Cashback News – Dec 23: “Panic Saturday” sales, Switzerland cash-only, US retail trends, more…

Retail whats aheadIt’s an exceptionally busy time of year for retail and ecommerce. Today, we feature highlights from this retail season and trends ahead for 2016 . According to the Centre for Retail Research in the UK, “Panic Saturday” sales are expected to exceed $89.3 billion, up 25% over 2014. If your shopping in Switzerland, bring cash, lots of it, as many retailers don’t accept credit cards. Here’s a new fashion trend to watch – “smart women” buying and apparel from retailers like LululemonAthleta and Lucy Activewear – a $35 billion market. Herman Miller well expand with 40 new US Design Within Reach studio stores. NPD Group research estimates the plus-size fashion market at more than $17.5 billion led by retailers like Adore Me.

Dick’s Sporting Goods will spend $850 million to add 150 stores with revenue of $9 billion and ecommerce revenue of $1 billion. Buy online, pick up in-store will be rolled out to Kohl’s 1,200 US stores in an omnichannel strategy. Amazon also tests omnichannel retail by opening its first bookstore in an ironic move after 20 years of selling online only. Bricks and mortar retail is not yet defeated by online selling but retailers must adapt and up their level of service according to a report in Chain Store Age. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year dropped to $10.4 billion this year from $11.6 billion last year according to all, some are asking if late December is the new Black Friday? While mobile and millennials had a big impact on the retail this year, Retail Customer Experience predicts even more of the same in 2016.

‘Panic Saturday’ sees more than 12 million UK shoppers take to the high street of shoppers hit the high street yesterday on so-called ‘Panic Saturday’ with smartwatches and ‘fitness trackers’ among the top purchases. Stores up and down the country slashed prices by up to 50 per cent to entice shoppers through the doors after a slow start to the Christmas shopping campaign.

Analysts estimated that 12 million people descended on shopping centres yesterday with many more securing gifts online…. Overall, some £6billion ($89.3 billion) was expected to be spent in the period up to December 25th, almost 25% more than over the equivalent period last year, according to the Centre for Retail Research. Via

Rolex Buyers Needn’t Worry as Swiss Put Limit on Anonymous Cash Roffler, a tailor in the heart of Zurich’s banking district, doesn’t accept card payments. Clients of his store, where a suit can go for 6,000 francs ($6,075), must either use bank transfers or cash.

“I recently had an American CEO staying at a nearby hotel, who came by and liked a bag, and I told him we don’t take cards,” said Roffler, whose business is just a short walk from the headquarters of UBS Group AG and Credit Suisse Group AG. “Twenty minutes later he was back to pay with cash.”

They may have one of the world’s wealthiest and most technologically advanced societies, but when it comes to money, the Swiss are partial to cold, hard cash. In dollar terms, Switzerland has the greatest value of banknotes and coins in circulation per person, according to select Bank for International Settlements figures. Via

Why Smart Women Are the Future of Apparel who will be shaping the future of the apparel industry? The surprising answer: “smart” women. Allow me to explain. Activewear has been a key driver in the apparel sector with high double-digit growth over the past decade. In the U.S. alone the annual active apparel market is about $35 billion, representing 17 percent of the total retail market. According to NPD, women were the biggest driver of growth in active apparel in 2014, making brands like Lululemon, Athleta and Lucy Activewear staples of women’s wardrobes.

So what’s next? The merging of fashion and technology is billowing into an industry of its own and is the next evolution of activewear, or what is called smart apparel — and women will be the drivers. Via

Herman Miller to expand DWR retail chain to at least 40 locations a dip in consumer sales, Herman Miller remains committed to expanding its retail presence. The Zeeland manufacturer is pushing forward with a plan to grow recently acquired high-end store chain, Design Within Reach.

The furniture-maker opened a new DWR storefront in Scottsdale, Ariz. and expanded a location in Berkeley, Calif. during the last quarter, which ended Nov. 28. That brings the total of what Herman Miller describes as “more efficient large format studios” to 13 out 32 locations. Via

Adore Me’s CEO on the plus-size market’s no secret that the plus-size market is underserved. The category is worth $17.5 billion, according to industry-research firm NPD Group.

The deficit of stylish apparel that these women face is likely rooted in retailers’ and designers’ fear. “I would argue that why many non-plus-size designers don’t go into plus-size is fear,” Amanda Czerniawski, sociology professor at Temple University, former plus-size model, and author of “Fashioning Fat: Inside Plus-Size Modeling,” told Business Insider this summer. Via

Dick’s CEO outlines omnichannel vision’s Sporting Goods plans to spend $850 million over the next three years to add as many as 150 stores while growing total sales to as much as $9 billion with e-commerce contributing more than $1 billion.

The national largest sporting goods retailer outlined an ambitious omnichannel strategy to drive continued growth through 2017 during an investor conference it held on April 14. During the meeting, Dicks said its sales of $6.8 billion last year would growth to a range of $8.7 billion to $9 billion by its 2017 fiscal year as it expands its existing network of 603 Dick’s location by 135 to 150 locations over the next three years. During that same time frame, the company expects its e-commerce sales to nearly double to range of $1 billion to $1.2 billion from last year’s total of $628 million. Via

Kohls accelerating omnichannel agenda online, pick up in store capabilities are being rolled out to all of Kohl’s nearly 1,200 stores this spring after a successful 100 store pilot program during the holidays. And that just the beginning of the digital initiative the company has planned.

The addition of pick up in store to Kohl’s omnichannel offering puts the retailer on equal footing with others in the industry who have recognized in store pick up has quickly become a basic expectation shoppers have of retailers who operate physical stores. In contrast to other retailers, Kohl’s implemented the more operationally complex function of ship from store before it began its pick up in stores pilot program last fall. Pick up in store was tested at 100 stores in Chicago, Milwaukee, San Diego and central Pennsylvania last Christmas. Via

Amazon makes ultimate omnichannel move’s first permanent physical store has opened in its hometown of Seattle and guess what? It looks lot like the bookstores whose demise it facilitated. In a letter to customers, the retailer announced the opening of the store located at 4601 26th Avenue NE in Seattle’s University Village on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

“We’ve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping,” Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books wrote in the letter. “The books in our store are selected based on customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and our curators’ assessments. These are fantastic books! Most have been rated four stars or above, and many are award winners.” Via

Brick-and-Mortar Isnt Dead Yet Converting In-Store Shoppers to Sales, let’s distinguish the difference between shopping and buying. The internet is a great buying tool. Lots of information, consumer reviews, price comparisons, tech specs, etc. This is where physical retail has fallen down over the last several years. With the advent of portable technology, it’s often easier for a shopper to get more reliable product information from her smartphone than from a sales associate in the store. That’s if she can find an associate at all!

On the other hand, shopping in stores is about discovery, it’s about inspiration, it’s social and it’s physical. In other words, shopping brick-and-mortar is human. The best retailers are embracing this new reality. Technology has given brands and physical stores more opportunities than ever to identify, engage, retain and convert shoppers. It’s up to the retailers to make sure their houses are in order when their guests come to town – they need to have the right products (and enough of them to satisfy demand) on the shelves. Via

Is late December the new Black Friday? year, as many retailers began their holiday marketing early—really, just after the last jack-o-lantern stopped glowing—Black Friday and even Cyber Monday inevitably lost much of their impact. Many on-the-ground reports from Black Friday showed waning crowds, while spending at stores on the shopping holiday fell to $10.4 billion this year from $11.6 billion last year, according to ShopperTrak.

But it’s not a trend contained to this year only. Black Friday and Cyber Monday “creep,” where retailers started deals early or kept them going well after that big shopping weekend, has been happening for a while now. Here’s why retailers should keep their eyes on the prize (if the prize is consumer dollars) until the very end of the holiday season. Via

Year in Review: Top mobile news, strategy insight of 2015 were two big ‘m’ words for the small and big retailer in 2015: millennial and mobile. Both factored big in strategy, merchandising, reassessing payment approaches and enlisting new technology to stay on top to meet, and hopefully exceed, the consumer’s expectations.

The two focal points promise to loom even bigger in 2016 and many a retailer is still just getting some strategy roots planted around mobile point of sale and determining how best to provide consumers the payment process they want and how to ensure that the retail presence, whether online or in a brick and mortar environment, is just as strong in the mobile environment. To help out Retail Customer Experience offers up five popular mobile-focused articles and news headlines. Insight from experts, as well as a handy checklist are part of our 2015 coverage. Via

We’re keeping a close eye on trends, sales results and business developments you can use. Much more news on tap this week.