• Retail Round-Up: What Millennials Like in a Retail Brand, and RIP SkyMall

    The beloved in-flight catalogue, SkyMall, is filing for bankruptcy. Passengers can now enjoy wi-fi on many flights, not to mention have plenty of gadgets of their own to distract them from the classic SkyMall booklet in the seat pocket in front of them. The company tried to remake itself as an online retailer in 2014, but without success. (Bloomberg)

    Understanding the spending habits of millennials has become crucial for retailers. It’s important to note that they respond well to authentic content over social media channels, and are often loyal to brands that have a socially responsible component, according to a new survey. (Inc.)

    Macy’s aims to attract a larger Latina audience by introducing a new collection by Thalia Sodi. They haven’t yet successfully targeted the Latin American market, which is considerably large — one in every four babies in the U.S is Hispanic. (Women’s Wear Daily)

    Consumer expectations for online shopping are increasing, which might explain the disparity between people saying they would like to shop online, and their actual online shopping activity. They want to know that an item they see on a web store won’t be sold out when they visit the physical store, surveys say. (CNBC)

    Fans of the famous Italian brand Moschino can now shop in its first-ever American store in Los Angeles. The space is designed by Jeremy Scott, a notoriously funky LA-based designer and Moschino’s creative director since 2013. The next Scott-designed stores are set to open in Milan, followed by SoHo, NYC later this year. (Fashionista)

  • 7 Tips to Start Promoting Your Store on Instagram

    So you’re ready to get your store an Instagram account. Mazel tov! It’s never too late to hop on the bandwagon of one of the most popular social media networks, especially one that can boost your sales. Instagram is possibly one of the easiest social platforms to manage, so in case you were considering hiring a tech-savvy consultant to help you, rest assured this is something even those who “can’t even turn on a computer” can do with ease.

    Let’s get started!

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  • Going Into Business with a Friend

    There comes a time in the lives of many entrepreneurs when the question presents itself: should I go into business with a friend? While many people stick to a strict “no-friend” policy when it comes to new business endeavours, there are countless examples of successful ventures that were built by friends-turned-partners. Taking the time to correctly analyze your project and relationship, may make all the difference between a failed venture and a lucrative enterprise.

    As you spend nights writing and rewriting pros and cons lists, we’d like to offer six things to consider before going into business with a friend.

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  • Retail Round-Up: New Retail Apps and Why Target Failed in Canada

    Consumers are armed with even more knowledge than ever before. The latest cause? New smartphone apps. Mobile-enhanced shopping is here to stay, and retailers will now have to adapt to new apps like Find&Save, which lets consumers receive promotions from competing businesses whenever they enter a store. (Huffington Post)

    The majority of Americans shopping for dress sizes 8-18 don’t typically like to consider themselves “plus sized.” It’s why online store “Hey Gorgeous” by Aimee Chesire doesn’t use that term, and they’re seeing the payoff. They’re expanding their reach, enticing more customers, and understand that bridging the gap between the 0-8 and the 14+ range is the way to go. (Fashionista)

    In their first year in business in Canada, Target lost nearly 1 billion dollars, and is now facing the closure of 133 stores nationwide. Many issues are responsible for the failed expansion: poorly planned interiors (due to inheriting Zellers’ locations), failing to acquire Zellers’ sales history, and high prices compared to American stores are just some of the many variables responsible for their failure to win the Canadian market. (CBC News)

    Retail projections for the U.S in 2015 are looking positive. Consumers under the age of 34 are expected to drive key categories such as neighborhood convenience stores and upscale specialty store due to their urban lifestyles and increasingly better employment rates. Dollar stores and second-hand luxury stores will also thrive at opposite ends of the socioeconomic segments. (Chicago Tribune)

  • What Apparel Retailers Need to Know About Working With Vendors

    Receiving the wrong merchandise at the wrong time, or in the wrong quantity, can be a nightmare scenario. Unfortunately, it’s one that almost every retailer might deal with at some point or another. When it comes to working with vendors, accurate ordering is crucial — not to mention choosing the right vendors and products. Smart buying from the right wholesalers is at the base of any retail success, so we spoke to Jill Sherman, a former buyer for Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong and founder of Modalyst, about the best ways to go about making shrewd buys from the right people.

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  • Retail Round-Up: The Best Blends of Online and Offline, and January Sales

    Online-only stores are making the leap into the physical world with great success, with the notably new Guideshop model pioneered by Bonobos. By avoiding stocking inventory, they fully focus on the experience. Many companies are discovering that building customer relationships takes more than attractive website photography, and first-movers are winning when it comes to their innovative retail models that blend the best of Internet and traditional shopping. (New York Observer)

    Thin wallets meant healthy sales for discount stores like Target this past holiday season. Retail sales as a whole increased in America, but apparel fell from 5% to a mere 2.8%. One potential cause: expenses like mobile phone bills. (Bloomberg)

    Many suffering retailers hope Christmas will turn around sales, but often, December isn’t as promising as they had hoped, leaving January as a big month for bankruptcy. Last month spelled major losses for teen retailer Wet Seal, who attributes their pending bankruptcy to a change in adolescent spending habits. (Forbes)

    Looking to save a few bucks? Deep discounts are usually abundant in January. These six items, including cold medication and carpeting, are worth stocking up on. (Huffington Post)

    Retail might have a bad reputation for being a low-paying industry, but new statistics paint a different picture. Working in a store not only offers upward mobility, but also higher wages compared to other service jobs. (CBS News)

  • The Most Important Restaurant Trends of 2015

    Now that 2014 is officially behind us, ‘tis the season to look to the future and identify some key predictions being made for the restaurant industry in 2015. Certain trends are region-specific while others apply across the board and we’re bringing you the top four overall trends that cannot be ignored this year!

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  • Retail Round-Up: Predictions for 2015 and Instagram’s Success

    Many of 2014’s retail trends will continue to be important in 2015 — namely, the fusion of online and offline shopping. Better mobile sites without too many frills, as well as smaller “big box” stores and appealing to low-income shoppers are among five trends that will shape the new year. (CNBC)

    Still on the fence about getting an Instagram account for your store? The platform is becoming an increasingly important social media space for marketers, especially since the introduction of video-sharing to the service. Check out these top-performing Instagram videos for a little inspiration for 2015! (Adweek)

    The 2014 holiday season has come to a close, but shoppers continue to drive business. Stores are still buzzing for two main reasons: gift cards and returns. It’s a good thing for retailers looking to unload old merchandise, but also slightly inconvenient due to the increase of returns. (USA Today)

    Which retailers will succeed in 2015? According to the CEO of Storch Advisors, Gerald Storch, luxury retailers, stores with an omni-channel strategy, and retailers that offer true value will be the ones to prosper. Due to the current stock market, luxury consumers have money to spend this year, and are likely to spend it shopping. Because the Internet offers shoppers almost complete price transparency, most people are also looking for real value–something stores like Costco and TJMaxx understand. (NBC NEWS)

    This year, Canadians spent more holiday dollars at home instead of crossing the border into the United States. Cheaper gas prices as well as the the value of the Canadian dollar caused more people to shop domestically. Boxing day sales were the highest since the 2008 economic downturn, and the amount spent per transaction was up by about 10 per cent compared to last year. (Huffington Post)

  • Happy Holidays!

  • Retail Round-Up: Christmas in Dubai and Ikea’s Newest Expansion Plan

    Carless city dwellers in Vancouver and Toronto will soon be able to enjoy scaled-down Ikea shopping experiences. The Swedish company recently announced that they will roll out stores one tenth the size of the typical Ikea, with the option to pick up online purchases in stores. (Business Vancouver)

    Montreal’s LXR&Co is set on being the first true vintage luxury brand. They have a strong wholesale and online business, but the focus is on expanding their brick-and-mortar presence. They have stores in Beverly Hills, New York City, and a shop-in-shop store in Hudson’s Bay in Toronto, where a client recently dropped $150,000 on vintage Hermès handbag.  (Montreal Gazette)

    The city of Dubai doesn’t normally evoke images of a three-day Christmas festival with carols and snow, but an influx of expats are driving the trend to observe the traditionally Christian holiday. The same goes for big cities in China, where malls are decked out in tinsel and and festive decor. It’s yet another reason to spend money, and retailers aren’t complaining. (Bloomgberg)

    Retailers have taken note of people’s last-minute holiday shopping habits, and are coming up with new ways to attract them. Free shipping, gift wrapping, same-day delivery, and “extra help” are the latest ploys to make shopping easier for consumers who’ve postponed their purchases till now. (Forbes)

    Apple Pay is becoming an accepted form of payment at more and more retailers including Whole Foods and Staples. The company is leading the way in terms of smartphone-based e-commerce products, surpassing AT&T and Google. According to consumer, line-busting abilities are Apple Pay’s main advantage. (The New York Times)

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