Will The $4.4 Billion Lampert Bid Save Sears From Liquidation?

Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert submitted a $4.4 billion bid for the struggling retailer just before the filing deadline on Dec. 28, potentially giving the chain a second chance at life, according to CNBC. The offer, which was placed through ESL Investments affiliate Transform Holdco, would cover 425 Sears locations.

The deal would “offer employment to up to 50,000 associates,” according to an ESL spokesperson. However, those terms would depend on “further actions the company may take between now and closing.” A successful bid would also reinstate severance protections for “eligible employees.”

While the deal could stave off liquidation, its success is not guaranteed. Sears’ advisors have until Jan. 4, 2019 to decide whether ESL is a “qualified bidder,” which is necessary for the firm to bid against liquidators in a Jan. 14 auction.

Lampert’s bid also will face scrutiny from Sears’ unsecured bidders, who have previously said they would prefer liquidation to a purchase by ESL. These parties believe Sears’ assets will be more valuable when considered in pieces, rather than as a single company run under ESL ownership.

ecommerce sitesAs the year comes to an end, it’s always a good idea to look at highlights of the past 12 months. As a retailer, this could mean thinking back to your best customers, most memorable in-store events, and top-performing products.

Over here at the Vend blog, we like to reflect on the year by identifying some of the most visited posts that we published. Doing so helps figure out which topics resonate most with retailers such as yourself, so we can keep providing you with amazing content.

And as a reader, having a roundup of Vend’s top posts lets you dive into some top-rated content that you can view and hopefully take action on in the coming year.

So without further ado, here are Vend’s top 10 posts of 2018.

We hope you get a ton of value out of them. And if there’s a particular article that you’d like us to write, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

1. 7 Examples of Good Customer Service in Retail (and How to Apply Them to Your Stores) – Excellent customer service is one of the pillars of retail success, which is why it’s something that you and your staff should invest in. But what exactly does good customer service look like? Well, if you’re pondering on this question, this article provides 7 real-life examples of amazing customer service in retail.

2. How to Greet Customers in Retail: 20+ Examples to Try in Your Store – First impressions can last, so if you fail to impress your customers during the first few seconds, you could literally lose a sale. Prevent that by coming up with unique and compelling ways to welcome people into your shop. This post helps you do just that by offering tips and examples of customer greetings in retail.

3. Retail Metrics: 14 Essential KPIs for Tracking Your Business’ Performance – Your key performance indicators (KPIs) can tell you exactly how your store is doing, so you can figure out how to improve. In this article, we talk about the specific metrics you should be tracking and what they mean for your business.

4. 12 Examples of Retail Stores That Will Inspire You to Run Your Business Better – Need some real inspiration? Right this way. For this article, we’ve put together retail success stories from various industries (i.e., fashion, homeware, sports, F&B, and electronics). We take a closer look at what makes each store successful, so you can pick up some pointers on how to run your store.

5. 6 Retail Marketing Strategies to Help You Get New Customers – If you’re looking for more ways to spread about your business and keep people engaged, then you will love this post. We’ve compiled a handful of retail marketing tactics that you’d want to try in your store. Check them out!

6. 32 Small Business Ideas for Your Retail Store – If you’re an aspiring retailer or an existing merchant looking for new business ideas, give this article a read. In it we dive into 32 small business ideas in the retail space, ranging from high-level concepts to get you thinking to specific niches you might want to explore.

7. 7 Types of Retail Experiences That Keep Customers Coming Back – As we said in our latest retail trends report, retailers that offer compelling in-store experiences will flourish. It’s more important than ever to offer retail experiences that shoppers won’t find anywhere else. And if you’re unsure of how to do that, then the real-life examples in this post can get your creative juices flowing.

8. 10 Ways to Increase Conversions in Your Retail Store – Do you get a lot of customers who walk into your store without buying anything? If so, you may want to look into increasing your conversion rate. There are several ways you can do this, and we’ve compiled some of the best ones in this article.

9. 11 Retail Skills Every Sales Associate Should Have (and How to Develop Them) – Hiring new retail associates? Read this article to get insights into the top 11 skills that you must hire for. The post also discusses how you can develop those skills in your employees and take their performance to the next level.

10. 5 Retail Technology Trends Making Waves in 2018 – As the headline suggests, this post is all about retail tech. We’ve put the spotlight on retail technology trends that are making their way into stores, ecommerce sites, and consumer’s homes. Our objective isn’t to hype up technology or convince you to adopt them all in your business. But you do want to keep them in your radar and determine if they’re worth investing in.

Further Reading

retail associatesLooking for more retail insights?

Vend’s is back with our annual retail trends and predictions report — a collection of our top 12 forecasts for 2019.

This report sheds light on the trends and issues that’ll make (or continue to make) waves in the retail industry. It’s also packed with actionable pointers and examples so you can effectively implement these insights in your business.

To make this year’s report even more valuable, we’ve sprinkled in commentaries and forecasts from the industry’s top experts, analysts, and influencers.

Check it out!

Learn More

The post Retailer Must-Reads: Vend’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018 appeared first on Vend Retail Blog.

14 Most Profitable Woodworking Projects to Build and Sell

Making beautiful, hand-crafted wood items to sell is an extremely creative and rewarding way to make money. Naturally, like any art or craft project, some woodworking creations sell better than others.

Most Profitable Woodworking Projects to Build and Sell

If you’re determined to turn your creative, woodworking skills into profit, take a look at the following 14 most profitable woodworking projects to build and sell.

Wooden Toys

Unlike many of their plastic counterparts, wooden toys can withstand the test of time. Not only do they possess longevity, but toys made of wood look fabulous in nurseries and children’s bedrooms, hence these quirky items will always be sought-after.

Put your best woodworking hat on and start making wooden dolls, puppets, train sets and more – the perfect gift for a child at Christmas.

Coat Racks

Rustic coat racks made from wood make a striking feature on the wall of any home. These desirable home accessories are also easy to build requiring little more than some chunky wooden, nails and wrought iron hangers, making them a super profitable woodworking project.

Fruit Bowls

Fruit bowls are a ubiquitous feature in almost every household, providing an eye-catching and practical feature in kitchens and dining rooms. These household accessory staples look even more striking when made from real wood.

Whether they’re made from a solid piece of wood or from fragmented pieces, fruit bowls are a sought-after item for the home and are therefore a profitable woodworking project.

Picture Frames

Wooden picture frames are easy to make and can be made to look unique by the decoration, color and embellishments you add to the wooden frame. Wooden picture frames will always be in demand and being inexpensive to make, are a profitable woodwork project to embark on.

Plant Boxes

Wood is a great material for robust and eye-catching plant boxes, which make a great addition to patios, terraces, gardens and even indoors. These simple-to-make and sought-after items are one of the most inexpensive and profitable woodburning projects you can get involved in.

Wooden Furniture

It’s hard to resist a piece of bespoke, handmade wooden furniture that provides a robust, lasting and practical feature in the home. From coffee tables made from pine to wardrobes in mahogany, set yourself a rewarding and profitable woodworking project making beautiful pieces of furniture.

Wooden Utensils

Spoons, knives, forks and other utensils made out of wood don’t just look great and can be used solely as ornamental pieces, but they can be functional features in the kitchen and dining room, conducting heat more efficiently than metal utensils.

Capitalize on the unique properties of wooden utensils by making your own exclusive and highly profitable knives, forks and spoons made from wood.

Corner Wall Shelves

Corner wall shelves that are made from chunky wooden pieces provide a unique feature in both traditional and contemporary homes.

These woodworking projects are fun to try and, other than the wood and glue, cost next to nothing, meaning you can sell your creative inventions for a tidy profit.

Birdhouses

Birdhouses look fantastic when they are made from a high-quality wood and they aren’t as difficult to make as you might have thought. Start knocking together redwood, cedar, pine or cypress and you’ll have a desirable product bird-enthusiasts will want to buy from you.

Wooden Pallet Christmas Trees

Wooden pallet Christmas trees are incredibly easy to make and can be sold for a tidy profit for those seeking a quirky alternative to a real Christmas tree. Simply build your tree by placing pieces of pallet wood on top of one another and add some pretty Christmas decorations for a creative woodwork project you can sell for a profit.

Coffee Cup Racks

Like coat hangers but on a smaller scale, coffee cup racks are easy items to make from wood and make superb Christmas and birthday presents for anyone who loves unusual and quirky items in their home.

These desirable kitchen items don’t take long to make and are inexpensive, making wooden coffee cup racks profitable woodworking projects.

Dog Beds

Dog beds can be expensive and for dog owners looking for an alternative to plastic beds, ones made from wood could prove attractive. These sturdy, comfortable and attractive beds for dogs aren’t difficult or expensive to construct, making them a profitable woodworking project to build and sell.

Rustic Headboards

Put your artistic woodworking skills to best use by working on beautiful, handmade, rustic headboards made from stunning wood. Such pieces of furniture make a great addition to a bedroom and will always be in demand, making them a lucrative woodwork project to embark on.

Wine Racks

Wine racks made from wood are not only sturdy, but they look great in the home. These desirable items are neither expensive nor difficult to build and can be sold for a nice profit for wine-lovers looking for an eye-catching and robust place to store their bottles.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “14 Most Profitable Products for Handmade Woodworking Businesses to Build and Sell” was first published on Small Business Trends

Digital has transformed retail possibilities.Future of Retail 2018: Delivery & Fulfillment

And with e-commerce sales growing at nearly five times the rate of brick-and-mortar sales, retailers need to find cheaper and more efficient ways to deliver e-commerce orders.

But different age groups have different preferences for which delivery and fulfilment options are most important to them.

Find out which delivery features are most important to consumers as well as what fulfillment options retailers should be using to meet consumer demands in this new FREE slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence’s three-part Future of Retail 2018 series.

In this first installment of the series, Business Insider Intelligence explores delivery and fulfillment, including consumers’ delivery preferences, the challenges those demands pose to retailers, and the strategies retailers can use to meet consumers’ expectations of fulfillment without tanking their profitability.

As an added bonus, you will also gain immediate access to our exclusive Business Insider Intelligence Daily newsletter.

To get your copy of the first part of this FREE slide deck, simply click here.

Join the conversation about this story »

14 Most Profitable Woodworking Projects to Build and Sell

Making beautiful, hand-crafted wood items to sell is an extremely creative and rewarding way to make money. Naturally, like any art or craft project, some woodworking creations sell better than others.

Most Profitable Woodworking Projects to Build and Sell

If you’re determined to turn your creative, woodworking skills into profit, take a look at the following 14 most profitable woodworking projects to build and sell.

Wooden Toys

Unlike many of their plastic counterparts, wooden toys can withstand the test of time. Not only do they possess longevity, but toys made of wood look fabulous in nurseries and children’s bedrooms, hence these quirky items will always be sought-after.

Put your best woodworking hat on and start making wooden dolls, puppets, train sets and more – the perfect gift for a child at Christmas.

Coat Racks

Rustic coat racks made from wood make a striking feature on the wall of any home. These desirable home accessories are also easy to build requiring little more than some chunky wooden, nails and wrought iron hangers, making them a super profitable woodworking project.

Fruit Bowls

Fruit bowls are a ubiquitous feature in almost every household, providing an eye-catching and practical feature in kitchens and dining rooms. These household accessory staples look even more striking when made from real wood.

Whether they’re made from a solid piece of wood or from fragmented pieces, fruit bowls are a sought-after item for the home and are therefore a profitable woodworking project.

Picture Frames

Wooden picture frames are easy to make and can be made to look unique by the decoration, color and embellishments you add to the wooden frame. Wooden picture frames will always be in demand and being inexpensive to make, are a profitable woodwork project to embark on.

Plant Boxes

Wood is a great material for robust and eye-catching plant boxes, which make a great addition to patios, terraces, gardens and even indoors. These simple-to-make and sought-after items are one of the most inexpensive and profitable woodburning projects you can get involved in.

Wooden Furniture

It’s hard to resist a piece of bespoke, handmade wooden furniture that provides a robust, lasting and practical feature in the home. From coffee tables made from pine to wardrobes in mahogany, set yourself a rewarding and profitable woodworking project making beautiful pieces of furniture.

Wooden Utensils

Spoons, knives, forks and other utensils made out of wood don’t just look great and can be used solely as ornamental pieces, but they can be functional features in the kitchen and dining room, conducting heat more efficiently than metal utensils.

Capitalize on the unique properties of wooden utensils by making your own exclusive and highly profitable knives, forks and spoons made from wood.

Corner Wall Shelves

Corner wall shelves that are made from chunky wooden pieces provide a unique feature in both traditional and contemporary homes.

These woodworking projects are fun to try and, other than the wood and glue, cost next to nothing, meaning you can sell your creative inventions for a tidy profit.

Birdhouses

Birdhouses look fantastic when they are made from a high-quality wood and they aren’t as difficult to make as you might have thought. Start knocking together redwood, cedar, pine or cypress and you’ll have a desirable product bird-enthusiasts will want to buy from you.

Wooden Pallet Christmas Trees

Wooden pallet Christmas trees are incredibly easy to make and can be sold for a tidy profit for those seeking a quirky alternative to a real Christmas tree. Simply build your tree by placing pieces of pallet wood on top of one another and add some pretty Christmas decorations for a creative woodwork project you can sell for a profit.

Coffee Cup Racks

Like coat hangers but on a smaller scale, coffee cup racks are easy items to make from wood and make superb Christmas and birthday presents for anyone who loves unusual and quirky items in their home.

These desirable kitchen items don’t take long to make and are inexpensive, making wooden coffee cup racks profitable woodworking projects.

Dog Beds

Dog beds can be expensive and for dog owners looking for an alternative to plastic beds, ones made from wood could prove attractive. These sturdy, comfortable and attractive beds for dogs aren’t difficult or expensive to construct, making them a profitable woodworking project to build and sell.

Rustic Headboards

Put your artistic woodworking skills to best use by working on beautiful, handmade, rustic headboards made from stunning wood. Such pieces of furniture make a great addition to a bedroom and will always be in demand, making them a lucrative woodwork project to embark on.

Wine Racks

Wine racks made from wood are not only sturdy, but they look great in the home. These desirable items are neither expensive nor difficult to build and can be sold for a nice profit for wine-lovers looking for an eye-catching and robust place to store their bottles.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “14 Most Profitable Products for Handmade Woodworking Businesses to Build and Sell” was first published on Small Business Trends

Christmas Hospitality Recreation metal utensils Plant Boxes Wood
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