REAL ESTATE

Seafood chain to open 10 new locations

BY Al Urbanski

Captain D’s, which introduced fast-casual seafood to Tennessee nearly 50 years ago, continues to expand at a quick pace.

The Nashville-based chain announced this week that four new locations are planned for the Mobile-Pensacola market in the next five years and five new stores are planned for San Antonio. It added that a new franchisee will open a location in the Jackson, Tennessee, market this year, with more to follow.

Last month the chain opened its second location in Baton Rouge, a company-owned store.

With 521 restaurants in 21 states, Captain D's claims that it is the fast-casual seafood leader and top U.S. seafood franchise by average unit volume. It came in at No. 79 on Restaurant Business’s most recent listing of the top 500 quick-service restaurant chains.

Captain D's is in the process of making over its restaurants with a new beach design and reports being nearly 60% complete.


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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Customers most satisfied with these appliance retailers

BY Marianne Wilson

Best Buy ranks highest in customer satisfaction in the $24 billion-plus appliance market.

That's according to the J.D. Power 2017 Appliance Retailer Satisfaction Study. With a score of 857, Best Buy came out on top, ahead of Lowe's (840), The Home Depot (839), Hhgregg (831) and Sears (828). Overall satisfaction with appliance retailers in 2017 is 838 points, up from 821 in 2016.

The study found that having sales staff greets customers promptly has the greatest impact on customer satisfaction. The other key performance indicators (in order of importance) are having the salesperson thank a customer for the purchase; and a neatly arranged appliance display. When each of these top three indicators are met, 50% of customers say they "definitely will" repurchase from the retailer. When only two are met, that percentage drops to 29%. When just one KPI is met, the percentage drops even further to 17%.

“Staying true to such sales basics as customer greeting, appreciation and clean displays are proving to be important aspects related to increased customer satisfaction," said Greg Truex, senior director of the at-home practice at J.D. Power. "By training staff to be attentive to both customer and visual details, retailers may be able to keep those loyal customers and increase sales as the market increases over the next few years."

From the initial in-store greeting to receiving assistance from a store employee, timeliness is the key to customer satisfaction, as the expectation for these interactions to occur is two minutes or less. Customer satisfaction drops significantly from 881 (on a 1,000-point scale) to 834 when the initial greeting takes more than two minutes.

It is also critical for store employees to respond in a timely manner when a customer asks for help. Similarly, overall satisfaction declines significantly when a customer waits more than two minutes to be assisted, compared with waiting less than two minutes (830 vs. 870, respectively).

Following are some loyalty findings of the study:

• Among delighted customers (overall satisfaction scores of 901 and above), 69% say they "definitely will" repurchase from the retailer, compared with the overall study average of 39%.

• Nearly three-fourths (74%) of delighted appliance retailer customers say they "definitely will" recommend the retailer to others, compared with the overall study average of 43%.

• Among delighted customers, the average number of positive recommendations is 4.0, compared with the overall study average of 2.7.

Now in its 10th year, the Appliance Retailer Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction with appliance retailers by examining seven factors (in order of importance): sales staff and service; store facility; price; delivery service; sales and promotions; merchandise; and installation service. The study is based on responses from 2,822 customers who purchased major home appliances from a multiregional appliance retailer within the previous 12 months.

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE/ANALYTICS

Vineyard Vines uses social media data to drive sales

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The brand best known for its smiling pink whale logo is improving pricing, design and buying decisions by using an innovative data source.

By partnering with First Insight, Vineyard Vines will leverage the company’s online social engagement tools to gather real-time product pricing and sentiment data from its customers. This information will then be analyzed by First Insight’s predictive models.

Results will enable Vineyard Vines to more quickly and accurately make design, buying and pricing decisions that improve sales, margins and inventory turnover both in stores and online. Specifically, “the voice of the customer” will help the retailer increase speed to market with the right styles, targeted to their core customer.

“Through First Insight’s predictive analytics, we will gain visibility into our customers’ preferences in a way that hasn’t been possible for us before,” said Mike Gaumer, president of Vineyard Vines.

The retailer validated the solution’s return on investment (ROI) by measuring a direct increase in online conversions and full-price sales. “Ultimately, First Insight is helping us deliver on two of our corporate goals; building great relationships with our customers and driving profitable sales,” Gaumer added. “By bringing winning products to market that align with the needs of our distinct customer base, we will increase traffic both in-store and online while engaging our customers more effectively.”

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