Monthly Newsletter | September & October 2018
S-CUBE Fixtures What's In Store this month

Table of Contents

Words & Pictures Coverage In Shop! Retail Environments Magazine
Wild Birds Unlimited
S-CUBE Takes To The Big Screen
The Last 100 Yards - The Customer Tipping Point


Words & Pictures Coverage in Shop! Retail Environments Magazine


The five-year relationship between S-CUBE and BAM began with a cold call. S-CUBE started off providing just one SKU that the bookstore had been seeking, and now provides more than 120, rolling out around 30 projects and stores per year.

Explaining why Books- A-Million increased S-CUBE’s share of its fixture business over time, Warren cites the vendor’s “outstanding service, proactive communication, value added services, quality control, and attention to detail.”

“We need suppliers who are problem solvers. We are an extremely cost- conscious brand, so we need companies who can value engineer. We need to save money, but keep quality,” Warren says. “Throughout our meetings and weekly conference calls, they understood our business and what we were trying to accomplish. S-CUBE is always trying to improve the processes we have in place even when we don’t ask them to.”

Above & Beyond Worthy

S-CUBE made value improvements on about 40 fixtures, swapping out materials for cost-effective suitable counterparts. This saved the retailer almost 50%, according to Dustin Grenier, director of business development for specialty store services.

Additional simple solutions included shipping items knocked down instead of fully assembled. This helped the brand save on shipping and labor costs, and reduced the number of trucks required for transport.

Getting the items to the stores, even with the huge savings, was just the beginning. It was also important that the 10 truckloads were delivered in the correct order due to the stores’ build- out process, according to Warren. This is where S-CUBE’s value engineering really shone.

S-CUBE provided on-time delivery as well as detailed instructions, including a color-coding system. When many fixtures are being delivered, especially for stores ranging from 20,000 to 35,000 sq. ft., it can be time-consuming to go through all the boxes and skids to locate certain fixtures. S-CUBE’s color-coding system made it easy for Warren and his team to locate certain fixtures and know exactly where to put them. The system was also used for the deliveries themselves, organizing the trucks by color, which further helped with unloading, organizing, and placement.

The simple solution was so effective, that despite the time required to assemble fixtures on-site, Books-A-Million was able to open the stores ahead of their scheduled openings.

S-CUBE was awarded the Shop! Merriman Above & Beyond Award for its support of this client.

Read the entire article at


Word & Pictures

Word & Pictures

Word & Pictures

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Wild Birds Unlimited


Upon Wild Birds Unlimited initial meeting with S-Cube, the retailer had been working with 10 separate vendors on fixtures & display items. Due to the vast number of sources, there was no economy of scale in manufacturing and subsequently cost, as well as no dedicated attention to personalized service.

S-CUBE took over the production of the entire store fixture package including:

- A redesign of the service counters

- Sourcing new finishing of laminates

- Launch of the ‘Specialty Bird Food Refresh’ fixture program

- Development of the ‘Energy’ Store package of fixtures

- Development of a customized 3D, LED custom Sign. Constructed of push-thru printed acrylic in the WBU logo. Dual switches for placement in store windows.

- Consolidation and management of pass-thru items (held in inventory) to consolidate shipping

- Creation of a Custom Web Portal to manage all inventory items

S-CUBE delivered a 33% lower cost savings on fixture package! Additionally S-CUBE consolidated pass-thru items onto the trucks with fixtures to facilitate store-set and lessen transit cost.


Wild Birds Unlimited

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S-CUBE Takes To The Big Screen


S-CUBE launched a new video series on YouTube to share company philosophy, project case studies, and news. Get to know us better - view our first video today, and follow up for future posts.


S-CUBE Takes To The Big Scren

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The Last 100 Yards - The Customer Tipping Point


In a recent issue of The Robin Report, author Pamela Danziner reflects on a string of shopping experiences in NYC.

What I found when I entered the store was attractive and well-designed displays, but when it came to service personnel, they were MIA, unemotional, unengaged sales staff that were literally imposters of normal people when it came to sales. They were “pod people” salespeople reminiscent of the 1956 cult classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” No emotion, no connection, just filling space on the floor.

There was no excuse. The store wasn’t busy. I was about the only shopper there, but the sales staffer behind the desk only gave me a shout out upon arriving, too busy with her important work at the computer to bother with me.

As I strolled deeper into the store, I passed a few other employees, only one of whom acknowledged me but then couldn’t be bothered. In the back I found another salesperson, also deeply involved with her computer. I asked a question, she answered from behind her screen. I basically had to drag her away from her desk to take me to onto the floor to show me something. Then she ended our discussion with a recommendation that I could go to the company website to learn more about that item and others like it. Back she went to her more important work.

The sales staff were effectively using their computer screens as protective shields, rather than seeing a live customer on the sales floor as the tremendous opportunity to make a sale. I was thoroughly disgusted and went off to the next store on my list only to find the same thing. It was inexcusable, but all too prevalent in retail today.

The Customer Tipping Point

A new study from Medallia Institute conducted by Ipsos, surveyed some 8,000 consumers in various service industries — including retail. The survey found that nearly two-thirds of consumers (64%) claim to avoid a brand because of a bad experience they had within the last year.

The study cites, “Today’s customers have more choices, and more power over brands they interact with, than ever before,” the report states. “It is no longer enough to simply provide a high-quality product or a competitive price. Instead, in the ‘Age of The Customer,’ brands are built – or broken – on customer experience.”

“When stores aren’t staffed properly, customers may not have the experience they expect when entering a store. They may be unable to find their size, unable to flag down a salesperson to ask about ordering a different color, or be deterred by long lines at checkout. Any one of these experiences might result in a customer deciding not to make a purchase, or worse – to write off the brand altogether.

The Medallia/Ipsos report is called “The Customer Experience Tipping Point.” While retailers argue amongst themselves about the “retail apocalypse” narrative, they face another apocalypse caused not by too few customers, but too few qualified, trained and motivated retail employees to deliver the personalized customer service on which their future depends. We can buy almost anything online these days, so when a customer chooses to shop in-store, it’s typically because they’re looking for something they can only get in person — an interaction with the product and a helpful employee.

Fumbling in the last 100 Yards of Retail

For too many years, retailers have focused on getting the right product and the right price into the right locations to meet customers’ needs when they show up at the store. But those supply-chain operational efficiencies aren’t going to get retailers to the next level, says Rogelio Oliva, professor in the department of information and operations management at the Mays Business School, Texas A&M University. They must deliver a superior customer experience to complete the journey.

Oliva continues, “To be a successful retailer not only do you have to have the stuff at the right price and right time, you need to manage the whole customer experience. The employees are going to be the ones delivering that experience. Of course, everything can go wrong in the last 100 yards.”

For more specialized areas of retail, like fashion or other high-end categories, a well-trained and motivated employee is worth their weight in gold. They provide the level of personalized service that is critical to creating customer loyalty. “The way to achieve customer loyalty is to provide excellent service. The way to provide excellent service is to have a loyal employee,” Oliva stresses. “The loyal employee knows the customer and develops the relationship with the customer. The focus for retailers is to develop and invest in your employees. If your differentiating position is service, as it must be in so many areas of retail, then service is going to be provided by that personal touch.”

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

Observing that retailers have long been under staffing their stores to save money, Oliva argues that they are actually losing sales and profits by not providing the kind of customer service that will build customer loyalty. “The value of the employee is much higher than minimum wage. If you are going to keep well qualified service staff, it is going to come down to developing them and giving them a career path,” Oliva says. “Without providing a long-term career path, retailers are at risk of losing them to the store next door that offers 50 cents more an hour.”

While technology can fill some of the gaps traditionally provided by sales staff, it cannot provide the personalized human touch on which in-store retail’s future depends. “My research on retail and service operations proves how important the human component is on those sales floor. A retailer might be doing right for the customers, but they might not be doing right for the employee. But they need to do both. Happy employees make happy customers and retailers make money on the process,” Oliva concludes.



The Last 100 Yards

The Last 100 Yards

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