REAL ESTATE

Uniqlo USA announces five new stores for spring/summer

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Uniqlo will continue its expansion in the United States by opening five stores this spring/summer, including its first-ever location in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.

The five new Uniqlo stores scheduled to open in spring/summer are:

  • King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pa.;
  • Stamford Town Center in Stamford, Conn.;
  • Serramonte Center in Daly City, Calif.;
  • Sunvalley Shopping Center in Concord, Calif., and
  • Great Mall of the Bay Area in Milpitas, Calif.

“We are thrilled to announce our newest store openings and are eager to bring the Uniqlo experience to even more communities throughout the United States,” said Larry Meyer, CEO of Uniqlo USA and Fast Retailing Group senior VP.

Currently there are 17 Uniqlo stores in the United States: three in New York City, five in New York State, three in New Jersey, one in Connecticut, and five in the San Francisco-Northern California area.

In the fall of 2014, Uniqlo plans to debut in new markets including downtown Philadelphia, Boston, and Los Angeles-Southern California.

In addition, Uniqlo announced that it will close the second floor of its 5th Avenue store in New York City for renovations and will reopen the section in March. Customers will be able to shop the other floors during construction.

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News

The Limited extends partnership with First Insight

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – The Limited is extending its partnership with predictive analytics provider First Insight, Inc. to help make faster and more accurate design, buying and pricing decisions, thereby reducing markdowns and mitigating risks associated with new product introductions.

First Insight engages The Limited customers through online social engagement tools to gather real-time data on new products. This data is filtered through First Insight’s predictive analytic models to determine which products present the greatest opportunity.

“By using First Insight to identify more winning products and price them correctly, our business will continue to increase its speed to market with the right styles at the right price”, said Diane Ellis, CEO of The Limited. “The accuracy and scalability of the First Insight platform will drive our expanded approach to value delivery, including pricing and promotion.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Mobile shopping grows, app usage varies

BY Dan Berthiaume

Vancouver, British Columbia — Mobile shopping continues to grow at a rapid pace, with an increasing number of mobile shoppers embracing Internet retailer apps, social shopping apps, and brick-and-mortar retail apps to enhance their shopping experience. However, new research prepared by Yankee Group for mobile analytics firm Mobdia Technology shows usage of these apps varies widely depending on many factors, including the type and quality of the mobile app.

Social shopping applications such as Shopkick and Groupon drove the highest level of application engagement at 49%, while Internet retailers such as Amazon and eBay followed closely with 47%. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers such as Walmart and Kohl’s trailed with 43%, but had the largest distribution of engagement results with some companies well above the average.

Apps offering customer services to enhance the mobile shopping experience drove more engagement. For example, Kohl’s and H&M engagement, at 73% and 61% respectively, was higher than most apps in all segments. The apps for both of these companies offer features other than just purchasing options, such as inventory checks, rewards, and look books.

The impact of app quality and experience is also apparent when engagement is reviewed on an OS basis. Many mobile apps in this study offer different experiences and qualities in their Android and iOS versions and the engagement metric results clearly show iOS apps benefiting from better applications.

"Mobile shopping is all about mobile applications and the data clearly shows the correlation between high app quality with enhanced user experiences and higher shopper engagement and usage," said Sheryl Kingstone, director of enterprise services at Yankee Group. "Retailers that want to drive more engagement with mobile shoppers need to understand what apps are being used, not just downloaded, and the features of those apps that are driving the increased usage. Tracking and measuring these metrics on a regular basis and benchmarking the results to the competition is key to a retailer’s success"

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