Sycamore Partners to relaunch Coldwater Creek brand as independent company
New York — Sycamore Partners announced Monday that it bought the going-out-of-business Coldwater Creek brand and other intellectual property through an affiliate company during the apparel chain’s bankruptcy proceedings. The private equity firm said it plans to re-launch Coldwater Creek as an independent portfolio company, but it did not give a timeline for the launch.
Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.
"Coldwater Creek is an outstanding brand with a 30-year heritage and strong support from its loyal base of longtime customers," said Peter Morrow, a managing director of Sycamore Partners. "We are excited about adding Coldwater Creek to our growing portfolio of leading retail brands and look forward to reintroducing the brand to the marketplace."
Sycamore’s investment portfolio currently includes Aeropostale, Coldwater Creek, Hot Topic, Jones New York, the Kasper Group, Kurt Geiger, MGF Sourcing, Nine West Holdings, Pathlight Capital, Stuart Weitzman and Talbots.
Survey: Three in four retailers plan to identify customers in-store
Boston — Three in four (75%) retailers can or intend to identify customers when they walk in the store, including 3% who already do so and 72% who are planning to do so within five years. According to the new 2014 CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey of top North American retailers from Boston Retail Partners, 95% of respondents indicated customer experience/ customer engagement is one of their top three current initiatives.
The survey found that with the importance of multiple key marketing initiatives to achieve a seamless shopping experience, retailers need to examine ways to improve the unification of marketing and IT to successfully implement these projects. Many larger retailers have developed a role in the organization that helps bridge this gap, a senior-level role responsible for working with IT to develop a marketing technology strategy and evaluate and implement the technology.
Other key results include:
- 16% of retailers currently have real-time retail from POS (which offers the “Amazon” experience in the store) and another 63% plan to implement within five years.
- 28% of retailers currently use mobile marketing and another 62% plan to implement this within five years (56% plan to implement mobile marketing within two years).
- 81% of retailers have implemented some type of customer database, typically as part of a CRM or loyalty platform.
- 22% of retailers have implemented real-time analytics and 61% plan to implement it within two years.
“To deliver the seamless experience, retailers need to gather, analyze and disseminate customer, product, pricing and inventory data in real-time,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “Leveraging technology, Unified Commerce provides the platform and real-time retail is key to delivering the experience. Retailers that successfully deliver Unified Commerce will understand and adopt a ‘unified’ approach for: strategic customer initiatives, technology, business processes and execution.”
Study: Mobile POS grows rapidly in retail
Franklin, Tenn. — Overall, mobile technology has created a roughly $8 billion industry in retail/hospitality worldwide, with POS a major factor. According to a new study from IHL Research, “Mobile POS: Reaching Escape Velocity – All Systems Go,” tablet POS systems are growing at a more than 300% rate in specialty retailers compared to 2013 levels.
In addition, more than 50% of general merchandise retailers are either piloting or planning to roll out mobile POS during 2014. And 68% of survey respondents expect customer satisfaction levels to increase following a mobile POS rollout.
While most retailers still view mobile POS as an incremental customer touchpoint rather than as a wholesale replacement for fixed POS, retailers expect to purchase 20% fewer traditional POS terminals the next time they upgrade. This is true although IHL data shows that some retailers are reporting decreased customer and employee satisfaction levels once mobile POS is deployed.