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How Retailers Can Invest in Labor to Lower Costs and Improve Profits

Every once in a while you come across a simple idea that really forces you to stop and think…and then it makes you stop again and think some more.

For me that happened just the other day when I purchased and read a copy of Zeynep Ton’s new book entitled The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits.

Ms. Ton is an Associate Professor of Operations Management at MIT Sloan School of Management.  Over the past 10 years she’s conducted a vast amount of research focused on the critical role of store operations in retail supply chains and exploring how retailers can design and manage their operations in a way that satisfies employees, customers, and investors simultaneously.

Professor Ton’s simple, but powerful, idea is that retailers can invest heavily in store employees and simultaneously deliver lower prices, higher profits, and better customer service than their competitors.

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog.

April 4, 2014Lisa Marks Associates, Inc. (LMA), a full-service licensing and marketing agency, has announced that it has expanded licensing programs for Just Born Quality Confections and its Peeps, Hot Tamales, and Mike and Ike brands with key strategic partners and new products.

Read more: LMA Adds Key Partners to Just Born Licensing Programs

April 3, 2014 - Celebrity Interior Designer Jennifer Adams has reached a multi-year, licensing agreement with the MT Company, an institution in the industry with a long history of producing hand-built, quality furniture. This new relationship rounds out Jennifer's robust licensing programs that consists of bedding, fabrics, bathroom sets, rugs, apparel, pet products, and home fragrance products.

Read more: Jennifer Adams Worldwide Partners with The MT Company

April 2, 2014 - Market research is a crucial part of a successful business venture. When you know what your customer is thinking and what drives consumer behavior, you can successfully target them and make your product a success. 6.7 billion dollars are spent on market research each year, and it’s an ever-growing business especially as technology and social media sites continue to spawn anew each day.

However, in the past, market research on shopping behavior has been very limited. For example, if a retailer or manufacturer wanted to monitor customer behavior, they would simply strive to track in-store behavior and purchases. Alternatively, companies could survey shoppers about their in-store behavior to try to understand why they bought (or didn’t buy) the products on the shelves.

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog.

April 1, 2014 - According to a survey conducted by Mooslyvania, Millennials are getting an undeserved bad reputation as consumers. The survey appears to refute common myths associated with this generation and unveils insightful data on what really motivates them in how they think, shop, buy and continue purchasing their favorite brands. Millennials – defined as anyone between the ages of 13-33 – account for nearly $1.3 trillion in consumer spending and spend the second most amount of time of any generation online – 87 percent as much as Gen X'ers.

Read more: Refuting Myths About Millennials

March 31, 2014 - Quantum Retail Technology Inc., a provider of consumer driven merchandise solutions for retailers, has announced that Kevin Davidson has joined the company as its Chief Financial Officer. Davidson brings over 20 years of financial management and corporate development experience to Quantum and will report to CEO Steve Buege.

Read more: Quantum Retail names Kevin Davidson Chief Financial Officer

Mobile Payments Are Becoming More Common in Retail. Do You Have a Mobile Plan in Place?

March 27, 2014 - Mobile payments are becoming increasingly common in retail, and major brands like Burger King are jumping on board. The fast food giant recently announced plans to begin accepting mobile payments through a smartphone app that allows customers to order on-the-go and prompts cooks to prepare food when GPS technology indicates the customer is close. Taco Bell is also planning to accommodate mobile payments. As retail giants get on board with different types of mobile payment processing, small and large businesses alike can revisit the topic to see whether it makes sense for their payment processing.

Read more: Do You Have a Mobile Plan in Place?

March 26, 2014 - Social media is entering an unusual phase in its life as a form of communication and potential business tactic. While marketers have been using social media for more than a decade and there is a growing array of diverging social media networks, its dynamics still change regularly, and what we come to learn about the field is still somewhat yet to be determined.

On the other hand, retailers have enough information about social media to take actionable measures that drive better customer engagement, improve satisfaction, increase loyalty, build purchase frequency and boost size of retail baskets. Social media serves as one of the most flexible ways to leverage classic marketing message strategies, including upselling, cross-selling and bundling for customers. Its speed and capability to create a prolific volume of communication remain unmatched. The Q4 2013 Social Media Intelligence Report from Adobe clearly demonstrates that website traffic by retail customers driven by social media use is rising across all major networks and that revenue per visit (RPV) from customers is on the rise in all networks, too.

Read the full post on the Retail Merchandiser blog

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