On the latest episode of our Modern Retail Talk series, we spoke with Forrester's Sucharita Kodali about what she's observing in this brand new climate. The pandemic, she said, "set the retail industry back about five years." The good news, however, is that "there should be a fairly decent rebound."
Women’s lifestyle title Marie Claire is getting into the sampling business with the launch of Beauty Drawer. The first 5,000 members to sign up will receive samples of anti-aging cream from the launch partner, beauty brand StriVectin. With retail on lockdown "Working in skincare, samples are the number-one way to get people into a product."
Amazon saw huge profits in its most recent earnings report. This comes even after the company say three months earlier it would likely spend all of its current profits on coronavirus-related costs. Even so, the company saw record sales and continues to skyrocket. But tensions with third-party sellers still remain a pressure point.
A natural wine importer had vowed to draft an ethical contract to which all business partners will sign. Companies have long claimed to be ethical, but are now being asked more fervently to practice what they preach. A looming question underneath it all is how much of this talk about transparency and ethical business practices is used to shield from future scandals or as marketing jargon.
For this week’s Modern Retail Talk, Fly By Jing founder and CEO Jing Gao speaks about her trials and tribulations during the coronavirus. When quarantine in the U.S. first began, Gao said, “sales tripled overnight.” This was thanks to past work the company had been doing: "brand exposure, influencer seeding, paid ads." They all "paid dividends," she said.
A teenager's petition created a public outcry about Trader Joe's private label branding. The company, as a result, has renewed its pledge to discontinue its practices. While the grocer has said it would do this for years, now may be the time it's actually forced to change.
Stores aren’t dead, but they aren’t exactly alive either. As stores across the U.S. are currently in phased reopenings, many retailers are still in disputes or negotiations over rent payments during Covid-19 closures and are discussing ways to rethink payments for a future with dramatically lowered foot traffic. While some have been able to negotiate with landlords and receive discounts on rent, others are facing landlords playing hardball, who are citing their own mortgage payments.
As more merchants have gone online, Shopify has only benefited. But its growth strategy has changed; it’s no longer the turnkey e-commerce platform for everyone, but the invisible giant trying to take control.
Japanese retailer Muji announced that the U.S. arm of its business will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Muji currently has 18 stores in the United States, and is reportedly mulling scaling back that footprint. It's certainly not the only retailer facing similar hardships, but the Japanese company has had its own set of problems since before the pandemic.
BigCommerce filed its S-1 earlier this week, providing a little more visibility into how its business works. Since 2009, BigCommerce has provided digital commerce services for merchants. It touts customers including Woolrich, Camelbak, Clarks and Gillette. While it's true that digital commerce is accelerating at an unprecedented clip, the platform faces stiff competition from companies like Shopify.
For this weeks Modern Retail Talk, Lumi co-founder and CEO Jesse Genet discussed how she approaches the difficult issue of figuring out how to best package a product. Her company works with brands like Curology and Empathy Wines. The secret to good packaging, she said, involves a lot more than just finding a good-sized box and putting the item in it.
Walmart is reportedly planning to launch a new membership program this month. Called Walmart+, it will reportedly cost $98 a year and offer fast home delivery and other perks. Those other perks -- as well as the price tag -- are where Walmart is trying to differentiate itself from Amazon. But the question still remains whether or not it will be enough to compete with the 800-pound gorilla.
E-commerce platform Elliot raised millions of dollars and hyped itself for month. But when launch day came around, everything went kaput. How did such a highly anticipated startup end up this way?
For the inaugural episode of our new and improved Modern Retail Talk series -- where we feature a new founder/retail expert every week to discuss a specific issue pertinent to the new reality we're all living in -- Modern Retail (digitally) sat down with co-founder and CEO Matt Alexander about how the company is strategizing its reopening, and what it's learned over the last few month.
Uber is considering acquiring Postmates, according to news reports. This is likely a move by Uber to get more marketshare. But Postmates presents some interesting possibilities. For one, the courier app has partnered with non-food companies, like Old Navy. Which is to say that Postmates presents an opportunity to grow Uber's delivery presence in directions beyond just food.
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