Walmart in milestone opening
Walmart hit the century mark in terms of training academies.
The retailer on Monday celebrated the grand opening of its 100th U.S. training academy, in Frontage, Edmond. The academies were first introduced in 2016 and have expanded to 40 states.
“Everything we do begins with our associates,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart. “That’s why we have invested in training academies for associates to further develop the skills they need to better serve customers and succeed in today’s retail environment. These investments are paying off for our customers through cleaner stores, friendlier service and faster check-out times.”
Walmart training academies are dedicated facilities where associates receive instruction on retail fundamentals and area specific skills. Since the program launched, the curriculum has expanded training to cover more than 65 positions, including customer service manager, online grocery pickup, and assistant store manager. Associates are trained through a combination of classroom and sales floor exercises, utilizing technology including tablet computers and cloud storage for training materials.
Walmart plans to have a total of 200 academies opened across all 50 states by the end of this summer. Since 2016, more than 52,000 associates have graduated, with more than 225,000 associates on track to complete training in 2017.
Associates who go through training academy programs are able to earn an income while they learn new skills, according to Walmart.
Online menswear retailers growing offline
Two menswear brands founded online are growing their brick-and-mortar operations.
Made-to-measure men’s clothing maker Indochino, which was founded in 2007, plans to open eight new locations in 2017. Three are slated to open in the brand’s home territory of Canada, and five in the U.S.
“This year, we’re almost doubling our showroom network as we focus on significantly expanding our experiential retail model,” stated Drew Green, CEO, Indochino.
Looking further ahead, Indochino plans to open 100 stores in the next five years.
At Indochino’s retail locations, customers are paired with a “style guide” who helps them design their one-of-a-kind suit or shirt. The associates take measurements, assist with fabric selection, and walk shoppers through a vast selection of custom options, including buttons, pockets, lapels and monograms. Each garment is made-to-order and delivered within four weeks.
“We pride ourselves in offering an exceptional experience that is personalized for every customer,” said Green. “Whether he’s helped in a showroom by a Style Guide, follows our intuitive online ordering process at home or switches between the two, we want to simplify tailoring for today’s man and, in the process, make sure he shops with us time and time again.”
Also expanding in the physical space is Untuckit, best known for its signature shirts that are designed to be worn untucked. The brand recently opened its sixth store, in Dallas. Upcoming locations include St. Louis, and King of Prussia, Pa.
Founded online in 2011, Untuckit opened its first store in fall 2015, in downtown Manhattan. In addition to Manhattan and Dallas, the company has stores in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Austin, Texas.
Report: Snapchat geofilter tracks offline purchases
A messaging app launched a new lens that could help drive shoppers through retailers’ doors.
Snapchat’s Snap to Store product is a geofilter that retailers can sponsor.
When Snapchatters use the retailer-specific overlay on their snaps and share it in their story, Snap analyzes who sees those branded snaps and tracks whether users — or their followers — visit the store, according to New York Business Journal.
Retailers that have beta tested Snap to Store include 7-Eleven, Wendy’s and Paramount Pictures. The tool is now available to more brands — and for free, once they’ve spent a certain unspecified amount on the app, the report said.
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