Today in retail, the footwear sector is getting increasingly contentious, while ACI Worldwide teams up with NORBr on eCommerce payment tools. Plus, Dillard’s avoids the limelight and focuses on running a profitable business, and Amazon announces Alexa upgrades as its stock tumbles to a two-year low.
Real-time payments firm ACI Worldwide is partnering with NORBr, a payment services distributor platform for digital merchants, to facilitate merchants’ connection to ACI’s solutions.
Nigel Reavley, country manager of France, ACI Worldwide said in a press release on Thursday (May 12) that the company’s merchant payment solutions will be available via NORBr to offer retailers and third-party payment service providers (PSP) worldwide the “tools and technology to increase conversion rates and grow their businesses.”
The collaboration enables merchants to link to ACI’s merchant tools, including ACI Secure eCommerce, ACI Omni-Commerce and ACI Fraud Management for Merchants.
Swedish buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Klarna has launched a virtual shopping tool, allowing consumers to shop online with the help of in-store experts.
Klarna says this launch builds on its acquisition last year of Hero, a New York and London-based social shopping platform. As PYMNTS reported at the time, the acquisition lets in-store teams become contact creators and offer information in real time about their merchandise.
With the new virtual shopping tool, consumers connect with an in-store expert by clicking the Virtual Shopping icon on participating retailers’ websites. From there, they can chat, receive photos and videos, follow product recommendations, and have a two-way video chat, mimicking the experience they would receive in-store.
At a time when its stock has fallen 40% in six months to a two-year low, Amazon is hoping that expanding its voice-activated family of devices will provide a much-needed jolt. The world’s largest online retailer is looking to grow its Alexa ecosystem and counting on strong growth in the defensive healthcare sector as well as the aging population to help turn things around.
Branded as Circle of Support, the first Alexa upgrade will allow up to 10 remote caregivers to assist and partake in the daily monitoring and communication with an aging or homebound family member or friend via text and other mobile updates and alerts.
The second emergency service tweak is being added under the Alexa Routines umbrella, a programmable feature that automates several daily tasks, such as turning on lights at a certain time or delivering the news and weather, that are now being targeted at the unique needs of the elderly, such as medication reminders.
The luxury resale market has become a popular way for budget-conscious shoppers to get the hottest brand name products for a discount, but luxury brand Tapestry Inc., which is home to brands including Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, showed that some people still prefer first-run items.
Tapestry noted a double-digit growth in all of its brands for the third quarter of fiscal 2022, which ran for three months up to April 2, and 13% overall revenue growth. The company also saw its digital sales climb more than 20% year over year for Q3 and achieved revenue growth of 22% in North America, offsetting a midteens percentage decline in China.
Tapestry also reported more than 1.4 million new customers both in-store and online in North America through its Acceleration Program, a midteens year-over-year increase. The company said it made emotional connections with customers that led to higher average spending, increased repeat transactions and more customers coming back. The company made “significant investments” in its digital capabilities, including hiring new employees to drive higher conversion rates, with expectations of $2 billion in revenue through the channel in the fiscal year, or 30% of total sales.
It’s been a hectic time in the department store sector, but instead of focusing on making headlines, spinning off the business or overhauling the board of directors, Dillard’s has instead stayed out of the limelight and focused on running a profitable business.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2022 — the 13 weeks ending April 30 — Dillard’s saw retail sales increase by 23% year over year, according to a company press release Thursday (May 12). The company also achieved net income of $251.1 million, up from $158.2 million in fiscal 2021.
Q1 net sales were $1.612 billion, up from $1.329 billion a year ago. Total retail sales were $1.581 billion, compared to $1.297 billion the previous year, with men’s apparel and accessories, ladies’ apparel, and juniors’ and children’s apparel among the best-selling items.
Nowhere is the fighting in the footwear battleground more pronounced than in the ongoing and escalating legal scuffle between Nike and StockX, the respective leaders of the new and used categories, that are actively embroiled in the non-core activity of litigation.
While this David-versus-Goliath suit plays out in federal court and the respective parties work through their counterfeiting claims versus baseless claims, the rest of the sneaker-making world is embroiled in its own basket of turmoil, ranging from global supply chain issues to Chinese COVID-19 restrictions to inflation and more.
Although the privately held Detroit-based upstart StockX is just 7 years old and still inching towards an IPO in a market that has currently lost its appetite for D2C platforms and websites, the world’s largest athletic footwear, apparel and equipment maker and retailer is mired in its own share of muck, with its stock down 35% in the past six months — and erasing $100 billion of market value along the way.