Retail Rundown

Global Retailing

Starbucks Corp., setting up shop in Italy for the first time, will open a Roastery location in Milan next year, turning to its upscale brand to gain a foothold in the country that birthed espresso.

The 25,500-square-foot (2,370-square-meter) retail space will open in a historic post office in the city’s center in late 2018, about a year later than Starbucks had planned to enter the Italian market. The store will feature small-batch coffees as well as products from Italian baker Rocco Princi, the exclusive food provider for new Roasteries globally. It will also serve alcohol.

“Coming to Italy — strategically, it’s not the biggest market in the world,” Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua in Milan. “But it’s the most important market for me personally and for the company. Why? Because the Italians mastered coffee way before Starbucks.”

Starbucks enters Italian market for first time

Supply Chain Management

Santa Monica-based startup Happy Returns staffs “Return Bars” at mall kiosks and concierge stations with “Returnistas” who accept items bought online, satisfy return conditions of individual retailers, package and post them, and furnish refunds on the spot.  The majority of returners end up spending those refunds before leaving the mall.

In a survey of online shoppers during six-month pilot test with the online retailer Tradesy, seven out of 10 of them told Happy Returns that they would not have visited the mall except to return their purchases. Asked if they planned to shop, eat, or see a movie while at the mall, 44% responded in the affirmative.

Big malls working to become online returns locations to drive traffic

Consumer Trends

As more sales get pushed through online channels, retailers are also recognizing that brick-and-mortar is still an important channel. Researchers believe that brick-and- mortar will always have a presents even though consumer trends are consistently changing. Retailers have changed their marketing strategies and are spending more money advertising on social media platforms to target millennials.  Flip through Fung Global Retail and Technology’s Consumer Analysis in the U.S. to see how apparel and footwear have been affected by industry changes.


Retailers are consistently looking for new trends and methods on how to market to consumers. Humans are probably the type of consumer that comes to mind, but did you know that the pet aisle has a value of nearly $20 billion? Pet care is a consumer trend that is growing fast and something of which retailers should take note.  Pet specialty stores like, PetSmart have introduced a new consumer called a ‘Pet Parent’ and recognized that these customers are spending more on their pets. According to Nielsen Insights, “the pet care category triggers more trips to the grocery store than any other category, with 57% of pet care category needs prompting a shopping trip.” Grocery stores are reaping the benefits from these necessary shopping trip by creating more foot traffic in stores.

Pet care may be just one category, but it’s a category that isn’t going away. By recognizing new consumer trends, retailers can control and drive customers to make purchases they wouldn’t have otherwise made. When people walk through a store, there is a path with multiple products that lead them to the ones they came to purchase. The increase in pet care shopping trips have increased store traffic and increased other categories typically found in grocery stores.

Humans are not the only consumers

Retail Innovation

Retailers are constantly innovating and, for many, it may seem overwhelming to keep up.  What is the newest ways that retailers are connecting with customers?  What are the newest ways that retailers are employing technology within all facets of their operations?  What are the newest ways that retailers are identifying new products and markets to exploit?  At the speed that answers to these questions are coming, it is not surprising that many retailers are worried that they are just falling behind.  Some competitor is already doing this or that.  Well, STORES has put together a list of 20 important tactics that are not too late to steal.

As this linked article explains, “Retailers small and large have had a banner season of creatively making things work in this increasingly demanding industry — and many of their inspired concepts can be scaled up or down to fit other companies. Here we celebrate their successes while broadening the guest list of possibility.”  So, click on this link and read up on these innovations.

STORES list of 20 innovations worth stealing

Work/Life Balance

New to the workforce and already stressed out? Some people think that since young people are likely lower down on corporate ladder, the lack of huge responsibilities would make work/life balance easier. We may not have as much responsibility as the CEO, but we also have less control over our own career. If you’re feeling weighed down by the amount of hours you’re spending in a cubicle, remember that you deserve a work life balance.

Stress is bad for you and can cause poor focus, increased mistakes, inability to process information quickly, time management problems, and decreased motivation. These stress induced problems can lead to a poorer work performance, but there are ways to approach these situations. Approaching your boss asking to work less can be nerve racking, but its all about the delivery.  Remember why you deserve to live a balanced work schedule and explain to your boss that you’re feeling unbalanced to a point that it’s affecting your performance, and it’s in their best interest to help you as much as they can. Make sure to keep the conversation positive, and focus on how you can help improve your team. You’re boss will find it hard to disagree.

This doesn’t mean that you quit working, you may still have to respond to an email in your off hours but communication is key to enjoying your work environment. It may not be a 50/50 split but it will feel good in the long run. Remember that work is a part of life. You deserve to be happy.

Young Professionals Finding a Work/Life Balance


I am currently a senior majoring in Retailing and Consumer Sciences while minoring in e-commerce. I hold the position of Social Media Manager for the Terry J. Lundgren Center For Retailing at the University of Arizona, where I am responsible for creating social media platforms that not only enhance our brand but also educate the world about retail trends. I am what you call a Retail Enthusiast, I am intrigued by the way the retail industry is evolving and what it has to offer. In my free time, I enjoy the outdoors, yoga, good music, and good company.