While other apparel retailers are gradually recovering, Zara's parent company is quickly surpassing its pre-Covid sales figures. This week Inditex, which owns the fast fashion brand as well as Pull&Bear and Massimo Dutti, reported a 7% increase in sales compared to the same period in 2019.
In 2020, Amazon Logistics delivered 4.2 billion parcel shipments, up from 1.9 billion in 2019. It now makes up, by volume, 21% of the parcel shipments in the U.S., behind the USPS (38%) and UPS (24%) but ahead of FedEx for the first time (16%).
In less than two years, Whatnot has become the most valuable independent livestream shopping company in the U.S. The platform for collectible trading cards, comic books and toys just raised $150M in a Series C round from venture capital firms, valuing it at $1.5 billion. Whatnot co-founder Grant Lafontaine spoke with Modern Retail about the future of livestream e-commerce, what draws investors to the space, and how his company plans to preserve its identity even as it plots its live video takeover.
The new customer service offering comes at a moment when Amazon’s own fulfillment infrastructure appears to be under heavy strain -- and as some sellers opt to take their chances on self-fulfillment, Amazon can still maintain an extra slice of their business through Customer Service by Amazon.
Other news to know
After a dip in July, U.S. retail spending rose by 0.7% in August, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The increase is being highly attributed to back-to-school related sales.
Walmart’s latest fulfillment solution is self-driving cars. The retailer announced it’s partnering with Ford to test automated vehicle delivery in cities like Miami and Austin.
Kroger said it will once again ask store employees to mask up, regardless of vaccination status. The grocery retailer, which eased masking wearing policies earlier this year, has reinstated the rule amid the Delta variant spread.
The home decor category saw a major boom during the pandemic, but has gone through ebbs and flows in recent months. To sustain their growth, young furniture startups are looking for more ways to keep their new and existing customers coming back for their future furniture needs.
The elderflower-based liqueur St-Germain has become more popular over the last little bit -- much of that is thanks to growing demand for aperitifs. But another part of that, according to Emma Fox the VP of the brand, is that St-Germain has been taking great pains to get more people to know it exists. She joined the Modern Retail Podcast this week.
When CPG startup Brightland launched in 2018, it launched with just two products: two different varieties of olive oil. Since then, the company has expanded its product line to include four different flavored olive oils, two different varieties of vinegar and this week, launched a line of honey. Brightland typically partners with other companies, and does limited-edition runs, in order to test out new products.
Bargain clothing retailer Primark is readying a new digital strategy that has ignited rumors of a move into e-commerce, an area it has long ignored in order to keep a lid on costs. The company has said it is building a "digital platform" to "create new digital capability within the business" -- though it has given few details on what the new digital platform will look like.
The holiday season is usually the biggest sales period for the book business -- but in recent weeks, authors, publishers and booksellers have all begun warning that industry-wide shortages might leave some of this year’s most popular titles unavailable come December.
There's a new sought-after investor for tech startups that serves a lot of direct-to-consumer brands -- and it isn't a traditional private equity or venture capital fund. It's Shopify. That was made clear last week, when Shopify announced that it invested in Yotpo.
As companies pop up to create digital tabletop games that more closely resemble their real-life counterparts, big-name board game makers like Hasbro and Asmodee are betting that their futures lie in finding ways to blend the digital and physical versions of their projects, too.
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.