately 150 net new international franchise locations, and approximately 30 net new GNC-Rite Aid store-within-a-store locations.

GNC announced its store growth plans as part of its fourth quarter 2014 financial results. During the quarter, net income rose 9% to $51.77 million from $47.66 million. A decrease in interest expense drove the rise in profits.

GNC also reported consolidated revenue of $607.2 million, a decrease of 0.7% from $611.5 million. Same-store sales declines of 3% in domestic corporate stores and 2.6% in domestic franchise stores, as well as declining manufacturing/wholesale sales, drove the overall revenue decline.

"I am very excited about 2015,” said Mike Archbold, CEO. “We will be focused on a number of important initiatives, including our brand evolution, product introductions, effective marketing and customer-focused decision making throughout the organization, which is the result of our cultural transformation. In 2015 we expect to see retail product margin improvements, improved marketing effectiveness, measured growth internationally, and working capital improvement."

During the full fiscal year, net income fell 3% to $255.87 million from $265.02 million. Revenue dropped 1% to $2.61 billion, from $2.63 billion.

For the full fiscal year 2015, GNC s forecasting a mid-single-digit increase in consolidated revenue, based on achieving a low-single-digit increase in domestic company-owned same store sales, including the impact of GNC.com.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

NRF urges White House action on West Coast ports

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – As the Pacific Maritime Association prepares to shut down U.S. West Coast ports from Feb. 13-16, the National Retail Federation (NRF) is issuing a public statement asking for direct White House intervention.

“The continued intransigence by labor and management to reach a new contract is unacceptable,” Jonathan Gold, VP for supply chain, NRF, said in the statement. “Retailers and the rest of the supply chain are frustrated beyond belief.

“The slowdowns need to end. The brinkmanship needs to stop. The ILWU and PMA are delaying cargo and merchandise in the short-term while harming the competitiveness of the West Coast ports in the long-term. This stalemate is hurting American businesses, their employees and consumers.

“If the ILWU and PMA are serious about reaching a new labor contract, they need to remain at the table. It’s time for the White House to immediately engage in this critically-important economic priority and force the two sides to remain at the negotiating table until a deal is done. The time for monitoring has passed. The time for action has come.”

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