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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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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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Target to pay $4 million for overcharging in California

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target Corp. has agreed to pay almost $4 million in fines for overcharging customers at stores in Contra Costa, Sonoma, Marin, Santa Cruz and Fresno counties in California. The payment will settle a complaint filed by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office in conjunction with the district attorneys of the affected counties.

The complaint said that Target charged consumers more money at the cash register than was advertised on price tags in aisles, and also misrepresented the weight of packaged food.

Target admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement. However, the retailer will pay about $3.3 million in fines, $400,000 in investigative costs and $200,000 in consumer restitution. Target will also implement new price compliance procedures in California stores, including weekly manual price audits.

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