Magazines Archives - 2008 March

Retail executives set new benchmarks in priorities for the year ahead
Story 22

IMPROVING customer satisfaction is US retailers’ top goal for 2008. That was according to one of the findings of the sixth annual survey Retail Horizons: Benchmarks for 2007, Forecasts for 2008, jointly conducted by NRF and IBM.

The survey took place in the fall of 2007, before the economic downturn was apparent. Other changes expected include declining attention on expansion, which has been retailers’ chief objective for several years. Behind customer satisfaction and retention issues, cost reduction and containment took the number two spot in overall strategic initiatives.

Tied for second place in priorities was domestic expansion. Employee retention and development moved up to third place from the fifth.

The survey polled 418 executives at 137 companies on how they would evaluate the success of their 2007 initiatives and their priorities for 2008. Among goals set for the year ahead are driving sales and increasing market share while controlling costs. Customerinsight executives were reported to be looking to emphasise customer-loyalty programmes, with IT executives planning to concentrate more on merchandise/ inventory-management system upgrades and replacements.

Costs seem to be on everyone’s mind this year. Executives with supply-chain responsibilities plan to make reducing and containing costs their primary goal for 2008, replacing last year’s warehouse and distribution-network optimisation. Human-resource executives, too, are focusing on cost control, citing concerns over health-care costs and benefits as their second-highest priority next to leadership assessment, development and succession planning.

The foremost goals of those with merchandising responsibilities are driving comparable-store sales, and improving margins and inventory turnover. As for marketing executives, increasing market share comes first, followed by a growing share of the customer wallet.

Retailers this year will be balancing fiscal priorities (cost reduction and control) with growth and moderate expansion initiatives, the study concluded.


2008 March Stories:

POP & Signage Solutions - Technology ushers in a new era for signages in Singapore

Armani’s first travel-retail boutique opens in HK

Beijing Olympics boosting ad spend in China

L’Oreal to focus on men in Malaysia

Esprit looks to enter luxury market

Cartier appoints new regional manager

Competition outweighs customer needs in product launches

LG, GE in agreement to share patents for home appliances

Coty’s Rimmel goes to China

US gum-maker banks on Asia

Levi’s to close 36-year-old Manila plant

Deal with causes to cap shrinkage: Expert advises

Bond girl endorses Montblanc watch

New boardwalk to help boost economic growth in Sabah

Coming soon: MBO cineplexes across Malaysia

NRF 2008 – US retailers tackle green issues, grapple with looming recession

‘Go green’ gets big boost at annual convention

The Wal-Mart story: Making ‘Sustainability Sustainable

Store of the future

What do customers want from the shop floor?

Evolving business model: Sell solutions, not products

NRF Design Studio exchange: What makes for iconic identity?

Retail executives set new benchmarks in priorities for the year ahead

Interactivity with shoppers: Big trend

Who’s hot, what’s not on Wall Street’s list

NRF honours industry excellence

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