/ shiftonomics

Retail Brands Need to Think Outside the Box

A look at the stories shaping the world of retail, work, and technology this past week. Here are the headlines from Shiftonomics:

News ⚡️

Macy's Buys Concept Shop | Via: Adage
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The Lead: This week, Macy's agreed to terms of an acquisition involving concept shop Story, a boutique-y and innovative retail space located in New York that curated items revolving around a specific theme. The founder of Story, Rachel Shechtman, will join the Macy's ranks as a brand experience officer. Rachel's role will be no small feat as she'll be expected to evolve and turn around the shopping experience for Macy's consumers via campaigns, partnerships, and using retail as a media channel.

Why it Matters: Story thought differently about how consumers shop. And Macy's desperately wants to be having people who are changing the in-store experience be part of their team. They pioneered a new retail sponsorship model (Target sponsored some Story locations for a few weeks) and became successful at tracking retail-specific metrics like customer data. Story could become a big pillar in how the 160-year-old retailer crafts the in-store shopping experience.

Can Toys R Us Be Saved? | Via: Retail Dive
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The Lead: Fairfax's reported interest in snatching up some of the liquidating retailer's stores in its home country likely increases the chances that some piece of Toys R Us, an American institution, will survive liquidation.

Why it Matters: As we saw recently with Bon-Ton, liquidation bids can prevail over high-minded bids to save a retailer's business. The other factor is whether the toy retailer can be reimagined in how it serves customers, such as focusing on in-store experiences like eSports.

⏰How Scheduling Legislation Impacts Employers | Via: Branch Messenger
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The Lead: In the last few years, a number of cities and states have updated legislation designed to make scheduling easier and more predictive for hourly employees.

Why it Matters: These regulations impact a number of corporate verticals, from retail to food. Our webinar transcript explores what you need to know, and hot to proceed with how they impact your workplace. Andrea Johnson of the National Women's Law Center joined our own Taylor Pipes to talk more about this topic.

🤔Retail's Other Problem: Too Few Clerks | Via: Wall Street Journal

The Lead: Many of America’s biggest retailers, under assault from Amazon, have been slashing staff even faster than they have been closing stores, a dynamic that has left fewer clerks and longer checkout lines.

Why it Matters: Issues with supply on the workforce side really impact a retailer's bottom line. “Retailers are shooting themselves in the foot trying to save pennies by lowering labor costs, and that’s costing them dollars on the top line,” said Rogelio Oliva, a business school professor at Texas A&M University. He recently analyzed the relationship between sales and labor at a women’s clothing retailer and found that many of the stores were understaffed by as much as 15%, leading to potentially lower sales.

💡Google + Walmart To Innovate Workforce Development | Via: Walmart

The Lead: Without a doubt, there's not many verticals in the workforce that won't be impacted by rapid changes in technology. Research has shown that up to one-third of Americans may need to develop new skills to work in different types of jobs by 2030. A fast-changing economy means we need new ways of building new skills and translating existing skills to different types of meaningful work.

Why it Matters: This week, Walmart and Google announced a $5 million grant investment to three organizations testing solutions in reskilling the American workforce and matching skills to roles. Through these initiatives, they hope to join forces with leading social innovators to fuel the pursuit of a more equitable and efficient labor market.

The Big Idea 🤔

👗Fashion's Lack of Diversity | Via: Business of Fashion (Subscription Required)

The Lead: The Business of Fashion recently researched the 15 largest fashion companies and discovered that 73 percent of them were led by white male chief executives.

Why it Matters: Wish we didn't have to explain this one, but here goes: As consumers of fashion, it is ever-present from the moment it touches the runway, to the billboards and ads that greet us on our mobile devices. This is the tangible, very visual aspect of the industry that lacks the diversity that represents the world around us. Yet, the same also exists in the boardrooms, which begs the question of how fashion can become more diverse when that isn't well-represented in the executive levels?

💰It Pays To Move To A New City | Via: Wall Street Journal
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The Lead: Job growth is outpacing ​the population growth of working Americans, ages 25 to 54, but the greatest worker shortages are in rural areas, small towns and suburbs.

Why it Matters: We're clearly in a new economic cycle, one that has been earmarked with a shortage of American workers. In a bid to attract a younger, mobile workforce, some cities are offering a bevvy of perks designed to bring a new generation to town. Relocate to Hamilton and the city promises $5,000 to help pay student loans. Pack up for Grant County, Ind., and claim $5,000 toward buying a home. Settle in North Platte, Neb., and the chamber of commerce will hold a ceremony in your honor to present an even bigger check.

🌮🍔 Employee Turnover Hurts Restaurants | Via: The Rail
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The Lead: Employee turnover is really hurting the bottom-line of the restaurant industry. The National Restaurant Associate estimates that turnover was an average of 61% for the total restaurant industry. Unfortunately, that number is deceiving because it includes staff positions at chain operators and line managers where the turnover is far lower. The estimated turnover for regular line employees is closer to 110%. By doing some simple math, that level of turnover will cost the average full-service restaurant operator $146,600 annually.

Why it Matters: According to The Rail, A recent Cornell study pinpointed five cost categories that contribute to the total turnover bill. By far the most expensive was productivity loss, accounting for an average of 52% of the total cost of staff turnover. For many restaurant owners and managers, it's difficult to track productivity because they don't actively show up on available reporting.

Heard Around The Web 💬

👗Retail Brands Need to Think Outside the Box | Via: WWD

The Lead: A new report from NuOrder, a B2B e-commerce platform research firm that specializes on the wholesale channel, revealed brands have sales strategies that don't meet the needs of their retailers.

Why it Matters: According to the survey, 26 percent of brands said they concentrate on in-season orders, while 49 percent try to secure as many orders as possible in the pre-season. Retailers, however, prefer in-season ordering, so they have a better idea of what customers want to buy.

🎙Barney's Jumps Into Podcasting | Via: Barney's
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The lead: Barney's, the New York luxury department store is officially joining the podcasting world. The podcast, "In Conversation" will allow listeners to join a rotating cast of movers, shakers, and thinkers in the fashion and retail world.

Why it Matters: In some ways, brands have always been publishers. It goes all the way back to when John Deere, the tractor manufacturer, published "The Furrow" magazine. Today, the medium of importance is podcasting world and Barney's looks to grab its share of ears by telling stories from inside and outside their world. First up, Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale — the company's first female CEO — will speak with Wade about women's issues and leadership.

Taylor Pipes

Taylor Pipes

I write stories about people that interact with technology that solves human problems. I love exploring and finding compelling stories at the intersection of technology and the future of work.

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