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.
Many current retail start-up founders didn't have the chance to learn from the 2008 financial crisis because "they were potentially in high school," according to seed stage investor Hunter Walk. And even for those entrepreneurs who survived the last global downturn, the big takeaways might not apply to current circumstances. "The answers from those entrepreneurs in 2008 may or not be the right answers for companies in 2020. But the questions they asked themselves might be the things that are evergreen. And so asking some of those questions of yourself as a founder who might be going through this the first time -- I think that's where it gets valuable," Walk said on the Modern Retail Podcast.
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.
Most American shoppers are still “fearful to shop at a grocery store." The lack of delivery slots combined with a rising unemployment rate and shopping-related health risks, is resulting in a decline in cross-shopping. Grocery stores, as a result, are trying to focus more on marketing as one-stop shops. And they're seeing results too: average basket sizes have dramatically increased.
When Nordstrom opened its New York City flagship last October, it was the epitome of experiential retail. Now, all of those experiential elements that were supposed to make the store a must-visit may deter customers. Retailers are having to rethink their experiential retail strategy, and what experiences will win over customers.
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.
Grove Collaborative, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, still had hand sanitizer in stock. Rather than use that as a customer acquisition tool, he prioritized existing customers for the items available. "We probably left a lot of money on the table by doing that, in the short term," CEO Stuart Landesberg said on the Modern Retail podcast. He discussed how he's approaching growth for his home supplies brand.
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.
"Obviously, it’s impossible to pin a garment at a six foot distance," said Suitsupply CEO Fokke de Jong. This prompted him to think outside the box by installing clear, free-standing partitions for fitting areas. But the overall strategy focuses on starting the shopper's journey before arriving at the store, including encouraging virtual co-browsing and fitting room reservations, to increase efficiency and reduce contact.
Walmart has proven to be one of the retail winners over the last couple of months, as both its stores and its website drew strong sales. During its first quarter earnings on Tuesday, Walmart reported that total revenue was $10.7 billion, up 8.6% year-over-year. The past couple of months have shown just how far Walmart has come in building an e-commerce behemoth.
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.
As stores re-open, the shoppers who are coming back are more likely to be on a mission. Many of the shoppers who are venturing out to the store are ones who are going to the store because they know what products they want to buy, but can't find it online. In order to cater to these shoppers, more retailers are rolling out tools to help them get in and out as quickly as possible.
Coefficient Capital co-founder Franklin Isacson describes himself as a cautious investor, especially in times of uncertainty like today, or the 2008 financial crisis. He also recognizes that now is a good time to invest. "The new funds that are being deployed over the next 24, 36 months are likely to be very good vintages, much like the '09 and '10 funds were excellent vintages," Isacson said on the Modern Retail Podcast.
On Monday, PepsiCo announced the launch of two new websites through which shoppers can order products from its various portfolio of brands. The company's head of e-commerce, Gibu Thomas, spoke with ModernRetail about the company's e-commerce strategy.
As bot-driven fraud eats into budgets, marketers are placing a heightened focus on identifying the characteristics that account for authentic audience humanity.
Exclusively for Modern Retail+ members: Hear from Connie Matisse, Co-founder and CMO and Alex Matisse, Co-founder and CEO at East Fork Ceramics, on how to maintain brand loyalty during a time of tumult.Subscribe