Monthly Newsletter | OCTOBER 2016 | Tenth Issue
S-CUBE Fixtures What's In Store this month

Table of Contents

Amazon is Popping Up All Over
Is Your Merchandise Afloat?
Hats Off to Lids!
Holiday Sales Set to Increase


Amazon is Popping Up All Over
Amazon’s foray into brick and mortar stores in expanding and sets a goal of 100 locations in 2017.


Amazon’s retail footprint is growing rapidly. Their first foray into bricks and mortar stores was one bookstore in Seattle. Now that operation is being expanded to New York City, Chicago and Portland.

They are also moving into different territory on a much bigger scale with pop-up stores. These stores focus on Amazon’s growing number of consumer electronic devices – including the Kindle and Amazon Fire product lines, the Fire TV set-top box, the Dash button, and the Echo and Amazon Tap speakers. This format also allows Amazon to sell other products and services, like Prime.

"We offer pop-up kiosks so that customers can try out all our new devices and learn about our services like Prime and unique content like Amazon Originals," Amazon said in a statement.

The goal is to have 30 of these 300-500 square foot venues by year-end and 100 in 2017. They are currently operating in 13 states.

At a shareholder meeting in May, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said this is all part of their learning phase to understand which sales tactics work best in an offline environment.

Keep your eye on Amazon as they move from pure play online to innovating a new offline customer experience.



Amazon is Everywhere


Back to Top >>  

Information Compliments of:



Rescue Your Holiday Merchandise
Is your holiday merchandise stranded, as a result of the Hanjin bankruptcy?


The seventh largest ocean carrier filed for bankruptcy in South Korea on August 31, 2016 leaving tens of thousands of cargo containers full of holiday merchandise in limbo around the world. The National Retail Federation (NRF) is working with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and other entities to assist retailers by addressing issues and finding solutions to minimize the impact on holiday sales – and the broader economy.

The timing of this is critical since it is in the midst of the holiday shipping cycle. The situation affects many retailers, large and small, even if they don’t do business directly with Hanjin.

The challenge is that cargo containers could be in one of many places:
• Sitting on docks in Asia waiting to be loaded onto Hanjin ships
• On board Hanjin vessels but not allowed to dock because ports and longshoremen are worried they won’t get paid
• Unloaded but stuck at U.S. docks because trucking companies won’t pick them up unless they are paid
• Some Hanjin containers are aboard other carriers’ ships
• Some containers from other carriers are on Hanjin ships

What retailers can do as recommended by the NRF, FMC and others:
• If you have cargo on a Hanjin ship that isn’t being unloaded or moved, reach out to the providers involved (e.g. trucking companies, etc.) and see if you can pay the fees they would have received from Hanjin. Even if you’ve already paid Hanjin, it could get the cargo moving.
• If you are paying for services Hanjin would have paid for, ask for documentation to avoid being over charged. If you are being gouged, report it to the Federal Maritime Commission.
• If you have a contract with Hanjin, consult with your attorney regarding any contract violations.
• Verify whether your cargo is on a Hanjin ship even if you are using another carrier since they often ship each other’s containers.
• Check with your wholesaler if you are a small retailer to make sure your merchandise isn’t on a Hanjin vessel.

On a recent conference call with NRF retail members, FMC Chairman Mario Cordero said,“We want to make sure that that cargo is moving and that all parties work together. And we want to make sure this does not become an opportunity to gouge the American shipper.”



Hanjin Shipping Freighters



Back to Top >>  

Information Compliments of:


Call Us to discuss your program needs 847.954.5200


Hats Off to Lids!
Lids is celebrating their 1000th store and S-Cube was there to deliver a win.


Need some team spirit? Lids sells officially licensed and branded baseball caps, jerseys, jackets and more of college and professional teams. Founded in the early 1990’s, Lids now has 1,000 stores across the country and in Canada and Puerto Rico. They are in malls, airports and street level shopping areas.

Lids’ challenge? Its roster. Up to 325 of the stores, almost one-third of them, are up for lease renewal in the next two years. Lids is evaluating all of them - determining upgrades and looking for ways to improve store traffic.

Lids needed a partner to upgrade its fixtures while containing costs - but not sacrificing quality. A tall order. They decided to hire a walk-on and brought S-Cube onto the team.

S-Cube showed up with their A-game and achieved Lids’ objectives while taking it to the next level. S-Cube provided all the metal floor fixtures and wall hardware to refresh and upgrade 200 stores. By using value engineering, they were able to save on costs without jeopardizing quality. They also helped them up their game as retailers, identifying ways to be a leader in the industry.

According to Keith Davis, Senior Manager of Store Planning, Construction and Store Facilities at Lids, S-Cube hit it out of the ballpark. “They exceed expectations and delivered quality products and remarkably did so by value engineering items to save on costs, without jeopardizing quality”.



Lids store front



Back to Top >>  

Information Compliments of:
S-Cube & Lids



Holiday Sales Set to Increase
NRF forecasts holiday sales will be significantly higher than the 10-year average!


The National Retail Federation announced it expects sales in November and December, excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales, to increase a solid 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion — significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5 percent and above the seven-year average of 3.4% since recovery began in 2009. Additionally, NRF is forecasting non-store sales to increase between 7 - 10% to as much as $117 billion.

“All of the fundamentals are in a good place, giving strength to consumers and leading us to believe that this will be a very positive holiday season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This year hasn’t been perfect, starting with a long summer and unseasonably warm fall, but our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and industry expectations.” “We remain optimistic that the pace of economic activity will pick up in the near term,” continued Shay.

Holiday sales in 2015 increased 3.2% over the previous year. “Consumers have seen steady job and income gains throughout the year, resulting in continued confidence and the greater use of credit, which bodes well for more spending throughout the holiday season,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Increased geopolitical uncertainty, the presidential election outcome and unseasonably warm weather are the main issues at play with the greatest potential to shake consumer confidence and impact shopping patterns.” “However, the economic spending power of the consumer is resilient and it should never be underestimated.” continued Kleinhenz.

NRF’s holiday sales forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators including, consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales releases. The overall forecast includes the non-store category (direct-to- consumer, kiosks and online sales.)

NRF Forecasts Seasonal Employment to Grow Between 640,000 and 690,000
According to NRF, retailers are expected to hire between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, in line with last year’s 675,300 new holiday positions.

Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.



Holiday Sales set to increase



Back to Top >>  

Information Compliments of:


Read Past Newsletters >> See What's New at S-CUBE >>