Uniqlo creates plan to embark on digital transformation
In a move to attract more specialized information technology specialists, Uniqlo is renovating its digital DNA.
The fast-fashion giant — which doesn't have a reputation as a “cutting edge” digital company and struggles to attract the best IT talent — will undergo a digital transformation. Its first step in this strategy: to hire an army of experienced information technology specialists who can help improve operational efficiency and create innovative systems, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
Once this team is in place, the company plans to focus on big data and artificial intelligence (AI). Specifically, Uniqlo envisions how AI could help factories, distributors and stores understand — with precision — what the customer wants. This insight will also help the chain reduce excessive inventory. Meanwhile, by analyzing big data on consumer behavior, Uniqlo could make recommendations on clothes or deliver the right product at the right time to a specific customer, the report said.
The company is already taking steps to rebrand itself as a digitally-innovative company. Earlier this month, the Japanese retailer announced it would begin rolling out 6-ft.-high vending machines at airports and malls across the United States.
The devices will enable customers to purchase T-shirts and lightweight down jackets. Customers use a touchscreen to select shirt and jacket styles, colors and sizes. Purchases can be made via credit or debit card, and unwanted items can be returned in-store or via mail.
To read more, click here.
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Leslie’s Poolmart CEO to retire
The chief executive of the nation's largest specialty retailer of swimming pool and spa supplies and related products is stepping down.
Leslie's announced that chairman and CEO Lawrence Hayward will be retiring and transitioning from his role as CEO, effective September 30, 2017. He will continue to serve as chairman.
As part of the company's long-term succession plan, Steven L. Ortega, president and COO will succeed Hayward and assume the additional role of CEO, effective October 1, 2017.
Ortega joined Leslie's as CFO in 2005 and has served in his present role since 2015. His career spans 35 years in the retail industry which included a 16-year career at American Stores Company and seven years as executive VP and CFO of BI-LO Supermarkets.
Leslie's markets its products through over 900 retail store and commercial service locations in 35 states, a nationwide mail-order catalog and several internet e-commerce sites, including In The Swim. It is based in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Dyson to set up shop in the U.S.
The British brand best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners, bladeless fans and, most recently, high-tech hair-dryers is expanding its fledgling retail portfolio.
Dyson Ltd. will open a "Dyson Demo" store this fall at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. Also in the works: a store at 640 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and one in San Francisco's Union Square.
Dyson has been exploring different ways to allow consumers to see, and interact with, its growing line-up of products. In August, it launched a partnership with Best Buy, opening in-store shops in some 90 Best Buy stores.
In July 2016, Dyson debuted its Dyson Demo freestanding store concept in London. The sleek, futuristic-looking space, on Oxford Street, is designed to allow shoppers to see and test Dyson’s complete line of products. It also has 64 different dust/dirt samples and four floor surfaces available on which customers can to test vacuum cleaners. The store features a salon-like area where shoppers can have their hair dried and styled with the company’s latest invention: the “Supersonic” hairdryer.
“We think it’s important that people can experience our technology, can see and understand the inside of our technology,” Dyson CEO Max Conze told The Telegraph. “Our products have to be so good that if you try it you intuitively understand it.”
Click here to see photos of the London store.
Toronto in Canada
Just want to point out that Toronto and Yorkdale mall are in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Not the US.