Corp America March 2017

CORP AMERICA / MARCH 2017 5 NEWS , “This grant will have an incredible impact on the university and further solidify our stature as an innovative leader in supply chain management,” Provost Jim Coleman said. “Interdisciplinary research projects are a major focus of ours, and this particular collaboration between industry, faculty and students is a great example of the type of research we continue to pursue.” This industry collaboration advances the U of A’s culture of interdisciplinary research through the creation of a center that allows engineering, computer science and business research- ers and students to work with J.B. Hunt employees in finding solutions to real-world problems through innovative design and technology-driven supply chain solutions. “The J.B. Hunt Innovation Center of Excellence will allow us to pursue revolutionary ideas in supply chain technology that can have a game-changing impact on the industry,” Stuart Scott, chief information officer at J.B. Hunt, said. “The innovative ideas that will shape our industry’s future are with the students of today, and we’re proud to be working with some of the best and bright- est business, engineering and computer science students at the University of Arkansas.” The center’s activities will be led by an Innovation Center Steering Committee, which will consist of approximately 14 members from J.B. Hunt, Walton College and College of Engineering leader- ship teams. Shelley Simpson, chief marketing officer and president of integrated capacity solutions and truckload at J.B. Hunt, is a graduate of the Walton College and remains involved through the Walton Col- lege Dean’s Executive Advisory Board. Over the years, she has seen firsthand how the universi- ty’s programs and research have been beneficial to the company. “As our industry evolves, custom- ers need more intelligent supply chain solutions to meet market demand,” said Simpson. “This collaboration is an investment in the future of J.B. Hunt and our ability to deliver customer value.” The U of A is a leader in inno- vation in supply chain manage- ment, with the Walton College supply chain management program ranking 14th in the nation in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report. The SCM Journal List™ ranks the supply chain department as 5th globally in em- pirical supply chain management research. For more information, visit, customization,” said Courtney Gentleman, CMO, Payment Solutions, Synchrony Financial. Retail on-demand: we want it now Increasingly, technology will give rise to a more demanding shop- per base – one that expects what they purchase to be instantly available or returned. Among consumers surveyed, 77% anticipate better ways of making returns from online purchases in the future. Instant gratification will be an important part of the shop- ping experience offered in the form of stores on wheels, trunk stores, pop-up shops and sub- scription services; return buttons in retailer apps that re-package and pick-up items; and real-time inventory views and better ship- to-store options Retail comes to you: bridg- ing the gap between home and store The confluence of channels and high-definition camera technol- ogy will enable shoppers to ac- cess an interface through virtual or augmented reality to see how a new sofa, fabric and paint, ga- rage door, flooring or other items will look in their house. Con- sumers will be able to secure in- home retailer services, purchase on demand using smart labels or QR codes, shop in 3D and use instant try-on features. “Why have anything altered again?” said Bart Schaller, CMO, Synchrony Financial. “Shoppers will be able to take a perfectly dimensioned picture of a per- son’s body, type and form and upload it to retailer apps. Without moving from the sofa, a pair of pants will arrive at their doorstep ready to go.” Brick-and-mortar’s reason for being: entertainment and engagement Brick-and-mortar stores of the future will focus on delivering genuine brand experiences to build both trust and loyalty – tap- ping into consumer desires. More than half of study participants (55%) are excited about blended in-store and entertaining expe- riences such as coffee shops, cafés, music, bars, or compli- Collaborating to Create Unique Supply Chain Innovation Center J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. is making a $2.75 million investment in the University of Arkansas to create the J.B. Hunt Innovation Center of Excellence. The center will be a collaborative effort between the company, the College of Engineering and the SamM. Walton College of Business to advance supply chain management efficiency through technology. mentary samplings of products or services. Less is more: streamlining of brands Instead of appealing to everyone, 57% of consumers agree that re- tailers must streamline and focus on doing one or two things well. Specialty retailers will remain a go-to in high-involvement catego- ries, while online and automated reordering will reduce the need for as many one-stop-shop stores. Regardless of category, brands of the future must have a strong reason for being. Adds Goodrich, “The future of retail will look dramatically differ- ent in 2030 than it does today. We’re urging retailers to begin planning for that future now, and our emerging trends analysis is just the start.” Study methodology The Future of Retail report was developed from multiple research phases conducted January-Feb- ruary 2017 on behalf of Synchro- ny Financial with consumers and industry experts including: Consumers - A quantitative study with 1,016 consumers and online discussions and half-day work- shops in two U.S cities spanned generational groups 18 years and older; ethnic and socio-eco- nomic backgrounds; and online and in-store shoppers. Retail experts - Input contributed from Synchrony retail partners across different industries, representing online only, mass merchandisers and middle market businesses. One-on-one interviews with a retail futurist; in- store and digital retail technology professionals; and Synchrony business leaders in strategy and innovation, marketing and IT. The Future of Retail brief can be downloaded and viewed, along with forthcoming insights and videos on this topic and other research at http://synchronyfinan- through the “Insights” link under the ‘News’ tab. For more information about how Synchrony Financial can help grow business, go to www.synchronyconnect. com or email synchronyconnect@