Katherine O’Meara, Macy’s Dadeland director of sales and customer experience, came to speak to the students in the Sears Retail Leadership Seminar. She presented on Macy’s Countdown to Black Friday, which allowed students to understand what Black Friday preparation is about from a store perspective. The retailing fiscal year is broken up into four quarters and O’Meara went in-depth about the duties and responsibilities that come with each quarter. She spoke about how people, product, process, presentation, and promotion allow stores to achieve new sales records. Macy’s puts special emphasis on customer experience and having stores that feature products that customers value highly. Students learned about conversion rates, and how store traffic can be turned into paying customers. Paying attention to data points and what customers care about is extremely important, but it is especially important in the lead-up to the holiday season. Macy’s Big Day Planner gives stores a timeline for important dates and the tasks that need to be completed within that time frame. Students were able to see how much planning and people are involved in making a store like Macy’s run smoothly.
Popup Retail Supports the Future of Retailing
Krista Boyer Starratt Founder and Chief Retail Strategist for Retail for the People visited students to speak about the future of retail and pop-up shops. Retail for the People is a retail consultancy that equips retailers with the tools to succeed in digital and physical retail. During her presentation, she explained that retail has evolved over time. Now it is more than just a transaction, it is an experience. This means that more thought is being put into store designs and displays. These designs and displays aim to create emotions for the consumers to connect to the brand. Pop-up shops follow this idea and take a lot of consideration into their location and design. The recipe for success for pop-up shops is urgency, surprise, delight and storytelling. Stores can act as a business card or as the living room of the neighborhood. Six reasons for why companies open pop-up shops are to gain credibility and raise awareness, extend the brand’s story, create a community of loyal customers, learning and experimenting, to create buzz around specific products or collections, and an increase in sales. Pop-ups can be a strategy for businesses of all sizes to connect with consumers.