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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
Nearly a year after acquiring online commerce startup Hero, Klarna has launched a virtual shopping offering of its own. Through Virtual Shopping from Klarna, shoppers can connect with in-store experts via live chats and video calls to get advice. Klarna Chief Marketing Officer David Sandstrom told Modern Retail that the virtual shopping offering is just the first among many social shopping capabilities the company is working on, signaling its bet on social commerce.
The key to DTC towel brand Weezie's success is staying in its lane -- or, bathroom. That's according to co-founder Lindsey Johnson who joined this week's Modern Retail Podcast. The company, which makes luxury bath towels along with other bathroom-related products like bathrobes and bathmats, has seen year-over-year growth and said late last year that it was on track to hit eight figures in revenue in 2021.
Baby and kidswear retailer Carter’s is using its newest brand – Little Planet – to test new material and more eco-friendly packaging that caters to more eco-conscious parents. Little Planet launched in mid-2021 and is currently in more than 90 Carter’s stores, with planned expansion into 200 stores this year.
REI's used gear sales grew 86% last year compared to 2020. REI's circular commerce and new business development director Ken Voeller talked to Modern Retail about streamlining rental and resale, leaning on REI's co-op model for product acquistion and the complications of selling used technical gear.
More retailers are trying to encourage people to pick up their groceries and conduct their primary care visits in one trip. Walmart announced last month that it is opening five new Walmart Health locations in Florida, offering services like primary care, behavioral health and dental. Meanwhile, Walgreens' and CVS's health care ambitions are picking up steam as fewer people visit its stores for Covid-related services.
Outdoor gear and apparel brand The North Face is relaunching its resale program with new service partners, in hopes of expanding the types of resale products it services it offers.
In January, Pacsun unveiled its own NFT series, dubbed Pac Mall Rats. Pacsun’s focus on NFTs is all part of its digital-first strategy, which includes its initiatives in AR and VR experiences as well as gaming.
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