STORE SPACES

Self-service fixture helps London Drugs protect fast-moving merchandise

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

London Drugs has a new way to protect — and promote — high-value and fast-moving merchandise.

The drugstore retailer is using a self-service inventory dispenser from InVue that is designed to improve on-shelf availability, and protect merchandise from theft. The product (T1000) allows retailers to protect hanging merchandise while still making it readily available for customers.

Unlike traditional metal hooks or crank-style solutions, the InVue fixture uses a simple push button to help customers dispense one inventory package at a time. A five-second time delay between dispenses also deters thieves, and prevents a criminal from “sweeping” of the entire product line from a display.

The device is designed to increase sales and ensure planogram compliance. But London Drugs was most attracted to the fixture’s ability to protect merchandise.

“Our merchandisers were looking for a solution to address challenges with fast moving consumer goods, specifically razor blades,” said Tony Hunt, the retailer’s general manager of loss prevention. “These high theft items require an on-shelf display mechanism that can achieve some level of crime prevention, but without inhibiting sales.”

While the retailer’s existing solution was effective from a security perspective, it impacted on-shelf availability. This was further compounded by a cumbersome restock process.

Armed with the fixture, London Drugs is better managing merchandise. “We have already seen an impact across both sales and shrink across these high-value items,” he added. “The product’s unique design has helped us to not only enhance the overall look of the merchandise in store, but improve the customer and employee experience.”

Historically, retailers either locked up high value merchandise to reduce shrink, or hung merchandise with no security. While the latter option gives customers easy access to merchandise, it also invites theft.

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STORE SPACES

First Look: bebe, New York City

BY Marianne Wilson

Nearly a year after it closed down its retail operation and shuttered its stores, bebe has re-emerged with a new “lifestyle” concept store.

Located near the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, the store has a modern, elegant look, with a glittering bebe sign made of 38,000 Swarovski crystals.

Other store features include:

• A beauty bar (in partnership with on-demand beauty service beGlammed) where shoppers can have their hair and make-up done on site;

• A personalization bar offering customization on merchandise using Swarovski crystals, patches and embroidery;

• A lounge where Bebe will host interactive discussions and engaging educational events with top influencers and fashion industry insiders.

• In-store iPads for ordering from bebe’s website.

“We are excited about the grand opening of the bebe store and introducing consumers to a new lifestyle concept,” stated Ralph Gindi, COO of Bluestar Alliance, which forged a partnership with bebe stores in 2016 to create new licensees and product extensions for the brand. “bebe is about leading trends in the industry and we have incorporated this concept into the new store by offering the latest fashions, in-store embroidering and beauty services where consumers can leave the store looking fabulous. It’s a fresh perspective to engage our loyal and new consumers of the brand.”

Bebe closed all its retail stores last spring but did not file for bankruptcy. It transferred its intellectual property rights, including licensing revenue and its website, to BB Brand Holdings LLC, an operating subsidiary that is 50% owned by Bluestar Alliance, a brand management company. In June, Global Brands Group Holding Limited announced it was partnering with bebe to relaunch an e-commerce platform and its international brick-and-mortar stores.

For more slideshows, click here.

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STORE SPACES

Caution on LED rebates

BY Marianne Wilson

The Design Lights Consortium implemented a new version of its LED specifications (DLC 4.2) last year. For most LED products, it required improved efficacy (increased lumens per watt). Products that did not meet the specification were removed from the DLC list (as of April 1, 2017).

DLC is very important when rebates come into play, according to BriteSwitch, which help businesses take advantage of rebates and incentive programs, as 70% to 85% of the rebate programs in the U.S. (depending on the product category) require LED products to be DLC approved to qualify for rebates. There is a new level of complexity as each program has different policies regarding the transition to DLC 4.2, advised the company. Numerous rebate programs have said, however, that only DLC 4.2 approved products can be used to qualify for rebates. In these areas, it is crucial to verify the product being used is on the most current DLC 4.2 list.

“It is very important to know your specific rebate program, what they allow, and the qualifications of the product you are using,” BriteSwitch said in a posting on its website. “You have to do your homework which will usually require reading the fine print and calling the rebate implementer. Also, we have noticed many rebate programs recently revising their policy without any notice due to customer feedback so you must stay up to date.”

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