OPERATIONS

Tractor Supply outlines company’s online strategy

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Tractor Supply CEO Greg Sandfort outlined the company’s online strategy, borrowing phrases from other multichannel retailers.

“We have to have our site geared to giving customers the options for any way they like to engage with us,” Sandfort said during the recent Goldman Sachs investor conference.

Sandfort said Tractor Supply, with more than 1,200 mostly rural retail stores around the country, understands that there are “hundreds” of online sources for consumers to buy the things that Tractor Supply sells. But the company has every intention to gain share and grow its online operation.

The company’s online directive is to be an easy, 24/7 source that fulfills customers’ product needs for property ownership and animal ownership.

One interesting observation: 30% of the consumers are coming to Tractor Supply’s website from a mobile device. “That tells me they have some savvy with technology.”

“Never underestimate the social aspect of a website,” he added.

“The power of the social side and how it can drive business longer term and its impression to the consumer is going to be something we all must pay attention to,” he said. “Look for us over the next few years to enhance our customer engagement, buying, shopping and researching products easer.”

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Interbrand Design Forum adds nine associates

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Dayton, Ohio — Retail design and brand strategy firm Interbrand Design Forum has added nine new associates as business continues to grow with key retail and manufacturing clients.

Allen McCormick has been named executive director, overseeing relationships with key client partners. Becky Lau was hired as senior consultant, strategy and analytics. Aaron Stancik is also new to the Strategy & Analytics group where he will serve as a senior consultant working on projects for Michael Hill and FedEx.

In the role of associate director, client services Adam Davis assists with the oversight of projects for some of the firm’s largest clients.

Clare Bottenhorn comes to Interbrand Design Forum from Banana Republic where she was a visual specialist. She joins the team as a graphic designer where she will work on a wide variety of retail projects.
Andrea Hubler is a new addition to the production team, hired as a graphic production designer. As the new BIM manager, Cindy Parvez manages implementation, automation, innovation, evaluation, training, support, software, and standardization for BIM (building information modeling).

Kelly Mikola joins the team as a program manager, client services where she’s working on projects for Kia, Honda, Mazda and Acura.

Preetika Tiwari is a new project coordinator/planner managing rollouts of several major retail brands.

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Halston launches e-commerce site, plans new stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Halston is launching its digital flagship store in more than 80 countries today, including the U.S., and Canada. The vertical e-commerce site will feature Halston Heritage apparel and accessories. The brand is also expanding its physical presence, with plans to expand to more than 20 locations by yearend.

The launch of the online store is a partnership between Halston and Branded Online, an innovative e-commerce provider who developed the proprietary platform, and will manage all back-office functions including fulfillment, distribution and client services. The day-to-day business including merchandising, marketing, brand creative and brand communication will be run by Halston. The site will serve as a complement to the retailer’s ongoing digital strategy, which is designed to strengthen direct communication and interaction with Halston clients and fans through the digital space and social media platforms.

This e-commerce launch follows the rollout of the first Halston Heritage retail stores earlier this year. There are currently seven stores worldwide and the company plans to have more than 20 by the end of the year.

“The launch of Halston’s first e-commerce store is an important milestone for one of America’s most iconic fashion brands,” said Ben Malka, chairman and CEO of Halston “The site will serve as our global flagship and will give us the opportunity to present the brand the way we envision it, while reaching new audiences in new markets across the world.”

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