OPERATIONS

Neiman Marcus tops in…

BY Marianne Wilson

An upscale luxury department store has the happiest employees.

Neiman Marcus, followed by AT&T and Foot Locker, topped the list of the retail companies with the happiest employees in a ranking by CareerBliss, a leading jobs website. The Happiest Retail Employers for 2017 survey evaluated thousands of independent company reviews and analyzed the key factors that affect employee happiness.

“The holidays are a wonderful time of the year, and customers want their shopping experience to reflect the joy of the season – online and in-store,” said Heidi Golledge, co-founder of CareerBliss. “Neiman Marcus has proved to provide a positive work environment for their employees, which translates to a positive experience for anyone who visits their store or online shop.”

CareerBliss’ data evaluates the key factors that impact happiness at work including: work-life balance, senior management, compensation, benefits, job security, employee tasks, company culture and work environment. The results are generated from Career.Bliss.com review submissions and serve to provide insight into employers. Employees rank factors on a scale of 1-5.

All of the retailers in the top 10 share common traits that drive high BlissScores, including positive relationships with coworkers, room for career growth, support from senior management, and a positive company culture.

Here are the Top 10 retailers in CareerBliss’ Happiest Retailers in America 2017:

Rank Company BlissScore
1 Neiman Marcus 3.961
2 AT&T 3.887
3 Foot Locker 3.879
4 Ace Hardware 3.876
5 Apple 3.852
6 Costco 3.793
7 H&M 3.769
8 Advance Auto Parts 3.763
9 Ikea North America 3.728
10 The Gap 3.716

* BlissScore accounts for overall ranking of 10 factors for work happiness on a scale of 1-5. Minimum of 5 reviews per company.

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Discount giant adds preferred service provider to exclusive team

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Walmart is welcoming a new provider into its invitation-only provider program.

Walmart recently launched its Walmart Merchandising Service Program, an internal program that leverages a limited number of companies to manage merchandising operations in nearly 5,000 Walmart U.S. stores. SAS Retail Services is the newest company to join the retailer’s team of preferred service providers (PSPs).

The program, which centralizes supplier displays and other services across the chain, is focused on driving higher sales, lowering costs, increasing efficiencies, and improving the customer experience for Walmart shoppers. With SAS on board, Walmart will gain a customized in-store program will combine state-of-the-art technology and reporting, as well as dedicated resources “to ensure timely and accurate execution of their retail merchandising vision,” said Michael Bellman, president, SAS Retail Services.

Specifically, SAS will deliver a wide range of services, including modular/category resets, display execution, stocking, product assembly, product recall, fixture/equipment installation, POS signage installation, quality control compliance and customer and associate engagement, among others. All services are designed to help raise brand awareness for the consumer packaged goods (CPGs) doing business at Walmart.

SAS is one of only five PSPs involved in the program, according to Walmart.

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J.Boehmer says:
Dec-05-2017 02:28 pm

Who are the other 4 PSPs?

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Accenture: Retailers need to move away from cost sourcing obsession

BY Marianne Wilson

As sourcing costs rise, fast-fashion retailers are struggling to stay competitive. But many are taking the wrong approach.

Retailers looking to combat challenges by shifting sourcing and production to more cost-effective markets are chasing a temporary fix to a bigger problem, according to a new research report from Accenture. Retailers that take this route risk damaging operational performance, product quality and corporate social responsibility.

“Consumers have more transparency and choice than ever resulting in an extremely competitive environment for brands and retailers who cannot afford any shortfalls with regard to latest trends, at most competitive prices, technical innovation, quality, and most appealing overall assortment structures,” the report stated.

The report advises retailers need to move away from a sourcing cost obsession. Instead, they should focus on reinventing their operating model to uncover value in their supply chains.

Key insights from Accenture’s 13th Global Souring Reference study include:
Country cost-shifting isn’t the answer to long-term growth:  While shifting sourcing volume to more cost-effective countries (i.e. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Western China, Cambodia) might hint a way out of the gross margin trap, this is but a temporary fix as all sourcing countries become more expensive.

Technology’s role in uncovering value: Digital technologies can enable better collaboration, visibility and control across the entire value chain, improving product innovation, time to market, reliability, execution and quality. And technology will be a key enabler in helping retailers realize improvements in sell-through performance, stock turns, markdown, and gross margins.

Top priorities for global sourcing leaders: Speed-to-market is the number one priority for global sourcing leaders, followed by social and environmental compliance, quality and innovation management.

Cost challenges only set to worsen: As consumer demand for personalized and customized fashion rises, retailers and fashion brands will need to find a way to serve this market on a mass scale, all while keeping costs down.

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