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Nike Opens First Store for Women as Lululemon Readies First Men's Store

Nike today opened its first women's-only store—in Newport Beach, Calif.—a week ahead of lululemon athletica opening its first men's-only store—on the opposite coast, in New York—on Black Friday.
The move makes sense given that Nike expects its women's business to grow to $7 billion annually by 2017, from about $5 billion currently.
Its second women’s-only store will follow quickly, opening on Nov. 29—not in the U.S. but in Shanghai, China, the only women's stores it has announced so far.

Naturally, the rival brands will be keeping a close eye on each other's gender-targeted retail moves, as well as those by competitors such as Under Armour and adidas and new entrants such as Topshop's upcoming athletic lifestyle brand with Beyonce.
Taking a page from lululemon store-hosted yoga lessons (and Reebok's retail-adjacent Crossfit studios), the first Nike women's store offers in-store studio for group or personal fitness training sessions—also a first for a U.S. Nike retail location.

According to Nike, "The studio will also enable customers to trial training and running footwear and apparel. Specialized services, weekly programming and special events are designed to inspire and enable the community of active women in and around Newport Beach. In-store services include run analysis, bra fitting, footwear trials and pant hemming, and programming includes the Nike+ Run Club, Nike+ Training Club and yoga classes."

The store is pushing a connected, omnichannel experience for shoppers, too. According to Nike, the Newport Beach store features:
"a new, unique technology that seamlessly integrates a physical and digital shopping experience. Shoppers can purchase product not offered in the store from a nearly endless aisle at in a single, mobile transaction. Product ordered from in the store will then be shipped free of charge anywhere in the U.S. in three to five days. This seamless technology is already in place in nearly all Nike Stores and Nike Factory Stores across the U.S. Customers can also make purchases with tap-to-pay technology in the store and take advantage of Apple Pay, using an iPhone 6 with Touch ID."
“We connect with and inspire millions of women all over the world every day through our Nike+ Training Club and Nike+ Running apps,” stated Amy Montagne, VP, GM of Nike Women. “Our women’s business has never been stronger and this new store is the ultimate expression of our commitment to women who run, train and live the look of sport and fitness throughout their day.”

Having long been associated with women's apparel despite offering men's garments in stores and online, lululemon is opening the doors to its first standalone store for men on Nov. 28 in NYC's Soho area.
As we noted in September after Lululemon revealed the men's retail plan, the brand has been reaching out to men this year with social marketing and "man camps"—motivational events aimed at inspiring weekend warriors to get their Lulu on and not think of the brand as just for women.

According to a preview published by TIME, the lululemon store will even feature playlists geared at men, and other in-store events to keep male shoppers happy while their female companions shop at the new Lululemon women's store that's also opening kitty-corner across Prince Street.
“We’re such a strong women’s brand,” Felix del Toro, SVP of lululemon Men's, told TIME. “There hadn’t been the same amount of attention to who the guy was, who the guest we’re appealing to was.”
“Some people think of us as a women’s brand, but we’ve been in the men’s business for a long time—almost from the beginning,” said Delaney Schweitzer, the company’s EVP of global retail operations, to WWD.
As for who that male guest (i.e. customer) might be, TIME describes him as "in his 30s, confident, accomplished, goal-oriented, self-assured (your proverbial 'husband material,' basically).  'We call him the ‘athletic opportunist’, del Toro says. 'He’s a guy who does a variety of things, whether he’s on vacation and he’s going to pick up surfing or in the mountains going skiing for the weekend. He could be a team sport player, he could be a triathlete, he could be a marathon runner.'"

The lululemon Soho men's store will feature nature-inspired touches that connect to its Canadian roots in outdoorsy Vancouver, plus an in-store workshop, or "The Joinery" as Lululemon calls it, in which men can customize their shorts with the choice of three liners and four shells, and an on-site seamstress to whip up personalized designs on the spot.
According to a job posting for assistant manager, the store aims to be a "community hub for men" and will sell "premium, technical apparel that solves sweaty athletic problems so you can always be ready for a sweat or a social session."
WWD described the  community hub as “a workshop environment... where guys will hang out and not just shop and leave quickly. There will be a large 'community table' for chilled beverages, mobile payments, and a sound and digital projection system. The fit rooms are designed in metal and opaque glass, in a nod to classic industrial New York."
The investment isn't a one-off, although no other men's-only lululemon stores have been announced. As del Toro told WWD, “We expect our men’s growth to continue to outpace our overall growth for the next few years. We see the opportunity for men approaching $1 billion in revenue over the next few years and are investing accordingly to bring that vision to life.”

BBA Discussion Forum / supply chain management (SCM)
« on: December 13, 2014, 06:32:28 PM »
Supply chain management (SCM) is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Supply chain management involves coordinating and integrating these flows both within and among companies. It is said that the ultimate goal of any effective supply chain management system is to reduce inventory (with the assumption that products are available when needed)...(Continued)

Supply chain management (SCM) is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Supply chain management involves coordinating and integrating these flows both within and among companies. It is said that the ultimate goal of any effective supply chain management system is to reduce inventory (with the assumption that products are available when needed). As a solution for successful supply chain management, sophisticated software systems with Web interfaces are competing with Web-based application service providers (ASP) who promise to provide part or all of the SCM service for companies who rent their service.
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Supply chain management flows can be divided into three main flows:

    The product flow
    The information flow
    The finances flow

The product flow includes the movement of goods from a supplier to a customer, as well as any customer returns or service needs. The information flow involves transmitting orders and updating the status of delivery. The financial flow consists of credit terms, payment schedules, and consignment and title ownership arrangements.

There are two main types of SCM software: planning applications and execution applications. Planning applications use advanced algorithms to determine the best way to fill an order. Execution applications track the physical status of goods, the management of materials, and financial information involving all parties.

Some SCM applications are based on open data models that support the sharing of data both inside and outside the enterprise (this is called the extended enterprise, and includes key suppliers, manufacturers, and end customers of a specific company). This shared data may reside in diverse database systems, or data warehouses, at several different sites and companies.

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    Manage supply chain risks with the right technology

    Navigate the e-procurement technology landscape

By sharing this data "upstream" (with a company's suppliers) and "downstream" (with a company's clients), SCM applications have the potential to improve the time-to-market of products, reduce costs, and allow all parties in the supply chain to better manage current resources and plan for future needs.

Increasing numbers of companies are turning to Web sites and Web-based applications as part of the SCM solution. A number of major Web sites offer e-procurement marketplaces where manufacturers can trade and even make auction bids with suppliers.

BBA Discussion Forum / Supply Chain Management - SCM
« on: December 13, 2014, 06:27:26 PM »

DEFINITION of 'Supply Chain Management - SCM'

Supply chain management is the streamlining of a business' supply-side activities to maximize customer value and to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Supply chain management (SCM) represents an effort by suppliers to develop and implement supply chains that are as efficient and economical as possible. Supply chains cover everything from production, to product development, to the information systems needed to direct these undertakings.
INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Supply Chain Management - SCM'

Typically, SCM will attempt to centrally control or link the production, shipment and distribution of a product. By managing the supply chain, companies are able to cut excess fat and provide products faster. This is done by keeping tighter control of internal inventories, internal production, distribution, sales and the inventories of the company's product purchasers.
SCM is based on the idea that nearly every product that comes to market results from the efforts of various organizations called the supply chain. Although these supply chains have existed for ages, until recently most companies have paid only scant attention to them.

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Brands On Facebook and Twitter, Take Note—Your Reach is Waning

Marketers spending big money and time on Facebook and Twitter may be wasting both, according to a new report from Forrester analyst Nate Elliott titled “Social Relationship Strategies That Work: How to Succeed in Social as Organic Reach Falls Towards Zero.”
According to the report, because so few people view companies' social posts—and even fewer actually engage with them—brands don't really have social relationships with their customers despite their best efforts.

“It’s clear that Facebook and Twitter don’t offer the relationships that marketing leaders crave. Yet most brands still use these sites as the centerpiece of their social efforts—thereby wasting significant financial, technological, and human resources on social networks that don’t deliver value," Elliott notes. "It’s time for marketers to start building social relationship strategies around sites that can deliver value.”
Ogilvy reported last February that brands on Facebook and Twitter reach only around 2% of fans and followers, and less than 0.1% of them interact with each post on average. 

“While they’ll continue to collect billions in display ad revenues, [these platforms] are just not the most important sites for social marketers anymore,” said the Forrester report. According to the research firm's predictions, over the next 18 months, Facebook “will become nothing but a repository for display ads.”

It’s the death knell for organic reach on social, as media companies and publishers regain some of their strength. “If there is a battle for consumer attention in the news feed, the media, celebrities and entertainment companies have won," AdAge notes. “All these changes take us back to a world that will be quite familiar to ad industry veterans: Media companies producing high-quality, engaging content, and advertisers paying to provide relevant commercial messages adjacent to that content.”
In the meantime: What’s a marketer to do? The Forrester report advises two strategies: First, add social relationship tools to your own site, and second, stop making Facebook the center of your relationship marketing.
One brand that has been successfully leveraging community-building features is Sony, with PlayStation’s social microsite called GreatnessAwaits. The site aggregated 75,000 social posts and drew 4.5 million visits at four minutes a visit, catapulting the PlayStation 4 launch to outsell its biggest competitor by nearly 2-to-1.

Another company using a similar tactic is semiconductor manufacturer Analog Devices and their in-house community site EngineerZone, which reached a greater audience than the brand’s entire Facebook page. “Better yet, 90% of EngineerZone users say the community is helpful to their design process,” noted Elliott, “and 76% say the community makes them more likely to buy Analog’s products again in the future.”

The Forrester report favors higher brand engagement on platforms like Instagram, where posts receive a per-follower engagement rate 58 times higher than Facebook and 120 times higher than Twitter.
As for the lack of growth on Twitter, Elliott notes, it “comes from Twitter’s relative lack of innovation,” according to a New York Times article. “The experience on Twitter today is the same experience people have always had on Twitter.”
Elliott is also down on memes: “Memes are not a marketing tactic…They're selling snake oil.” Bloomberg's recent report concurs with Elliott's claim that "ninety-nine out of 100 of these don’t work."
Not everyone believes the guidelines from Elliott's report are valid. A voice of dissension from Jerry Daykin at The Drum: “The suggestion that brands should turn to their own websites or smaller platforms instead seems even more misguided given the further lack of scale they inevitably have.”
“Reaching a bigger percentage of a smaller number of people still means reaching a small number of people," Daykin adds.
And at the end of the day, notes the NYT, “Marketers have little choice but to play along. Facebook has accumulated one of the biggest vaults of consumer data in the world. It dominates social media advertising the way Google dominates search ads, and analysts say that brands will keep flocking to the service.”

BBA Discussion Forum / Nokia Seeks Brand Comeback With N1 Tablet
« on: December 13, 2014, 06:22:50 PM »
Nokia Seeks Brand Comeback With N1 Tablet

Now that Microsoft has removed the Nokia brand name from Lumia phones, the non-mobile portion of Finland's Nokia that isn't owned by Microsoft is trying to find other ways to get its name out there. It's off to a strong start with Tuesday's launch of a new Android tablet N1 and corresponding Z Launcher software.

While Nokia has the 98th most valuable brand name in the world (worth about $3.2 billion) according to Interbrand's latest Best Global Brands ranking, it still desperately needs a comeback to combat its aging image amongst consumers in the wake of being phased out by Microsoft.

Beyond its own products, Nokia is looking to license its brand name to third-party manufacturers, reports. “We have a very valuable brand," said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia technologies. "Yes it is diminishing in value, and that’s why it is important that we reverse that trend very quickly, imminently."

The N1 is central to Nokia's comeback plan, and will cost $249 in the U.S., although the Telegraph notes that the tablet will launch first in China before rolling out to other markets.
One of the N1's crowning features will be Nokia’s Z launcher software, which adapts the home screen’s apps throughout the day depending on the owner's behavior and usage.

The launch of a Nokia tablet is a big step for the company as it seeks to innovate with branded products beyond the mobile phone space, since part of the deal with Microsoft when Nokia sold its phone business was that Nokia couldn’t use its own brand name on smart phones until the end of 2016, and on feature phones for another decade.
As for Microsoft, it's also closing reportedly planning to spin out Nokia MixRadio, and is going all-in on promoting the Microsoft Lumia, including a video to showcase its interactivity:

And, as CNET reports, Microsoft has also announced the next step in its process of sloughing the Nokia brand name off its phones: A new partnership with Opera Software to launch the Opera Mobile Store, which will take over the Nokia Store when it is shut down in the first half of 2015.
Previously, the Nokia Store was the app source for owners of Nokia feature phones, such as the Asha series, and Symbian and Nokia X phones, and based on the last stats released two years ago, the store was serving up to 15 million downloads daily.
Below, more on today's Nokia product launches:


To celebrate the first ever NCAA College Football Playoff series and the pursuit of the “diamond quest” College Football Playoff ring, Nike is launching its "most advanced" and innovative football cleat to date: The Nike Vapor Untouchable, which is also the first Flyknit cleat made with recycled polyester yarn—each pair is knit with the equivalent of five recycled plastic bottles.

Additionally, all four Nike teams selected for the playoffs this year (Oregon, FSU, Alabama and OSU) will wear Nike Mach Speed uniforms with unique design enhancements, including a fractal diamond-color Swoosh on the front of the uniform. Players will also wear new Nike Pro Combat Hypercool baselayer designs and a new Nike Vapor Knit glove.
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Amazon is scaling the digital ramparts and making more inroads into the physical world in an effort to become the go-to delivery service—everywhere, any time, for everything.

Case in point: the e-commerce giant is testing bike messenger deliveries in New York City this holiday season, with the goal of delivering customers' orders within an hour. Dubbed Amazon Prime Now, trials are underway with at least three courier services to ascertain the speediest and most careful delivery to Amazon Prime customers.

“During the trials, messengers are given an address and told to bike there within the allotted time," The Wall Street Journal reports. “Once they arrive, they are required to take a photograph of the building’s address and return to the ground floor of the Amazon building, which is referred to by bike messengers as “the base.””

Working out of the company's new 34th Street HQ in New York, the couriers are paid around $15 an hour and work eight-hour shifts.

On the drone delivery front, meanwhile, Amazon is still at odds with the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency and threatening to take its marbles elsewhere. "Without approval of our testing in the United States, we will be forced to continue expanding our Prime Air R&D footprint abroad," said Paul Misener, Amazon's VP of global public policy.

Amazon has been waiting for permission to fly its drones in outdoor spaces in Seattle since July. Interestingly, the U.S. government has fewer than 10 approved commercial-drone operators, while Europe has thousands.

Leaving no stone unturned, Amazon also is testing a restaurant takeout and delivery service, called AmazonLocal.

In contrast to its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service, the takeout/delivery service (now being tested in its hometown of Seattle) “doesn't involve Amazon physically driving the food to your doorstep," Gizmodo notes. A third-party service rounds up local options and the delivering restaurants arrange the fee.

“Amazon Local isn't just a potential Seamless killer," The Verge writes. “The feature also lets people connect with handymen and babysitters. And if Amazon decides to hook it up to Prime, it could one of the best deals for the hungry and lazy among us.”

And as traditional retailers like Macy’s and Walmart roll out same-day delivery services, as well as e-commerce leader eBay and start-ups like WunWun and Postmates, Amazon is sweetening the deal with a new pricing feature, the eBay-like "Make an Offer," that applies to items including fine art and rare coins that are sold by third-party vendors.

With the new feature, customers can negotiate lower prices on more than 150,000 items from participating Amazon sellers.

“The new ‘Make an Offer’ experience is a game-changer for Amazon customers looking for great prices on one-of-a-kind items, and for sellers looking to communicate and negotiate directly with customers in an online marketplace environment just like they do normally in their own physical store or gallery,” stated Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace.

"In a recent survey of our sellers, nearly half of the respondents told us that the ability to negotiate prices with customers would be important to drive more sales on Amazon," he also told USA Today. "'Make an Offer' delivers that functionality and makes customers feel confident they are getting an item they want at the lowest price possible."

One caveat is that only items priced at $100 or more are eligible for negotiation. "We don't want people haggling over a $5 item," Faricy commented. With manufactured items, "there's really a bottom for what people want to sell them for."

As for the workers making all these new features happen? Amazon today won a U.S. Supreme court ruling that means it doesn't have to pay them during security checks, while it's also refusing to file diversity data on the composition of its workforce (other EEO holdouts include Microsoft, Twitter, Apple and Amazon).

"I hope everyone eventually shares their EEO-1s," said Rosalind Hudnell, Intel's VP HR and chief diversity officer, according to USA Today. "If we are going to commit as an industry to drive improvement in a collective fashion, we cannot do it with inconsistent data."

But inconsistent may well define Amazon’s ethos as it moves towards dominance in the physical and virtual worlds of consumers worldwide.


On The Today Show on NBC this morning, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg joined Savannah Guthrie to debrief Facebook’s biggest moments of 2014. Sandberg shared the global top 10 moments or events that generated the most buzz, along with the "most talked about" topics or stories.

“The most shared event in Facebook’s history... [was when] 350 million people came together around the World Cup," Sandberg said. "And I think this is social media at its best. At its very best, social media makes the world a little bit smaller, more of a community.”

Facebook "most talked about" topics of 2014 (by category)

    Movie: Frozen
    Song: "Happy" by Pharrell Williams
    Entertainer: Beyoncé
    TV Show: Game of Thrones
    Athlete: LeBron James
    Game: "Cookie Jam"
    ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video: George W. Bush

The Top 10 Global Topics

    World Cup
    Ebola Virus Outbreak
    Brazilian Elections
    Robin Williams
    Ice Bucket Challenge
    Israel-Gaza Conflict
    Malaysia Airlines
    Super Bowl
    Sochi Winter Olympics

The Top 10 U.S. Topics

    Ebola virus
    Ice Bucket Challenge
    Robin Williams
    Super Bowl
    Michael Brown/Ferguson
    World Cup
    Conflict in Gaza
    U.S. midterm elections
    Malaysia Airlines

Most Discussed Entertainers in the U.S.

    Pharrell Williams
    Nicki Minaj
    Taylor Swift
    Jimmy Fallon
    Iggy Azalea
    Katy Perry
    John Legend
    Kim Kardashian

Most Discussed TV Shows in the U.S.

    Game of Thrones
    Orange is the New Black
    The Walking Dead
    The Big Bang Theory
    Downton Abbey
    American Horror Story
    Sons of Anarchy
    True Detective
    How I Met Your Mother

Most Discussed Movies in the U.S.

    Guardians of the Galaxy
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    The Lego Movie
    The Fault in Our Stars
    Transformers: Age of Extinction
    Gone Girl
    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
    The Purge: Anarchy

BBA Discussion Forum / IKEA Offers Russians a Night at the Movies—in Bed
« on: December 13, 2014, 06:01:08 PM »
IKEA Offers Russians a Night at the Movies—in Bed

Russia may be suffering through an economic downturn, but IKEA announced in September that it plans to invest 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) to expand and upgrade its stores in the country.

To extend that goodwill, the world's biggest furniture retailer is bringing its brand to the public in unexpected places. Its latest foray into веселье (you know—"fun") is to take over a Russian movie house in a Moscow suburb and offer up a night at the movies with a twist.

Instead of watching the film the regular boring way, IKEA replaced cinema seats with beds so that moviegoers could curl up together, and snack on some choklad and popcorn.

The cozy screening room idea by IKEA Russia and Kinostar de Lux cinema is part of the retailer's local "Wake Up Love" integrated marketing campaign to launch its latest catalog and drive store traffic.

"At the presentation of the new IKEA catalog, we to asked visitors: What should we do to have more love around us?" IKEA Russia’s digital manager Alex Ovechkin told local media, according to, of the tie-in with Kinostar.

"One of the most frequent responses was ‘to spend more time together.’ Thus was born the idea of creating a home environment in a movie theater," he added.

(Don’t worry, the sheets were changed and the crumbs whisked away between showings. Reuters even has photos to prove it.)

The bedroom cinema is reminiscent of KLM's apartment airplane stunt with Airbnb—and IKEA Australia’s out-of-home effort this past August.

In the Aussie stunt, a partnership with a short-term rental site let IKEA fans finally find out what everyone wonders about: what it's like spend the night in an IKEA store.

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