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

Table of Contents

Holiday Sales are Looking Rosy
Black Friday is Here!
Shrink and Theft...
A Fine Solution


Holiday Sales are Looking Rosy
The National Retail Federation predicts 2016 holiday sales to increase 3.6% to $655.8 billion.


This is higher than the 2015 increase of 3.2%, and higher than the 7-year average of 3.4% since the economic recovery began in 2009.

“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.

While there are always factors that could impact sales, the NRF team believes consumers are confident, resilient, and are benefiting from steady job and income gains.

Department stores and online sites will be the top shopping destinations this year, based on their survey. Online shopping continues to grow and will outpace 2015.

Holiday sales will also be fueled by more personal purchases, as in ‘one for you and one for me’. More than half of consumers (58%) plan to take advantage of holiday deals to make non-gift purchases, up 4.4% from last year.

Seasonal retail employment will also be strong. Retailers are expected to hire 640,000 to 690,000 new workers, which is in line with last year’s total of 675,300 holiday positions.



Amazon is Everywhere


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Black Friday is Here!
It’s right around the corner, prepare for holiday success with these great tips.


Anticipate Customers’ Needs

Black Friday conjures up images of people waiting in long lines with heaping shopping carts - or looking overwhelmed. Most customers would love to find what they are looking for, complete the transaction and be on their way as quickly as possible. Achieve this and you will improve your bottom line and encourage repeat shopping.

Strive to help customers who need assistance as quickly as possible. According to a Mindtree survey, shoppers value sales associates’ input and often seek them out. However, waiting for a sales associate is a big reason customers leave the store and walk into a competitor. For example, shoppers at specialty retailers will only wait 12.7 minutes before they give up and find another retailer.

Look for ways to avoid long checkout lines. Consider use ‘roaming cashiers’-- sales associates armed with mobile POS on tablets or smartphones. They can meet shoppers on the floor, complete the purchase transaction and keep the flow of traffic moving more quickly.

Avoid Payment System Glitches
The last thing retailers need is a payment system failure on peak shopping days. Diversify your payment devices beyond traditional registers to tablets and mobile devices.

For additional back-up have some manual, non-electronic credit card processors, also known as “knucklebusters”, on hand. In case of a power loss or internet outage sales associates can still capture payment details.

Create a Seamless Online Experience
E-commerce sales are projected to grow to $2.4 trillion by 2019 with 23% of those sales on mobile, according to Worldpay’s Global Payments Report. And online shoppers expect the same level of speed and customer service as the in-store experience.

Slow loading web pages or checkout processes can lead to cart abandonment. A recent report from Dynatrace found that 49% of shoppers would abandon a mobile site if it took more than 3 seconds to load.

To get customers through the online payment process as quickly as possible, encourage shoppers to create account logins and store their payment and shipping information in advance so they can grab those deals on Cyber Monday without any complications.

Planning for the busiest shopping period takes a great deal of effort but the rewards can be substantial.



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Shrink and Theft...
Shrink and theft Dampen Retailers’ Holiday Cheer.


Retailers know all too well the impact shrink and theft have on their bottom line. Whether it’s internal theft from employees or other sales reducing activities (SRA’s), or from external factors like shoplifting and organized retail crime, it puts a huge strain on profitability. Consumers also bear the burden through higher prices.

Unfortunately, theft is disproportionately higher during the holiday season. While one-third of retail sales are rung up during the three-month season, more than 40% of SRA’s occur during this time.

According to a report by Checkpoint Systems, the average loss this year on a per person basis is expected to be $132. However, $50 of this loss is estimated to take place during the holiday season.

So, what can be done to minimize your risk?
In partnership with the National Retail Federation and ADT Security, retail-loss expert Dr. Richard Hollinger of the University of Florida Department of Criminology, Law and Society offers the following:

Tips to Prevent Shoplifting
Loss experts agree that a crucial way to prevent shoplifting is to have well-trained and alert employees who how to spot a potential shoplifter.

Employees need to watch for customers who:
• Avoid eye contact
• Appear nervous
• Wander the store without buying
• Leave the store and returns repeatedly
• Linger in a location that employees have a hard time monitoring
• Constantly keep an eye on store employees and other customers.

General Shoplifting-Prevention Techniques also include:
• Staying alert at all times.
• Greeting all customers.
• Asking lingering customers if they need help.
• Knowing the blind spots that are vulnerable.
• Using a log to share suspicions about shoplifters among employees.
• Displaying signs that “Shoplifters will be prosecuted.”

Strategies to Reduce Employee Theft
Experts agree that the best defense is a watchful eye.

Try these strategies:
• Stop by your store without warning. Make periodic yet randomly unannounced visits.
• Check physical inventory against inventory/POS records for a few items.
• Run a cash drawer reconciliation. Announce: “I’ll be back again soon to run through this again.
• Use a POS system that tracks inventory automatically or, at a minimum, a paper-based records to send a signal to employees that inventory is indeed being monitored.
• Check the z-tape. If yesterday’s z-tape was number 24 and today’s is 27, what happened to 25 and 26?
• Encourage anonymous tips with a phone number employees can call with an anonymous message if they suspect co-worker theft.
• Check cash-to-credit purchase ratios. If the typical purchase ratio is 30 % cash to 70 % credit, and then suddenly the ratio is 10 to 90, it’s time to investigate.
• Monitor the “no-sales.” If a typical day’s no-sale tally is four, but every time a particular employee works the tally is 10, that may signal a problem.

Of course, there’s no way to completely protect yourself against shoplifting and employee theft, but if you make customers and employees aware that you’re keeping a close eye on your business, experts say that’s the first and most-critical step in shrinking your shrink this holiday season.



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Information Compliments of: article/report-retailers-will-lose-0-person-shrink-holidayseason
and 2008/10/running-a-cart-or-kiosk/ strategies-to-prevent-shoplifting-and-employee-theft/



A Fine Solution
S-Cube was selected for its design expertise and manufacturing capabilities.


In 2015 the Bon-Ton Stores, parent company of Carson’s department stores, planned to upgrade its jewelry and cosmetics departments in two Carson’s stores in suburban Chicago - Yorktown Shopping Center and Evergreen Plaza Mall. Specifically, they sought a partner to manufacture their custom showcases for their fine jewelry and cosmetic lines.

S-Cube was selected for its design expertise and manufacturing capabilities. A total of 22 different styles of showcases were created to feature the merchandise. They were constructed with a blend of brushed metal extrusions, custom laminate finishes over MDW panels, and UV welded laminated safety glass. In addition, back island displays were manufactured using MDF panels with a custom Corian countertop.

S-Cube manufactured all the showcases at their partner facilities and shipped them overseas completely assembled to the Carson’s stores. This lowered the installation costs and expedited the on-site installation – which S-Cube supervised.

The project was completed on time and on budget and was all wrapped up for the holidays!

So if your in the Chicagoland area for the holidays or you’re a true local, stop by the Carson’s store in the Yorktown Shopping Center and Evergreen Plaza Mall to wow at it’s beauty.



Happy Holidays from our S-Cube family to yours.


Holiday Sales set to increase

Holiday Sales set to increase

Holiday Sales set to increase

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S-Cube and Bon-Ton Stores


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