Ethical Consumerism Is On The Rise. Are You Ready?

Ethical consumerism – the practice of making purchasing decisions based on a product’s social and ethical positioning – is on the rise as consumers look to drive change by adjusting where and what they spend their dollars on. Nielsen’s corporate social responsibility survey data revealed that more than half (55 percent) of global respondents say they are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. And according to an annual benchmark study by Good.Must.Grow. (GmG), a socially responsible marketing consultancy, the percentage of Americans who have increased their socially responsible shopping has increased three years in a row, growing from 18 percent in 2012 to 30 percent in 2014. Continue reading

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How Retailers Can Appeal to Cost-Conscious Consumers

Retailers can thank the recession for birthing a new class of consumers. These are consumers who started counting their pennies during the economic downturn from 2008-2009 and are still doing so despite the economy being on the upswing. While some retailers hypothesized the new level cost-consciousness resulting from the recession would be just a phase, they have discovered it might, in fact, be here to stay.

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Prime Day Signals New Dawn for Retailers

Amazon proved traditions are, in fact, meant to be broken with its self-manufactured retail holiday, Prime Day. Occurring on July 15, Prime Day sought to not only celebrate Amazon’s 20th anniversary, but also bolster its Prime membership by offering extreme discounts. While retailers typically reserve these types of deep discounts for tried and true retail holidays like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the success of Prime Day suggests that retailers need to rethink their discounting strategy in order to maintain and reinvigorate customer loyalty, attract new customers and build their bottom lines. Continue reading

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The Changing Nature of Physical Retail Space

The first half of 2015 has seen numerous retail store closing announcements and several new retail bankruptcy filings, including those of Wet Seal and RadioShack. As each month brings new store closing announcements or news of another retail bankruptcy filing, one question continues to naturally emerge: How many more retailers will file amidst the industry turbulence? Continue reading

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Consumers Predicted To Not Break The Bank On Back-To-School Shopping This Year

As retailers aim to get ahead of the class by offering consumers back-to-school specials now, they still may not make the grade when it comes to sales for what is known to be the second largest selling season of the year. According to the NRF’s recently released Back-to-School Spending Survey, sales may struggle. The survey reveals that U.S. consumers are expected to spend about $68 billion on back-to-school and back-to-college items this year, down 9.3 percent from $75 billion last year. Continue reading

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BDO Retail RiskFactor Report Reveals Leading Risks for Retailers In 2015

What risks have the 100 largest U.S. retailers concerned? According to our ninth annual Retail RiskFactor Report, which analyzes the 10-K filings of the 100 largest U.S. retailers, strategic growth is a leading concern despite upbeat sales projections, strong consumer confidence levels and a host of other positively trending economic indicators. Continue reading

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The Omnichannel Influence on Retail Deals

Organic growth for many big retailers is a thing of the past. Instead, they are seeking out more partnerships and acquisitions that will enhance omnichannel retailing. A recent article in Women’s Wear Daily highlights this trend, noting that the bulk of M&A activity going forward will likely stem from bolt-on acquisitions (technology platforms are one hot area) and brand extensions, in particular major brands shifting into the off-price sector. Continue reading

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Top Posts of Q2 2015

As the first half of 2015 comes to a close, we wanted to provide a quick recap of our top blog posts.

In the past three months, we shared our thoughts around the leading risks concerning retailers, employee wages and shifting consumer behavior, among other top-of-mind issues for the retail community. Continue reading

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Using Authenticity to Attract Unpaid Brand Ambassadors

Last month, we had the pleasure of attending and sponsoring the annual Imperial Capital Consumer Summit.  A key theme discussed throughout the event was the need for retailers to evolve in response to consumer behavior. Ultimately, staying competitive in today’s environment requires that players more effectively engage with and form long-lasting and powerful connections with their customers. Between technological shifts such as mobile and in-store analytics, and demographic influences, including millennial shopping behaviors, retailers face new challenges and opportunities when it comes to fostering engagement with consumers. Continue reading

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Understanding the Electronic Payments Alphabet – Part Three: Mobile Technology and Devices

Earlier this year, we discussed Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV), the new method for issuing and accepting face-to-face card transactions that aims to reduce card fraud. In the third and final part of this electronic payment technology series, let’s shift the focus to Near Field Communications (NFC, or “Tap to Pay”).  Continue reading

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