Last summer, Kroger began selling cannabidiol products at over 1,000 of its stores across the country. The country's largest national grocery chain joined the CBD boom in stocking topical CBD products like oils, balms and creams. Kroger, along with Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS, has been on a mission to introduce CBD use to mainstream shoppers since the hemp-derived compound was decriminalized in 2018. With hundreds of stores, largely located in the Midwest and the South, Kroger has quickly become one of the biggest brick and mortar CBD sellers by footprint, with plans to become the go-to hub for large CBD producers.
From luxury brands to sportswear, retailers across the industry are feeling the non-health effects of coronavirus.
Showfields is expanding beyond NYC and into the Miami market, where it plans to open a second concept shop in May.
Under Armour's look forward to 2020 includes expected losses that the company blames on China's coronavirus outbreak.
The race to go cashierless has another entrant. This month 7-Eleven became the latest chain to test cashierless stores at its Irving, Texas headquarters as part of a pilot program. The 700-square-foot store, which opened on Feb. 5, is currently available to employees only via an app, allowing them to check in, shop and exit the store. The 7-Eleven launch is part of a wave of existing retailers trying to offer shoppers a more frictionless checkout process, which includes foregoing long line waits. A company spokesperson did not comment on how the initial testing has gone thus far.
Macy's announced it's closing 16 out of 36 Story concept shops in markets that have multiple locations.
“We're building the shoppable surfaces and we're improving the ML that matches inspiring images."
Staples is launching Staples Connect, a concept store that will include spaces for co-working, podcast recording and events. The office supply chain said the format, which initially announced it last April, will debut in six Boston area Connect locations, and is “built around the ever-evolving needs of the retail customer.”
The subscription model that Rent the Runway helped popularize has prompted established retailers to launch their own in the past year. From department stores like Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, to smaller brick and mortar companies like Banana Republic and URBN, all announced their own version over the past year.
Amazon has been wooing direct to consumer brands for years by offering them an array of services including financial backing and inventory management via the Fulfilled By Amazon program. For many founders, being on the platform was something to be avoided. But even some that were lured by Amazon’s benefits early on have been gradually making the move off the marketplace.
Retailers are now gravitating toward Pinterest’s shopping-friendly features to add another source of e-commerce revenue. The platform has added more social commerce tools in an effort to pitch retailers on how being on the platform can help actual conversions. These include the ability to build custom shopping catalogs, product pins and improved retargeting.
Pinterest wants to be “more shoppable than ever” thanks to customizable retail features like shopping catalogs and promoted pins.
The retailer will now close 100 of its 650 stores in the next two years. It's a piece of its wider strategy to bring Express back into profitability, a plan the retail is calling the "Expressway Forward" plan. It involves a shifted focus to more streamlined merchandise offerings and investing in online sales.
David's Bridal has launched a suite of online wedding planning tools, including a messaging chatbot named Zoey, aimed at helping people find and purchase their wedding looks. The idea is that a service layer will be enough to fend off competition and create a more seamless experience. Taking a page from wedding planning services like Zola, David's Bridal helping brides do save the dates, curate mood boards via Pinterest and of course embarking on finding the perfect wedding dress, all from their device.
In its early days, being direct-to-consumer meant lower prices. Because there was no middleman, so the theory went, companies were offering better quality goods at more competitive prices. But as the industry matures, there has been a shift away from branding DTC products as the most affordable alternative to traditional retail shopping for personal products. The strategy to offer “no markups” was integral for the success of Warby Parker and Everlane, among others when they launched a decade ago. However, that’s no longer the case, as evident from a new crop of luxury DTC brands that are looking to duplicate the model’s biggest success stories, in diamonds, luxury fashion and more.
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