By Bill Turner, LPC
Most people believe that shopping online is easy and convenient. But most also agree that the one of the biggest issues in online shopping is the inability to touch and feel the product. As a result, items “not as expected” cause online return percentages to be high. And everyone knows that returning items bought online can range from inconvenient, to confusing, to downright scary.
Once again, Amazon has come to the rescue with its recently announced policy of “automatically authorized returns.” This new policy applies to Amazon’s Marketplace sellers and aligns the return policies of these third-party sellers to the current return policy of Amazon-fulfilled product.
Under the new policy, consumers can ship back third-party-fulfilled merchandise to Amazon without contacting the vendor first to work out concerns with the transaction or product prior to a refund being issued. Amazon has also instituted a “returnless refund” policy designed to save sellers time and expense: if an item is small and inexpensive, Amazon will issue a refund—and the seller is forced to just “let the item go” and not get it back… Read the full article.
The retail world is continuing to evolve, and retailers must adapt to survive.
By Jac Brittain, LPC
Since the dawn of the digital age, economists, industry experts, ongoing retail trends, and consumer behaviors have all pointed to the changing portrait of the retail landscape. We’ve seen rolling hills transformed into a series of peaks and valleys as the image is weathered by the storms of change.
Much has happened to influence this transformation. The Internet has moved mountains, changing practically every aspect of our lives in mere decades. A struggling economy has gnawed away at the foundation of the business as we’ve fought through a life-changing recession for millions of Americans. These and hundreds of other influences impact our lives on a day-to-day basis and have had a dramatic and lasting impression on the retail customer, and the retail company.
We often talk about the growing demands of the retail customer, and how this can influence retail performance. But it’s not just retail sales that have been influenced by the tides of change. In fact, by most accounts it was a strong holiday season for America’s retailers. Consumer confidence has surged, thanks to low unemployment, and reports have indicated that holiday spending is up double digits over last year’s comparable sales. We can no longer simply focus on the way our customers spend. Today, retail trends demand that our attention clearly focuses on the way customers shop… Read the full article.
These omni-channel retailing examples seem to be making the right moves.
By Kelsey Seidler
As online-only retailers continue to see expanded success, traditional brick-and-mortar stores must turn to new strategies to keep up with customer demand. Today’s retail environment demands that the customer shopping journey be a seamless one as it transitions from a physical store to a smartphone app to an interactive catalog (or social media page, or other digital tool) and back again.
But executing such a complex blend of multiple channels isn’t a simple matter, and not every retailer has figured it out just yet. Here are a few omni-channel retailing examples that seem to be on the right track… Read the full article.
Retail industry store closing announcements mount.
By Bill Turner, LPC
Last week, GameStop became the latest retailer to announce a major round of store closures. Citing a 13.6 percent drop in sales last quarter, the company said it would shutter more than 100 stores, or approximately 2 to 3 percent of its fleet. JCPenney also recently announced the closing of 138 stores, scheduled for spring of this year. Just last week, Sears said it has “substantial doubt” that the company will survive. What’s happening to the US retail industry, and what’s next? It is a scary thought for everyone, especially those who work for retail companies. And the bad news keeps on coming.
There has long been speculation that e-commerce and online shopping will spell the end of the brick-and-mortar retail industry. But that notion is widely regarded as overstated. People are social by nature, and they still want to touch and feel merchandise before making a purchase. So what is really going on?
One major factor behind retail’s growing troubles is that, in many cases, major retailers that were once trend leaders have lost touch by not adapting to changing tastes. In addition, many of those former trend leaders are the anchor stores of major malls. Think of malls without Sears, JCPenney, Macy’s, Dillard’s, or Kohl’s… Read the full article.
Marvin Ellison and other retail CEOs talk jobs and taxes with President Trump.
By Loss Prevention Media Contributor
CEOs representing the retail industry met February 15 with President Trump at the White House to discuss cutting taxes and regulations to stimulate job growth. The CEOs from several major retailers included Marvin Ellison, current CEO for JCPenney, who started his career in loss prevention with Target and advanced to vice president of Home Depot’s loss prevention organization prior to moving into several executive-level retail positions. Ellison joined JCPenney as CEO in July 2015.
The meeting was orchestrated by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), which is attempting to educate Congress and the new administration on the negative effect of the proposed border adjustment tax on the cost of retail goods offered by US retailers. According to a RILA press release, President Trump acknowledged that retail supports “millions and millions” of jobs. The discussion related to the border adjustment tax was not released to the public.
LP Magazine reached out to Ellison for comment, but a JCPenney media representative deferred to RILA for comment… Read the full article.