Last week, the privately-held Subway announced “positive same store sales” in the second quarter, as well as 4% growth in August 2021 sales compared to 2019. However, analysts are still skeptical: Subway’s growth actually underpaces the restaurant industry’s average, and its rebrand highlights the challenges the “largest restaurant chain in the world” is facing.
In March 2020, Costco was one of many retailers to enact product purchasing limits on essentials like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and bottled water, as consumer demand skyrocketed during the first wave of Covid-19. Now, the retailer is enacting limits on essentials once again, though this time to combat supply chain delays.
Over the years, young direct-to-consumer brands relied on Facebook's algorithm to cheaply find new customers. As Facebook's cost-per-click increase and it continues to grapple with the latest Apple iOS update, brands are looking to get back to basics. Some are trying out discovery platforms like Pinterest and YouTube Shorts, others are re-investing in the trusty Google Search.
Ebay says refurbished and recycled products have been big pandemic winners. Together, refurbished and recycled products helped drive a 400% increase in used consumer product sales on eBay since 2018, eBay U.K. chief Murray Lambell said in a keynote at an industry event.
Other news to know
Beyond Meat is officially launching its new chicken tenders alternative in stores next month. The company said the new line, which rolled out at restaurants this past summer, will hit grocery shelves in October.
Walmart is doing away with its layaway program and focusing instead on its buy now pay later offerings with Affirm. The retailer says this transition will take place before the holidays arrive.
Livestream shopping platforms continue to attract investors. On Monday startup app NTWRK announced it closed a $50 million funding round, led by Goldman Sachs and fashion group Kering.
With Black Friday less than two months away, direct-to-consumer brands are starting to finalize their holiday marketing strategies. One big question on many founders' minds this year, is just how much they need to rethink their initial plans in a post iOS14 landscape. The answer for many brands seems to be: spend less on Facebook and Instagram than they were initially planning.
Last year's crafting boom made Joann one of retail's biggest winners, helping it go public earlier this year. Now, the company wants to use its stores -- along with newfound e-commerce customers -- to keep that momentum going. Christopher DiTullio, the company chief customer officer, discussed Joann's retention plans with Modern Retail.
The alcohol e-commerce boom is driving online wine clubs to ramp up their personalization tools. With thousands of wine SKUs on hand, digital wine club Firstleaf developed a machine learning model to help narrow down each customer's suggestions. The process, according to the company, has helped increase revenue and boost retention over the years.
On Thursday, Nike announced 16% year-over-year growth in total revenue and 40% growth in North American digital sales. The brand is banking on digital sales and pushing consumers to its app, loyalty program and buy-online-and-pick-up-in-store features. However, strict Covid-19 regulations in Vietnam took their toll this quarter, and mean that future stockout strain is likely for the holiday season.
Fast food subscriptions are quickly becoming all the rage. From Panera Bread, to Pret a Manger, to now Taco Bell, more restaurant chains are looking to monthly "passes" as a way to keep customers ordering and engaging with digital marketing.
Retailers are trying to bring digital ads into brick-and-mortar stores. Companies like Starlite Media and Cooler Screens have begun offering ad services to both brands and retailers. It points to a bigger trend: retailers are eagerly testing ways to display digital ads to consumers, closer and closer to the point of sale.
Nordstrom is making a significant push into home goods with the help of buzzy brands including direct-to-consumer startups. Its latest partnership with weighted blanket brand Bearaby means it now has ties with more than 17 companies in the category. In addition, it’s preparing to open an extended, two-story home goods section at its flagship NYC branch.
Modern Retail Summit
Oct 12–Oct 14, 2021
At the Modern Retail Summit, retail executives will come together to discuss effective strategies for driving sales by building a loyal customer base both online and offline.