S-CUBE Fixtures

 S-CUBE Publication
April 2016: Issue Five
 
What's in Store...
 a division of specialty store services

Crucial Tips For Sourcing Import Fixtures

Purchasing the best fixtures for your retail store entails more than searching the internet or thumbing through catalogs. Your task is to purchase fixtures that are affordable, attractive, customized and of high quality. When you decide to import, it adds an additional layer of complexity to the process – quality consistency, capability, container optimization, freight negotiations, exchange rate fluctuations..…The most efficient way to do this, in terms of both time and money, is to work with a supplier who has extensive experience in the overseas marketplace.

S-CUBE’s white paper offers 5 crucial tips to consider when choosing a supplier. Each tip is broken down into a comprehensive, easy-to-read analysis. Packed with information, advice and suggestions, the straightforward white paper will streamline your process for selecting for an overseas supplier.

Importing Retail Fixtures Made Easy

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Table of Contents



Chip Card Readers. What’s the Delay?

Chip Card Readers. What’s the Delay?

How many times have you seen it: “Coming soon!” or “Please swipe”? It’s the new credit card chip readers at your local store. Better known as EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) machines, they sit on the counter taunting consumers with their impending promise of diminished credit card fraud yet, why aren’t they operational? Turns out it has more to do with the credit card companies than the retailer.

While many of the larger retailers have already begun using the EMV readers, many others wait in limbo for the readers to be certified from the credit card companies. “’What we’re hearing from our members who have installed the equipment is that they have been waiting in some cases months for someone from the card company to come out and certify that they can turn on the machines,’ NRF Vice President Paul Martino told the New Jersey Legislature at a committee hearing last month. ‘There’s a backlog of technicians required (by) the card companies.’”

Chip Card Readers. What’s the Delay?

What has frustrated retailers is that the credit card companies set a capricious deadline forcing companies to spend millions of dollars to purchase and set-up the EMVs that required certification yet weren’t mindful enough to see that there were enough technicians available to certify said demanded machines.

So the question begs, why are the credit card companies not moving forward more quickly? A funny thing happened on the way to credit card security: “Since October, banks have stopped accepting responsibility for the cost of fraud committed with counterfeit cards if the card involved a chip card and the retailer doesn’t have a chip card reader – a certified chip card reader to be more precise. That means a retailer who has installed the equipment, loaded the software and trained the staff but is still waiting for certification is on the hook if a counterfeit chip card is used”.

Take heart, there is good news coming down the retail aisle. The Strawhecker Group, a management consulting group predicts that “50 per cent of the chip card readers to be operational by June and 90 per cent in 2017”. Until then, keep waiting while swiping

All quotes courtesy of https://nrf.com/news/banks-play-game-of-hurry-and-wait-new-chip-cards

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Voice of the Customer

Voice of the Customer

Companies live and die on data and metrics. Surprisingly though, one piece of data that is gathered but ignored more often than not is the Voice of the Customer (VoC). 84% of companies regularly ask for feedback however, only “only 29% of firms with VoC in place systematically incorporate insights about customer needs into their decision-making process”. What the data has revealed, though, is that companies that utilize the feedback of customers “enjoy an almost 10-times greater year-over-year increase in annual company revenue compared to all others”.

Voice of the Customer

The watchword is systematically. The system of data gathering includes listening, utilizing and monitoring customers’ voices. “If you don’t understand customer and market perceptions or how interactions with your firm are being experienced by your customers, it’s nearly impossible to regularly meet, much less exceed, customer expectations or to improve your organization’s performance”.

Leaders in VoC consistently put the findings of their data mining into action. What Zappos, QVC, Apple and Amazon all have in common is their response to customer feedback. Often this response comes directly from the top ensuring the customer-base that they are indeed being heard. QVC integrates customer responses by their ability to utilize real-time broadcast of Customer picks and on-air questions.

The most valuable piece of the VoC? It’s the “’outside-in view’ of your company” helping you to step away from what you think and perceive and to unveil what the customer is truly experiencing.

All quotes courtesy of http://www.cmo.com/


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Trends to Watch

Trends to Watch

You’ve bought it in a bottle, a box, a half-bottle, a split, an individual glass and now wine dons a new accessory: a can. Whole Foods has done the research and is betting that wine in an aluminum can dovetail nicely with today’s lifestyle. It’s”a portable, easy-to-chill option that’s well-suited for single servings and active, outdoor lifestyles”. This is just one of the cuttingedge concepts that Whole Foods is rolling out this year.

Trends to Watch

Recently launched… “Campaign”, a whole furniture of sorts is the creation of Brad Sewell a former member of Apple’s design team. Imagine if Design Within Reach and Ikea had a lovechild and the concept of Campaign will become clearer. Sewell realized on his cross country move “he had two choices: Buy a couch that required two men, a truck and a hefty delivery fee or go to Ikea and carve out time later to assemble his new sofa. Neither held much appeal”. The furniture weighs less than its traditional counterparts because lightweight steel is used. Its strength is due to it being manufactured with a similar method used in the auto industry. What sets Campaign apart, though, are two gems: delivery and tools. While each piece has been designed with the care of a high-end piece, “Every piece in the collection is built according to the UPS and FedEx size regulations, thus allowing shoppers to bypass pricey delivery charges”. Complementing the design and delivery elements is the no tools needed policy. That’s right: nothing! Not even an Ikea-loving Allen wrench. It’s you, your hands, the competence to slot some pieces together, screw in the legs and voila! Your furniture campaign is complete.


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Diamonds

Diamonds

The month of April brings many things: rain, budding flowers, greener grass, diamonds and humor. Wait. What? Diamonds are the gemstone of April while humor makes its mark as heralding the start of Spring as National Humor Month.

Let’s do shiny first. Like April itself, diamonds glisten like rain on new tulip petals. Known as the hardest gem in the world and ringing in at the ripe old age of a billion plus years, this precious gem wasn’t found in North America until the 1840s. Interestingly, the US produces a negligible amount of diamonds commercially yet we consume almost 40% of the world’s quality gem-quality diamonds making us the largest consumers of the world’s diamond market. Want to mine diamonds right here in the US? The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas offers visitors the chance to dig for a fee. Over 70,000 diamonds have been discovered there. The largest diamond ever found in the US was unearthed in this park in 1906 weighing 40.23 carats! In 2015 another lucky rock hound excavated an 8.52 carat beauty! NOTE: a carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram or 200 milligrams.

Diamonds

Humor too helps renew the season marking April as its month. What does this really mean? It means winter is over in the Western Hemisphere and hope springs eternal. Think about it, the month kicks of with April Fool’s Day and the hilarity ensues from there. Seriously, folks, there are authentic therapeutic benefits to laughter. Psychologists and neuroscientists have found that when we find something funny and laugh, the feel good brain chemicals called endorphins are released. Laughter literally has been “found to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, reduce tension and improve cognition”. If you’d like to become a Certified Laughter Leader or attend the International Society for Humor Studies in Dublin, take a look at the website where much of this information came from: http://www.humormonth.com

Diamond facts found at http://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research-diamond-fun-facts


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