Industry Insights
Walmart Launches Startup Incubator Store

Walmart has announced the launch of a technology-startup incubator located in Silicon Valley and dubbed Store No. 8, whose aim is to identify changes that will reshape the retail experience, according to Bloomberg. It will focus on technology like machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, autonomous vehicle and drone delivery, and personalized shopping. The incubator was announced by Marc Lore, chief executive officer of Walmart’s e-commerce operations, at the recent ShopTalk Conference in Las Vegas.

Payless Preparing To Enter Bankruptcy

Discount shoe retailer Payless Inc. is reportedly preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to reorganize and save its struggling operations, Bloomberg reported. Initially, the plan calls for the closure of some 400 to 500 stores, anonymous sources told Bloomberg, though the deliberations are not public. Earlier plans indicated the closure of as many as 1,000 locations, and that number could still be in flux, sources reported.

How London Harness Keeps Customers Happier With 4-Second Chip Cards

Wellesley’s London Harness has been a town institution since 1951. The company specializes in leather goods, particularly luxury bags and luggage, and they also offer a wide array of other gifts and services including engraving and monogramming for customers and corporations.

SMR Strategies For Digital Transformation

Small to midsize retailers (SMRs) have an advantage — size — and agility and nimbleness to consistently meet consumer needs. Or do they? This report describes some of the common capabilities that retailers possess in order to create and capitalize on agility to outperform the competitive field. This year we ask several IDC Retail Insights experts what they recommend small to midsize retailers do in several key functional competency areas.

Retail Analytics Drive Operational Efficiency

There’s certain obviousness to the relationship between business analytics and operational efficiency in retail and hospitality. It goes without saying, for instance, that the more data buyers have about the sell-through rate of a certain SKU, the more efficient their POs will be. Or that the more finite the finance department’s view into labor spend, the more accurate its labor forecasts and budgets will be.

From Innovative Retail Technologies Magazine
Don’t Wait To Save The Store
By Erin Harris, editor in chief

This headline may have you believe that the store is hanging on for dear life. While brick-and-mortar retailing isn’t on life support, brick-and-mortar retailing as we once knew it is. Just ask Macy’s, Sears, and The Limited. As e-commerce gains momentum by the day, over- and under-inventoried stores with ill-informed associates and aged technologies pose tangible issues for most brick-and-mortar retailers. Yet, there’s much more to resuscitating the store experience than any one 600-word article can tackle. For the sake of this article, let’s focus on a top brick-and-mortar concern we can all agree on — the associate’s ability to engage the customer.

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