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What’s Trending In Retail

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IKEA Place is a mobile app that allow shoppers to plant & view digitally rendered products in their own home.

ALIBABA + INTIME Shopping mall’s AR mirrors allows visitors to try on beauty products. Visitors can virtually test the makeup product and purchase through a vending machine.

Discover meals matched to your instagram Knoor’s


Walmart filed a patent for tech that will detect the emotional state of shoppers as they walk around the store. The technology uses video cameras and store checkout lines that monitor facial expressions and movements to determine varying levels of dissatisfaction. If the system detects an unhappy shopper, it will ping employees in other parts of the store and order them to report to a checkout register, in the hopes of alleviating consumers’ distress. According to a patent filing, the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in the world (likely looking for ways to compete with Amazon)

Consumers are concerned about automation-fueled unemployment. But never underestimate the human ability to feel multiple and contradictory things at the same time! Many of the same consumers worried about job displacement are already hunting out brands that harness automation to make their lives better.

Google Duplex will soon be booking haircuts for users around the globe

Target will begin to test a service that uses Bluetooth-connected household devices to monitor your supply of toilet paper, paper towels and hand soap, and automatically order more when you need it.

The subscription service is called Target Fetch, and Target will launch a campaign May 1 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to solicit 250 beta testers in the US for the service.




Amazon Cutting Hundreds Of Jobs & Hiring 50,000


The Seattle office is said to have been overstaffed in some departments (Source: Getty)
Sources say that the move came after a hiring spree resulted in some departments being overstaffed. But Amazon responded that it was making small reductions in some areas but continuing with “aggressive hiring” in others.

The company is thought to be consolidating its established retail business, while expanding other units.

The news comes as Amazon hunts for its second US headquarters, a quest which has attracted a flurry of bids from American cities keen to host the company. It has shortlisted 20 cities as possible locations for its new HQ.

Amazon plans to hire 50,000 workers at the new office.

The tech titan is in a race with Google parent Alphabet and Apple to become the world’s first company valued at a trillion dollars this year. All three posted massive sales numbers in their latest updates.


Retailers Spending $ On AI


Retailers are planning to spend more on AI, with customer service and sentiment analytics receiving the most attention.  A key tool for retailers seeking to improve their customer experience will be applying AI to understand customer reaction to the products purchased and the service received.

Breaking down retail spending in 2022, three types of technology tools lead the list in a study customer service and sentiment analytics by 54%, AI-based automated marketing by 30% and demand forecasting by 16%.

AI-backed demand forecasting is rapidly becoming a key tool for retailers. For example, major, specific shopping days like the Black Friday phenomena, make understanding customer demand and correct planning more important than ever.

With the rise of the internet, many thought that physical stores would become outmoded and irrelevant, but this has not occurred, although some retailers are under pressure by the rise of e-commerce. Many are, of course, with Toys R Us entering bankruptcy protection last fall as a prime example, while still others are expanding their physical presence including many direct-to-consumer brands. 



Best Buy Getting ahead By Boosting Customer Satisfaction, & Employee Investment


Two executives from Best Buy described the work they’ve done over the last three and a half years rethinking employee training by investing in support for customer and product interaction — as opposed to clunky, corporate technology — by using dedicated resources from a retail user experience and a change management perspective.

They believe it’s super important for their employees to feel like they have a place in the future of where we’re going.” These efforts have helped drop employee turnover by “well into the double digits. 

Employee turnover is still problematic. The average turnover rate is north of 60%, according to the National Retail Federation, and retailers collectively lose over 230 million productive days and $19 billion in new staff costs as a result.

 Last year, newfound investment in employee training became a priority for the National Retail Federation as well as 21 major retailers like Walmart, Target and Macy’s, which together launched the RISE Up (Retail Industry Skills and Education) program.

Although Best Buy is not a part of the program, the retailer has spent the last few years tackling the problem by conducting “hundreds and hundreds” of one-on-one interviews with employees across the country to ask about usability problems when it comes to applications and technology, and other pain points of the job.

“Through redesigning systems and bringing new technology into the stores they were able to cut their POS transaction time in half. This allows their associates to spend less time typing on keyboards or holding tablets and reinvest that time to connect with the customer experiences so they don’t end up cutting labor or anything similar. 

Trends In Retail 2018


Pop-up stores allow retailers to wow consumers in small spaces with limited investment, and malls increasingly bring in non-traditional and multicultural retailers to differentiate and enliven their offerings. Platform, a Los Angeles-based shopping center, requires potential tenants to demonstrate the unique experiences they will provide. Nordstrom, meanwhile, has launched Nordstrom Local, a clothing “store” that instead of merchandise, showcases personal stylists, same-day ordering, on-site tailoring, and experiential amenities including manicures and a variety of beverages to relax with.

Fetchr, a delivery service in Dubai, uses your smartphone to determine your location and deliver your goods to wherever you are. Walmart and leading supermarket chains continue to expand their online ordering/in-store pickup options. When on-demand services are available, the customer designates a pickup time, then pulls into stations with kiosks where associates are standing by to load the groceries (some may even have treats on-hand for your kids and furry friends).

Westin Hotels helped lead the way with RunWESTIN™, a New Balance-sponsored program of scenic three- and five-mile running routes available to hotel guests. Lululemon, a yoga clothing specialty retailer, offers yoga classes and running clinics, while Williams-Sonoma provides in-store cooking classes.

Companies like Saks are offering consumers a single point of contact though a new company, In-store associates can recommend and sell their clients products online through a storefront application.

Personal stylists are no longer available only at high-end fashion retailers. Stitch Fix  a subscription service (subscriptions are, in fact, optional), it differentiates itself by using data analysis to understand each customer and deliver apparel tailored to his or her personal style.

Best Buy’s Secret To Success

Best Buy have survived in spite of analysts’ predictions that Amazon would eat them for lunch. What’s Best Buy’s secret? According to CEO Hubert Joly, the firm has beat Wall Street’s expectations by matching Amazon’s prices, turning brick & mortar stores into showcases, providing new shipping and delivery options, quietly cutting costs, and training staff to consistently deliver a better customer experience. Every brand and retailer needs to think about the basics as they implement the trend-based strategies presented here. Great tech and people delivering service with passion is a must-have combination for thriving in the experience economy.


Retailers That Could Go Bankrupt

Toys R Us —-the nearly $12 billion toy seller the third-largest retailer in history to go bankrupt.Toys R Us bankruptcy —  the third-largest in retail history — did not happen in a vacuum.

Payless, Gymboree, rue21 and True Religion have all successfully exited Chapter 11 this year with healthier-looking structures.

Lands’ End

While the retailer’s catalog is still doing well, it’s suffering from an association with Sears
Credit: Lands’ End

With hundreds of store closures and lackluster sales, Sears could soon be gone for good
Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Thivierr
Nine West

Lackluster performance and a high debt load are haunting this retailer
Credit: Nine West Facebook pag


Some suppliers have demanded stricter terms from Bon-Ton.
Credit: flickr: MikeKalasnik

Claire’s Stores

Claire’s has “exhausted” many of its refinancing options, Debtwire says.
Credit: Geograp

Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus could still turn around its business, but some analysts aren’t sold on the possibility.
Credit: Wikimedia

99 Cents Only

The space that 99 Cents operates in is getting even more competitive
Credit: wikimedia

J. Crew

It’s been a tough year for J. Crew, with several executive departures and a high debt load
Credit: Flickr user epicharmus

Soon You Can Purchase On Instagram


US-based retail brands—including Kate Spade, JackThreads, and Warby Parker—will start posting interactive photos to Instagram and allow the items to be purchased in the featured image. Each image will feature a “tap to view” callout in the lower left-hand side; tap it to reveal the name and price of the products featured in the photo (Instagram supports up to five tags). Tap a tag to open a more detailed view in another window. If you want it just click “Shop Now,” at which point you’ll be redirected to a browser view, where you can add items to your cart and check out


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