As the pandemic's third wave mounts, Clorox wipes are still a hot commodity -- the product's shortage is expected to last into the new year. That outsized demand has led to a bump in sales for the company overall, and a stock that's risen by a third this year. Clorox's general manager of DTC Jackson Jeyanayagam, who oversees new digital business ventures and brands for the CPG giant, said that the edge extended to hiring power. "Here I come at Clorox trying to sell someone to come from a Netflix, an Airbnb or Warby Parker or Peloton and come work for me at Clorox, which no one ever thinks of as DTC," Jeyanayagam said on the Modern Retail Podcast.
So much for staffing up on seasonal store associates. According to a November 2020 Glossy and Modern Retail survey of brand workers, in preparation for this holiday season, brands shifted their resources away from stores to investments that better serve online shoppers. Read more in our latest research brief.
At the same time as retailers are racing to perform ever-faster shipping times, they also appear to be upping the incentives for slow delivery. Retailers, including Amazon, Target and Macy's are all offering shoppers discounts in exchange for longer shipping times. And that split might signal a changing mindset for some retailers -- rather than focusing on speed at all costs, some are taking a more nuanced approach to logistics.
After a decade-long partnership with JCPenney, Sephora is now striking a deal with one of its rivals to reach new customers. On Tuesday, Kohl's announced that it had secured a partnership to open 850 Sephora shop-in-shops within its stores by 2023, the first of which will open next year. For the past 16 years, Sephora has operated shop-in-shops within JCPenney stores, with that deal set to expire within approximately two years. Sephora's decision to ditch JCPenney for Kohl's signals how drastically the fortunes of these two department stores have diverged.
This year’s Modern Retail Awards will honor the retailers that survived and thrived in 2020 by doubling down on customer-focused experiences, even when it meant swiftly pivoting their campaign and product strategies to accommodate new shopping behaviors. Some of this year’s shortlisters enjoyed the benefits of digital nativity, while others ventured into the digital wilds with newfound courage.
If the last nine months did nothing else for retailers and brands, it made them realize that there are some downsides to being precious and exclusive about where to sell products. A Modern Retail and Glossy survey, in which we queried employees at brands and retailers, found that more companies this year plan to try out a variety of new digital sales channels they never did before. Here's a look at our most recent holiday related data.
This year, some retailers and major marketers are treating Cyber Monday as a Cyber Week or even as an unofficial Cyber Month, boasting sales once reserved for a single day for much of November. Lengthening Cyber Monday from one day to several days or weeks isn’t all that surprising given the rise in e-commerce due to the pandemic. With more holiday shopping happening online this year, getting shoppers’ attention with early deals is a logical move, according to industry analysts who say that worries about shipping delays has people shopping earlier for holiday deals this year.
Levi Strauss & Co has been building out its direct-to-consumer business for years, seeking to lessen its reliance on struggling wholesale partners. But that still didn't fully prepare the denim brand for the new shopping methods every retailer would have to embrace during the coronavirus. For example, Marc Rosen, who joined the company six years ago from Walmart and is now the president of Levi's America's business, told Modern Retail that Levi's had yet to roll out buy online pickup in store. But once its stores closed due to stay at home orders, it had to get the service up and running in a matter of weeks. Rosen spoke with Modern Retail about how the coronavirus has accelerated Levi's tech roadmap.
Even before the pandemic, Abercrombie & Fitch has been on a mission for the past several years to close some of its flagship stores in expensive cities. But now, those plans have been accelerated in order to focus more on the company's growing e-commerce business. CEO Fran Horowitz announced during the teen apparel retailers' third quarter earnings that the company will be closing eight flagship stores by the end of January. Going forward, the company will focus more on serving the local customer, through services like curbside pickup.
Sherwin-Williams recently fired an employee allegedly over his popular TikTok posts. These types of terminations highlight the awkward relationship between retailers and a rising crop of employee influencers. On one hand, some companies have started encouraging and compensating their low-level workers to post behind-the-scenes snippets to TikTok. Meanwhile, other retailers seem terrified to have employees representing them online -- and might make themselves look worse in the process.
Dutch grocery chain Ahold Delhaize has more than 1,900 stores in the U.S., under its various banners Food Lion, Stop and Shop and Giant Food. But the future of its grocery delivery business currently lies in the New York, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. That's evidenced by the news last week that Ahold Delhaize is acquiring a majority stake in FreshDirect, an online-only grocery delivery chain which launched in 1999. Ahold Delhaize's goal: to get as many hooks in the profitable East Coast grocery delivery market as possible.
This upcoming holiday season is an extremely hard one for any marketing department. Emphasizing family togetherness, as companies tend to during the holidays, feels out of touch given the requirements of social distancing. Yet beyond their sheer headline value, these marketing gimmicks are also a way to drive people to sign up for corporate membership programs. Whole Foods customers partaking in the insurance program, for example, must already Amazon Prime members.
As more Americans order their prescriptions online, pharmacies are seeking to grab a bigger slice of the digital health and wellness space overall. On Thursday, Walgreens Boots Alliance announced a rebrand of its app and loyalty program. The app will include new features like the ability to chat with a pharmacist 24/7, schedule vaccination appointments, and get real-time local health information, like flu alerts. The news comes a day after Amazon announced that it was finally launching a long-rumored prescription delivery service.
This year, retailers and brands are focusing on building out their digital fulfillment programs and are expecting record e-commerce sales, according to new research from Modern Retail and Glossy. As such, they are forecasting a digital windfall. What's more, the brands surveyed said they are implementing a bevy of services and offerings to better facilitate. Here are some takeaways from our most recent November survey.
This month, Target axed its subscribe and save program. Instead, the company said it's focusing its efforts on continuing to grow in-store and curbside pickup, as well as same-day delivery via Shipt, which itself offers a subscription for users. The move is another example of a big-box retailer trying out an e-commerce revenue strategy to compete with Amazon. But this one didn't stick.
With in-person sales largely out of the picture this holiday season, brands must adapt to deliver the frictionless experiences that online consumers expect and demand.
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