The owner of HomeGoods just opened its first Homesense store. Here’s how the two compare

August 23, 2017 in Latest News

Who says people don’t get excited about retail anymore?

Big crowds gathered outside the first Homesense store to open in the U.S. this past week in Framingham, Massachusetts.

TJX, the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, is rolling out another home furnishing brand, promising this one will be different.

Taking a walk inside the Massachusetts store, one will find Homesense is organized mostly by color, pairing similarly patterned pieces throughout for shoppers in need of a little creative assistance.

Homesense’s lighting, art and furniture sections — they’re huge. But unlike HomeGoods, one won’t see many items for kids nor pets sold by the new brand.

“Just as our customers enjoy shopping both TJ Maxx and Marshalls, we are confident that loyal customers and new shoppers alike will be excited about shopping both Homesense and HomeGoods,” HomeGoods President John Ricciuti has said.

The company has promised both investors and shoppers that the overlap between a HomeGoods and a Homesense store is so minimal that TJX would consider positioning the two brands within the same strip center without fearing sales cannibalization.

Homesense locations will include a “General Store” that sells cleaning supplies and home improvement essentials like hardware, outdoor fixtures and mailboxes — more reminiscent of a Home Depot or Lowe’s.

The layout of a Homesense store aims to mimic how items would be actually be arranged in someone’s home, according to TJX. And there will also be sections throughout tailored to specific holidays or special occasions.

Come Sept. 7, TJX will open its second U.S. Homesense location in East Hanover, New Jersey, with many more to come.

And while TJX is rolling out Homesense across America, the company still plans to open about 100 HomeGoods stores this year.

“Again, we are seeing great opportunity for the future of our company within the U.S. home sector,” TJX CEO Ernie Herrman said on a recent call with analysts and investors.

Compare and contrast HomeGoods and Homesense for yourself.

Source: CNBC

Retailers personalize holiday shopping for millennials, baby boomers

August 15, 2017 in Latest News

Stores are already gearing up for the busy holiday retail reason, when retailers bring in more than 40 percent of their revenue for the year.

Brands have already started preparing for the impact that the changing industry landscape will have on the holiday season — focusing on convenience and speed to make holiday shopping a good experience for consumers. About 76 percent of U.S. consumers expect theirs interactions with a brand to be easy, while 60 percent of shoppers ages 45 and under say they look online first, then buy products in brick-and-mortar stores.

Locking into these trends will help retailers address the landscape shift and keep sales up this holiday season, according to the report. The federation is encouraging retailers to produce quality over quantity, reward employees for relationship-building actions with customers, and use data insights to prioritize customers’ most enjoyable shopping experiences.

“Especially during peak holiday times, optimize in-store and online shopping experiences,” the report said. “Customers should be able to quickly navigate your brand, get through checkout and get on their way.”

Holiday retail sales during November and December 2016 increased 4 percent over 2015 to $658.3 billion, exceeding NRF’s forecast of $655.8 billion. The number includes $122.9 billion in non-store sales, which were up 12.6 percent over the year before. Consumers showed more confidence during the holiday season, and December was up 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted from November and 3.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

Stores are specifically targeting different age demographics, and found these are what consumers want out of their shopping experiences:

1. MILLENNIALS: Price and value are the most important factores for this group, and more than 71 percent of 25 to 34 year olds use their smartphone to look up product information while shopping in stores. “They also recognize the importance of both functional and emotional aspects of the shopping experience; both are represented in where and how they decide to shop,” the report found.

2. BABY BOOMERS: About 20 percent of all baby boomers want personalized offers through their mobile device, according to the report. Boomers place value on the functional attributes when they decide whether to buy an item or not. Boomers want to shop at retailers that give them: reliability, product quality, value for the money they’ve spent and a store that allows them to stay on budget.

3. Gen X: Generation X, those born roughly between the early 1960s to the early 1980s, are described as the “on-the-go generation,” and they want to see clear value for what they buy this holiday season. They are most likely to buy products that will make their busy lives even easier. About 40 percent of Gen Xers say a fast checkout is a key factor in where they’ll shop this holiday season.