Here’s why the owner of Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lane Bryant is bankrupt

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These brands survived the retail apocalypse in the wake of the Great Recession, only to be hit hard when the coronavirus pandemic landed. When the pandemic eventually recedes and you feel comfortable shopping in malls again, there’s a good chance the retail landscape will look very different. For instance, there will be far fewer Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, and Loft stores to shop from. Ascena Retail Group, the umbrella company that owns these brands along with Catherine’s, Justice, and Lou & Grey, has just filed for bankruptcy. Read Full Story

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Optimizing ecommerce & mobile for in-the-moment holiday shopping experiences

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30-second summary: Market conditions have shifted; they’re on a volatility roller coaster ride with an indeterminate amount of track of opportunity. US ecommerce sales in July rose 55% year-over-year (YoY) reaching a record $66.3 billion. 73% of consumers who are shopping online more since the pandemic plan to continue doing so in future. Ready or not, retailers need be planning new ways to deal with demand fluctuations across ecommerce categories now and plan for the holidays. In the face of dramatic shifts in consumer behavior, social distancing recommendations, and no end in sight to the uncertainty and changes in consumer behavior caused by the coronavirus, retailers are finding ecommerce and the mobile shopping experience more important than ever before. In fact, according to new data released from the Adobe Digital Index US ecommerce sales in July rose 55% year-over-year (YoY) reaching a record $66.3 billion. Strategies and technologies in the …

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What is a Retail Media Network?

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The marketing and advertising industry is a fast-paced industry. With technology evolving rapidly, people have found it more convenient to do their shopping and other transactions online. With digital interactions overtaking in-person activities, this shift in people’s lifestyles means one thing for businesses — they need to pivot fast. Failure to do so can only lead to losing customers. Enter retail media networks. What is a Retail Media Network? With more and more people shopping online, retail media just makes sense. But what exactly is a retail media network? A retail media network is when retailers set up an advertising platform on their website, app, or other digital platforms within their network. This allows the store, and other brands, to advertise to customers on sites like CVS or Walgreens. It’s a form of in-store advertising in a digital format. Here’s an example from CVS’s homepage. Notice the “sponsored” tag in …

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Why American Eagle is the last mall brand standing

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In the midst of the pandemic, AEO has opened stores and launched new brands. What’s the secret to its success? When COVID-19 arrived in the United States, the fashion industry took a major hit. In April, clothing sales fell by 79% , the largest drop on record. By the end of the year, revenues are expected to drop by a third, equal to $640 billion in losses . Iconic retailers, from Brooks Brothers to Lord & Taylor, have declared bankruptcy. And yet, in the midst of this bleak landscape, there’s a bright spot: American Eagle Outfitters, the four-decades-old teen retailer that owns American Eagle and Aerie. Read Full Story

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The future of the mall

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30-second summary: More customers are transitioning to a digital-first experience Digital-first brands that recognize a superior CX as a competitive differentiator are aware that the in-store experience, while still important, represents just a sliver of how a customer interacts with a brand. Clienteling is one type of a digital experience that can enhance an in-store visit. Malls are taking other steps to re-think the traditional mall experience with a digital focus, such as buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) or buy online, return in-store. A personalized, digital-first CX that treats an in-store experience as complementary to a holistic customer journey more closely aligns with how the customer views their relationship with a brand. As a proud native Minnesotan, home to the Southdale Center and the Mall of America, the country’s first mall and its first mega-mall, respectively, the topic of the demise of the mall hits close to home. While Minnesota …

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A look at the full revenue impact of retail media ad platforms

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The rise in retail media is one of the hottest topics in marketing today. It’s no mystery that the pandemic has massively changed consumer behavior and usher in rampant digital transformation globally. One sector that seems to have benefited the most in these times is ecommerce. Where it used to be just one of many options we had when it came to making a purchase, ecommerce instead became the primary method of shopping. Pandemic-related boosts in online shopping resulted in an additional $174.87 billion in ecommerce revenue for 2020, Digital Commerce 360 estimated . If it weren’t for the bump in online sales from the pandemic, the $861.12 billion in ecommerce sales wouldn’t have materialized until 2022. And with that comes a related increase in spending by brands advertising on those same sites. In fact, 76 percent of brand marketers now agree that “growth of [their] business depends on retail …

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‘I’ve been called the Karen of Stop & Shop’: Retail workers on enforcing mask mandates

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Two grocery employees share what it’s like to be tasked with enforcing mask mandates and placating disgruntled customers. Essential workers have been on the front lines of the pandemic since March, risking their health to sustain our food supply and care for the sick and elderly . But as the economy reopened over the summer, retail stores and other businesses were suddenly burdened with another responsibility: wrangling customers who refused to follow public health guidelines. Read Full Story

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