STORE SPACES

Department store retailer is reopening San Juan location

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Nordstrom is preparing to reopen a store damaged last fall during Hurricane Maria.

Nordstrom rebuilt its two-story, 138,000 sq. ft. department store located in the Mall of San Juan in Puerto Rico. The store has been closed since fall 2017, due to severe damage from Hurricane Maria. The new store, which will feature three shoe departments, expansive cosmetics and accessories areas, as well as three restaurant concepts, will open on Friday, Nov. 9.

Nordstrom is currently hiring 90 local employees to fill sales and restaurant roles. It is also filling support positions, including those in alterations, building services, housekeeping and loss prevention.

All employees will work under a new store manager, Yazmin Rivera. Rivera began her career with Nordstrom in 2015 as part of the initial opening of the store at The Mall of San Juan. She has served as interim store manager since November 2017, where she supported the store’s rebuilding efforts. Prior to Nordstrom, Rivera held a variety of retail roles across San Juan.

“We’re pleased to be able to reopen our doors in Puerto Rico,” said Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom stores. “We have many loyal customers on the island and we continue to believe there’s opportunity for us to do business there.”

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H&M reportedly testing new concept store

BY CSA Staff

H&M’s newest location could help it better connect with local shoppers.

The fast-fashion retailer is piloting a store in its hometown of Stockholm, Sweden, that features merchandise and services that cater to local tastes, according to Reuters.

The new location is a far cry from H&M’s traditional stores. The new concept features a smaller range of selected clothes displayed on airy shelves and tables in color-coordinated sections. The location also offers shoppers espressos and invitation-only events, the report explained.

The layout and merchandise is based on the expectations of local customers, according to Reuters, a move that shifts from offering relatively standardized assortments across its stores. The change was prompted by two years of sluggish sales and the burden of $4.1 billion of unsold stock.

To read more, click here.

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IoT monitoring improves U.K. retailer’s operating efficiency

BY Marianne Wilson

The largest food retailing co-op in the United Kingdom, Co-op, is reaping the benefits of using Internet of Things (IoT) devices and monitoring software for remote equipment monitoring, predictive maintenance and control of the refrigeration units across its more than 2,500 convenience and food stores.

The retailer’s IoT solution, from global software company Accruent, includes enterprise asset management and site compliance, refrigerant management, remote monitoring and control, energy management. Co-op also uses Accruent’s ad-hoc reporting module and several web services for integrations across its portfolio.

Prior to implementing the automated system some two years ago, Co-op employees in each individual store had to manually monitor the temperature of every single refrigeration unit twice a day for legal requirements. (In some instances, food was going bad because the associates weren’t getting to the units in time.) They also had to manually create a work order every time service was needed on a refrigeration unit.

The Accruent solution automates the work that was previously done manually. It has reduced manually-raised work orders, giving store employees more time to spend with customers and generally making their jobs easier. Units can now be automatically monitored 24/7, seven days a week, 365 days a year, improving on logistic difficulties.

Another benefit is that Co-op’s refrigeration assets are now in a continuous improvement cycle.

“Co-op has changed 49,000 set points across 65,000 cabinets [refrigeration units] to ensure they are within the manufacturers’ specified bandwidth,” explained Ed James, central services performance manager, Co-Op.

Justifying Investment: Creating an economic justification for implementing an IoT solution is still a challenge for many retailers. Co-op relied on two major considerations to justify the project’s ROI and get it green-lighted. One was the elimination of the need to manually monitor every single refrigeration unit in the portfolio, twice a day, to meet regulatory and legal requirements.

“Our IoT project gave Co-op the opportunity to be on equal footing with larger convenience retailers who don’t have to do manual checks of their refrigeration equipment each hour of the day during operating hours,” said Ian Smithyman, Co-op’s head of contract management and service improvement.

The second consideration was reducing food waste by advising store associates to remove food stock when units were outside design temperature.

Although it was expected that the Accruent solution would take a year to implement, the system was up and running in only five months, so the cost-savings started flowing in quicker than expected. Once the application was live, Co-Op’s facilities managers saw more issues being flagged than had been manually reported in the past. For instance, more units were operating outside their designed temperature, meaning their supply chain had a bigger workload than expected. Alerted by the new system, the managers were able to fix the problem before it became an even bigger one, helping to ensure that customers’ shopping experience is not negatively impacted by out-of-service equipment.

Co-op was also able to come up with new processes in dealing with nuisance alarms so that store visits by engineers are now needed only when there are real issues. The system’s central dashboards provide data and insights into when alarms are created at certain times of the day, which in turn allows their service providers to schedule engineering resources correctly.

Prior to the IoT solution, engineers would typically work a 6 am to 2 pm shift. Now, they work throughout the day in staggered shifts, seven days a week, based on forecasted demand to ensure they can attend to alarms at the correct time.

In another important benefit, Co-op is also now able to hold their contractors to account more closely. The reliability of the PPM’s can now be looked at in forensic detail and performance can be benchmarked.

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