more articles by

Maile McCann

  • MAY 20, 2021

    Kohl’s is betting that activewear and beauty will drive shoppers back to its stores

    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.

  • MAY 18, 2021

    Retailers and employees struggle to navigate new CDC mask guidelines

    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.

  • MAY 17, 2021

    Retail businesses turn to wage increases and bonuses amid worker shortage

    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.

  • MAY 14, 2021

    Jumia is still in search of profitability as it seeks to dominate African e-commerce

    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.

  • MAY 12, 2021

    How denim brands are gearing up to win back sweatpants converts

    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.

  • MAY 11, 2021

    How New Belgium is integrating sustainability into marketing campaigns and product development

    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.

  • MAY 10, 2021

    GoPuff is leaning on partnerships in a bid for last-mile delivery dominance

    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.

  • MAY 10, 2021

    Retailers are betting on the crafting boom to continue into 2021

    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.

  • APR 26, 2021

    Brands are increasingly seeing Reddit as a marketing goldmine

    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.

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