News Feature | January 13, 2014

From Super Saturday: The Changing Landscape Of Retail

Source: Retail Solutions Online
Jim Roddy

By Jim Roddy, Vantiv

RTL_1013_ecommerce Special Report_RJ

By Jim Roddy, Integrated Solutions For Retailers

Capping a full day of retail-focused education at RetailROI’s Super Saturday event in New York City was a retail executive panel titled “The Changing Landscape of the Retail Environment.” Featured panelists were:

I was impressed with how freely these retail executives spoke. I felt like I was inside their respective company conference rooms hearing their unfiltered analysis of their challenges and strategies.

We’ll post a full audio recording of the session on the ISR website in the near future. In the meantime, I think you’ll enjoy some key quotes from each panelist.

Kirschner, eBay

  • “Retailers need to keep asking themselves these three questions: ‘How do I find new customers? How do I keep up with omni-channel demands? What do I do with all this data?’”
  • “Turn your stores into a strategic advantage. One example of that is ship-from-store. We did that and it’s given us a 20 percent lift in revenue. Make store inventory available through all channels.”
  • “Our omni-channel readiness study said the biggest driver of decisions should be where the customer is. The biggest inhibitor is large companies integrating technology into their current structure and systems.”
  • “The core to making omni-channel work is your order management system. You need to connect supply to demand. That’s easy to say but complex to implement.” 

Stanberry, Gap Inc.

  • “We don’t truly know the customer’s expectations when they walk in. They want a customized experience. That’s a tall order.”
  • “We had a lot of legacy systems and were dragging those. Now we have ship in-store, and next we’ll have order in-store.”
  • “When we build a new concept, we know it won’t be there for 40 years.”
  • “I’d like to see more flexibility from our software partners. If they expect us to stay current on these platforms, they need to be flexible with us and help us contain these costs.”

Doyle Thomas, Half-Price Books

  • “We know we have to be in that space (pick-up in store). But what’s the return on a $2.98 book? We’re not seeing it. But that doesn’t matter — we need to be there.”
  • “The one- or two-store independents have flexibility and are being innovative. Those of us with chains are not — and that’s crazy.”
  • “The best ideas aren’t coming from someone who’s been in the organization for 40 years. The best come from someone using the product. You might not be able to implement all of them or all of them right away.” 

Super Saturday was held at the PwC Auditorium on Madison Avenue in New York City on Jan. 11, the day before NRF’s Big Show 2014. Nearly 200 retail analysts, technology executives, and retailers gathered for a day of industry knowledge sharing while supporting RetailROI, an industry group committed to helping orphans. For more information, go to