REAL ESTATE

Retail Rap: Downsizing may mean compromising brand

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Retail real estate columnist Jeff Green has unveiled his newest opine on Chain Store Age’s real estate community website, discussing the impact – both positive and negative – that reducing a store footprint could have on a store’s brand.

In his latest column, “Big Names, Smaller(er) Stores,” Green suggested that big players such as Wal-Mart and Target are “clearly trying to shake things up in order to have a little bit more flexibility and, in some cases, get a foothold in urban areas, but it seems like they’re making some strong compromises to do it.”

To read Green’s column, click here.

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Munchkin honored by Target for excellence

BY CSA STAFF

Target has awarded its 2010 Partner Award of Excellence to Munchkin, a designer and manufacturer of clever infant and toddler products. Target presents the award to select companies across various companies. Munchkin took home the top honor in the newborn/infant/toddler category.

“At Munchkin, we strive to provide parents with clever products that make their lives easier. Our retail partnerships are incredibly important to our brand, as they make our line of innovations more accessible to consumers. We are honored to be recognized by Target for our quality and high standards.”

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Poised for online improvement in the fall

BY CSA STAFF

Target ranked 49th on a list of the nation’s 100 largest online retailers based on an annual assessment conducted by the research firm ForeSee Results. The firm said that customer satisfaction with e-tailers is at an all time high with an overall median score of 78 on a scale of 100. Target scored a 78 compared with top-ranked Amazon.com at 86 and bottom ranked RueLaLa.com at 70. The company could make a major move up the ranking by this time next year as a major relaunch of Target.com is planned for this fall just as millions of shopper head online for holiday shopping.

Nearly one-third of the rated e-retailers scored 80 or higher, the threshold at which ForeSee regards a company as a top performer, up significantly from 2007 when only four websites were considered top performers. Moreover, not a single e-retailer scored below 70. Just two years ago, 15% of the top 100 retailers scored 69 or lower.

“Over the last seven years, we’ve really seen an industry mature from a huge range of satisfaction scores to a relatively narrow range,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. “However, it’s important to remember that these scores are for only the top 100 e-retailers, and a lot of smaller retailers still struggle with prioritizing the online customer experience. Understanding the relationship between customer satisfaction and purchase behavior should be a powerful motivator to measure and improve online customer satisfaction.”

The report, which can be downloaded at www.foreseeresults.com looked at retailers in categories and trade channels such as apparel/accessories, books/music/video, computers/electronics, food/drug, mass merchant, specialty/non-apparel, auto parts/accessories, flowers/gifts, hardware/home improvement, health and beauty, housewares/home furnishings, jewelry, office supplies, sporting goods and toys/hobby.

Survey results were based on 22,000 visits to the top 100 e-commerce sites as determined by Internet Retailer‘s Top 500 Guide.

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