News Briefs


Batteries Plus Rebrands, Looks to Overhaul Its Consumer Experience

Batteries Plus storefront

Batteries Plus is looking to meet consumers’ changing wants and needs, rebranding and elevating the experience across multiple touch points to do so. 

Called Project VOLT, the brand overhaul analyzed results from comprehensive merchandising testing which highlighted areas of opportunity to transform online and in-store experiences, said the company.

The modernized store look includes clearer signage with visual infographics, digital displays from Samsung, and a dedicated customer experience area for business consumers. Franchisees can also add customer-seating areas, renewed vehicle graphics, wood grain slat walls, bright LED paneling, brand new uniforms, and more.

All new locations will feature updated exterior signage, and select existing locations will be updated as well. As of press time, about 600 stores (90%) have undergone the refresh. 

The company also made changes to its website, tapping Optimizely to improve the user experience, particularly on mobile.

According to the company, the change is having a measurable impact. Rebranded stores are outperforming non-rebranded stores by 4% on average in categories such as automotive, marine, and sealed lead acid. 

"The new branding and look of our stores better convey the company's focus on helping individuals, communities, and organizations power their lives through unrivaled products, services and a positive customer experience," said Scott Williams, CEO of Batteries Plus. "We began evolving our stores nationwide last year and now have nearly 600 stores re-envisioned with many more on the way."


Total Wine & More Powering Up Omnichannel Retail Planning

AI in the supply chain

Total Wine & More is looking to transform its omnichannel retail planning. As part of the company’s accelerated digital transformation, Total Wine is elevating everything from demand forecasting, replenishment and allocation planning, merchandise financial planning, inventory, and supplier collaboration. 

The company has tapped AI software company o9 Solutions to dig deeper into data, using external factors like weather patterns and local events to make informed decisions across the enterprise. With this technology, Total Wine will be able to run scenarios in real-time and quickly adapt and shift depending on existing market conditions. 

[Related: New Balance Extends Pandemic Pilot to Steer Supply Chain and Labor Roller Coaster]

Tom Kooser, chief technology officer, Total Wine & More, said today’s environment is increasingly complex and rapidly changing. “We must transition to a digital operating model that allows us to make quick, data-supported decisions,” he said, adding that the technology the company is leaning on will allow them to improve forecast accuracy, alignment, and accountability across the company. 

“Retailers everywhere are looking to leverage AI-powered technology to capture deeper insights, anticipate customer needs, and proactively deliver across every channel,” said Igor Rikalo, president and COO, o9 Solutions. “We look forward to helping Total Wine & More accelerate its digital transformation journey by providing it with an AI-powered planning and decision-making platform that facilitates collaboration between commercial, operational, and finance teams, as well as allows users to conduct real-time scenario planning that drives faster, more data-driven decisions that are connected across the enterprise.”


The Home Depot Speeds up Personalization With Real Time Customer Data


The Home Depot and Adobe have expanded their partnership to enhance the customer experience.

As part of The Home Depot’s interconnected retail strategy, a seamless experience extends across e-commerce, a mobile app, and in-store services such as pickup lockers and an in-app product locator. With so many touchpoints, the Adobe partnership will provide comprehensive insights into the customer journey. This will enable The Home Depot to optimize experiences across channels while refining marketing investments.

This marks the next phase of a partnership that began with digital tools including web analytics and A/B testing, as well as Creative Cloud applications to design and deliver new online services and experiences.

“The Home Depot made early investments in providing omnichannel shopping experiences, and these digital and physical assets continue to guide our strategic priorities,” said Melanie Babcock, vice president of integrated media at The Home Depot. “Our expanded partnership with Adobe will enable us to enhance the customer experience even further, driving personalization at scale and further optimizing The Home Depot experience across online and in-store.”

“Making the digital economy personal is the priority for leading enterprise businesses worldwide and a relentless focus on personalized customer experience has long been the guiding light for The Home Depot,” said Anjul Bhambhri, senior vice president, Adobe Experience Cloud. “With Adobe Experience Platform (AEP), The Home Depot can align teams around a single view of the customer, with strict governance and activation capabilities that will make experiences even more connected and relevant.”

With the adoption of Adobe’s Real-Time Customer Data Platform (Real-Time CDP), The Home Depot can support highly personalized experiences by offering products that customers need to finish their projects rather than offering products that are not relevant to their project goals. From DIYers to pros, The Home Depot can customize every interaction, helping customers finish their projects seamlessly.

AEP, underpinning Adobe’s Real-Time CDP, will be a central hub that brings together relevant online and offline data from across The Home Depot organization. It acts as a foundation for personalization efforts, while also empowering organizational efficiency. Adobe Real-Time CDP has already produced early results, allowing teams to activate personalization campaigns in 24 hours or less, down from seven to 10 days. Because of this enhanced speed, if a customer is shopping for a product and purchases it, they will no longer receive irrelevant offerings days after the purchase.

Adobe Experience Platform is a single source of truth and is accessible through Customer Journey Analytics. The program enables teams to be more efficient with their marketing spend by making their content more relevant and less repetitive with anything from advertising campaigns to social media.


Vivrelle Unveils New Members-Only Showroom and Social Club in NYC


Vivrelle, a monthly membership club providing access to a shared closet of designer handbags and luxury accessories, unveils its new showroom in Manhattan's NoMad District.

The sprawling 14,000-square-foot space showcases a revolving assortment of Vivrelle's designer collection, and a lounge and centerpiece bar area designed by renowned New York-based interior designer, Hilary Matt.

"Our goal was to create an even more enjoyable experience for our community. This showroom not only acts as an extension of our members' closets but offers them a place to spend their time, whether it be relaxing and socializing with friends and other members, a coffee break between meetings or a temporary place of retreat" says Vivrelle co-founder, Blake Geffen. "We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Hilary Matt on designing our perfect new home."

The showroom allows members to easily browse and try on items from a display of Vivrelle's collection of handbags, jewelry, watches, and diamonds, in a comfortable environment before swapping or purchasing. Designed to capture an upscale yet modern sensibility, designer Hilary Matt aimed to create a space that felt fashionable and warm at the same time. The designer's goal was to cultivate an escape from the hustle and bustle of the New York City streets where customers could come in, shop, relax and enjoy the experience without feeling rushed. Leaning into the handbags, Hilary opted for a neutral color palette with black and white and pops of pink throughout the space.

The bar will offer a rotating selection of coffee, tea, wine and cocktails and complimentary high-speed wifi will be available throughout the lounge. Vivrelle will also integrate exclusive member programming such as workout classes with guest celebrity trainers, retail activations and social events with Vivrelle's Perks Partners including brands like Barry's Boot Camp, Caraway, Daily Harvest, Sakara and more.

Vivrelle memberships range from $39-$279 per month. Vivrelle is also available online and through its mobile app. Founded in 2018 by newlyweds Blake and Wayne Geffen, Vivrelle provides members with the ability to borrow items with no return date. In a fresh take on the try-before-you-buy model, Vivrelle members are also able to purchase items they love from Vivrelle's closet at exclusive members-only discounted prices.


Dia & Co. Expands Inclusive Fashion Portfolio With 11 Honoré Acquisition

Inclusive shopping at apparel store

Consolidation within the fashion industry is bringing one-stop shopping to inclusive apparel. Dia & Co is acquiring 11 Honoré, increasing access to styles, brands, and price points in sizes 10-32.

The brand’s private label, 11 Honoré Collection, is now available on Dia & Co; however, it will also continue its e-commerce presence on until the brand is fully integrated at in the coming months.

Patrick Herning, founder of 11 Honoré, will continue to lead brand collaborations within the Dia & Co team.

[More innovation in apparel: H&M Group and Amazon Launch Tech-Enabled In-Store Shopping Experiences]

"The commonality between 11 Honoré and Dia & Co is an ethos of partnership," Herning said in a statement. "Both companies lead the charge helping straight sized brands enter the plus size space impactfully. We've done it tremendously as separate entities, and now that we're joining forces, it's going to be a remarkable change for a customer that deserves more from the fashion industry."

Nadia Boujarwah, Dia & Co CEO, stated that the relationship represents “an enormous leap forward in our mission to deliver true style freedom for our community.” 

Nadia Boujarwah and Lydia Gilbert co-founded Dia & Co in 2015, and the company now carries hundreds of brands including Madewell, Girlfriend Collective, Universal Standard, and Third Love. What began as a direct-to-consumer startup, is now leveraging brand partnerships and a recent nationwide expansion into Nordstrom stores. 

[Read more: Nordstrom Local Comes to the Hamptons]

In addition to 11 Honoré's signature private label collection, the 11 Honoré portfolio also includes brands like Diane Von Furstenberg, Carolina Hererra, Good American, and Tanya Taylor.

“In my two decades as a plus size shopper, the promise of being able to joyfully shop the brands I love for everything from $25 t-shirts to $2,500 dresses, made to fit my body, seamlessly in one place, has been the ultimate dream," Boujarwah said. "Joining forces with 11 Honoré has made that dream a reality on our platform and will fundamentally transform the shopping experience for our customers."


Albertsons Launches Product Ratings and Reviews on Its Grocery Websites


Consumer-generated product ratings and reviews, enabled by PowerReviews, are now live on Albertsons Cos’ websites. For the first time, shoppers can browse and interact with authentic product ratings and reviews on 11 of Albertsons Cos.’ retail websites, including Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, and Shaw’s.

[To learn more about the top grocery retailer technology trends for 2022 and Albertsons, click here for RIS News' latest Special Report]

"Customer-generated ratings and reviews empower purchase decisions," said  Jill Pavlovich, SVP of Digital Customer Experience at Albertsons Cos. "We’re proud to be one of the first grocers to offer this authentic conversation with our shoppers about their favorite products.”

PowerReviews is providing ratings and reviews technology and services to Albertsons Cos., including the ability for brands to syndicate their user-generated content to related product pages on Albertsons Cos.’ sites to ensure a consistent shopper experience.

“Ratings and reviews have become such a significant factor in buyer decision-making that shoppers actually choose where they buy from based on the availability of this content," said Mark Dillon, CEO at PowerReviews. "Albertsons Cos. has an established history of introducing technology to improve the customer experience, and we are excited and proud to work together to enhance their customers’ online shopping experience.”