Instacart just announced a deal with C&S Wholesale Grocers that represents 3,000 smaller stores. It's part of the delivery apps strategy to focus less on the bigger grocery players and more on the independent mom and pop ones that don't have the capital to build out their own e-commerce program. Instacart isn't the only platform vying for this piece of the grocery pie, and it remains to be seen whether these businesses are enough for the digital services to become sustainable.
Modern Retail spent a week looking into all the changes needed for stores around the country to reopen. Much of it involves guesswork, because no one knows what shoppers will want in the next few months. Neither do we know if the coronavirus will have a second wave. Taking this all into account, here's a rundown of all the biggest changes on the horizon.
Alibaba unveiled new features for its U.S B-to-B platform, including flexible payments terms and expanded shipping options. It's a small move in a growing SMB war. Platforms like Alibaba, Amazon, Shopify and even Google and Facebook are all trying to woo more small businesses on their platforms. There's no clear winner yet, but all are unveiling new offers to bring in more customers.
Williams-Sonoma recorded e-commerce comps exceeding 31%. While the numbers are big, they're not terribly surprising. The home goods company has invested in digital programs for years -- beginning as far back as 1998. Now, those bets are paying off. What's more, Williams-Sonoma invested more in new digital tools when the coronavirus first hit. Compared to other big retailers, these results show when digital investment really pays off.
Global retail markets are beginning to reopen. The question remains whether consumers are ready to go back into public. With lockdown restrictions now being eased by some governments, small green shoots of recovery are beginning to emerge. Modern Retail and Glossy reporters took a (virtual) trip around the globe to see where shopping is beginning to restart and if shoppers are ready to spend money once again in the real world.
Many retailers and companies rely on people testing out their products. But with social distancing in place and many stores closed, that gets much more difficult. For some, it may mean sampling is completely off the table. For others, it means introducing new operations and safeguards that were never thought of before.
King Arthur's flour has been flying off the shelves -- both in grocery stores and digitally. The company has seen record website traffic and its DTC sales have doubled. To deal with this influx, the centuries-old flour brand has had to quickly adapt. Modern Retail spoke with its vp of marketing about how King Arthur's digital strategy has shifted and what the future of flour sales will look like.
Stores are slowly reopening, but they are about to look very different. Fewer people will be inside and the technology will be used to perform easy tasks. We took a look at all of the facets required to rebuild the retail experience. While some of it may look similar to before, a lot of thought is taking place. Come on in and take a look.
CPGs are currently in a mad dash to solidify their DTC strategies. Clorox has been building out its team for the last year and half. It's both launched new brands and focused on building out more direct sales strategies with older ones. The company's vp and general manager of DTC spoke with Modern Retail about the company's strategy, and how it's recently been accelerated.
Home Depot saw a huge revenue spike this past quarter -- as well as many more customers utilize its digital offerings. This is a long time company for the home improvement retailer. It has spent many years bolstering its digital infrastructure but hadn't yet seen the fruits of those labors. We now see why the investment paid off.
JCPenney was once an e-commerce leader. Then the department store made a series of strategic missteps. During its most recent quarterly earnings report, the company posted $3.4 billion in sales, an 8% decrease from the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, the company owes $4 billion in debt. Now, it's filing for bankruptcy. How did JCPenney get here? Looking at its failed digital strategy helps illuminate some bigger systemic problems.
People are sheltering in place and they're also adopting pets. As a result, pet food startups have seen a huge boom over the last few months. This tracks with other bigger players shutting their doors and seeing shipping delays. While things begin to normalize the question remains whether these new entrants will be able to keep momentum.
Some of the big owners of retail space have announced their reopening plans. They involved newly-crafted protocols that have never been tested before. While other retailers are taking it slowly, all are trying their best craft a proper reopening strategy. Here's a look at how some are working together and what it takes to develop a true list of best practices.
The athletic apparel brand reported dismal earnings this past quarter. While much of this had to do with the coronavirus outbreak, its faltering DTC strategy isn't helping matters either.
2020 was the year East Fork ceramics planned to become profitable. Now, that's likely no longer on the table, but the company is using a new model to better handle its balance sheet: pre-sales. Now, new product lines will all be for sale before they're manufactured, as a way to get capital in as early as possible.
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