What do bank branch closures mean for retail?


As more and more of us take care of our banking needs online or on mobile devices, the need to go in to a local bank branch and see a friendly face is fading fast. In the first half of 2017, more than 1,700 bank branches closed their doors, and the second half of the year continued the downward trend.

The decrease in branches raises two interesting issues for retailers:

  • How could this change individual stores’ deposit procedures?
  • Should you offer cash back to meet customers’ cash needs, and if so, how do you manage each store’s cash on hand?
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Teamwork: the most important ingredient


What does it take to create a great retail software platform? Even greater teamwork.

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Are your stores staffed for online fulfillment and returns?


To say retail scheduling is a headache is an understatement. In my retail days, we had a fairly sophisticated system for scheduling that took into account stocking time, previous months sales trends, previous year same week trends, holiday lift, week of the month, average sales per customer, customer count trend, time to transition to or from holidays, and much, much more. But in the end it’s at best 90 percent science — the rest is instinct, a little bit of luck, and looking for opportunities in unexpected places.

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3 ways tech can empower retail employees, not replace them


Not long ago, my first-grader wanted to make slime. Not just any slime, but ice slime, which requires clear glue – so off we went to a local store. We couldn’t find the glue we needed, and unfortunately, I had been to this store many times and knew I probably wouldn’t find anyone to help us. Instead of trudging around looking for someone, I opened the store’s app on my phone, used the wayfinder, and found the aisle I needed immediately.


Is this a customer experience success or failure? Depends on how you look at it. 

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Digging into retail deposit options


Shoppers making in-person purchases in 2018 have more payment choices at the register than ever before. They can pay with check, debit or credit, or by scanning their phone or watch. Or they can pull out their wallets and pay with cash — and despite convenient advances in payment technology, many do.


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It’s official: The cost of cash is more than you think


Get 10 retailers in a room and ask them what their most expensive form of payment is. What do you think they’ll say? I’d wager most of them would say credit – but they’d be wrong.

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3 next-level store audit tips to optimize your retail business


A colleague asked me recently what I’d tell someone just starting out in retail loss prevention or audit. While much has changed since I started as a store auditor, I still see one mistake again and again – treating audits as “gotcha” moments.


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Restaurants | Why accepting cash is so expensive


In my early restaurant days, part of our mission was to ensure the 3 F’s: food, feel and flow. Was the food great? How was the feel/vibe? Was there a great flow through the line and the restaurant? Maintaining these key metrics – and profitability, of course – was the mark of a great manager. One F I hated dealing with? Funds. Managing and reconciling cash at the end of the day was a chore and a headache.

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4 things your store managers think but don’t tell you


When I worked as divisional manager for a department store chain, nothing could strike fear in our hearts quite so much as a corporate visit to a store in our division. Every element of the store across all departments had to be absolutely flawless for these visits. Hundreds of extra hours were spent prepping the store to make sure it was perfect — all for a team of bigwigs that would be there less than an hour.

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3 reasons smaller retailers need to rethink cash handling


Every independent retailer knows they’ve got to sweat the small stuff, and they're always looking for ways to keep costs down and customer experience up. One way is cash handling, or currency management, but it's often overlooked because it’s not customer-facing and doesn’t increase sales. Or can it?

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