News Feature | July 18, 2014

Retail IT News For VARs — July 18, 2014

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

U.S. Retail Benchmarks Show Decline In Store Traffic

In retail news this week, the IBM-Apple Deal means that retailers can turn their handheld devices, already in use by many, into actual decision-making tools. Walmart has also focused on digital technology and social media, a move underscored by its new WMX system.

What The IBM-Apple Deal Means For Retailers

The New York Times reports that IBM and Apple have announced a wide-ranging partnership intended to spread advanced mobile and data analysis technology in the corporate world.  As part of the partnership, they are collaborating on more than 100 business software programs developed exclusively for Apple’s iOS operating system and for use on iPhones and iPads. The applications will be tailored for use in industries including retail, health care, transportation, banking, insurance, and telecommunications. The merger will combine data analysis, cloud, and mobile technology with Apple’s smartphones and tablets, turning the devices into decision-making tools rather than ones used mainly for email, text-messaging, and contacts.

Walmart's New System Will Buy Media for Retailer — And Its Suppliers

According to AdAge, Walmart is moving to reshape its marketing team and change how it works with suppliers — including buying media for them. The newly announced the Walmart Exchange, or WMX, is being touted by Walmart executives as a digital targeting, buying and optimization platform that will bring everything from sales to social-media data to bear on spending plans for Walmart and its suppliers. This move is part of Walmart’s overall strategy to focus on digital technology and social media, and attempts to apply Big Data to marketing,

Retail IT Talking Points

This article from AdWeek reports that Birchbox has opened its first brick-and-mortar store, located in the fashion-conscious Soho District of New York.  This new store hopes to replicate the e-commerce experience of its shoppers, by placing large touchscreen and four iPads around the new outlet.

Luxury Daily reports that department store chain Nordstrom has begun using Instagram as a platform to encourage consumers to purchase featured products. On July 9, the retailer posted an image with a link to a site that compiles all the products from Nordstrom’s Instagram into an ecommerce experience. While the fact that customers cannot directly click on a link within the Instagram application may prevent some from following the link, the company hopes that the campaign will “inspire and engage with our customers and participate in the overall fashion conversation.”

With a new ERP solution, fashion retailer Crew Clothing is now tailoring unique offers to customers and hoping to build shopper loyalty and the new tool is reportedly helping the retailer gain a real-time understanding of stock and sales data. According to, Crew Clothing teamed with IT solutions provider HSO to implement the Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail package with the aim of improving stock management, and customer satisfaction.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Retail IT Tech Center.