The first month of 2011 was all about celebrating a comeback year for retail and looking ahead to a hopeful year of growth for the industry. The first such focus on this comeback and look forward came at NRF’s 100th Annual Convention and EXPO in New York City, with 22,000 industry professionals gathering for Retail’s BIG Show where much of the discussion revolved around the global economic outlook. Additionally, NRF planning and research resources gained traction with the new year, as retailers looked to enhance 2011 business strategies and emulate what’s worked for others in the industry throughout 2010. Read on for a quick synopsis of what your retail peers found most valuable for the month of January 2011.
- Considering best practices for customer service? Winners were announced for the sixth annual NRF Foundation/American Express Customers’ Choice survey during Retail’s BIG Show, where Zappos.com took home top honors. A video of this year’s top ten showcased the full winners’ list of companies chosen as best of the best in the survey.
- Emerging details about the success retailers enjoyed over the holiday season certainly attracted plenty of attention in January. With retail industry sales for December rising 5.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year and 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted from November, preliminary 2010 holiday sales, which combine the full months of November and December, rose 5.7 percent to $462 billion, surpassing NRF’s forecast of 3.3 percent.
- Version 2.0 of NRF’s Mobile Blueprint, which added additional information about mobile payments, was released in January as well, offering best practices and learning opportunities for retailers entering the mobile space.
- According to Retail Horizons 2011, expansion is back on the agenda and retailers are ready to begin experimenting again with new brick-and-mortar concepts. As retailers strategize for for the upcoming year, many are leaning on the data provided from the just-released Retail Horizons report, the most authoritative source for retail benchmarks and trends, now available for purchase.
- Also in early January, an Internal Revenue Service ruling that sales of gift cards do not have to be counted as taxable income until they are redeemed, was hailed as a major victory for retailers.
- 9 retailers who get customer experience right
- Retail luxury newcomers: who they are and how they shop
- Retail’s BIG Show: 7 new things for 2011
- The timeless shopping experience found in augmented reality
- Not on Facebook? Here’s why you should be
Top retail news stories in NRF SmartBrief: