Fall 2019 Retail News Updates

Whether you work with a popular clothing retailer with stores across the country or you run a unique shop that is one of a kind, staying on top of the news of the industry is crucial to success. Tracking other retailers’ successes, failures, and innovations can help to motivate and inspire you when it comes to your own store, and in a world where technology is constantly evolving, there is never a shortage of interesting stories about the world of retail. We know that you’re probably busy preparing for the most hectic shopping season of the year, so as always, we’ve compiled some retail news updates that we’ve found extra interesting lately. Keep reading to learn more!


Sephora Leads in Retail Personalization

For the third year in a row, Sephora has ranked #1 in Sailthru’s Retail Personalization Index. This scale ranks the top 100 retail brands according to their skill in personalizing the customer experience across multiple channels, thus providing positive user experience. Areas that were analyzed and contributed to Sephora’s win in this report included performance in the categories of email, site, mobile, and offline. The company scored an impressive 20/20 points for mobile experience, and the report praised their digital profile. Another Sephora feature that the report pointed out is their Color IQ technology, which scans customers’ faces in-store to determine the perfect makeup products and shades for their skin tone. Customizable mobile push notifications were another highlight for the brand, as well as their emails, which are full of unique recommendations based on a shopper’s browsing and purchase preferences. Sailthru had lots to say in praise of Sephora, but to sum up, the three most significant reasons they love the brand, they listed “best in class email personalization, unified customer experience, and a robust mobile app.”


IKEA Invests Billions in Reusable Energy

Stories about sustainability are not uncommon in retail, but IKEA’s commitment to the cause may be one of the greatest we’ve seen so far. The retailer’s holding company Ingka Group recently announced that they have invested over $2.5 billion in solar and wind energy systems over the last decade, which has been used to power their operations around the globe. This aligns with the company’s pre-existing stake in solar parks, wind turbines, and solar panel units around the world, and they claim to be the only global consumer brand to own and operate its own renewable energy infrastructure. Of these efforts, Ingka Group CEO Jesper Brodin said, “being climate-smart is not an added cost. It’s actually smart business and what the business model of the future will look like.” Along with their announcements about their investment in clean energy, IKEA also reported that they are producing more electricity than they need and that they plan to have an entirely climate positive supply chain by 2030.


SPAR’s Take

With each issue of this series we are saying the same things -retail is changing and evolving, and this episode is no different.  Personalization has become one of the key differentiators over the last several years – with retailers struggling to find a way it made sense, as well as achieved the success they were looking for.  Sephora seems to have found their happy place – and are delivering on the promise of driving an improved customer experience and strong results for the company.  Meanwhile, in the column of doing the right thing, for the right reasons and putting your money where your mouth is – clearly Ikea is delivering on their promise and using their sizeable wallet to make the point.


Make Retail Progress with Help from SPAR

No matter the topic, news stories about retail can easily serve to inspire and drive your store forward in today’s retail landscape, and we want to help! At SPAR, we have extensive experience in retail merchandising, offering world-class merchandising solutions, high-quality assembly and installation, incomparable programmatic services, new store sets & remodels, and much more! Our team is passionate and dedicated to the retailers we work with, and we want to add you to that list. To learn more about all we have to offer and how your store can benefit from working with SPAR, please contact us today!