Following troubling financial results from other big-box retailers this week, Kohl’s reported declining revenue and operating profit in the first quarter. The company’s results come on the heels of Walmart and Target, who’ve also taken a hit from economic headwinds like inflation, fuel costs and supply chain expenses. Kohl’s is also receiving pressure from activist investors and several takeover offers.
Many roll-up businesses promised to buy successful Amazon businesses and flip them to make an updated e-commerce portfolio strategy. But then, some of the biggest players that had raised hundreds of millions of dollars reportedly had layoffs and stopped scooping up new brands. Forum Brands' Brenton Howland spoke about the current state of aggregators and why his business is still acquiring Amazon brands.
OpenStore launched in 2021, with the idea to use proprietary technology to suss out which online brands have the most upside. It's raised over $130 million both in venture capital and debt. E-commerce brands can go to OpenStore's website and share their Shopify data with the portfolio company. Co-founder Michael Rubenstein joined the Modern Retail Podcast this week and spoke about the current state of e-commerce portfolio companies and why he thinks OpenStore is poised for success.
At the Modern Retail and Neighborhood Goods Future of Commerce Panel held in New York on Tuesday, three founders of DTC brands – Thousand Fell, Maude and Act+Acre – spoke about how they choose retail channels, not just for sales but also as a platform for discovery.
Target's operating margin dropped from 30% to 26% year-over-year, as the retailer discounted inventory, navigated supply chain issues and increased staff wages. Analysts explained that Target's earnings highlight the increasing difficulty of getting the right product at the right time amid headwinds ranging from inflation to continued supply issues.
At Digiday Media's Commerce Week -- held both virtually and in New York City -- business leaders from many different industries came together to talk shop. Some had solutions, others problems that needed to be fixed. We kept our ear to the ground to hear some of the biggest pain-points executives said and compiled it here.
127-year-old Italian coffee company Lavazza debuted a ready-to-drink cold brew line in late April, which it is positioning as a play for Gen Z. “For Gen Z, RTD has been a major entryway into coffee,” said Camille Vareille, the head of marketing for Lavazza in the U.S. “Many younger drinkers start out with cold and sweet coffees before moving into variants like espresso.”
As direct-to-consumer brands rush to sign leases, swimwear brand Andie is taking a more methodical approach. The swimwear brand has two pop-ups in the works – one in Sag Harbor that opened at the beginning of the month, and another in Berkeley that’s scheduled to open on May 27," “It’s still early for us in our retail journey, and I think there’s a lot for us to learn,” founder Melanie Travis said.
Umamicart launched in March 2021 as an online grocer offering Asian products. Early on, the company began adopting a shoppable recipe strategy to drive sales and meet consumers’ needs. Now, over 50% of Umamicart’s sales come from its shoppable recipes.
According to new research, more people in the United States seem to be comfortable with watching digital livestreams and making purchases from them.
Direct-to-consumer glasses brand Warby Parker is focused on widening its suburban store footprint to grow sales. The retailer opened eight stores in the first quarter and plans to open 40 total across 2022, primarily in suburban locations. While analysts interviewed by Modern Retail praised the strategy as a smart diversification tactic for the brand, they warn about the costs of expanding too quickly in an inflationary environment.
Nike’s impending absence in shoe stores is leading to a shakeup in the wholesale space. Adidas announced a long-term partnership with Foot Locker last week that includes the development and expansion of franchises in women’s, kids and apparel. Meanwhile, wholesale retailers and sneaker brands alike have been recalibrating their strategies; DSW has been highlighting other athletic brands -- such as New Balance, Skechers and Brooks -- after Nike said it would stop selling products through DSW
Like many brands attempting to drive sales and build a following, Brutus Broth has also partnered with online content creators, albeit the furry kind. The dog food brand has partnered with pet influencers like Haddie the Pirate Dog, Dachshunds Of NYC and Dogumentary of Jake, all of whom boast thousands of followers on Instagram, to drive sales to local stores that carry Brutus Broth and boost brand awareness.
Competition in the e-commerce returns space is heating up, leading some companies to join forces. Last week, Shopify returns provider Loop and PayPal's Happy Returns announced a partnership that allows Loop users to offer box and label-free returns at Happy Returns' 5,000 service locations. Loop's president Aaron Schwartz said that while Happy Returns and Loop may have been seen as competitors, the new partnership will allow each provider to focus on their expertise areas: offline drop-off return logistics and online return software, respectively.
This week, a Virginia Target store joined the wave of union activity among retail workers. The workers collective, Target Workers Unite, filed the motion with the National Labor Relations Board. The Christiansburg, Virginia, location’s upcoming union election is being led by Adam Ryan, one of the leaders of Target Workers Unite.
At the Modern Retail Virtual Forum, we’ll bring together senior retail marketers online to discuss the challenges they’re facing and the solutions they’re seeking in the era of smarter retail.Register