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Survey finds big ‘expertise gap’ among retail sales associates

BY Marianne Wilson

Salt Lake City — Consumers value salesperson expertise above all else, but they often find such expertise lacking, according to eXperticity’s first-ever Retail Buying Experience survey. The study found a striking expertise gap among sales associates in five retail areas: outdoor, sporting goods, hunting or fishing, health and nutrition, and prestige beauty.

When asked to rate which services consumers most desire and value from retail sales associates, the top four were:

1. Product knowledge (73%);
2. Help selecting the correct product (71%);
3. Category knowledge (69%); and
4. Help finding alternatives when the first choice is not available (68%).

The Retail Buying Experience survey shows that consumers still fundamentally want helpful expertise from retail sales associates to guide buying decisions while many of today’s retailers have opted for low-cost employees, forcing buyers to turn elsewhere for information,” said Tom Stockham, CEO of eXperticity. “This research clearly shows that consumers are not happy having to do all the research themselves and crave retail to play a hands-on role with their buying decisions.”

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Report: Penney says sales are improving

BY Staff Writer

New York — J.C. Penney Co. on Monday reassured investors that sales trends are improving and reaffirmed its forecast calling for positive same-store sales results in the third quarter, Reuters reported.

The comments were made by Myron Ullman, Penney’s CEO, at the Women’s Wear Daily conference on Monday.

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Hudson’s Bay names chief marketing officer

BY Marianne Wilson

Toronto — Hudson’s Bay Company has appointed Michael Crotty as executive VP, chief marketing officer, Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor. He will be responsible for the overall marketing strategy for Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor.

Crotty has more than 25 years multichannel retailing and brand management marketing experience For the last 10 years, he has held progressively senior positions at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and, most recently, Nordstrom.

In other appointments, Hudson’s Bay named Russ Hardin as senior VP, chief creative officer, Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor.

Hardin has strong domestic and global branding experience with such luxury and mid-tier retailers as Saks, Avon Products, Lord & Taylor and, most recently, Kohl’s Department Stores, in addition to running his own brand development agency. In his new role, Hardin will be responsible for building all creative elements for Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor, as well as the leadership of social media, PR and events.

Crotty and Hardin will be based in both Toronto and New York, with teams in both markets supporting their respective banners.


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