Guest Blog By Pat Conroy

Driven by changing consumer preferences, the U.S. retail landscape appears to be shifting.  The market share of the grocery and mass merchandise channels, while still dominant in CPG, has eroded as market shares of dollar, club, and convenience stores increased in recent years. CPG companies looking to stay on top of these shifts should not ignore the potential for the dollar channel, especially multi-price-point dollar stores, to play a growing role in national brands’ future performance.

Guest Blog by Shelley E. Kohan

Many of us have been retailers for a long time. Once upon a time, we wrote sales checks (yes, with a pen) and calculated labor hours using manual time sheets. But what has always set us apart has been our unique, innate ability for instinct and intuition. We have remained in the business successfully by making decisions based on our experiences in the field. We are retail warriors. Occasionally, we will back up our decisions with data.

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By Russ Gager

The differences in luxury retailing were highlighted during a tour of three major high-end shopping malls on Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” – Michigan Avenue – at the conclusion on Oct 2 of the 2012 Research Connections conference held by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Tour attendees were given guided tours of the malls by representatives of their management companies. First up was The Shops at Northbridge, which uses its innovatively designed mall to draw shoppers from the pricey rents of Michigan Avenue to the Nordstrom that anchors the rear of the mall, which is located one block behind Michigan Avenue on a street with more reasonable rent.

Guest Blog by Thom Blischok

The 2012 holiday season is going to be one of change. The old pattern of rushing out for the impulse buy is giving way to a growing trend of patient, cautious shopping, with more options for getting great deals enabled by technology, according to a recent Booz & Company 1,600-person survey. The one constant in 2012 is the “lens of affordability.” Every shopper Booz & Co. talked to or surveyed indicated that his or her buying decisions will be determined by affordability. Shoppers will be buying gifts they need more than gifts they want.

Guest Blog By Dana Warszona

The evolution of retail has hinged around the ability to buy and sell goods in the most efficient way. Today, it’s all about consumers and ensuring their shopping experience is engaging, seamless and convenient. Shoppers have higher expectations and retailers must find ways to continue improving customer service in the store – especially during peak periods. In response to this demand, retailers are deploying mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technology as a strategy for improving customer satisfaction and streamlining in-store operations. Motorola Solutions conducted a survey among the retail, hospitality and field service industries that revealed the interests and experiences with the use of mPOS.

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