Retail shrink decreased in 2017

Thefts, fraud and other losses from other retail “shrink” decreased to $46.8 billion in 2017 from $48.9 billion the year before, according to the annual National Retail Security Survey released today by NRF and the University of Florida. Shrink averaged 1.33% of sales, down from 1.44%. Read more …

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How technology is changing the role of the retail employee

Retailers are increasingly combining in-store and online operations, a trend that’s changing the face of retail jobs, Miles Jennings writes. Retail employees will need to be tech-savvy salespeople who know their way around social media, he writes. Read more …

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How retailers are responding to tax reform

Retailers are beginning to assess what the new tax code means for their businesses. Walmart, Starbucks, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Chipotle and others have announced plans to invest in their workforces because of tax reform, and more than 3 million American workers are receiving special bonuses, higher wages or expanded benefits as a result. […]

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Why We Should Be Optimistic About Retail

A number of stores and retailers may closing, but many others are making the positive changes needed to position them for the future, longtime retail consultants Joel Bines and David Bassuk write. Store closings are paring down overcapacity, retailers are reducing debt and merchants are growing bolder in their experiments with innovation to compete in […]

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Credit Card Signatures Are About to Become Extinct in the U.S.

Credit card networks are finally ready to concede what has been obvious to shoppers and merchants for years: Signatures are not a useful way to prove someone’s identity. Later this month, four of the largest networks — American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa — will stop requiring them to complete card transactions. Read more …

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The best loyalty programs make customers feel appreciated

Many of today’s restaurant and retail customers prefer quick rewards and an engaging, personalized loyalty program that makes them feel valued, according to research from Deloitte. “Consumers are emotional, they are more sophisticated and they have choices, so that’s the era we face,” said Narvar executive Harsh Jawharkar. Read more …

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The rising importance of top in-store talent

Store employees have emerged as brand ambassadors for retailers in a changing retail environment and a tight labor market, Inkling CEO Matt MacInnis writes. Retailers are making changes to encourage better brand experiences, including Kohl’s, which has relaxed rules on the use of mobile devices to enable store staffers to use the Kohl’s app to […]

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Report says EMV hasn’t stopped fraud

LexisNexis says retail losses from fraud are continuing to increase despite the introduction of EMV chip cards. US EMV cards still rely on an easily-forged signature rather than a more secure personal identification number NRF has said would reduce fraud both in-store and online. Read more …

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Mobile dominates online sales for app-equipped retailers

Retailers with both shopping apps and mobile sites are now seeing a majority of their traffic and two-thirds of online sales originating from mobile devices, Criteo reports. On mobile, apps account for nearly twice the number of sales as the web, the report found. Read more …

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Sales associates hold the key to personalization

Sales associates can be a retailer’s strongest asset in the efforts to create a personalized shopping experience and build customer loyalty, according to a report from Salesfloor. Retailers can better meet consumers’ evolving needs by providing employees with the knowledge, tools and technology they need to engage with customers in stores and via digital channels, […]

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