NRF News

How savvy small businesses use social media

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 06, 2015

Small businesses have to work especially hard to reach customers, and some of the savviest entrepreneurs are using social media to build their brands and their own distinct communities. NRF's Retail Across America road trip has uncovered success stories from small companies in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Frankfort, Ky., where online outreach is a big contributor to the bottom line. Read more.

Helping small businesses think big about digital commerce

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 05, 2015

One of the biggest hurdles for many smaller retailers and local merchants is mastering the digital arm of the business. In this month's issue of STORES Magazine, Susan Reda looks at Holonis, a new company that made a big splash at South by Southwest this year with its online tools for small businesses. Read more.

Making beauty products more accessible than ever

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 04, 2015

Cosmetics shoppers are leaning less on beauty advisors, preferring to explore products on their own. Retailers like Macy's and Kohl's are responding to the changing consumer by introducing new brands, acquiring emerging companies and creating environments where shoppers can have more interactive experiences. "We use the words 'test' and 'learn' a lot," says Macy's exec Jim Sluzewski. Read more.

Now streaming: What's next for Periscope and Meerkat

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 01, 2015

Two new smartphone applications are connecting consumers to live experiences that previously may have been out of sight. Social video-streaming startups Periscope and Meerkat have been all the buzz lately. NRF's Artemis Berry shares examples of retail "early adopters" and how retailers might experiment with live video in the future. Read more.

Top priorities for retail loss prevention

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 30, 2015

Every year, US loss prevention teams are called on to protect more than $400 billion in retail revenue. NRF's LP Advisory Council met last week, and discussions focused on the many challenges loss prevention teams face. NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca looks at top priorities like cybersecurity, employee theft and team development. Read more.

How millennial homebuyers influence retail trends

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Nearly one-third of U.S. homebuyers in 2014 were millennials, and the youngest generation of homeowners approaches home improvement and decorating differently than their parents. NRF's Kathy Grannis looks at the story behind the spending data, and how retailers like Urban Outfitters, The Home Depot, Macy's and Lowe's are finding unique ways to engage millennial consumers. Read more.

Monthly Economic Review: Consumers are in the driver’s seat

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

Lower energy costs, rising home equity, job and income gains and increased buying power from the stronger U.S. dollar will all continue to positively contribute to greater consumer spending ability -- a key factor for further economic gains. NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz looks at the latest trends impacting consumer spending and confidence in his latest monthly report. Read more.

How Angela Ahrendts is rethinking retail at Apple

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 27, 2015

Apple fans have been keeping a close eye on Angela Ahrendts' moves since the former Burberry CEO stepped into her new role as senior vice president of retail and online stores a year ago. So far, Ahrendts has reorganized the Apple Retail management team, introduced new employee apparel and increased emphasis on China. STORES Magazine looks at what's next, including changes to in-store service. Read more.

How the world's largest retailer secures its supply chain

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 24, 2015

With the typical retail supply chain now stretching around the world and through cyberspace, how can retailers best ensure loss prevention? Hear David Blackorby, vice president of global security operations for Wal-Mart, share insights on the essentials of today's supply chain security at NRF PROTECT Loss Prevention Conference, to be held 23-25 June in Long Beach, Calif. Learn more.

Visa's "highly confidential" document says PINs are safer than signatures

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 23, 2015

The current debate on data security standards includes the question of whether credit and debit cards should be secured with a PIN instead of an easy-to-counterfeit signature. NRF has long argued that a PIN is safer than a signature, and surprisingly, the card industry has said the same thing -- just not in public. A once-secret document from 1990 shows that Visa executives concluded PINs were the safest option for both banks and consumers. Read more.

Why global trade matters to American retailers and families

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 22, 2015

Trade agreements grow the economy and support millions of retail jobs in the process. International trade supported nearly 6.9 million American retail and restaurant jobs in 2013. Drawing on new and existing research, NRF provides a state-specific look at how trade affects retailers and families in the United States. Download the report to see why trade matters to all 50 states.

7 things you should know about America's credit card system

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 21, 2015

New chip-and-signature credit cards -- also known as EMV cards -- aren't as safe as they could be. How many of the new cards will be in use by 1 Oct? How would the addition of a PIN help protect consumers? NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan answers these questions and more in a short video interview. Watch the video.

How Ky. retailers balance work, life and family

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

Juggling career and family life is never easy, but retailers both large and small show that it's possible. Kent State student Olufisayo Akanni hit the road with NRF's Retail Across America crew and was inspired by finding Kentucky business owners and retail executives who enjoy work-life balance in the Bluegrass State. Read more.

Benchmark your company's compensation and benefits packages

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 17, 2015

Participation is now open for the US Retail Industry Compensation and Benefits Survey. The survey, conducted by Mercer, provides comprehensive data on wages, policies and benefits for positions ranging from hourly associates to top executives. Retailers who participate receive customised analysis and can purchase the results at a significantly discounted rate. Learn more and contribute to this year's survey.

Which retail superstars are on your "list?"

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 16, 2015

Nominations are now open for "The List of People Shaping Retail's Future," honouring 25 retail disruptors, dreamers, givers, influencers and power players. It's easy to nominate someone who inspires you, and your input will help the NRF Foundation recognize the industry's most imaginative and innovative leaders at its 2016 Gala. Submit a nomination.

US retail sales increased 0.5% in March

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 15, 2015

US retail sales in March showed marked improvement over previous months as consumer spending thawed right along with the weather. NRF calculates that retail sales -- excluding autos, gas and restaurants -- increased 0.5% seasonally adjusted over February and a solid 3.5% unadjusted year-over-year. Read more.

Retail imports to rise 8% in April

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 14, 2015

NRF's monthly Global Port Tracker report says volume at major US retail container ports will increase 8% in April over the same month last year as the West Coast ports continue to recover from a backlog of cargo. The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union tentatively agreed on a five-year contract in February, but the ILWU's votes on ratification won't be counted until May. Read more.

NRF to launch Retail Research and Analysis Center

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 13, 2015

NRF's new Retail Research and Analysis Center will focus on the US economy, legislative and regulatory policy, the retail industry and consumers. "By significantly investing in the future expansion and scope of NRF research our members will have additional tools and insight as they operate in a very dynamic marketplace," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. Learn more.

A look inside Brook Brothers' IT overhaul

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 10, 2015

The New York-based retailer is in the process of overcoming a number of challenges. As the company continues its migration from multichannel to omnichannel, the ongoing transformation focuses on breaking down barriers across people, processes and technology. "We're a 197-year-old company," CIO Sahal Laher said. "We need to continue to innovate as we try to be around for another 200 years." Read more.

Neiman Marcus and eBay are revolutionizing fitting rooms

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 09, 2015

The MemoryMirror, created by MemoMi in conjunction with Neiman Marcus's Innovation Lab, emphasises both "shareability" and efficiency, enabling customers to show videos or photos of different outfits to friends and family. The eBay Enterprise interactive fitting rooms in two US Rebecca Minkoff stores are built with RFID technology that provides information on every item taken into the dressing room -- not just those purchased -- and the rooms also allow customers to link fitting room sessions to loyalty accounts. Read more.

An important American business survey is in jeopardy

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 08, 2015

The American Communities Survey, a rolling survey conducted by the US Census Bureau, helps both public and private organizations make informed decisions on the outlay of financial resources. But the nation's only source of comparable, consistent and timely demographic and socioeconomic data on US communities could be put in jeopardy due to misinformed congressional action. Learn more.

Managing the promises and pitfalls of e-commerce

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 07, 2015

More than 30% of all 2014 digital transactions came from mobile, but mobile also accounted for 40% of fraudulent transactions. April's STORES Magazine features a new report from J. Gold Associates, "Mobile E-commerce: Friend or Foe," that examines mobile e-commerce cybersecurity at 250 organizations. Read more.

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