Content about Opinion

April 1, 2014

To survive the long, bumpy ride through the recent recession, many retail logistics executives focused on cost reduction. This necessary objective drove important changes in supply chain strategy, from network right-sizing to innovative warehouse automation and energy-efficiency tactics. A “lean and mean” supply chain model arose, and quickly became vital to survival.

March 26, 2014

A recent Federal Reserve report shows that household finances have regained substantial ground since the Great Recession, driven largely by the run-up in home values and surge in stocks. These positive forces have contributed to the highest level of wealth in our history — the net worth of U.S. households and nonprofits reached $80.7 trillion by the end of 2013.

March 24, 2014

As the retail industry begins to offer shoppers the omnichannel experience they demand, brick-and-mortar stores have never been more important.

March 17, 2014

Dutch physicist Niels Bohr wasn’t talking about the retail industry when he said, “prediction is very difficult, especially about the future,” but the comment couldn’t be more relevant given the volatility facing the retail industry.

March 10, 2014

The buzz and hype surrounding 3D printing can make it hard to separate fact from fiction, but one thing is for sure: 3D printing has the potential to transform shopper expectations and retail supply chains.

March 10, 2014

With Amazon’s customer retention rate hovering north of 90%, customer loyalty initiatives are understandably at the top of every retail CMO’s to-do list.

February 21, 2014

“Ongoing investigation.” “Forensics and law enforcement continue to investigate.” For now, it is a bit too early to write the “Lessons Learned” piece about the Target/Neiman Marcus/Michaels data breach incident. But there are a few things that were known before these latest payment card/database breaches occurred and should be put into context in light of what we are currently investigating.

February 18, 2014

With approximately 1.5 billion smartphones currently in use today, it is safe to say mobile is radically changing consumer retail behavior. To maximize in-store sales opportunities and minimize hurdles to purchase, retailers must change their approach to reach a new generation of customers steeped in a mobile lifestyle.

February 11, 2014

Counterfeiting and brand theft are crimes that have been given unlimited new life and opportunity online — they affect all industries and all major brands on a global scale. Recently the watchdog agency Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) put a $1 trillion annual figure on global losses from counterfeiting and piracy, with 2.5 million jobs put at risk.

February 10, 2014

Omnichannel is omnipresent in conversations throughout our industry. I heard the term — and the angst, confusion, tests and even some initial successes around it — again and again at NRF’s 2014 BIG Show.

February 6, 2014

As if the retail industry weren’t challenging enough, those operating stores in California are facing a growing number of lawsuits related to an operational consideration known as suitable seating.

February 3, 2014

Our industry has talked so much about omnichannel that it seems only the “aha” gets our attention anymore. Here’s the problem: Our talk is well ahead of our ability to execute. And execution is what matters.

January 31, 2014

When it comes to meeting consumer expectations, the stakes for retailers have never been higher. Digital age consumers are more discerning, have high expectations for the quality of product information and use technology in a variety of ways to make educated purchasing decisions.

January 17, 2014

As the holiday dust clears and we settle into a new year, it’s only fitting that retailers take a moment to reflect on successes of 2013 and identify opportunities for 2014. How can we be more efficient this year? Can we waste less while producing more? Where can we make simple adjustments that add up to big bottom line savings?

January 13, 2014

This holiday season was one of the first real opportunities for retailers to flex their omnichannel muscle. A shorter-than-usual holiday season, combined with ongoing economic uncertainty, led consumers to turn to a variety of shopping channels in their search for the most efficient and cost-effective way to round out their gifting lists. Likewise, many shoppers also demonstrated a desire to return products across these various channels. But were retailers ready?

January 13, 2014

Mobile point of sale (mPOS) technology promises to continue to transform the customer’s shopping experience in 2014 and beyond. Gartner forecasts an mPOS market valued at $617 billion with 448 million users by the end of 2016, representing 42% annual growth.

January 10, 2014

With the surge in smartphone and tablet purchases in recent years, and the increasing accessibility of Wi-Fi, there is no surprise that almost 70% of consumers are now shopping online as well as in stores. Among those leading the trend are millennials (ages 18–33) making $75,000 or more a year.

January 10, 2014

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the retail industry has supposedly settled a federal lawsuit with Visa and MasterCard over credit card swipe fees.

January 9, 2014

With a new year come new challenges and opportunities. As consumer patterns continue to evolve, so must retailers and their supply chain operations, influenced by technological advancements and other external factors. Coming off a modestly successful holiday shopping season, retailers are geared up for 2014 and prepared to address what promise to be the top five challenges of 2014.

January 7, 2014

As the clicks and bricks went head-to-head in retail’s all-important holiday season, the “clicks” had already won the 2013 race to build new warehouse and distribution facilities.

January 3, 2014

When U.S. retailers launch global e-commerce efforts, they often start with countries that have a long-standing trade history with America. Shipments to Canada are soon followed by expansion into the United Kingdom, Australia or other English-speaking areas.

December 26, 2013

For companies across all industries, 2013 brought a number of challenges that significantly impacted supply chains and presented even greater uncertainty around the state of the transportation industry. Shippers were forced to adapt to a slowly recovering economy and increased regulatory mandates, compounded by the continued pressure to cut costs and maintain — if not improve — service performance levels, all while effectively planning for the future.

December 23, 2013

E-commerce has redefined the retail shopping experience and shaped the fate of retailers in many sectors. Grocers have been the exception thus far, but that is about to change in a major way.

December 16, 2013

The race to improve customer convenience by leveraging smart e-commerce logistics in the supply chain is heating up in the U.S. and internationally. So far, the U.S. is ahead of the pack in e-commerce sales, raking in $351.8 billion during 2012, a full 33.7% of all e-commerce purchases worldwide, according to the new Jones Lang LaSalle Global E-Commerce Report.

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