Retail Executive

NOV/DEC 2017

Retail Executive is the trusted advisor to top retail executives from the industry’s most profitable retailers. We help retail executives succeed in their job role and grow their business via exclusive, actionable, peer-driven content.

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Think Big In 2018: Why The CX Depends On It offer. When considering what to put on the shelves in your store, on your e-commerce site, etc., think beyond what your customer buys from you and more about who she is and what she likes to do. That information is priceless, as what she does in her everyday life (i.e., hob- bies, employment, etc.) will influence what she likes to buy and from where — and how — she will buy it. Pooja Agarwal, VP of operations at Birchbox, talks about the importance of knowing what your customers like to do and building a product assortment based on that infor- mation. Turn to page 18 to read all about it. REINVENT THE STORE Between the opening of Nordstrom Local and Apple's now referring to its flagship stores as "town squares," the retail store is changing based on who its customers are and what they like to do. Akin to Agarwal's point about knowing customers' personas, Nordstrom and Apple have evolved their vision to turn stores into "gath- ering places." While this doesn't make sense for every segment in all cases, every segment can implement cre- ative, thoughtful changes to the existing store model. While the senior leadership team should drive and sup- port the effort, quantifiable success comes from consid- ering ideas from every employee in every department. SPEAKING OF IDEAS… Alexis DePree, VP of global supply chain, customer ful- fillment at Amazon, stresses and fosters a "think big" cul- ture among her team (read the full story on page 12). De- Pree offers a few tangible examples of the methodologies she employs regularly to promote the strategic thinking that generates new products and services such as Prime Wardrobe. And, don't be intimidated by Amazon's pro- cesses simply because it's Amazon. DePree's practices help operate the world's most complex logistics empire, and they're feasible for tier-ones to SMRs, too. In some ways, everything in retail has changed since my trips the Square with my grandmother. But in many more ways, nothing's changed at all. My Boscov's story is one that illustrates why and how retailers can — and must — provide the experiences their customers want beyond the products sold on the store floor. And that starts with retail executives surrounding themselves with big thinkers and letting the change begin. R ne of my fondest childhood memories is going "downtown" to Wilkes-Barre, PA, with my grandmother. Every now and then, she and I would take the bus to "the Square," a colloquial name for the center of town, to go to Boscov's, where we'd spend an hour or two shopping. Our first stop was the kids' section, followed by shoes and handbags. Once in a great while, she'd surprise me by taking me to the salon inside the store to get a French braid in my hair. On our way out, we'd stop at the food stand on the bottom floor to buy popcorn to eat on the bus ride home. Thinking back, I remember how cool it was to shop and get my hair done and buy fresh popcorn in the same place. As a professional in the retail industry, I know that what my grandmother and I did wasn't shopping; what we had was an experience. As we head into 2018, here are some things for the senior leadership team to consider as it crafts the future of the business by creat- ing memorable customer experiences. ALL THEY NEED IS LESS The era of excess is over. Consumers no longer buy merchandise for the hell of it. They have switched to making thoughtful, calculated purchases of high-qual- ity goods and sought-after experiences. For the C-suite, that means doubling down on the merchandising team to curate a product assortment that is snowflake differ- ent. But retailing today isn't just about the products you O E R I N H A R R I S Editor in Chief @ErinOnRetail linkedin.com/in/ErinHarris VIEWPOINT REX By E. Harris THINK BIG IN 2018: WHY THE CX DEPENDS ON IT RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 6

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