TECHNOLOGY

Study: Omnichannel moves beyond initiative stages to execution

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The omnichannel evolution has begun — and more retailers are adopting the business strategy to better meet shoppers’ needs.

That’s according to “Retail Insight: Moving Beyond Omnichannel,” a report from SPS Commerce and conducted by Retail Systems Research. The study, which is based on responses from more than 500 retailers, suppliers and logistics firms worldwide, said that more than 35% of retailers are on track with their omnichannel execution, up nearly 200% year-over-year.

Delving deeper into the actions of retail winners (defined as companies growing 4.5% or more annually), this group continues to advance their lead in omnichannel “by forging closer collaboration with their trading community to deliver the speed and consistency across channels that consumers want and expect,” said Nikki Baird, managing partner at Retail Systems Research.

Consumers are definitely calling the shots in this increasingly omnichannel market. In fact, more than 75% of respondents cited consumer demands as the top factor shaping their business over the next five years.

“Shopper demands for a personalized and seamless experience across all channels are outpacing the retail industry’s ability to keep pace,” said Peter Zaballos, senior VP and chief marketing officer at SPS Commerce. “The findings from this year’s industry benchmark report demonstrate the urgency of streamlining order fulfillment, the importance of real-time inventory visibility and the critical role accurate item information plays in delivering an engaging consumer shopping experience.”

Of course, there are still challenges to overcome. For example, order fulfillment execution continues to be difficult due to dramatically increasing order volume and complexity. Specifically, legacy systems are the top factor hindering omnichannel execution among 29% of companies, data revealed.

It is a factor that needs to be solved with 53% of respondents expecting increased online orders; 43% expecting increased item attribute sets; 55% expecting assortment expansion, and 40% planning to increase drop ship vendors, the study said.

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FINANCE

Target lobbies against tax proposal

BY CSA STAFF

Although it’s only one of many tax proposals being floating around, the so-called border adjustment tax has raised a red flag among many retailers.

The CEO of Target Corp., Brian Cornell, recently visited Washington to lobby against the House Republican proposal, according to Fortune, which noted the visit was first reported by Politico.

The National Retail Federation has been outspoken about the impact of the border tax, with CEO Matt Shay saying it could be potentially disastrous," Fortune reported. The NRF expects apparel prices would immediately rise 15% on the first day of such a tax.

Click here to read more.

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Off-pricer expanding

BY Marianne Wilson

Nordstrom Rack is bullish on Chicago.

The retailer announced plans to open a store at Mellody Farm in Vernon Hills, Ill. The property, which is being developed by Regency Centers, is located 30 miles north of downtown Chicago.

The approximately 30,000-sq.-ft. store, scheduled to open in fall 2018, will be the 15th Rack store in Chicagoland following the announcement of new locations in Kildeer, Ill., and Schererville, Ind., which are opening this spring.

The company also operates four full-line Nordstrom stores in the greater Chicago area, including its downtown flagship on Michigan Avenue.

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