It’s not breaking news that more companies are turning to digital alternatives to reach clients and customers. Retail is no different.
A new study by www.RetailMeNot.com and Kelton Global shows that retailers realize that digital is the future of the industry, but the shift to use digital media is slow.
Digital access across platforms (on computers, tablets and smartphones) influences 36 percent of the $3 trillion-plus that is being spent inside retail stores, the study found.
So it’s no surprise that 82 percent of retail industry experts surveyed said they would increase digital marketing spending over the next three to five years.
The way shoppers find deals or reasons to visit a store are changing.
According to the survey, 70 percent of retail marketers believe customers care most about finding a good deal.
But most retail companies rely heavily on their websites — only 15 percent of survey respondents said mobile apps have the biggest opportunity to drive sales — to attract shoppers online.
The conclusion of the study?
“Change before you have to,” said Jack Welch, former chairman and chief executive of General Electric Co.
Starbucks to pay baristas’ college education
Starbucks is providing free online college educations to its workers through a partnership with Arizona State University, the company announced Monday.
The online arrangement requires that employees work at least 20 hours a week with the Seattle-based coffee retailer and have grades and test scores to comply with Arizona State’s admission requirements.
For baristas with at least two years of college credit, Starbucks will pay full tuition. Employees with fewer credits are eligible for partial educational funding.
Sarasota Fine Consignment to move
Board of Trade Sarasota Fine Consignment,1371 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota, will close its store at the end of the month and reopen at a new spot in September.
The fine consignment store sells a selection of furniture, art, home decor merchandise, glass, china and more.
BOT Sarasota Fine Consignment will reopen in September, at a site near Tamiami Trail and Bee Ridge Road, said owner Spencer Allen. He declined to be more specific.
Prices on merchandise are marked down this month because of the move. Some items are offered for 50 percent off.
Jersey Mike’s opens fifth store
Jersey Mike’s will open its fifth Sarasota store on Wednesday.
Franchise owner Beth Kariofyllis and her son and partner, Matthew Kariofyllis, will host a grand opening celebration Wednesday to Sunday at the store at Bahia Vista Street and Tamiami Trail.
Customers can grab a free sub when they pledge at least $1 to help support the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Foundation. Customers must have a coupon to be eligible for the free sub. Jersey Mike’s staff are circulating 10,000 coupons throughout the community this week.
Kariofyllis also owns the Jersey Mike’s at 5867 Fruitville Road in Sarasota. That store opened last month.
Jersey Mike’s has more than 1,300 restaurants across the county. In three years, the company has doubled in size. Earlier this year, Technomic, a Chicago-based food consultant firm, ranked Jersey Mike’s as one of the top five fastest-growing restaurant chains with sales above $200 million.