OPERATIONS

Saks names NYC flagship director

BY Staff Writer

New York — Saks Fifth Avenue announced Monday that John Cruz has been named SVP and director of the New York City flagship store, effective April 29.

Cruz currently serves as VP and general manager of the company’s Beverly Hills store. He has worked at the NYC store before – as general manager 2005-2007 and VP and GM 2007-2010.

Cruz replaces Suzanne Stemper-Johnson, who is leaving Saks to pursue other interests.

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Research: American Express and USAA tops in credit card customer experience

BY Staff Writer

Waban, Mass. — Research results released Monday by Temkin revealed that, based on a study of 10,000 U.S consumers, American Express and USAA earned the top spots in the credit card sector.

According to the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings, HSBC was the lowest rated credit card issuer for the third consecutive year.

"USAA and American Express set the pace for customer experience in credit cards while HSBC is a real black sheep in the industry," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner, Temkin Group.

Temkin evaluates three areas of customer experience: functional, accessible and emotional.

The ratings include 10 credit card companies: American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citigroup, Discover, HSBC, U.S. Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo.

Other research highlights included:

  • To earn their shared no. 1 overall status, American Express and USAA both ranked #89 across all industries with a Temkin Experience Rating of 70%. That represents a three-percentage point decline for USAA and an increase of two percentage points for American Express;
  • Capital One was the only other credit card issuer besides HSBC to earn a "very poor" rating, earning the next to lowest score in the industry, 59%; and
  • American Express earned the top functional rating, Discover earned the top accessible rating, and USAA earned the top emotional rating.

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Study: H&M luring the most new customers to its stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Boulder, Col. — More consumers are trying new fashion retailers this year compared to last year – and most are buying when they do. H&M is the retailer that consumers reported visiting for the first time most often, followed by Kohl’s, Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch and Forever 21.

That’s according to a survey of 4,000 consumers by Market Force Information, a global customer intelligence solutions company, which found that 39% had tried a new retailer in the past three months, an increase from 32% in 2011 and 14% in 2010.

Out of the top-ranking retailers in the study, H&M did the best job of attracting new customers for the second time in a row. The Swedish fast-fashion retailer received the highest ranking when the survey votes were indexed to account for number of locations per chain. Kohl’s secured the No. 2 spot, up from its sixth-place finish in Market Force’s previous retail study in late 2011, and Macy’s moved from No. 11 up to third place. Coldwater Creek and White House|Black Market both fell significantly this year from their top-five ranking in 2011.

Market Force also found:

  • Sales/promotions were the leading impetus for those who tried a new retailer — newspaper, TV and magazine ads ranked among the lowest.
  • Consumers were most likely to try a new store when shopping for casual clothing versus business attire.
  • Highly satisfied consumers were six times more likely to recommend a retailer to others. The retailers that delivered a top-notch experience saw the payoff in the cash register. Of the shoppers who reported being highly satisfied by their initial visit, 90% said they made a purchase. The most-bought items were casual clothes, accessories, business apparel and evening wear. Those highly satisfied customers also planned to return – 90% said they would shop at this retailer again within the next 90 days.
  • Social media has lost some of its influence on retailer preferences.

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