Justice Department’s No. 3 official leaving for top legal post at Walmart

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The third-ranking official at the U.S. Justice Department is leaving to take a job in the private sector.

Walmart announced Rachel Brand will join the company as executive VP, global governance and corporate secretary, effective April 2. Brand, who will report to president and CEO Doug McMillon, will be responsible for the company’s legal, global ethics and compliance and global investigation, security, aviation and travel departments, along with her role as corporate secretary. She is replacing Jeff Gearhart, who retired at the end of January.

I found this very interesting:

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.)

7 Ways to Keep Retail Employees Happy

I found this information interesting, I am sure you will too!

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The employees you have working in your store are just as important (if not more important) than what you have in it. These people are the ones who have a direct effect on sales, customer satisfaction and ultimately the success of your store. So how can you keep them happy and encourage them to do even better?

1. Train them well

Are you thoroughly training your employees? Give them in-depth training so they can work to the best of their ability, and avoid frustrations and employee turnover. Show your employees that you are investing in them by retraining ones that have been with you for a while in more specialized areas.

2. Recognize them for doing good work

Affirmation of a job well done can go a long way. If your employees are doing well, tell them! The more someone hears about how they are doing a good job, the more it will make them want to go above and beyond in the future.

3. Give them incentives to do better

Consider offering bonuses or prizes to employees who are doing exceptionally well. You may also run contests to encourage harder work. This will boost employee/team morale and at the same time make your store a pleasurable work environment.

4. Ask for their input

Considering your employees are interacting with customers and selling your products or services, they are a goldmine of information. Show your employees that you value their expertise by asking for their input on how business is going.

5. Give them better tools for the job

Working with old and outdated equipment can make a job more cumbersome than it needs to be. Keep your staff happy and increase their productivity by investing in the equipment that they use on a regular basis. See what tools can be upgraded and replace them if necessary.

6. Avoid scheduling conflicts

There is no faster way to create an unhappy work environment with your employees than abusing their schedule. Remember your employees are real people and not disposable labor. As far as possible avoid last minute changes to the schedule,

7. Play games

Yes, your employees are there to work but there's no reason it can't be fun! Fun is motivational and so is competition. Combine the two into a retail sales game that meets company goals and watch your employees and sales thrive.

 Barbara

Green Monday

Hi Everyone,

Not  a lot is know about Green Monday. I loved this article and hope you will as well.

Green Monday is the second Monday in December. It's also known as Cyber Monday 2 because it's the second biggest day for online holiday shopping.

For that reason, Green Monday is promoted by top stores like Wal-mart, Target and Amazon to extend the excitement around Cyber Week and the Black Friday kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

In 2016, Green Monday online retail sales were $1.621 billion.

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Read on …..

That beat the 2014 record of $1.615 trillion. It's more than double the pre-recession high of $881 million set in 2007. Only Cyber Monday saw greater sales, at $2.5 billion.

Both Green Monday and Cyber Monday follow the bricks-and-mortar shopping done on Black Friday, the first shopping day after Thanksgiving. Bit the online days set greater records each year as more people enjoy the convenience of shopping with their computers, tablets, and phones.

Like Cyber Monday, Green Monday is more appealing to Millennial's and Gen X. Sixty percent of those under 40 buy their holiday gifts online, compared to just 40 percent of Baby Boomers.

The holiday shopping season is critical because one fifth of annual retail sales occurs between Black Friday and Christmas. Some, like jewelers, receive 40 percent of their annual revenue during the holidays.

How Did Green Monday Get Its Name?

In 2007, eBay reported that its busiest day was the second Monday in December. At that time, it was the last day shoppers could get gifts in the mail so they would arrive by Christmas. eBay christened it Green Monday for two reasons. First, green meant revenue for the company.

Second, eBay markets online shopping as environmentally friendly, or greener than brick-and-mortar stores.

Green Monday is no longer the busiest day, as shoppers are attracted to deals throughout Cyber Week. With Amazon Prime and other services, shoppers can wait until closer to Christmas to buy online and have it arrive on time. But Green Monday is still a good bargain. Retailers offer 50 percent to 90 percent offregular prices.

How to Get the Best Green Monday Deals

Deals can be found on each stores' Green Monday or Cyber Monday websites. You can find the best deals for all stores on FatWallet's Green Monday web site.

Green Monday sales can be found on CyberMonday.com, which promotes online discounts from 800 retailers year-round. These Cyber Monday Shopping Tipscan also apply to Green Monday.

Of course, the best deals are on Wal-Mart's site. More than 300 online specials are offered, including ten of the most popular deals from Black Friday.  Green Monday was Walmart.com’s highest traffic day in December for two years in a row.

Barbara

What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?

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Really found this post interesting. Had to share it with you. Here are three explanations for the recent demise of America’s storefronts.1. People are simply buying more stuff online than they used to.The simplest explanation for the demise of brick-and-mortar shops is that Amazon is eating retail. Between 2010 and last year, Amazon’s sales in North America quintupled from $16 billion to $80 billion. Sears’ revenue last year was about $22 billion, so you could say Amazon has grown by three Sears in six years. Even more…..Read more : What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?

Tips for your next email blast

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Getting ready to send your next email blast and wondering what you can do to improve your results?

This post was written for you.

I hope you enjoy it. Barbara

Here are five simple tips for your next email blast, or eblast.

1. Don’t think of it as an email blast

If you’re just “blasting” out information sporadically whenever you have the time, you need to reevaluate your email marketing strategy.

Focus on creating a thoughtful email marketing plan that consistently delivers value to your subscribers and your business.

Rather than blasting out information, think of email marketing as a way to interact with your customers and prospects, build relationships, and drive valuable repeat business.

Look for opportunities to engage your subscribers by offering useful tips, providing exclusive discounts, or giving your subscribers the opportunity to share feedback.

Learn MoreHow to Plan an Effective Email Marketing Strategy

2. Get to know your subscribers

Once you’ve taken a second look at your sending strategy, you’ll need to take steps to better understand your subscribers. Who they are, what they’re interested in, and how you can improve your relationship with them.

The more you think about your subscribers, the more you’ll realize the different groups you’re trying to talk to all at once.

While some people on your email list may be lifelong customers, others may be completely new to your business.

Rather than “blasting” all of your contacts with the same information, take the time to figure out how to deliver a more personalized experience to each of your subscribers.

Consider creating separate email lists to better target your different types of contacts. Here are a few examples of how different industries segment their list:

  • A nursery will email its residential customers about new spring plantings and its commercial customers about availability of bulk mulch.
  • A cosmetics boutique will email one coupon to customers who buy makeup and another to those who buy skin-care products.
  • A financial services firm will email tax prep customers a timely IRS filing reminder and another to financial planning clients about rebalancing their portfolios.

3. Make your emails interactive

When you approach emails with an eblast mentality, you risk forgetting that your emails should inspire action and elicit a measurable response.

Make your emails interactive and give your subscribers a clear call to action so they know how to take the next step.

Should they read an article on your website? Purchase your new product? RSVP to your event?

Your email design should be clean and focused — with every element in the message supporting the goal of your message.

Learn More: How to Instantly Increase Engagement in Your Emails

4. Provide value

Today, consumers expect more from the businesses they interact with online and off.

With so many brands competing for their attention in all the places they visit every day — whether it’s through TV, email, or social media — consumers have gotten better and better at filtering out messages that aren’t relevant to their needs or interests.

If you want your audience to remain engaged with your content, you need to make sure you’re offering something of value. For some readers, that means offering a special discount or an exclusive promotion to your email list. For others that could mean offering a how-to article from your blog or a piece of content that’s more than just the typical sales pitch.

Make it valuable, make it relevant, and make it something your audience would thank you for.

If you’re not sure what to send, add a Poll to your email and ask your subscribers what information they’re most interested in.

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5. Measure your results

If you’re not measuring your results, how could you ever hope to improve on the work you’ve been doing?

One of the biggest benefits of using an email marketing service, like Constant Contact, is it’s easy to track your email marketing results.

Your email marketing reports will tell you exactly how many people are opening your emails, clicking your links, and even sharing your content. They’ll also provide insight into the type of information your audience is most interested in and will provide a benchmark to improve upon every time you hit send.

Whether you’re trying to learn more about your readers, provide valuable content, or increase sales — your email reports can help.

Use these tips to improve your next email blast

Thinking of your email blasts as a powerful marketing tool is important to get you in the right frame of mind.

Develop a plan to communicate with your subscribers effectively, start sending valuable and engaging messages, and measure the impact of your efforts to make sure you’re on the right track

Sign-up for email marketing today

How to Spend the Last 10 Minutes of Your Work Day

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The last 10 minutes of your day can also be the most crucial. It’s a time where you can prep for the next day, organize your work-space, sign out of email and reflect on what you achieved in the past eight hours. In the end, you should feel confident and proud when you walk out of the office.Read more:Also check out:5 Daily Habits That Will Increase Your Productivity Levels5 Habits of Successful People Before 8 a.m.

Enjoy;

Barbara

The Best Sounds for Getting Work Done

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Great info on the topic of  Sounds for getting work done.  Hope you enjoy it. Best BarbaraThe right kind of sound can relax your mind, hone your focus, drown out distractions, or get you pumped to kill your to-do list. We've assembled some research and free resources to help you create your own best workspace soundtrack. Read More ….

Study: Why shoppers choose offline over online

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Physical stores still have some key benefits over online retail. I found this info very interesting. Hope you do as well.An overwhelming majority (72%) of U.S. consumers cite “the ability to touch, feel and try products” as their top reason for shopping brick-and-mortar. That's according to a new study by Mood Media, “The State of Brick & Mortar: 2017,” which reveals consumer insights regarding the in-store customer experience and in-store shopping behaviors. The study is based on a survey of more than 11,000 consumers in nine countries across the globe, including Australia, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.Mood commissioned the survey to better understand what influences consumers’ decisions to choose brick-and-mortar over online shopping, what they most enjoy and don’t enjoy about the in-store experience and what most motivates them in the physical store. The study also explores the influence of a store’s atmosphere – including music – on the overall shopping experience. Read More….

George Clooney and Rande Gerber just made a billion dollars

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Interesting read:CNBC reports that Diageo will initially pay Clooney, Gerber and Meldman $700 million with the potential for another $300 million that will be based on the tequila’s performance over the next 10 years.“We created Casamigos Tequila 4 years ago for us to drink personally, and selling it for 1 billion dollars is something we never could have imagined,” Gerber added in his own statement. “We remain committed to our brand and look forward to our future with Diageo and continuing our work with our dedicated and passionate Casamigos team.”Not sure in what capacity they’ll remain with the Casamigos brand, which was named because it roughly translates to “house of friends.” Maybe they’ll just have to wear Casamigos T-shirts on a weekly basis? Perhaps Gerber’s kids can model them? Or maybe Clooney can get baby onesies made with the logo on it. Genius!PS. I didn’t know Gerber was married to Cindy Crawford.