First Look: Zara unveils pioneering store concept

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Global apparel giant Zara has taken the wraps off its transformed flagship at Westfield Stratford mall in London, debuting a format that revolutionizes the in-store shopping experience.

I read this article with great interest. Hope you do to .The two-story, 48,000-sq.-ft. store feature digital technology that integrates the online and offline shopping experiences, with such features as automated order collection points, self-checkout, interactive mirrors and mobile payment systems.

Five Must-See NYC Holiday Window Displays

Since the 1870s, holiday window displays in New York have been a tradition. The tradition continues to present day as stores large and small create an awe-inspiring tapestry of decorative scenes, from the cute and cozy to the magnificent and dramatic.

I was so inspired by these windows I just had to share them with you. Enjoy…
After strolling through the major shopping avenues of Manhattan, here’s my list of “must-see” window displays for this year’s holiday season. Marrying today’s latest tech with timeless sentiments, each of these cleverly designed displays will add wonderment and joy to your day, so be sure to take time and explore each of these special worlds:

Lord & Taylor: The Best and Brightest

For its 80th annual holiday display, Lord & Taylor transformed its Fifth Avenue windows into a whimsical journey as seen through the lens of enchanted snow globes, featuring over 60 variations throughout the display. Snow globes, and the animated figures playing within them, provide the unifying motif that pulls together the retailer’s five magical window scenes.

Macy’s Herald Square: The Perfect Gift Brings People Together

Photo: Diane Bondareff

Macy’s Herald Square brings people – and window themes – together. There are six windows lining the Broadway- facing side of Macy’s, each with its own theme. One focuses on the holiday tree as the centerpiece of family and home, and two show the holiday metropolis filled with life and activity as animal creatures enjoy the coming of winter in their own festive ways.

The third features a viewfinder through which visitors can take a better look at this panoramic winter scene, featuring Santa flying high above the city.  The fourth gives a look into a holiday spectacular being staged in a giant theater, and the fifth focuses on transportation… all under Santa’s watchful eye, as he waves to the passersby. And the sixth depicts Macy’s Herald Square itself in miniature as shoppers dart by against a backdrop of Santaland and the giant Christmas tree.

Saks Fifth Avenue: Once Upon a Holiday

Each year, Saks Fifth Avenue’s display is made larger than life, thanks to its 10-story-tall theatrical light show that accompanies the 14-holiday window displays. But this year is a little different. First off, for the first time in its 94-year history, Saks is animating each and every one of the window displays. The displays all depict scenes from Disney’s animated film classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s a first-time collaboration with Disney. Probably the stylistic highlight of the display is the rich fairytale dress gowns Saks commissioned Alberta Ferretti, Naeem Khan, Monique Lhuillier, and Marchesa to design.

Bloomingdales: The Greatest Showman

 

This year, Bloomingdales’ windows also feature a movie tie-in, this one with the upcoming holiday release of “The Greatest Showman,” a musical depicting the life of P.T. Barnum and starring Hugh Jackman. Bloomingdales partnered with some of its best designers to assemble one-of-a-kind items inspired by the movie, many of which are featured in the circus themed window displays. And Swarovski created crystal-themed images bring glisten and sparkle to this circus wonderland.

Tiffany: A Tiffany New York Christmas

At Tiffany’s, each window features a wintry scene accented with the jeweler’s signature flair. Each window showcases the elegance of giving a Tiffany gift, from a diamond studded Christmas tree to a holiday table setting complete with jewel-filled Christmas crackers, champagne, and cakes.

Traditional winter accessories like woven hats, scarves and earmuffs, are given the Tiffany touch, using the iconic brand color to pull together each of the holiday scenes. (The 5th Avenue store also just made it possible to actually have breakfast at Tiffany’s in its just-opened Blue Box Cafe, fulfilling many the dreams of many women.)

Amazon buying Whole Foods Market

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In a blockbuster deal, online giant Amazon is acquiring Whole Foods Market in an all cash transaction valued at $13.7 billion, or $42 a share. I am a Whole Food shopper and thought you might be as interested as I am to … read more about this recent acquisition.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT from Retail Icon Diane Petryna

Retail Icon Diane Petryna owner of Take A Hike in Thunder Bay:  New name, focus & shopping experience.

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Congratulations Diane. Can’t wait to shop  at your new store Take 2 Boutique

Wishing you every success

Barbara

Survey: America’s favourite stores are…

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Survey: America’s favourite stores are…

Thought you might be interested in this information:A regional department store, a warehouse giant, a discount supermarket and an online powerhouse rank among the nation’s favorite retailers.That's according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which rates consumers’ satisfaction across six retail industries. The report found that satisfaction with the overall retail trade rise 4.7% in 2016 to a score of 78.3 (on a 100-point scale) an all-time high for the sector.Dillard's was tops among the 15 companies surveyed in the department and discount store category. It received a score of 83 out of a possible 100, up 4% from the previous year. J.C. Penney Co. Inc. took second place with a score of 82, and also had the largest increase from the previous year, up 11%.Nordstrom was the only department store to deteriorate in customer satisfaction, slipping 2% into a three-way tie with Dollar Tree and Belk at 80.Customer satisfaction with Walmart rose 9% as the company's renewed attention to customer service via "holiday helpers" to expedite checkout lines and aid shoppers paid off. Despite the ACSI gain, however, Walmart continues to anchor the low end of the industry with an ACSI score of 72.The supermarkets sector was led by Trader Joe’s, with a score of 86, followed by Publix at 84 and Aldi, H-E-B and Wegmans at 83. Whole Foods climbs 11% to 81, ahead of Hy-Vee, Kroger and ShopRite (all 79). Meijer matches Target at 78, followed by Bi-Lo (+4% to 77).Costco led the specialty retail category, with a score of 83, followed by Sam’s Club, L Brands, and Barnes & Noble, all at 81.Home Depot rose 10% to 80, ahead of Lowe’s (79) for the first time, as well as Menards (79). Ascena, which recently acquired Ann Taylor, makes its debut at 78 and ties with two pet supply stores: Petco and PetSmart. Best Buy, Big Lots and Toys “R” Us follow at 77. Abercrombie & Fitch improved the most, up 17%, but remains last at 76.In the online category Amazon continues to hold first place, advancing 4% to 86 amid a strong holiday season, followed by Newegg at 83 and eBay at 81.The ACSI report, which is based on 12,515 customer surveys collected in the fourth quarter of 2016, is available for free download here.