FINANCE

RSR Research: Multiple channels produce profits

BY Dan Berthiaume

Walnut Creek, Calif. – A new study from RSR Research concludes that retailers offering multiple selling channels connect more with consumers and are more profitable than retailers operating a single channel. Virtually every cross-channel selling tactic is being employed by retailers more this year than in 2012, with particularly strong growth in mobile.

Other results of “Omni-Channel 2013: The Long Road to Adoption” indicate that creating a consistent customer experience remains the most valued capability for retailers, but 54% of retail respondents indicate that their biggest inhibitor is that they do not have a single view of the customer across channels, and 80% of responding retailers say that 360° of inventory visibility is “very important”

In addition, the study finds that:

  • Omni-channel fulfillment was rated “very important” by 75% of retailers, a 27% increase from 2012.
  • Sixty-six percent of retailers say multichannel customers are significantly (47%) or slightly (29%) more profitable than single-channel customers.
  • The most popular cross-channel retail capability is in-store return of online purchases, with 71% of retailers engaging in this practice.

RSR recommends that retailers stay focused on the total customer experience across all selling environments by first designing the brand experience across all channels, determining the role of digital in the total experience, and aligning the organization to the brand, rather than channels.

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REAL ESTATE

Sears Canada executes landlord transactions on two stores

BY Staff Writer

Toronto — Sears Canada Inc. will enter into a series of transactions related to two stores within shopping centers co-owned by Oxford Properties Group and Alberta Investment Management Corporation that give the co-owners the right to require Sears Canada to vacate the properties by March 2014. The transactions, valued at $191 million, affect stores at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto and at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga.

In addition to the agreement on the two stores, Sears has also agreed to sell an option relating to a third store located at Scarborough Town Centre to the co-owners for financial consideration of $1 million. The co-owners have five years to exercise the option on this property at a fixed total cost of $53 million. All three transactions are expected to be finalized on June 24.

"When transactions such as this become available, we must evaluate the trading value other possible release of these properties is a way to increase the total value of Sears Canada’s holdings,” said Calvin MacDonald, president and CEO of Sears Canada. “In this case, we were presented with an opportunity that gives us a significant financial benefit without changing our plans to improve the business and make Sears more relevant to Canadians.”

Sears said that any employees whose jobs are affected by any store closings will be offered other jobs with Sears Canada in the greater Toronto area.

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R.Orrom says:
Jun-17-2013 07:44 pm

Sears Closing stores
I'm curious , how does closing 2 of your stores in MAJOR shopping malls in the GTA area make Sears more relevant to Canadians. It may improve your business by closing unprofitable stores but I don't understand the "more relevant" part of the statement. I would think it would make Sears less relevant to Canadians especially southern Ontario Canadians

R.Orrom says:
Jun-17-2013 07:44 pm

I'm curious , how does closing 2 of your stores in MAJOR shopping malls in the GTA area make Sears more relevant to Canadians. It may improve your business by closing unprofitable stores but I don't understand the "more relevant" part of the statement. I would think it would make Sears less relevant to Canadians especially southern Ontario Canadians

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OPERATIONS

Eli’s Cheesecake meets traditional goals with new media

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago — Eli’s Cheesecake, which sells cheesecakes and other baked goods from a retail store in Chicago as well as an e-commerce site, uses emerging social media tools to meet traditional marketing goals. At the recent Internet Retailer conference in Chicago, Debbie Marchok, VP of marketing for Eli’s Cheesecake, reviewed how the retailer meets the four traditional marketing goals of attention, interest, desire and action with social media.

“We gain attention with fans, followers, visitors and views,” said Marchok. “Interest is driven with clicks, retweets, likes and shares. We generate desire with email, downloads and customer reviews, and create action with buys and endorsements.”

To help meet these goals, Marchok said Eli’s Cheesecake uses social media to tell the brand story.

“We discuss cakes, ingredients and our community efforts,” she stated.

Marchok said the retailer also responds to every single customer engagement made via social media. Seven full-time employees manage social media activities across 12 channels, including email.

“Email is a big part of social media,” she said.

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