Walmart goes big with virtual reality for employee training

Walmart is distributing 17,000 virtual reality headsets as part of its training strategy as the Oculus Go gear is proving to boost store associate retention and confidence. The program began last year, according to a Business Insider report, and the...

NYC may be getting its own Amazon Go store

Amazon is reportedly eyeing New York City as the next location for its cashierless Amazon Go retail store. Amazon operates one in Seattle and is supposedly looking to launch Go stores in San Francisco and Chicago, according to a New...

Amazon plans to hire on over 120K workers for holiday season

The human resources teams at Amazon are getting pretty busy as the etailer plans to hire for over 120,000 jobs this holiday season for its fulfillment, sortation centers and customer service sites. "We prepare year round for the holidays, and...

Walmart aims to monitor shoppers' facial expressions

Walmart is reportedly building new technology that will help it identify unhappy consumers standing in check-out lines. The facial recognition tool, according to a Business Insider report, will assess facial expressions and movements, and if it detects a not-so-happy consumer,...

1 in 4 retail associates don't have needed tools and tech

One out of four retail store associates say they are not properly equipped with the right digital tools and tech to do their jobs, and oftentimes leave the associate role for that reason. But, if they are given needed tools,...

Target hires new general counsel

Target announced Don Liu as the company's new executive vice president, chief legal officer and general counsel. Beginning on Aug.

Amazon opens yet another Kansas fulfillment location

Amazon.com is opening another fulfillment center in Kansas City, Kanasas, marking its fifth in the state. The Kansas location will offer more than 1,000 full-time employment opportunities. "We are thrilled to continue investing in Kansas, proud of our ability to...

Author Gary Magenta debuts customer loyalty tome

The book,"720 Haircuts- Creating Customer Loyalty That Lasts A Lifetime," is the true story of a man who drove a 100-mile roundtrip for a haircut at the same barber shop for over 60 years. Yes, that's one definition of customer...

Survey: Big disconnect between retailers, consumers in play

The physical retail store experience rates tops in terms of retailer focus but personalizing the experience is not getting as much attention. In fact, just 23 percent of retail decision makers are planning personalization initiatives in the next year and...

Walmart: We’re going to make shopping easier than ever

Retailer expects a huge wave of mobile devices hitting its online store this season.

Dysfunctional consumers require most attention as they can hurt revenue big time

Every retailer knows to pay attention and reward the loyal, happy consumer but they also need to pay close attention to the irate, angry shopper.

Whole Foods chiefs: We're sorry we overcharged customers

Whole Foods apologizes for overcharging incidents, vows to beef up training.

Will mobile app make hiring easier?

JobOn's new mobile app allows job seekers to apply and interview by video.

KFC franchisee using video intel solution to reward employees, improve customer experience

Instant, actionable video intelligence from Envysion contributes to two percent improvement in bottom line across KFC stores in six months, claims the company.

Goodwill, Walmart partner on retail career-training program

The Careers in Retail Initiative was made possible by a $3 million grant from the Walmart Foundation for a period of two years.

IBM empowering Shiseido Beauty Consultants with mobile platform

IBM has announced its collaboration with global cosmetics manufacturer Shiseido Co. Ltd. to provide its nearly 10,000 Beauty Consultants in Japan with mobile apps designed to provide new customer services, customer-centric product improvements and social innovations.

Webinar to discuss I-9 trends and tips

Homeland Security isn't just targeting big businesses anymore. Small to mid-size companies are under an increasingly watchful eye.

Study finds retailers cautiously optimistic about 2014 holiday sales

The most significant shifts for retailers in the 2014 holiday season can be found in omnichannel, which is changing the landscape for companies and impacting their holiday staffing strategies.

Nearly a quarter of shoppers choose to go to a competitor due to dissatisfaction with their retail experience

46 percent of shoppers who have unsatisfactory retail experiences do not let the retailer know and almost a quarter of these opt to shop at a competitor when they are unsatisfied with the cleanliness of the store, store associates, or the checkout process.

Target says it will 'respectfully request' shoppers not bring guns into stores [UPDATED]

For the past month, Target has had something of a PR nightmare on its hands in Texas, where the group Open Carry Texas has been meeting up and strolling the parking lots and aisles with rifles draped over their shoulders. It is legal in Texas to openly carry rifles in public, but not handguns.

Lucchese using gamification for employee training

Experticity, a platform for building and rewarding expertise in sales associates, has been chosen by footwear retailer Lucchese to elevate associates' expertise on the brand's rich history and craftsmanship. According to the companies, Experticity will create a gamified experience on...

CXPA announces Customer Experience Innovation award winners

The Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), an international non-profit organization created to guide and enhance the growing professional field of customer experience management, has announced the winners of its 2014 CX Innovation Awards: Akbank T.A.S., Cisco, National Car Rental, the...

NRF says jobs bounce back after slowdown

The National Retail Federation issued the statements below from President and CEO Matthew Shay and Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz in response to the April jobs report released today. NRF calculated that retail employment increased 28,000 in April from March and 241,000 year-over-year.

NRF to host second virtual career fair

The National Retail Federation today announced it will host its second Virtual Career Fair, designed to connect students and young professionals seeking entry-level careers and internships with leading retailers. Recruiters from companies including Macy's, Nordstrom, Walgreens and Neiman Marcus will...

UK consumers less tolerant to poor service than US counterparts

New research from NewVoiceMedia reveals that U.K. consumers are less tolerant to poor customer service than those in the U.S..

Lowe's to hire 25K seasonal employees

Lowe's announced today it plans to hire approximately 25,000 seasonal employees at its stores in the United States during spring, the busiest time of year in the home improvement industry. Seasonal jobs available are focused on customer support and will...

Webinar to explore hiring, employee theft

On Thursday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.

Retailers commit to 'Customer Bill of Rights'

On Monday, a number of large retailers met with the Rev. Al Sharpton, and agreed to publish and abide by a Customer Bill of Rights.

BBC report: Working at Amazon could cause 'physical and mental illness'

BBC reporter Adam Littler recently went undercover as a warehouse "picker" at online retailer Amazon. He brought with him a hidden camera, and set about documenting the often grueling job, which can involve walking upwards of 11 miles in a...

OSHA reminds retailers about crowd safety issues during holidays

In advance of the holiday season, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is encouraging retail employers to take precautions to prevent workplace injuries during major sales events, including Black Friday.This year marks the fifth year anniversary...

President Obama reportedly supports $10.10 minimum wage

Reports surfaced last week that President Obama supports an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from the current $7.25 an hour. This suggestion surpasses his previous call earlier this year to raise the minimum wage to...

Report: Available holiday retail jobs reach new heights

During September and October of 2013, retailers in the United States had more than 379,000 available sales jobs, according to WANTED Analytics, a source of real-time business intelligence for the talent marketplace. As the holiday season kicks off, this is...

Forecast calls for big jump in seasonal hiring

According to the sixth-annual survey commissioned by Snagajob, more holiday seasonal jobs should be available this year compared to last year. The survey included 1,000 hourly hiring managers, and was conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs for Snagajob. Results highlights include:...

Whole Foods launches training program for aspiring butchers

Whole Foods Market announced that it is launching an in-store Meat Apprenticeship Program for its team members interested in mastering the age-old profession of butchery. The intensive 18-month training program is designed to transform aspiring butchers into skilled meat cutters...

NRF issues statement on employee strikes

Responding to today's low-wage retail workers strike (or "planned labor action" according to some), impacting chains such as Walmart, Macy's, Sears and Dollar Tree, the National Retail Federation issued the following statement from SVP Bill Thorne: Today's effort by a...

NRF puts focus back on benefits of retail jobs

As wage discontent still looms over the retail and foodservice industries, brands from both sectors have begun fighting back with PR campaigns aimed at steering public perception back in their favor. An article on abcnews.com referred to the National Retail...

Report: Appliance customers seeking end-to-end experience

Appliance retailers need more than just a large selection of appliances or the best prices to satisfy their customers, according to the J.D. Power 2013 Appliance Retailer Satisfaction StudySM released today. The study, now in its sixth year, measures customer...

Microsoft attempts to boost sales with Best Buy mini-stores

Microsoft has announced that it will open 500 mini-stores within existing Best Buy locations in the U.S., selling Windows-based tablets, computers and other Microsoft-exclusive products, according to a Reuters report. The new store-within-a-store approach represents Microsoft's effort to revitalize sales...

National Retail Federation launches new website, jobs board

The National Retail Federation today announced the launch of its content-driven website, thisisretail.org, as well as Retail Jobs powered by NRF, a recruiting and search tool developed for retailers and job seekers. Highlights of This is Retail include: dynamic, original...

IBM's Jeopardy-winning computer Watson now working on customer engagement

Two years after conquering Jeopardy, IBM's Watson is setting its sights on customer engagement. IBM today unveiled its IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, a cognitive computing assistant that learns, adapts and understands a company's data, empowering customer service agents to provide...

HMV sacks employees, forgets to change the Twitter password

HMV's Twitter feed got a lot of attention today, but not for any reason that the company can be happy about: Angry employees that were being let go in a "mass execution" took to Twitter to live-tweet their dismissal. Those...

New Amazon fulfillment center brings hundreds of jobs to Cali town

Amazon announced yesterday plans to open a new 1 million-square-foot, state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif., creating hundreds of full-time jobs with benefits at the site. Amazon opened its first fulfillment center in California in San Bernardino last October, during...

Walmart CEO: We will hire any honorably discharged veteran

NEW YORK — At this morning's keynote at the NRF show, Walmart CEO Bill Simon announced that beginning Memorial Day, Walmart will offer a job to any honorably discharged U.S. military veteran within the first 12 months after their discharge. "We know not every veteran wants to work in retail, and that's okay," he said.

Natural Insight intros retail task management platform

Retail technology company Natural Insight announced its iPad-based in-store task management platform was successfully deployed at dELiA*s' more than 100 store locations. The Natural Insight solution allows centralized oversight of in-store retail execution activity and speeds numerous in-store work processes....

Polaroid to announce new retail concept at CES

Polaroid will make its first foray into retail when it announces plans for a new store concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The Polaroid Fotobar will attempt to draw in customers eager to unlock photos from...

Andrew W.K., Jim Knight to keynote 2013 Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit

Andrew W.K., Jim Knight to keynote 2013 Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit

LOUISVILLE, KY — Networld Media Group (NMG), organizer of the Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit, has announced the keynote speakers for its fourth-annual event, to be held August 13-14 at the Hard Rock San Diego: best-selling musician, TV personality and...

Leaked Apple employee video features now JCP CEO Johnson

A leaked internal video made for Apple retail employees solidifies the perception that the company puts quite a bit of preparation, planning and philosophy into its retail model. According to cnet.com, the video is voiced-over by Apple’s former head of...

Women in the retail workforce can increase sales

Retailers looking to boost sales should consider bumping up the number of women on their workforce. According to an article on tribune.com.pk, retail outlets in metropolitan cities are increasingly focusing on their female staff and training them to help guide...

Nike's Chicago flagship reopens

Last week, Nike re-opened its Chicago flagship store after remodeling and expanding the retail space, according to an article on ballerstatus.com. The multi-category store concept features Nike's largest retail basketball collection, exclusive Chicago memorabilia, a complete collection of Jordan footwear...

Retailers begin to announce seasonal hire numbers

The holiday hiring season has begun, and retailers are trickling out statistics on the numbers of new hires, according to an article on ibtimes.com. Kohl's announced its numbers first, reporting that temporary jobs are up 10 percent to 52,700, not...

Best Buy looks to improve employees as a way to boost sales

After a decline in sales and uneven store performances, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly plans to put more focus on employee training, according to an article on Businessweek.com. Joly is attempting to turn around sinking sales numbers, following a second...

Apple Genius training manual reveals sales secrets

A leaked copy of Apple's Genius Training student workbook was examined in an article on gizmodo.com this week, and the contents were extensively revealing of the company’s sales techniques. As it turns out, sales comes in second in priority behind...

RCE Podcast episode 2: ACA upheld, nude grocery shopping and Obama's gift registry

The National Retail Federation reacted very strongly to yesterday's Supreme Court decision to uphold the legislation commonly known as "Obamacare," and our panel reacts to that reaction.

New technology brings 'ease of online shopping' to brick-and-mortar stores

A new product to enable interactive cross-selling via iPads in retail stores is now available from software company LightSpeed. The solution will arm retailers with tools to cross-sell more products and close more sales, while forging a stronger connection with...

Researcher: Retailers investing in employees will profit

Although the economy is starting to bounce back, wages and benefits are still low when it comes to many low-skill service jobs, such as employees of retail outlets. Some experts, however, think viewing retail labor as something to be cut...

European electrical retailer deploys behavior monitoring system

Electrical retailer Dixons Retail is implementing Accuworks' behavior monitoring system in hopes of increasing the frequency and visibility of colleague behavior observations. It also hopes to highlight talent and spot areas for further development, according to a company press release....

HP unveils all-in-one retail system with touchscreen

HP's new all-in-one retail solution, the HP RP7, featuring a touch interface will be available in August, according to a company press release. It has also released the HP L6015tm and L6017tm Retail Touch Monitors, which offer a sleek, modernized...

Study: Retailers must engage employees to please shoppers

Employee engagement in the U.S. retail sector has sunk to its lowest levels since 2009, according to a new study claiming that employee engagement is directly linked to customer satisfaction, staff retention and financial performance. "The World of Retail: How...

Self-service, online options driving customers to avoid salespeople

It's no big shock that many shoppers don't like to be continually asked if they need assistance from store associates, but an article in today's NY Times pointed out some consumers specifically shop online to avoid employees. Intolerance of the...

Teamwork Retail using iPads to manage stores

Employees in Teamwork Retail stores are using iPads to ring up purchases and look up product info on the retail floor, Not only is the store's inventory a couple of taps away but Teamwork on the iPad can also add...

Apple employees: We know where you are

Apple employees in Palo Alto, Calif., know the location of all their customers, thanks to a new technology the company is using to help speed purchases. According to the NY Times, an iPhone owner can use the free Apple Store...

NRF comments on September job numbers

Following the announcement that U.S. employers added 103,000 jobs in September and that the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1 percent, National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay issued the following statement: "While the September jobs numbers were better...

Best Buy announces its plans for 2011 holiday season

Best Buy has launched its holiday season by announcing a collection of offers that delivers what people say they want most from a retailer: competitively priced products, multi-channel convenience and selection, and service pre- and post-purchase. "We've devoted the past...

NRF launches campaign to push jobs, innovation and consumer value agenda

With the 2012 election season around the corner, the National Retail Federation has launched a first-of-its-kind major year-long advocacy campaign to advance a Jobs, Innovation, and Consumer Value Agenda on behalf of America's retail industry and the $2.48 trillion in...

FurstPerson launches Web-based retail-hiring solution

FurstPerson Inc., a provider of on-demand, pre-employment assessments and talent management solutions for customer contact organizations, today introduced an online retail hiring solution to help organizations identify high-quality employees with the ability to improve sales and service. The solution will...

Sears Holdings Corp. expands partnership with Creative Channel Services

Creative Channel Services (CCS), a retail marketing agency, has announced that it will expand its partnership with Sears Holdings Corp. by providing the CyberScholar employee-learning platform to five of the retailer's store brands that carry home appliances and consumer-electronics products....

Apple planning a secret retail employee meeting?

According to TG Daily.com, it is rumored that Apple will hold meetings with its retail store employees to introduce product changes and additions. Popular Apple blogs are presuming that one of the new products is a line of Macbooks that...

Checkpoint Systems launches online training for retail store operations

Checkpoint Systems, Inc., a global supplier of shrink management, merchandise visibility and apparel labeling solutions for the retail industry and its supply chain, has launched Checkpoint Academy, an on-line training school designed to help retailers maximize the effectiveness of their...

Report: In an online world, retail stores still crucial

Three out of four global communications providers plan to open more communication provider-owned retail stores over the next two years and must cultivate an improved customer-focused experience to succeed, according to research by Accenture.Accenture surveyed senior executives at the world's...

Casual Male taps Headway for national recruitment

Headway Corporate Resources, a North American workforce solutions provider, has announced its recruitment solution partnership with Casual Male Retail Group, an international specialty retailer of big and tall men’s apparel. Headway’s recruitment strategies, combined with its technology-driven sourcing and assessment...

Retail Doc to lead interactive session at Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit

Bob Phibbs, retail training guru and author of "The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business," will lead an interactive session on the first full morning of the Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit, August 1-3 at the Westin Chicago Northwest...

Survey: Retailers focusing on leadership development, diversity to nurture talent

Deloitte and the National Retail Federation (NRF) have released the results of a comprehensive survey designed to provide an in-depth look into where retailers are succeeding on the talent front. The survey results also reveal gaps that present opportunities for...

Survey: Retail employees not giving good customer service, despite tough job market

Despite working in a sector that has suffered job losses averaging roughly 50,000 per month since the start of the recession, retail employees are not providing high-level customer service, according to data from The SALT & Pepper Group's new Retail...

At the Microsoft store, staffers break into song and dance

Blogger Brad Slavin recently wrote about a visit to the Shops at Mission Viejo mall, which is notable as one of the locations for the new Microsoft retail stores. And while he wasn't expecting too much — "I half expected...

Walmart under fire for sick leave policy

Punishing workers for taking sick leave puts Walmart on track to be a major spreader of swine flu this fall, according to a new report by the National Labor Committee. The retail giant gives workers demerits and deducts pay for...

Best Buy CEO: Low prices are 'table stakes' for retailers

Customers care about low prices, but they want a lot more from their retailers than just the best deal. That's the assertion of Brian Dunn, CEO of Best Buy, in a guest blog post for CNBC. Dunn says that having the lowest price is just a starting point, and represents "table stakes" for companies such as his.

Performance Bicycle selects 3point5.com for online retail training

Performance Bicycle, the nation's largest specialty bike retailer, announced that it has selected 3point5.com to provide online training for its retail salespeople. 3point5.com specializes in developing online education, training and incentive programs for leading brands in sporting goods and related consumer product industries.

Kronos index shows signs of recovery in retail hiring

CHELMSFORD, Mass. — Kronos Incorporated has unveiled the first installment of its Kronos Retail Labor Index, a family of metrics and indices that analyze the relationship between the demand and supply sides of the labor market within the U.S.

New research dissects what makes a 'wow experience'

A new survey from The Verde Group and the Retail Council of Canada says that most shoppers — just slightly more than 50 percent — have had a great retail experience in the past six months. What exactly made those...

Staples selects RedPrairie for supply chain, workforce management

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — RedPrairie Corp., a productivity software provider, announced today that Staples, the world's largest office products company, has selected RedPrairie's Workforce Management solution to provide support for labor across Staples' U.S. retail supply chain operations.

Red Book reveals latest version of store execution management tool

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Red Book Solutions today revealed the latest version of Source-2-Source, a solution focused solely on store-level task completion. Paired with The Manager's Red Book, this solution embodies industry best practices to coordinate between store-level execution plans and...

Lack of training leads to data security threats

CIO: A large number of employees copy secure data to USB drives or turn off security settings in mobile devices like laptops, which could put a company's data at risk, according to a survey released by Ponemon Institute on Wednesday....

Many retailers struggle, but Walmart is hiring

Forbes: While many employers are firing, Wal-Mart is hiring. The retailer says it plans to create 22,000 U.S.

Zenhire, Associates Interactive offer pre-hire training tool

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Retail training firm Associates Interactive has announced that it will develop customized training programs for Zenhire Inc., a provider of online networked HR collaboration and search tool solutions. The partnership will bring training into the staffing process,...

Four ways to engage employees while holding down costs

INDIANAPOLIS — Organizations are struggling to meet the needs of their customers while holding down costs, which is resulting in salary freezes, discontinued 401(k) matches and layoffs. In the retail industry alone, employment fell by 45,000 in January and by 592,000 since a peak in November 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Village Pantry revamps employee training system

Convenience Store News: Indianapolis-based Village Pantry sought to revamp its on-the-job training with a solution that provided consistent, high-quality results for its nearly 200 c-stores, without an in-house department. "One extreme was basically having no program, just on-the-job training with...

Study: Retailers should pay more for top-notch workers

Innovations Report: As resources become tighter, managers in the retail service sector are searching for ways to be more efficient and one place they should look is their hiring practices, says a University of South Carolina industrial-organizational psychologist. Rob Ployhart,...

Training customer service staff - with a PSP video game

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Hilton Garden Inn today announced the launch of its training program, Ultimate Team Play for PSP. After an intense introductory session at the 2009 Hilton Garden Inn General Managers Conference now underway in Austin, each hotel...

Employee training is no luxury — it's a necessity

Kansas.com: Though there is never a good time for an economic downturn, now is especially poor timing. Many companies are already experiencing huge gaps in skilled and knowledgeable workers.

Behind the scenes: A closer look at employee training

Engagement, relevance lead to effective training in a melting-pot workforce.

New program helps troubled kids get into retail jobs

The Scotsman: Dozens of youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds have been signed up for a new retail academy in Edinburgh to learn how to be shop workers. The training program, Get Into Retail, aims to help those who have faced barriers...

Lagging economy means fewer seasonal jobs

The Virginian-Pilot: As the troubled economy has dragged down sales, many retailers have curtailed hiring for the holiday season, expecting to handle less store traffic and seeking to save the added labor expense. In October, the retail industry added 65,900...

NRF, Retail Customer Experience announce pavilion partnership

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — NetWorld Alliance, publisher of Retail Customer Experience magazine and RetailCustomerExperience.com, and the National Retail Federation have announced a partnership to design and launch the Customer Experience Pavilion at NRF's 98th Annual Convention & Expo, to be held Jan. 11‐14, 2009, at Jacob Javits Center in New York.

Retailers reprogram workers in efficiency push

Wall Street Journal: Retailers have a new tool to turn up the heat on their salespeople: computer programs that dictate which employees should work when, and for how long. When saleswoman Nyla Houser types her code number into a cash...

Using online game, Best Buy amps employees on new service

MINNEAPOLIS — Ask anyone who works in a big company how many messages they receive from management on a weekly basis. Most likely, you'll hear a weary sigh followed by "too many to count." This raises, of course, the potential...

Culturing a customer-friendly environment

How sensitive are you to differences in ethnicity?

Blog: Employees do what is measured, incented and celebrated

Customer Experience Matters: Some executives struggle to understand why their company doesn't deliver better experiences to customers. But it shouldn't be such a big mystery.

In the holiday spirit

Customer experience wasn't the strongest branch on the tree in 2007. Here are a few tips to help you improve this time around.

New report details ROI for in-store digital signage

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Digital Signage Association has published "Retail Digital Signage ROI: Finding the break-even point," an exclusive research report that uses real-world numbers to estimate ROI and benefits for various types of retail. "The one question that gets...

Shortlist announced for 2008 European Retail Solutions Awards

Nominees have been announced for the eighth annual European Retail Solutions Awards, which will be awarded in a ceremony June 25 at Old Billingsgate Market in London. The ERSAs are "focused on recognizing retailers and suppliers for excellence and innovation...

Tesco to offer bachelor's degree in retail management, shelf-stacking

Daily Mail (U.K.): Tesco plans to offer degrees in the art of shelf-stacking and retail management. It wants the two-year course to be recognized as the national qualification for store managers.

Inaugural Customer Experience Summit announced

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The inaugural Customer Experience Summit, co-hosted by RetailConnections and by Cathy Hotka & Associates, will take place August 17-19, 2008, in Nashville, Tenn.

Hiring time

Experts say a recession is the perfect time to build your team.

Bergdorf Goodman named 2008's best customer experience

NEW YORK — High net-worth consumers rated Bergdorf Goodman the retailer that offers the best customer experience in the 2008 Luxury Customer Experience Index (LCEI) survey from the independent New York-based Luxury Institute. Respondents commented, "The selection of products is...

U.S. retailers just beginning to understand customer experience, report says

Forrester Research has published "The State of Experience-Based Differentiation," a summary of its recent survey of 287 customer experience decision-makers about the state of their initiatives. Respondents were quizzed about the three key components in Forrester's "Experience-Based Differentiation" method: obsess...

Starbucks closes 7,100 stores for training

Wall Street Journal: Starbucks Corp. retaught baristas how to make espresso shots, steam milk and hand drinks to customers while it shut down nearly 7,100 stores in the United States on Tuesday evening.

Product pros

Knowledgeable employees are trained, not hired.

Cisco unveils new tools for retail at NRF

NEW YORK — Cisco announced a series of new technology solutions and multivendor architectures that will help retailers improve security and reduce complexity of store systems in addition to increasing employee productivity to enhance their customers' experience. Cisco is launching...

Home Depot moving staff to days to improve customer service

Wall Street Journal: Home Depot Inc. plans to reassign overnight-shift employees to days at its lower volume stores, a change that puts more workers on the sales floor without raising costs.

Top source of retail shrink: employees

Progressive Grocer: Retailers suspect that their own employees are the main source of retail shrink, according to a new Retail Systems Research Benchmark report. The report, "Winning Trends in Loss Prevention: Benchmark Study 2008," found the worst-performing retailers are more worried about employee theft than other retailers.

Independent merchants fight big retailers with selection, service

The Columbus Dispatch: This season finds independent retailers across the country dealing with a new set of economic challenges even as they still contend with growing competition from big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Borders Inc.

NRF: Retail needs more qualified managers

USA Today: When it comes to careers, less than a third of college graduates think retailing has a good reputation, says the National Retail Federation. With fewer young people willing to consider entry-level retail jobs, there's a dearth of qualified and experienced retail executives.

Report says women are 'better suited for retail jobs'

Economic Times: Some of the biggest players in Indian retail are looking to the fairer sex, especially when it comes to dealing with killer attrition blues. Reliance Retail, Future Group, Shopper's Stop and RPG Retail are experimenting with a host of hiring models to increase the ratio of women to men in their workforce.

Measuring and managing the customer experience

Retailers must measure, manage and improve the experiences of their customers, in order to grow their businesses effectively.

Pep Boys revs up customer service

The automotive parts and accessories retailer required an integrated retail environment to be more responsive to customer needs.

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