Many retailers are terrified of turning into a showroom. They fear consumers will come only to test out the products they’ll later buy online.
Many stores, including Restoration Hardware’s rival Pottery Barn, fought showrooming by “rushing to lower prices,” Solsman writes.
But Restoration Hardware decreased its number of physical stores and used the remaining ones as showrooms. Sofas, tables, rugs and other decor were meticulously arranged with an emphasis on the aesthetic. Customers could find even more merchandise online or in catalogues while shopping in the stores.
The tactic is working. Direct-to-consumer now makes up half of Restoration Hardware’s business, and the retailer has reported double-digit sales growth for 10 quarters, according to Solsman.
“Furniture and decor, unlike consumer electronics and other items, aren’t easily searchable by specifications,” Solsman writes. “A highly fragmented market, home furnishings sellers benefit from many players having proprietary merchandise, which stunts online competitive threats.”
UK gaming outfit Rubicon has castigated Microsoft after claiming a Windows RT port of its Great Big War Game made a meager £52 ($83) in its first week in the store. The company was particularly incensed at Redmond’s lack of promotional features to help the title’s visibility, claiming that “if you’re familiar with (its) new store, this means our app is forever consigned to the garbage bin.” The company added that the iOS, Android “and even RIM” stores have promoted the app, which it said was widely lauded, and felt that after investing £10,000 on the port, “we got spat on” by the software giant. The developer punctuated its blog statement by saying it won’t work with Microsoft again, and “that store is going to look mighty bleak for a long time to come” if it doesn’t change its policy. No doubt there’s some sour grapes getting squeezed here, but it’s fair to say that RT is much in need of some sweeter news.
Via: Games Industry
Source: Rubicon Blog
(It’s often a complaint that Android devices are more susceptible to malware than other phones. However, Google has done a good job at cracking down on malicious apps in its Google Play app store, so it hasn’t really been a problem for most people lately.)
As one would expect, the campaign is blowing up in Microsoft’s face.
— Android Central (@androidcentral) December 5, 2012
My wireless mouse wasn’t compatible with Win8 so I downloaded an app on my Nexus phone to act as a mouse for my PC #DroidRage
— Mayur (@mayur24) December 5, 2012 < blockquote>
You are as vulnerable to malware on Android as you are on a desktop computer. Be smart. Think then press. #droidrage
— Jeanie Lam (@jeanielam) December 5, 2012
I hate how everyones windows phone looks the same and everyones android looks customized and personal! #DroidRage
— James Anthony (@_JamesAnthony) December 5, 2012
Expect to hear a lot about “pulled forward demand” in the coming weeks.
The firm ShopperTrak reported yesterday:
ShopperTrak, the world’s largest counter of retail foot traffic, estimates that, when compared to Black Friday last year, retail foot traffic rose 3.5 percent, to more than 307.67 million store visits. Retail sales decreased 1.8 percent, however, with shoppers spending an estimated total of $11.2 billion yesterday.
But then it added:
“Black Friday continues to be an important day in retail,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. “This year, though, more retailers than last year began their ‘doorbuster’ deals on Thursday, Thanksgiving itself. So while foot traffic did increase on Friday, those Thursday deals attracted some of the spending that’s usually meant for Friday.”
One analyst, who preferred to remain anonymous, who was hanging out at a mall on Black Friday told BI:
…the pulled forward promos (starting weds and midnight openings) does seem to have pulled some traffic from Black Friday. Mall traffic seems thinner.
So this week, when the analysis is done, that will be the explanation.
Fast-fashion retailer Zara is on a mission to take over the world, and in the process it has changed the whole fabric of the industry.
Zara’s strategy involves stocking very little and updating collections often. Instead of other brands that only update once a season, Zara restocks with new designs twice a week, reported Suzy Hansen at the New York Times.
That strategy works two ways, according to Hansen. First, it encourages customers to come back to the store often. It also means that if the shopper wants to buy something, he or she feels that they have to in order to guarantee it won’t sell out.
As a result of its massive success, Zara is making luxury retailers pretty nervous. Zara tries to build their stores as close as possible to the luxury boutiques like Stella McCartney and Chanel. Meanwhile, those retailers are trying to stay far away from the fast-fashion company.
“They broke up a century-old biannual cycle of fashion,” an analyst told Hansen. “Now, pretty much half of the high-end fashion companies” — Prada and Louis Vuitton, for example — “make four to six collections instead of two each year. That’s absolutely because of Zara.”
Another important way that Zara has impacted the fashion is by negating the idea that expensive clothes are more desirable. Kate Middleton has often been photographed in the brand, and getting something chic for a steal is something to brag about.
Zara also fits in with another trend: today’s demanding consumer.
Now that shoppers can get what they want from virtually any channel for a variety of prices, they’re becoming much more discerning about what they want.
That means that a company that sells high fashion for low prices and offers constant new merchandise is set to do well in today’s marketplace, and other retailers should be rushing to emulate Zara’s model.
Shares of JC Penney are tanking over 11.5% this morning after the retailer reported earnings.
Revenue of $2.9 billion is way below estimates of $3.2 billion.
EPS of $-0.93 per share is well worse than the loss of seven cents that were expected.
And same-store sales are down 26.1%
CEO Ron Johnson offers up:
Ron Johnson, chief executive officer of jcpenney said, “While the quarter overall was challenging, the performance of jcp’s new brands and shops reinforces our conviction to transform jcpenney into a specialty department store. Today, jcp is really a tale of two companies. By far the largest part of our store is the old jcpenney, which continues to struggle and experience significant challenges as evidenced by our third quarter results. However, the new jcp, centered around the shop concept, is gaining traction with customers every day and is surpassing our own expectations in terms of sales productivity which continues to give us confidence in our long term business model.”
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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