Three Retail Inventory Management Challenges for the 2018 Holiday Season

As the sugar high from Halloween subsides, retailers are shifting their focus to the next holiday spending rush this season: Black Friday. The dangerous combination of pumpkin-spiced lattes, a strong economy, and product deals and discounts will fuel consumers into the eagerly awaited shopping period for retail.

The outlook on holiday spending this year is optimistic. Retailers are getting holiday ready and pulling out all the stops, such as Target and Walmart's free two-day holiday shipping rollout and Wayfair's holiday pop-ups

However, the difficulties in achieving success during the holidays always fall back on how effectively a retailer can manage their inventory. Are you providing the right product, in the right amount, at the right time and place? Here are some of the biggest inventory management challenges retailers must overcome this holiday season:

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Topics: brick-and-mortar retail, merchandise planning, merchandise assortment, product assortment, data, inventory, e-commerce, holiday shopping, holidays, demand prediction, order fulfillment, advanced analytics

Lessons from Amazon's 4-Star Store, GH Lab, & Fashion Pop-Up Boutique

It’s easy to gloss over the timeworn Amazon headlines, but media coverage of the e-commerce titan’s recent physical retail strategies incited us to dig a little deeper to share some key learnings for you today:

1). First, Amazon’s partnership with Good Housekeeping magazine to create a new pop-up shop and digital boutique, GH Lab, at the Mall of America beckons a unique approach to the physical shopping experience using technology and a thoughtfully crafted, limited assortment.

2). Secondly, the opening of Amazon 4-Star — a new physical store where everything for sale is rated 4 stars and above, is a top seller, or is new and trending on Amazon.com— signals a new level of data-driven curation and transparency that only seemed possible online. 

3). Lastly, the introduction of Amazon’s first fashion-focused pop-up shop in London further affirms the 'brick-to-clicks' phenomenon driving many digitally-native brands to embrace offline despite the 1,773 store closures so far in 2018. 

Amazon has been dabbling in physical retail since its acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017, but its bold experimentation with these new store models clearly reveal the company’s ambitions across multiple physical retail verticals – from fashion to furniture to wellness and more.

These moves signal a future in retail where the power of data drives curated assortments, transparency, and more pleasant, stress-free shopping experiences.

Retailers, take note!

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Topics: brick-and-mortar retail, merchandise planning, merchandise assortment, product assortment, amazon, data, inventory, e-commerce

3 Ways Best Buy Avoided Becoming a Casualty of Amazon

The popular joke, if you choose to indulge in that sort of thing, is that Best Buy is little more than an Amazon showroom. Essentially, the theory is consumers go to Best Buy to check out the latest technology in-person, and then, once they decide which TV would look best in their living room, they go online—most often to Amazon—to find a cheaper alternative. Just google "amazon showroom" and you will see what I mean.

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Topics: best buy, fulfillment, product assortment, ship-from-store

How Traditional Retail Can Mimic the Stitch Fix Model

One of the most talked about segments of the retail industry today is the subscription box fad. A great example of this is Stitch Fix. For any who haven’t heard of it yet, the basic premise is this: to transfer the personal shopper service to the online subscription world.

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Topics: product assortment, subscription boxes

How Retailers Should Speak to the Millennial Generation (and other fun facts)

Ah, millennials. They’ve been called everything from the smartest generation to the worst, been praised for their savviness but have heralded Red Lobster (?!) as their favorite restaurant.  They’re certainly confounding.  

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Topics: customer experience, retail analytics, product assortment, millenials

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