MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Retailers struggle with omnichannel commerce

BY Dan Berthiaume

Paris – Most retailers (65%) struggle with getting omnichannel commerce right and cite underperforming technology, changing IT trends and the complex organizational infrastructure as the primary reasons. According to a recent survey from Ipanema Technologies, retailers see the customer-centric experience as including excellent customer service (58%), fast transactions (55%) and interchangeable purchase channels (49%), but only 35% of respondents describe their customer experience as excellent.

Technology issues most retailers cite as impediments to omnichannel commerce include a sprawling IT infrastructure (74%), business pressure to provide technology innovation (71%) and cost pressures. In addition, companies are wrestling with a host of IT priorities such as cloud deployment (57%) and mobile application development (55%), supply chain optimization (54%), increasing bandwidth (52%) and server virtualization (52%), all requiring network design changes.

The majority (76%) of retailers recognize the importance of excellent application performance but lack confidence in the ability of their IT infrastructure to deliver it (78%), roll out new applications (78%) or manage application service level agreements (77%).

In addition, retailers believe that guaranteeing consistent and high levels of application performance can have a major impact on customer/shopper satisfaction (54%), employee productivity (50%), brand reputation (49%) and company financial targets (41%) In fact, if retailers made significant improvements to their omnichannel approach by the end of the year, more than half would expect to see an increase in sales (55%), increased market share (47%), positive word of mouth (47%) and cost savings (46%).

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REAL ESTATE

American Eagle to open three U.K. stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pittsburgh – American Eagle Outfitters Inc. is entering the U.K. with the opening of three new company-owned stores. The stores will be located in the Bluewater mall in Kent, England, as well as the Westfield Group’s London and Stratford City shopping centers in London, England.

The stores opening in the Westfield centers will include an aerie presence in shop-in-shop form. All of the stores are expected to open during fall 2014.

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REAL ESTATE

Report: Blank Label opens Boston store; plans six new locations

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston – Specialty men’s apparel retailer Blank Label opens its second store in the Downtown Crossing neighborhood of Boston on June 30. According to CNBC, Blank Label, which opened as an online-only retailer in 2009 and opened its first store in Boston in 2013, plans to open six more new physical stores on the East Coast by 2016.

Blank Label provides custom-made menswear and utilizes physical stores as showrooms, with no inventory. Since opening its first brick-and-mortar location, Blank Label increased its daily shipments from roughly 20 to almost 100, with 60% of the growth coming from in-store orders.

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