TECHNOLOGY

Nominations open for most influential women in retail tech

BY CSA STAFF

Who are the leading women working in retail technology? Chain Store Age is accepting nominations for its annual feature recognizing female executives who are helping to transform the retail industry through technology.

The “Top 10 Women in Retail Tech” will celebrate the achievements of retail executives from all areas of technology. The winners will be profiled in a special section of the January 2018 issue of Chain Store Age, as well as in an online report on chainstoreage.com.

Please email your nomination (and/or any questions) to Chain Store Age technology editor Deena Amato-McCoy at [email protected]. The deadline for submissions is Monday, Nov. 27.

Only women who work in a senior executive role for a retail or tech company are eligible for consideration. All retail sectors are eligible, from supermarkets and discounters to specialty stores and pure online merchants.

The nomination should include:

  •  Nominee’s name, company and professional title; and
  • BRIEF description (bullet points are fine) of why nominee should be considered, including individual’s job scope, most recent accomplishments and any noteworthy ongoing projects.

All nominations will remain strictly confidential.

To see last year’s “Top 10 Women in Retail Tech” report, click here.

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TECHNOLOGY

Nordstrom unveiling new ‘inclusive’ shopping experience

BY Marianne Wilson

Nordstrom is looking to appeal to a broader audience.

The retailer on Monday called on top brands to expand their size ranges by adding more items in sizes 14, 16 and 18, along with smaller sizes zero and 2. Nordstrom also said that it is launching an "extended sizing" initiative, beginning with its new store at Westfield Century City, Los Angeles.

The initiative will kick off in the denim department, which will feature women's mannequins in varying sizes — rather than the typical size 2 —in the denim department to create what the retailer described as a more inclusive shopping experience.

In addition, Nordstrom is integrating all denim sizes together, putting them side by side in one department rather than separating the petite and plus sizes. Participating brands initially include Topshop, Rag &amp Bone and Madewell as well as the company's private label brands Caslon and Halogen.

Looking futher out, Nordstrom expects to have about 40 brands committed to offering extended sizes in multiple categories online, including swimwear, activewear and ready-to-wear in time for the holiday season, with 60 brands on board for spring 2018. The inclusive in-store experience should be in place in 15 stores by spring.

Nordstrom said is not eliminating its existing plus-size or petite departments. Rather it is working toward filling the gaps in sizes and integrating all sizes together on the selling floor.

"We recognize the opportunity to serve customers better by having more sizes," said Tricia Smith, Nordstrom executive VP and general merchandise manager for designer, women's and kids apparel. "Style and fashion apply to everyone. They're not created for a limited group of sizes. We don't view being size inclusive any differently that the need to be more inclusive across the board — whether it's ethnicity, size or body type. In our opinion, petite and plus sizes shouldn't be considered special categories. They're just sizes."

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TECHNOLOGY

Coffee giant pulls the plug on online store

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Starbucks Corp.’s online store has officially closed its virtual doors.

The e-commerce site, which sold Starbucks’ branded merchandise — from mugs and coffee brewers to coffee, tea, and flavored syrups — shut down on Sunday, Oct. 1. The coffee giant decided to close the online store to focus on integrating its physical and digital channels, and to establish stores as destinations, according to Business Insider.

Since announcing the site’s closure in August, the company has been selling merchandise online at 50% off. Since merchandise is no longer available online or via phone orders, the company is encouraging customers to purchase merchandise at their local Starbucks or grocery store. They can also order items through their app and pick them up at their local Starbucks location, the company said on its “FAQ” page.

In September, Starbucks also discontinued its subscription program, a monthly service that introduced members to a samples of Starbucks Reserve coffees.

While local stores are not accepting returns of online Starbucks Store purchase, the company will refund purchases made within 30 days, the company said online.

The decision to close the online store followed Starbucks’ announcement that it would also shutter its Teavana operation. With many of the company’s principally mall-based Teavana retail stores consistently underperforming, the coffee giant said it will close all 379 Teavana stores over the coming year. A majority will close by spring 2018.

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