(Author : internet retailing)
Sainsbury’s today said its sales of online groceries were growing at more than 16% a year, as the need for convenience continued to boost turnover. The supermarket said its convenience store sales were growing at a similar pace, up by nearly 20% in the 12 weeks to June 8, compared to the same time last year.

“Convenience remains a strong driver for growth,” said chief executive Justin King.

The update came in a first quarter trading statement, as Sainsbury’s reported total sales up by 3.3% on last year, excluding fuel, as the company opened more stores. Nineteen convenience stores opened over course of the quarter, while one new supermarket also opened. Like-for-like sales rose by 0.7%, while market share lifted slightly to 16.8%.

“This has been a solid performance in what continues to be a tough consumer environment,” said King. He added: “We are the only major grocer growing market share, up 0.2% to 16.8%.”

He added: “Our strategy of focusing on general merchandise categories which are complementary to our great food offer is helping us gain market share. Non-food continues to grow at over twice the rate of food. We have seen particularly strong sales in homeware, with kitchen electricals growing at over 34 per cent year-on-year and cookware growing at nearly 23 per cent year-on-year.”

King said the supermarket was “well positioned to continue to outperform the market.” He added: “We expect the challenging economic environment to continue through this financial year. By helping our customers to Live Well For Less through our ongoing commitment to great quality own-brand products, Brand Match, competitive pricing and targeted promotions via Nectar and coupon-at-till, we are well positioned to continue to outperform the market.”

Source : internetretailing

(Author : internetretailing)
Tesco  has appointed a new head of digital content as the supermarket group pushes forward in its mission to develop a customer-centred approach to its online entertainment services.

Michael Comish, founder of the Blinkbox online streaming service whichTesco bought in 2011, has been promoted to Tesco group digital officer. IN the role he will lead a team of 300 people working across Tesco’s digital entertainment and will also work with Tesco to shape its multichannel strategy. He will be responsible in particular for digital entertainment services that include Tesco’s Clubcard TV, ebooks business Mobcast, and digital music services We7.

Cornish told The Telegraph: “We’re going really fast on this,” said Mr Comish. “We’re launching three products this year and our new development centre will be open in autumn.

“Two years ago Tesco wouldn’t be thought of a digital entertainment brand but now we are in the top three in Britain. Very few companies who have the assets we have to exploit in terms of physical shops and brands.”

A Blinkbox spokesman said that of the three new product launches this year, Clubcard TV was already launched, Blinkboxmusic was now in beta, and Blinkboxbooks would launch later this year.

The new team will be based in a new development centre at Blinkbox’ new 30,000 sq ft digital campus, set to open this autumn in Clerkenwell, London.

Source : internetretailing.net

(Author : Ashley Lutz)
Costco CEO Craig Jelinek is eliminating self-service checkout from stores because he says his employees do a better job. “They are great for low-volume warehouses, but we don’t want to be in the low-volume warehouse business,” he told Brad Stone at Bloomberg Businessweek. 

Costco has tested self-checkout in the past. Jelinek told Businessweek that human cashiers are more efficient. His decision comes at a time when competitor Wal-Mart is adding 10,000 self-service checkout systems to stores. Self-service checkouts have traditionally been seen as a threat to retail cashiers because they’re cheaper than manpower. It’s not clear whether Wal-Mart’s machines will displace workers. Retailers in general “see their employees as a cost to be minimized and typically end up under investing in them,” Zeynep Ton, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, told Businessweek.

Costco is known for having among the happiest employees in the retail industry because of its superior wages and benefits.

Source : businessinsider.com

(Author : internet retailing)
Tesco today said its online grocery service continued to “outperform the market” as it reported a 1.8% rise in group sales in the first quarter of its financial year but a dip in UK like-for-like sales.

Reporting a 1% rise in sales in the UK, excluding VAT and petrol, and a 1% fall in UK like-for-like sales, excluding VAT and petrol, in a first quarter interim management statement, the supermarket said ecommerce was helping it to gain ground in its customers’ eyes. Chief executive Philip Clarke said: “Customer perceptions are improving across all aspects of the shopping trip in the UK, driven by continued progress on our plans to Build a Better Tesco and our market-leading multichannel offer.

“We have set out our plans to put customers back at the heart of the way we do business and this is particularly evident in our recent initiatives on price and on food trust.”

The company also said that its online sales growth continued to outperform the market, itself the fastest growing sales channel in the market.

“We have continued to strengthen our offer for customers and have driven further improvements in product availability, product quality and overall customer satisfaction,” the supermarket said.Recent multichannel developments include the roll-out of new drive-through locations for Click and Collect, with 169 now in place across the UK. The company also said that international markets remained challenging, particularly in Europe.

Source : internetretailing.net

(Author : Christopher Hall)
Flagship stores often serve as a petri dish for brands looking to cultivate the perfect omnichannel retail experience, much like the Canadian retail sporting goods giant Sport Chek and its Toronto Retail Lab.

 

Earlier this year the retailer unveiled what it called “a game-changing” retail experience at its Yonge Street, Toronto, location — combining interactive digital signage and self-service technology to create a retail digital wonderland experience.

Sport Chek said it designed the store to be at the forefront of retail and create an ongoing test-and-learn environment for the store’s retail innovations to be proven before rolling out to the chain’s store network starting later this year with new flagship stores across Canada.

The Digital Screenmedia Association recently awarded the Sport Chek Retail Lab its Screenmedia Integration Award at its 2013 DSA Industry Excellence Awards recognizing the best projects using digital signage, mobile, self-service and interactive kiosk technologies. The honors were given out at an awards dinner held in conjunction with the recent Digital Screenmedia Symposium in Dallas, and the project was submitted by Canadian telecom giant Telus’ digital signage division, which spearheaded the effort.

Solutions such as the Retail Lab that engaged customers with interactivity stood out this year, according to DSA Executive Director David Drain.

“Interactivity continues to be a dominant theme — whether it’s interaction through touch, social media or augmented reality,” he said. “Many of these projects engaged the customer because the customer participated in the content or the experience.”

According to an announcement from Sport Check, the Retail Lab includes some key digital signage and self-service features:

Tile, Tablet, Touch and NFC Screens: The 12,000-square-foot retail space has 140 digital signage screens installed throughout the store, including Samsung ultrathin bezel touchscreen displays with near-field-communication capabilities allowing for personalized content and greater customer interaction with merchandise. Screens also include new digital “tiles,” or Samsung tablets, both on the wall and custom built into tables. Traditional signage built in to the top of clothing racks now include tablets in custom fixtures showing video and still image content specifically designed for the associated products.

Shoe Wall Innovation: To complement Sport Chek’s authoritative assortment of 500 different footwear styles, adidas has installed a permanent digital shoe wall, featuring “digital” shoes on three 55-inch touchscreens. Each shoe contains custom digital content when selected, including product features, live Twitter feeds, videos, images and interesting facts about athletes’ accomplishments while wearing that specific model of shoe.

Nike has installed the “Nike Shoe VJ Experience,” featuring a 12-foot high digital signage video wall; customers can use Nike shoes custom-built with gaming “controller” technology to design art and sound on the video wall.

And Reebok has installed a customized, “Build your own Reebok” kiosk where customers can custom-design shoes that are custom-built and shipped to the customer directly.

Custom Oakley Installation: Oakley has installed a custom sunglass design kiosk. The fully interactive experience allows customers to interact with a wide variety of lens, frame, color and logo options to create a customized pair of Oakley sunglasses which are built in-store by specially trained staff.

Staff Tablets: Staff are equipped with tablets loaded with vendor content to better serve customers, with the ability to “take over” the larger screens in the store to show off vendor advertising or community content.

Digital Community Board: The interactive Community Board connects customers with each other and allows them to view schedules, events, standing stats and updates from their favorite community sports leagues as well as information on fitness classes.

Interactive Escalator: Nineteen screens are installed in the wall beside the escalator with a custom-built Xbox Kinect application that follows and matches the customer’s ascent, activating a variety of themes on the screen including sports scenes, promotions and a simulated chairlift ride.

Custom Content: Sport Chek’s new “digital store control” facility in Calgary produces and pushes custom content to each screen — allowing for any individual screen to be updated with new content within 12 minutes. The Calgary-based digital store control room will run all digital screens throughout the chain as new stores are opened with the digital innovations proven in the retail lab.

Store Front Projection: The store’s Yonge Street facade features a large-scale 5-foot-by-32-foot digital projection displaying high-definition video, still images and live feeds of sporting events to anyone passing by the store. The display is driven by four high-powered projectors to produce a high-definition picture visible from across the street, even in direct sunlight.

Sport Chek CMO Duncan Fulton told Toronto’s The Globe and Mail that his company wants to go beyond just selling sporting goods to shoppers and to instead start to build loyalty by inspiring its customers. The Retail Lab is a way to start proving concepts that can then be implemented chainwide.

“Eighty per cent of our customers are under 40, only 37 per cent read flyers, and the large majority interact regularly with a digital screen,” Fulton told the newspaper. “For us to stay relevant to our customers, we need to also connect with them in the digital space.”

One member of the DSA Industry Award judging panel called the Retail Lab’s technology “very impressive branding and promotional support for customer conversion.”

“This is a newest generation of digitally empowered retail,” the judge wrote in their anonymous comments. “Importantly, store staff actively integrated the display images and engagement into their sales effort, moving dynamic media beyond being “fixturing” and ambient media … This kills ‘showrooming.'”

Source : retailcustomerexperience.com

(Author : Jim Edwards)
Amazon plans to start delivering groceries in 40 U.S. markets, according to Reuters, in hopes of destroying/disrupting the $568 billion food marketplace.

 

 

Amazon has been testing grocery delivery — AmazonFresh — in Seattle for a while, and was working on warehouse/refrigeration capacity logistics to roll it out nationally. (You can get a taste of Amazon’s grocery delivery business here.)

Your local supermarket — you know, the one you’re forced to drive to — may be dead in the water, if Amazon gets its way.

Bill Bishop, a prominent supermarket analyst and consultant, says everyone up the chain to Walmart is threatened by the plan:

Amazon’s expansion plans are a potential threat to grocery chains such as Kroger Co, Safeway Inc and Whole Foods Market, as well as general-merchandise retailers Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp, which also sell a lot of groceries.

“The fear is that grocery is a loss leader and Amazon will make a profit on sales of other products ordered online at the same time,” he said. “That’s an awesomely scary prospect for the grocery business.”

Note that everyone is expecting Amazon to take a loss or maybe break even on groceries. The company is hoping margins will come from high-price items you add to your online shopping cart in addition to potatoes and orange juice.

It also wants to use a national network of warehouses and truck depots to support its high-margin, same-day delivery business.

In other words, killing Kroger might merely be a side effect of Amazon’s desire to deliver electronics more efficiently.

Source : businessinsider.com

(Author : Ashley Lutz)
Spanish retailer Mango will start offering a plus-sized line in the U.S. next year. The company told Women’s Wear Daily that the line is part of its goal to double sales by 2019.

 

 The new line will help Mango succeed where competitor Zara has failed: in the U.S. market. A majority of the U.S. apparel-purchasing population is plus-size, and Zara’s slim fits don’t cut it for American consumers, the Economist reported last year. 

“Outside the biggest cities, Americans have long preferred classic, roomier clothes,” the Economist wrote. This means that people outside of major cities don’t like to shop there. Zara has also refused to adopt “vanity sizing,” or labeling bigger clothes with a smaller size, reports Kerry Folan at Racked. Offering larger sizes gives Mango an advantage over Zara because it exposes the brand to more customers and gives it a shot at a U.S. expansion.  Mango has also slashed prices to compete with its biggest competitor.

Source : businessinsider.com

(Author : risnews.edgl.com)
Walmart will use Big Data around customer’s usual shopping habits to create shopping lists for them on its mobile app. The retailer will use this to improve the in-store shopping experience as it looks to mobile-influenced purchases outpacing e-commerce sales.

 

“The future of retailing is the history of retailing, of a personalized interactive experience for every customer delivered through a smartphone,” said Gibu Thomas, Walmart’s global head of mobile in a presentation at CTIA Wireless last week. Thomas also noted that in-store buying influenced by mobile was on track to be about twice as big as e-commerce sales by 2016.

The retailer’s smartphone app also boosts buying: customers who have the app make more trips to the store and spend as much as 40% more. The app already includes a shopping list function, which can tell customers where to find products in the store, and in the future it may provide relevant digital coupons that can be redeemed via mobile.

The retailer is currently trialing a “Scan and Go” system, allowing customers to scan items as they shop with the Walmart app and then scan their phone at a self-checkout register to pay. Through analyzing what customers usually buy, the retailer thinks it can automatically compile a list that will come up whenever the shopper opens he app to anticipate what the customer will need.

Source : risnews.edgl.com

(Author : retail customer experience)
Starting today, 96 Target stores in Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif., will begin offering customers the opportunity to receive a personalized beauty consultation as part of the retailer’s Beauty Concierge program.

 

Participating stores will be staffed with a Target Beauty Concierge, described in the press release as “a highly trained, brand agnostic beauty enthusiast” who is available to answer guests’ questions in-store. Beauty Concierges will be located in the beauty aisle at Target wearing a distinct black apron and no appointment is necessary.

In addition, the program will launch in 27 stores in the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Baltimore area, 36 stores in Minneapolis and expand by an additional 41 stores in Chicago, with approximately 200 stores implementing the program in 2013.

“Target is excited to offer this unique, special service to our Los Angeles and Orange County area guests — guests whom we know are passionate about beauty,” said Cary Strouse, Target’s senior vice president of stores in the Western region. “In an often crowded and sometimes daunting marketplace, Target’s Beauty Concierge program ensures that guests receive the friendly, personalized assistance and counsel they need, while purchasing their favorite beauty products at affordable prices.”

Source : retailcustomerexperience.com

(Author : Heather Somerville)
Target unveiled a new technology and innovation office here Friday, giving the retailer a foothold in Silicon Valley and positioning it to grow its mobile and digital shopping services. 

Target’s Technology Innovation Center in San Francisco’s financial district will be the retailer’s West Coast hub for mobile app, online search and social media development — pillars of the retailer’s e-commerce expansion. It also marks the latest effort by a major U.S. retailer to challenge e-commerce giant Amazon and remake its image from that of an outdated brick-and-mortar store to a tech-savvy, multichannel shopping experience.

“Retail is undergoing a major revolution, and technology is key,” Beth Jacob, executive vice president and chief information officer for Target Technology Services, said during a media event at the new office Friday. “You have to be able to operate at warp speed, and innovate very quickly.”

Continue Reading…