Kohl’s joins Macy’s and Dillard’s in revealing revenue increases and performance exceeding predicted expectations in the first quarter of 2021. Kohl’s attributes some of this success to optimized merchandizing strategies, returning consumer interest in the apparel category and increased foot traffic. However, the retailer is cautious in its predictions of future performance.
Over the last few days, major retail businesses released a flurry of statements over the weekend updating to a no-mask-policy or doubling down on continued mask usage for customers and employees alike. However, most of these businesses didn’t address their plans to support their sales associates amongst the confusion, and some employees are concerned about enforcement, health, and safety moving forward.
Last week, McDonald's joined Chipotle in an increasing list of companies that are raising wages and offering other benefits like on-the-spot hiring to attract new employees amidst a post-pandemic worker shortage in retail. In 2020, more unemployment claims were filed than in the Great Recession, thanks to both temporary and permanent store closures. Today, businesses are beginning to see sales return to pre-pandemic levels: food and retail sales were up 36% and 26%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same time period the year prior according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, businesses like McDonalds and Chipotle are facing PR crises over workplace treatment, and are struggling to find workers. To meet demand, businesses are raising wages, using on-the-spot-hiring and offering one-time bonuses to interest potential candidates.
In its quest to become the dominate e-commerce marketplace in Africa, Jumia has historically placed profitability on the backburner for the sake of growth. But now, the company is starting to prioritize certain investments for the sake of profitability. This week, Jumia released its 2021 first quarter earnings, showing an 11% increase of gross profits and 24% decrease of debts. However, the company remains unprofitable 8 years since its 2012 founding and 2 years after its April 2019 IPO. The American e-commerce giant with a similar marketplace model, Amazon, took 6 years to become profitable.
Denim retailers are gearing up for the return of “hard pants” as pandemic restrictions loosen. In the pandemic, denim brands pushed loungewear and comfort and saw a majority of sales come from e-commerce, partially off-setting brick-and-mortar loses. As restrictions loosen, denim brands are betting on new silhouettes, as well as collections with a sustainability focus to win shoppers over. They also are hoping that customers will be eager to return to stores to refresh their wardrobes after a year of not having many occasions to go out for.
New Belgium’s latest beer, Torched Earth, tastes bad on purpose. The product is another in a series of creative marketing and project-based efforts from the Colorado-based craft brewer to bring awareness to climate change by illustrating the way beer might taste in a future without climate action.
The land grab in same-day delivery continues, with delivery-only convenience store GoPuff ramping up acquisitions and partnerships. Last week, GoPuff announced an acquisition of the UK-based Fancy. This comes after another partnership announcement with Uber’s grocery delivery business earlier in the week as well as an acquisition of adult-beverage-retailer and California-start-up BevMo in November.
Going into 2021, the bigger crafting retailers are focusing on social media strategies, and building out their ad targeting strategies to appeal to the casual crafter. Meanwhile, some startups like LoveCrafts are looking to expand their presence geographically after seeing huge sales increases. But, the jury's still out on just how permanent these pandemic gains will be.
While Reddit has 52 million daily active users whose passions span anything from stocks to skincare, brands and marketers alike have been scared to use it. But more companies are testing it out and seeing promising results.
Join us at the Digiday Media CMO Summit where we will bring together a select group of marketing leaders in media, advertising and retail to discuss the behavioral trends that they are counting on to find opportunities.Register Now