Articles

Retail

Smart Clothes Hit the Rack

Smart Clothes Hit the Rack

Will warehouse workers suit up in electronic clothing? Possibly. MIT researchers released a line of smart clothes that can track physical movement, and Fudan University researchers in China unveiled state-of-the-art electronic textiles that can produce visual displays. This is all happening as wearable devices continue to streamline supply chain operations and provide critical feedback in […]

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Designers Cultivate Plant-Based Leather

Designers Cultivate Plant-Based Leather

Fashion designers branch out to plant-based textiles in response to growing demand for sustainable and cruelty-free products, and as supply chains seek to lower their carbon footprint. These leather alternatives are heating up: Cactus: Fast fashion company H&M is partnering with Mexico-based Desserto to create a new collection, including shoes made from cactus leather. Desserto […]

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Target Practices Faster Fulfillment

Target Practices Faster Fulfillment

Instead of using carriers to ship all its online orders, Target is building its own team of dedicated delivery personnel to get packages to customers’ doors even faster, helping the retailer compete with its e-commerce rivals, says a CNBC report. The new approach involves three companies that Target acquired: Grand Junction, Deliv, and Shipt. Target […]

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Amazon Delivery Drivers, Assemble!

Amazon Delivery Drivers, Assemble!

Amazon shoppers may soon have the option to have their orders assembled upon arrival, says a Bloomberg report. The e-commerce giant is testing the premium service as online furniture and housewares sales continue to soar and shoppers get more comfortable making big-ticket purchases online. Amazon currently offers scheduled at-home delivery to a particular room, but […]

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Vertical Focus | Textiles

Vertical Focus | Textiles

Dawn of the Deadstock To address pandemic-induced material shortages, economic volatility, and environmental concerns, many retailers are working to make their supply chains circular. These initiatives help the cause by reviving deadstock material—unused fabric that fashion brands typically store or destroy. Here’s how some retailers are bringing their deadstock to life: Queen of Raw: This […]

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Fulfillment and Logistics Drive Retail Customer Loyalty

While the majority of retailers experienced fulfillment disruptions this past holiday season, retailers that provided alternative ways for customers to get their gifts on time, and later, return items with ease, stood out as innovative and reliable. Moving forward, fulfillment and logistics will increasingly become the battleground for customer loyalty even as business conditions normalize. […]

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Walmart Goes Local

Walmart Goes Local

Walmart plans to increase the number of local fulfillment centers across the United States, which it will build inside or near existing retail locations. This localized approach mirrors Amazon’s strategy, as both companies face off amid surging demand for online orders. Walmart opened its first fulfillment center in 2019 in New Hampshire when the retail […]

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Paul A. Myerson

Omnichannel Delivers, But at What Cost?

Amazon, the most successful e-commerce company of all, gained a competitive advantage through its two-day free delivery for Prime customers. Many other pure e-tailers and brick-and-mortar retailers moving to omnichannel retail—where customers engage with companies in a variety of ways, including in a physical store, or via websites and mobile apps—have followed suit to some degree.

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Neiman Marcus Splurges on Digitization

Luxury department store Neiman Marcus is banking on a digital future, investing $85 million to make immediate changes to its supply chain and technology operations after erasing more than $4 billion in debt with a successful bankruptcy. To help improve its digital customer service, the retailer hired Apple veteran Bob Kupbens as its new chief […]

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Overcoming the Returns Challenge

The world of e-commerce shows no sign of slowing down. As parcel volumes soar and businesses strive to meet customer delivery expectations, returns services can, and have been, easily overlooked. Considering that in some sectors, such as fashion, returns can be as high as 45% and in the United States, customers are 3x more likely […]

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4 New Rules for Retail

4 New Rules for Retail

While the grocery and home improvement sectors benefited from changes in consumer behavior during the pandemic, apparel and department stores struggled. Consequently, the following new rules will come into play for retailers in 2021, says a Deloitte report: 1. Digital investment should go beyond differentiation. Many retailers have jumped on the digital bandwagon (see chart), […]

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