This Week In Retail Marketing Innovation - August 19, 2019

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Perch CEO Trevor Sumner accepts the Most Influential CEO Award for Visual Merchandising by Corporate Vision

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Trevor Sumner, CEO of PERCH, was awarded the Most Influential CEO Award for Visual Merchandising by Corporate Vision this month. The winner of this award is chosen through a  combination of votes gathered from their network of respected industry partners and their own rigorous in-house research, performed by our dedicated network of industry insiders and corporate specialists, according to the Corporate Vision website.

“Merchandising is the core of the shopping experience and something remarkable is changing.  A confluence of factors is driving retailers to adopt digital in-store,” said Trevor after receiving the award. “I believe what we are doing is simply magic. Not just magical, but magic. Watching shoppers smile, laugh and play with products because of the surprise and delight of Perch is such a wonderful feeling. Bringing joy into this world at scale is no small feat. And ultimately, Perch lets every product tell its story. All the wonderful digital story-telling online can finally make its way into store. And that’s what this award is really about.”

Read more about the award and Trevor’s response here:

Kohl’s partners with Facebook to feature up-and-coming brands with its new “Curated by Kohl’s” program

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Kohl’s announced the launch of “Curated by Kohl’s,” a selection of products from emerging brands sold at Kohl’s both online and in-store starting in October 2019, according to a company press release. 

The first brands that will make the cut include Adore Me, East Adeline by Dia&Co, Kid Made Modern, Lovepop, Luca + Danni and United by Blue, according to Retail TouchPoints. The brands chosen for the new program were based on online popularity, and ultimately selected with the help of Facebook and Instagram data.

Facebook will continue to help Kohl’s find up-and-coming brands based on shopper interests. The two will partner up starting in 2020 to help Kohl’s with brand curation, identifying exciting startups who have built a strong online presence.

The assortment of brands include apparel, accessories and homegoods, and will be refreshed quarterly, according to the release.

“We’re incredibly excited to launch Curated by Kohl’s as a way to surprise and delight Kohl’s customers with a continuous stream of new, relevant merchandise, and as an avenue to bring new customers to Kohl’s,” said Doug Howe, Kohl’s chief merchandising officer. “Furthermore, Curated by Kohl’s provides the opportunity for us to showcase innovation, connect with digital retailers, and team up differently with best-in-class digital platforms like Facebook.”

Kohl’s is also bringing in a new set of brands later this year including Nine West apparel, handbags and footwear, Scott Living home lifestyle collection, and Elizabeth and James apparel, plus a holiday capsule by fashion designer Jason Wu, according to RetailDive and Retail TouchPoints

CEO Michelle Glass has also brought Amazon into the mix, with all 1,100+ Kohl’s stores accepting customer return orders from the e-commerce giant for free. The company is also dipping its toes in the “one stop shop” model by leasing out space to Aldi and Planet Fitness next to their stores.

Stein Mart launches new digital integration to enhance the customer experience

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Stein Mart has partnered with Mad Mobile to equip store associates with Apple IPads to provide mobile checkout and endless aisle shopping features, according to a company press release. Store associates at all 283 stores will now reduce checkout times and improve the customer experience

Mad Mobile’s Concierge app allows associates to help address customer pain points seamlessly by cutting down checkout lines and offering assistance to customers in search of items in stock. Stein Mart saw an increase in both AOVs and enrollment in its private label credit card as a result of the pilot program.

 "Concierge enabled us to upgrade our legacy point-of-sale systems to meet the needs of today's shopper," Stein Mart Chief Information Officer Sharon Hart said. “We selected Mad Mobile because of the strong results Concierge has produced for other major retailers and their proven ability to extend legacy POS systems to mobile devices. By renovating our POS, instead of replacing it, we saved significant costs and minimized operational risk.”

The push in tech innovation comes after a poor Q1 performance and a profit drop of 45% in 2018. The company’s stock is trading at just under $1, and the brand has been in danger of being delisted since July, according to a filing with the SEC.

To combat these downfalls, Stein Mart launched three initiatives in addition to their upgraded POS. These include housing Amazon lockers at 200 stores, adopting the Oracle Merchandise Planning Solution to better manage inventory, and a new loyalty program.

Sounding Smart by The Retail Water Cooler

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