The Toys R Us Comeback

It’s been about five years since Toys R Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and began liquidating its 700-plus big box stores in the United States. But a return to brick and mortar is under way – inside more than 400 Macy’s stores. Spaces, from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet, are combining merchandise and interactive experiences.

How Target Missed the Mark on Inventory

Target missed the mark when calculating this season’s inventory and now the retailer is scrambling to liquidate extra items. The company is slashing prices to move items like patio furniture and household appliances to free up space on shelves and in warehouses. But how’d they get it so wrong?

The Pandemic, the Inflation and the Way We Shop Now

Do you shop differently now than you did a few years ago? If so, you’re not alone, says Maryland Smith’s Jie Zhang.

How COVID-19 Has Changed the Retail Experience Forever

With the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers have innovated and tweaked the shopping experience to meet the demands of the moment and keep consumers safe. But even as the pandemic begins to subside, don’t be surprised if some of those changes stick around for good.

The Supply Chain Snafu – Why You Should Buy Holiday Gifts Now

Not to stress you out, but if you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, you’re way behind. Thanks to manufacturing holdups, shipping delays and labor shortages throughout the supply chain, it’s going to take longer – and cost more – for retailers and consumers to get the items they want this year. The best way to tackle this year’s Christmas list is to shop as early as possible, and with an open mind and an open wallet, say Maryland Smith experts.

Why 2021’s Labor Day Sales Are Likely to Disappoint

Labor Day weekend shoppers might have a little extra money to spend, but they will have to work harder to find discounts this year. Supply chain disruptions caused by the continuing pandemic and a series of severe weather events have had retailers struggling to maintain inventories and subsequently less-incentivized to discount items in stock – even for the usual Labor Day sales bonanzas on appliances, mattresses and autos, said Maryland Smith marketing experts Amna Kirmani and Jie Zhang.

Is ‘Relaxed’ the New ‘Business Casual’?

Gird yourself—or, actually, don’t: The new office dress code is here, and it’s very stretchy. After nearly 18 months of widespread telework, many office workers gearing up to head back in are first revisiting their dresser drawers, where they may have to dig past piles of the comfortable yoga pants, cozy hoodies and ratty cargo shorts they’ve become accustomed to. But once back at their desks, they may stick with some of the sartorial choices they’ve been making at home.

Pajamas vs Pantsuits: The New Work Attire

What’s the right look for returning to the workplace? Professional or casual? The answer is both, according to Maryland Smith’s Jie Zhang and P.K. Kannan. In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Zhang and Kannan discussed the evolution of work attire after 15 months of many professionals working from home and weighed in on the ongoing debate on what to wear to the office.

Open discussion with participants about the challenges and issues they face in the retail industry.

Facilitated by: Jie Zhang

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Utilizing Data Analytics to Build A Winning Retail Business

This session will cover retail performance metrics and how to utilize them to diagnose problems and improve retail decisions. It will focus on those performance metrics that can be implemented using a retailer's existing inventory management and bookkeeping infrastructure (so that they can be easily adopted by SMR's).  We will also discuss more advanced metrics and frameworks that have been utilized by sophisticated retail operations and the additional data/resources required.

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