ECOMMERCE

Toys ‘R’ Us strengthens global e-commerce capabilities

BY Staff Writer

Wayne, N.J. – Toys “R” Us announced it has strengthened its global e-commerce capabilities with the launch of a dedicated web store in China. The company also announced the development of mobile-optimized sites and apps in 11 markets around the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the U.K. In the coming months, the retailer will introduce the same capabilities in Portugal, Austria and Switzerland, as well as the Netherlands, where it does not currently have a store presence.

“With the launch of our new e-commerce site in China and the addition of mobile shopping capabilities in our international markets, Toys “R” Us is more accessible now than ever before to customers around the globe,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO, Toys “R” Us, Inc. “These initiatives help us advance the company’s international growth and omnichannel strategies, while allowing more customers to shop with us whenever, wherever and however they choose.”

In 2010 and 2011, Toys “R” Us, Inc. experienced double digit growth in its global e-commerce business, and generated $1 billion in online sales last year.

Toys “R” Us’ new mobile capabilities in Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the U.K., include a mobile-optimized website and dedicated applications for iOS and Android. Tablet-optimized sites will be available in select markets, as well. Users have the ability to navigate seamlessly between Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us, allowing them to browse and shop a wide selection of toy and juvenile products as easily on-the-go as they can from their homes.

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The Finish Line accelerates omnichannel commerce with Demandware

BY Staff Writer

Burlington, Mass. — Demandware announced that The Finish Line has launched new e-commerce and mobile commerce sites on the Demandware Commerce platform. The initiative is part of the retailer’s strategic move to a cloud-based digital commerce solution to power its omnichannel strategy. The company will also use Demandware to power Run.com, a specialty brand that focuses on all things running.

The Finish Line’s aggressive omnichannel growth initiatives drove its decision to move away from legacy in-house managed software to Demandware’s flexible and scalable cloud-based solution. With Demandware, Finish Line has a customizable digital commerce platform that enables users to execute highly branded, personalized and consistent consumer experiences across channels. Dermandware’s cloud model eliminates the burden of infrastructure management and provides merchants and marketers with complete control over the user experience and site functionality, empowering them to drive innovation and growth, and accelerate time-to-market.

“Our goal is to transform our business, not just maintain it. We want to drive innovation and propel the business. Demandware reduces operational complexity and puts the power in the hands of our users to create world-class brand experiences. It provides customers a better and faster online experience, rather than having technology get in the way,” said Chris Ladd, executive VP and chief digital officer for Finish Line, which operates more than 640 stores.

The new finishline.com features a new design and enhanced user experience, including:

  • The ability to buy online and pick up at a Finish Line store location;
  • Real-time product inventory information provides accurate availability updates;
  • A mobile shopping site that leverages Responsive Web Design to optimally display on devices;
  • Seamless integration of Finish Line’s Winner’s Circle loyalty program into the shopping cart lets consumers view their points balance at checkout;
  • Enhanced brand landing pages showcase brand-specific content, such as products, offers, promotions, videos and blog posts;
  • Streamlined navigation and search functionality helps consumers locate products more quickly and efficiently; and
  • Flash sales provide exclusive access to new, high-demand merchandise.
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Fancy footwork in the shoe department

BY CSA STAFF

The footwear category is one fire judging from the recent performance of two leading retailers.

Brown Shoe Co., operator of 1,300 Famous Footwear and Naturalizer stores, said its same store sales for the quarter ended October 27 increased 6.8% and adjusted earnings increased 18.3% to $25.9 million or 51 cents a share.

Rival DSW, operator of 364 stores, said its same stores sales for the third quarter ended October 27 increased 6.1% and adjusted net income increased 17% to $46.6 million, or $1.02 per share,.

Brown Shoe president and CEO Diane Sullivan said the company had a solid back-to-school season and favorable business trends were evident throughout the quarter.

"We also saw improvement in sales for both our contemporary fashion and healthy living brand portfolios, as we continued to deliver trend-right products that are must-haves for consumers," Sullivan said.

Accordingly, the company, known for brands such as Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl’s, LifeStride, Sam Edelman, Franco Sarto, Via Spiga, Vera Wang, Vince, Avia and Ryka, raised it full year profit forecast and said it expects same store sales to grow by low single digits.

Brown Shoe’s performance followed an equally impressive showing by DSW where a string of same store sales increases was extended to 13 quarters.

"During the quarter, we opened a record 26 new stores," MacDonald said. "We also paid a special dividend of $2.00 per share to DSW shareholders this quarter, the second such dividend in the last 13 months. Finally, we continued to make strategic investments that will enable DSW to maintain its growth trajectory."

DSW said it expects to open 25 to 30 new stores next year.

Meanwhile, one of the most noteworthy developments in the footwear category involved Macy’s and its flagship Herald Square location in Manhattan. The company last week unveiled what it called the "world’s largest shoe floor," featuring more than 250,000 pairs of women’s shoes on the stores 63,000-sq.-ft. second level.

 

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