From time to time, an industry or subject inspires us to create a best-of list. These are sites that produce out-of-this-world coverage in a crowded arena. In case you’ve missed some, you can find them here. If you think your site should be considered, give us a holler and tell us why.
Holiday spending this year is projected to increase 4.5%-5%. “Near record-low unemployment rates, coupled with continued monthly job creation, may encourage people to spend more during the holiday season,” according to Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s U.S. economic forecaster.
As the holiday shopping season ramps up, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite sites for staying up-to-date on the latest retail industry news.
These trusted industry publications cover the latest news in e-commerce, marketing, trends, real estate, products, and more.
1. Retail Dive
Retail Dive, a publication from Industry Dive, is a news site and newsletter that covers topics like e-commerce, holidays, loss prevention, etc. The newsletter comes in multiple forms: a daily general newsletter and three weekly options for marketing, tech, and mobile commerce news, respectively.
I recommend checking out the Deep Dive section for in-depth retail insights, as well as the Library for resources like whitepapers, e-books, and webinars. Other features include an events calendar and job board.
Entrepreneur is “the premier source for everything small business” and has a great section covering the latest in retail.
Check out the Video and Webinar categories for even more content to help business owners succeed. The site also includes the opportunity to book one-on-one sessions with business experts through the Ask An Expert service.
Stories to read right now: 3 Key Takeaways About the Future of Retail: Selling Online, In-Store and Both; Thinking of Opening a Physical Location for Your Online Store? Ensure Success With These 4 Tips; and The Fashion Industry Called Their Idea Crazy. Now, Their Handbag Design Is Iconic.
RetailWire is an online discussion forum for the retail industry. Each day, the Brain Trust, a panel of industry experts and readers, posts newsworthy topics to the site to stimulate “virtual roundtables.”
Posts cover the general news headline and end with a discussion question. It’s a great way to see different perspectives across the industry from the executives and managers. Many posts also include a poll question related to the content.
Other sections of the site include: Retail News, which includes links out to original articles; Press Releases; Videos, covering tradeshows and interviews with the BrainTrust members; and a Resources section with webinars, whitepapers, and reports.
Chain Store Age (“CSA”) is all about “the business of retail.” Content is posted on the site as well as a print magazine that is published six times per year. CSA also puts on two conferences each year focused on physical retail: SPECS and X/SPECS.
The trade publication is written for executives across the retail industry and covers topics like store development and design, finance, and real estate.
CSA offers interesting looks at retail innovations: store concepts, drone delivery, retail “experiences,” and environmental initiatives, for example.
Stories to read right now: First Look: Highlights of Nordstrom’s long-awaited NYC flagship; Trend-setting Georgia center continues to up its game; and Amazon adds more brick-and-mortar locations for its in-store pickup service.
The National Retail Federation (“NRF”) is the world’s largest retail trade association, so it should absolutely be on your radar for industry insights.
The “On the Hill” section covers retail-related policy issues. Move over to “Retail Insights and Trends” for original data, podcasts, and videos. And the “Resources and Tools” section has you covered with a job board, loss prevention news, and a 4-5-4 calendar, favored by many retailers to help bring balance to their sales reporting.
Stories to read right now: A year later, tariffs’ challenge to supply chains is only greater; 3 tips from Drybar for making customers feel like VIPs; and Checking in with Gen Z.
This outlet focuses on store design, visual merchandising, and in-store marketing. In addition to its regularly updated site, design:retail hosts the annual GlobalShop tradeshow and the design:retail Forum.
Like many people, I’ve held one or two retail jobs in the past and can appreciate a well thought-out store design. I’d recommend checking out the photo gallery for a look at some inspiring concept stores.
Independent Retailer is “dedicated to business professionals who manage or own a brick & mortar retail establishment as well as to those with an online store.”
The trade publication puts out a monthly magazine, as well as regular posts on the website.
The “Retailer Spotlights” section has great articles about small retail businesses that deserve recognition. Click over to “Top Product Sources” for some of the outlet’s favorite independent sellers of items like jewelry, sporting goods, and toys.
Stories to read right now: Three Lessons Brands Can Learn From Greta Thunberg; Black Friday Cyber Security For Retailers; and Mellow Monkey Decor: The Accidental Happy Place.
8. Retail Week
Based in the UK, Retail Week publishes a magazine for members, posts regular industry news and insights to its website, and hosts the annual Retail Week Live conference.
The huge amount of information on the site is sure to keep any reader engaged. Content can be filtered by company (everything from Abercrombie & Fitch to Zara); sector (including Grocery, Sports, and Fashion); or topics like Technology, Property, and even Brexit.
Note that most content is behind a paywall and accessible to subscribers (£34.74 per month for an individual) and registered users (access to three free articles per month and newsletters).
Check out the “Be Inspired” section for learning opportunities to create a balanced workforce in the retail industry. This initiative “exists to promote gender balance at all levels across retail and encourage women to fulfill their career aspirations.” Content includes podcasts, articles, workshops, and conferences.
Stories to read right now: Tech 100 2019: The innovators shaping the future of commerce; Consumer confidence falls as Brexit uncertainty takes toll; and Interview: Making Ikea relevant for millennial shoppers.
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Rocky Parker works in Audience Relations at PR Newswire. Check out her previous posts for Beyond Bylines and connect on LinkedIn. When she’s not working, Rocky typically can be found cooking, binge watching a new show, or playing with her puppy, Hudson.