The new Fare & Square grocery store in Chester, Pa., has opened to serve the residents of this city without a supermarket for nearly 12 years. Once a center of shipbuilding, Chester lost industry and half its population after World War II. Today, Chester’s population numbers around 33,000 people, but it was nearly impossible to buy a head of lettuce or anything else fresh until Fare & Square opened for business. Chester had become a food desert—one of the 35 food deserts in the Delaware Valley, according to the USDA. Continue reading →
I learned something about this population bulge at d2 (digital dialogue) in Cincinnati, thanks to Taylor Wiegert, consumer experiences expert, and trends expert Emily Worstell from Cincinnati-based Powerhouse Factories, who presented thoughts on how to connect with these increasingly multiethnic customers born between 1980 and 2000. And what I heard may or may not surprise you.
The Gen Y generation (aka Millennials) is a young and desired demo, but often hard to reach through conventional tactics. Continue reading →
That was the gist of a panel moderated by Al McClain, CEO and founder of RetailWire.com at last week’s d2 (digital dialogue) Conference in Cincinnati. On his panel discussion, McClain welcomed Phil Rubin, founder and CEO of rDialogue, a loyalty and relationship marketing firm; Aliza Perruzzi, director of marketing for Century 21 Department Stores; and Bob Phibbs, a sales trainer, author and customer service champion as well as founder of The Retail Doctor & Associates.
Right away, McClain asked for a show of hands with this question, which I will paraphrase: Who thinks the trend toward equipping stores with tablet-enabled salespeople is customer service positive? Continue reading →
Digital marketers working on behalf of retailers are experimenting with purchasing behaviors (big data) that they’re capturing on mobile devices (fast data) to deliver real-time deals that will drive sales. That was some of the buzz coming out of a two-day conference dubbed “d² (digital dialogue) Cincinnati.” In this view of the future, it’s hard to imagine any customer making decisions without 1) a mobile device or 2) some kind of customized incentive or coupon to purchase. So far, it’s mostly baby boomers who resent the privacy invasion, at least on paper.
So, here’s what Julie Bernard, Macy’s senior vice president of customer strategy, marketing and advertising, had to say as the keynote speaker on the first day of the conference. Continue reading →
Guess who’s a centenarian this year? Why, it’s none other than good ol’ Formica. What began as a substitute for costly mica, a mineral family of sheet silicate prized for its insulation qualities, has become a time-honored member of our built environment, pop culture and of course, store fixtures.
To celebrate Formica’s 100 years in business, Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center mounted an exhibition this month, which featured laminate furniture and sculpture from architects, including Michael Graves, Massimo Vignelli, Zaha Hadid and Thomas Mayne. These pieces, which were first exhibited in 2008, have been joined by new works, such as a Mobius-strip inspired wall sculpture and even clothing made from laser-cut pieces of Formica. Continue reading →