Tech Talk — More than half of consumers shop online and offline equally

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Consumers are spending more time shopping online for travel or other entertainment. However, consumers prefer to shop offline for items like clothes, home furnishings, groceries and beverages. Interestingly enough, those that tend to shop more online “live in urban areas where cross-channel shopping opportunities are already abundant.” But now more than ever, people are shopping from their mobile devices.

Read more in Retail Dive’s article here >>

Customer Experience — How Bonobos became the ‘DNVB college’

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Bonobos is a DNVB (digitally native vertical brand) that has been known to develop top talent. The belief is that because Bonobos fosters an intentially entrepreneurial culture, people tend to leave to persue their own companies. The CEO, Micky Onvural is passionate about a bounce-back theory. “Having a robust alumni network, so to speak, is an incredible competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting.”

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Customer Experience — Lessons learned from a trip to Neiman Marcus’ Dallas flagship

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“Bringing shoppers into stores and converting browsers into buyers is all about being more human in an increasingly inhuman world, writes retail consultant Bob Phibbs.”

“Luxury brands have an outdated notion that service means remaining on the sidelines and acting aloof until the shopper asks for something. That’s not what shoppers want. People go into a store to experience a feeling. When they feel like they’re in a fishbowl or being ignored, it doesn’t exactly inspire spending.”

See more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Industry News — Gen Z favors Vans, Lululemon and Amazon

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It seems that Generation Z kids, ages 13-19, could possibly be a very powerful generation according to Piper Jaffray researchers. When polled, 90% of the teens were passionate about political or social causes. These Gen Z kids are also passionate shoppers. They are collectively spending some $77 billion a year on their most favorite brands like Lululemon, Vans and shopping on their favorite site, Amazon.

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Tech Talk — Walmart adds nearly 4K robots to stores

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Like SMK Workforce Solutions, Walmart is also focusing on both customer and employee experiences. They have invested in efforts to help associates serve more customers face-to-face. What’s the strategy? They are deploying robots in their stores! Seriously! In fact, they will deploy robots that can clean the floors, scan shelves for availability and accurate placement and make corrections on pricing. They will also have robots that will scan and sort items from trucks and “Pickup Towers,” where consumers can pick up purchases ordered online.

Read more in Retail Dive’s article here >>

Industry News — Hudson Yards: New York City’s latest retail playground

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Is this just another mall or a “candy store for the rich?” The 78-year-old billionaire developer Stephen Ross, says he picked retail tenants “who have proven themselves able to attract capital.” He also said “it takes seasoned players to compete in this space.”

There is a good mix of retailers included such as Cartier, Fendi, Chanel and Louis Vuitton as well as a “handful of mall standards such as H&M, Zara and Sephora, plus burger joint Shake Shack.”

The mall “is enhanced by a dozen public art installations such as the 150-foot tall beehive (or trashcan)-shaped Vessel, and the Edge, an observation deck 100 stories and 1,000 feet up, opening in 2020.”

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Industry News — The blunt truth: Cannabis retail is here

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Some interesting points about the Cannabis Industry are that these new companies “cater to people who value quality control” and they offer education so that consumers can feel safe buying their products.

Make no mistakes, “the THC and CBD markets are both complicated because they are emerging industries, “with patchwork regulations as legalization occurs state by state and with agricultural, scientific, quality control, marketing, manufacturing and packaging implications.”

Even still, projections for the Cannabis Industry are $30 billion by 2022 and $50 billion by 2029.

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Industry News — Wayfair plots first physical store

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In an industry going through growing pains, this company has found a spot at the table. Wayfair recently announced it will open its first full-service retail store in early fall. “Wayfair’s foray into physical retail comes after the apparent success of two pop-up shops, including one during the 2018 holiday season at the Natick Mall, which is a short drive from the company’s Boston-based headquarters.”

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Spotlight on SMK Employee — Anne MacKenzie

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Our next SMK Employee Spotlight story features our Vice President of Services, Anne MacKenzie.

Anne is a Retail Executive with a background leading world-class teams in the areas of field communication and client experience. She is part of the founding team at SMK Workforce Solutions and a true asset to the organization. Anne created and oversees the SMK Project Management practice, making sure our tools and processes are consistent. Anne serves as an Engagement Principle working closely with our clients’ Executive Teams members through their project phases. After hours, you can find this fun-loving gal enjoying the wine and sunshine of her home state of California or traveling the world. Anne brings her contagious belly laugh along with her “get-it-done” side to all projects – making people enjoy working with her.


Super hero powers?

  • If Anne were a super hero, she would have the ability to influence opinions on a global level, specifically cultural diversity and the value and impact differences have on powerful and peaceful change.

In few words, Anne describes herself as:

  • Living life out loud
  • Passionate
  • Detail oriented

The most rewarding advice she has been given?

  • Live your life with no regrets.

Go-to karaoke song?

  • Sweet Home Alabama

Three things on her bucket list?

  • The Snowman Trek in Bhutan
  • Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • Float in the Dead Sea

Read more about Anne’s work experience by finding her on our Team Page here >>