Survey: Store retailers leaving money on table
Disappointing shopping experiences are costing brick-and-mortar retailers serious money.
That’s according to the recent TimeTrade State of Retail 2017 survey, whose results suggest that U.S. retail stores left about $150 billion in potential revenue on the table in 2016 by failing to offer shoppers the personalized shopping experiences they want.
Respondents said that, on average, they would increase their in-store spending by 4.7% if they received better, more personalized service from retailers.
“Just imagine the positive financial impact on brick-and-mortar retailers if revenue jumped by 5%,” said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of TimeTrade. “A renewed focus on providing shoppers with a better, more personal in-store experience would go a long way toward stemming the tide of defection to competitors and online sellers.”
Nearly half (49%) of survey respondents said they “never” or only “sometimes” receive what they consider to be personalized service. In fact, 70% of the time they shop they said they “never” or only “sometimes” can find a sales associate when they need assistance. Seventy-one percent of consumers surveyed said they sometimes or always abandon dressing rooms and leave stores if they can’t obtain help with sizes, color, etc.
On the other hand, 88% said that when helped by knowledgeable associates they are “somewhat likely” or “extremely likely” to make the purchase.
Despite the continued growth of online shopping, 82% of respondents said they still do half or more of their shopping in physical stores (excluding grocery stores). Even when an item is available online — as well as in a nearby store — 75% respondents said they preferred to buy from the physical store.
When asked what they value most when shopping in a retail store, respondents cited prompt service (47.3%), personalized experiences (26.2%) and smart recommendations (17.2%) the most. To improve service, 64% said they would like to schedule in store appointment (from any device) with a retail associate at a time most convenient to them.
MILLENNIALS: Millennials said they would enjoy improved shopping experiences if provided personal assistants/shoppers (45%), beacon technologies (31%), and organized systems with wait-time displays and text/email updates when their turn is near (29%).
“In store shopping is far from dead — but it does have to change to keep up with the trends,” Ambrosino said. “These survey results show that people definitely like shopping in stores so they can touch and feel products, and because they enjoy receiving prompt, personalized service. The key to success for brick-and-mortar retailers is to fully utilize their existing staff and relentlessly focus on providing personalized service to every customer across the board and capture that additional revenue, instead of letting those dollars go elsewhere.”
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Specialty retailer breaks into Canada
Destination XL is expanding its presence in North America.
The male apparel retailer is opening its first Canadian store in Ajax, Ontario. The 5,028-sq.-ft. location features more than 100 brands and thousands of styles from top designers, including Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Buffalo Jeans, Nautica, Levi’s and Cole Haan, as well as exclusive brands, such as Brooks Brothers and Lacoste. Private-label brands Harbor Bay, 28 Degrees, Oak Hill and True Nation, round out the assortment, DXL said.
The store is segmented into lifestyle assortments – essentials, active, club, studio, footwear, loungewear/clearance and traditional, streamlining shoppers’ navigation of brands and categories. On-site tailoring is also available.
“We are thrilled to be entering the Canadian market with our first store opening in Ajax, as we look to deliver the unparalleled DXL Men’s Apparel shopping experience to more customers across North America,” said David Levin, president and CEO of Destination XL Group. “We know that our customers who typically wear XL sizes have a harder time finding high-quality clothing and styles that look great and we’re committed to providing them with a superior solution.”
The chain plans to open a second store in April.
Walgreens makes executive moves
Walgreens Boots Alliance on Friday named two executives to the chief marketing officer and chief merchandising officer positions, promoting Adam Holyk and Joe Hartsig, respectively, to those roles.
Both will assume their new roles as of April 1 and report to Alex Gourlay, co-COO for Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Holyk and Hartsig will be succeeding Linda Filler, who was Walgreens Boots Alliance president retail products and chief merchandising and marketing officer, and in February announced her pending departure.
"Adam Holyk, currently a member of the WBA corporate strategy team, will return to Walgreens to lead the marketing organization," Walgreens shared with Chain Store Age sister publication, Drug Store News, in an emailed statement. "Adam began his career with Walgreens in 2011 in the customer insights group, which at the time, was part of marketing. Previously, Holyk held senior roles at dunnhumby, a leading marketing analytics consultancy working with Kroger and Macy's, and Shoppers Drug Mart managing the most successful retailer loyalty program in Canada."
Regarding Hartsig, "[he]will continue in his role leading Walgreens merchandising team, which he has done since August of last year," Walgreen stated. "In addition to leading the merchandising team, he will oversee digital commerce and mobile services with a strategic focus on strengthening the company’s omni-channel capabilities."
Hartsig joined Walgreens in September 2015 as group VP merchandising strategic projects, and led the marketing, loyalty and digital commerce organizations. Prior to this, Hartsig was chief merchandising and marketing officer for Essendant, a Fortune 500 wholesaler of business essentials, and senior VP merchandising at Sam's Club, a division of Walmart.
Hartsig will also have a reporting line into Annie Murphy, chief customer officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Holyk will have a reporting line into Andy Gibson, senior VP, director, global consumer brands for Walgreens Boots Alliance, the Chicago-based retailer noted.