STORES BIG Show Wrapup 2010‏

by Deepak Sharma on Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just went through the great coverage of NRF’s recently concluded 99th Annual Convention & EXPO by NRF’s Stores Magazine. Good Read.

P&G testing online store

by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, January 17, 2010

There are reports over the weekend that Procter & Gamble is opening a store of its own. While P&G termed it as a “Learning Lab” and not a direct competition to Wal-Marts of the country, if anyone is buying Tide over internet, they will likely buy it from the brand website.

P&G to Peddle Products Online

Procter & Gamble announced it will launch an online store with e-commerce services leader PFSweb, but said it is not trying to bypass the big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Target that peddle its household and personal care brands to Internet shoppers.

"While the eStore is another online store for consumers to buy Procter &Gamble brands, [it] is first and foremost a learning lab for ecommerce innovations,' P&G spokeswoman Tressie Long told Forbes. "P&G is not a retailer, nor is the eStore an indication that we want to be," she added, noting that it is not an attempt to bypass other online merchants. "We have already been talking with our retail partners regarding the eStore and making sure they understand our goal is to develop and qualify e-commerce innovations that will mutually increase online sales for P&G and our e-retail partners."

The site will be operated and managed by PFSWeb and exclusively feature P&G products to consumers in the U.S only.

Four commandments for Food Retailers

by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, January 03, 2010

Willard Bishop recommends Four Commandments for Food Retailers in the December edition of Competitive Edge:

By most accounts, 2009 will go down as one of the most tumultuous economic times in history. In 2010, food retailers will continue to battle for shoppers, sales, and profits in what certainly will be a difficult economy marked by shaken consumer confidence and new shopping behavior. This issue of Competitive Edge will provide insight, based on our experience and exposure to national and regional retailers, on four key areas to pay attention to in 2010.
Read the complete Competitive Edge

NYTimes: A Data Explosion Remakes Retailing

by Deepak Sharma on Saturday, January 02, 2010

NYTimes writes on growing use of surge in the amount and type of digital data that retailers are tapping to make sense and identify patterns in the data.

"...rapid surge in the amount and types of digital data that retailers can now tap, and the improved computing tools to try to make sense of it. The data explosion spans internal sources including point-of-sale and shipment-tracking information, as well as census data and syndicated services. Companies also track online visitors to Web commerce sites, members of social networks like Facebook and browsers using smartphones.

The better tools, they say, are ever cheaper and faster computers and so-called business intelligence or analytic software for finding useful information and patterns in that data.

Retailers are increasingly mining vast troves of digital information to improve the decisions they make about pricing, shelf-stocking and product offerings. “This huge and growing ecosystem of data is an asset that some retailers are really beginning to exploit for competitive advantage,” said Thomas H. Davenport, a professor of information technology and management at Babson College. “It brings more science into the business. Relying on gut feel is yesterday’s strategy in retailing.”

Read full article