It seems like every retailer is relying on their e-commerce business to fuel double-digit sales growth. But there's still one group of brick-and-mortar chains that have largely resisted selling their products online: off-price retailers. Last week, Burlington Stores, Inc. announced that it would shutter its e-commerce business altogether, as it only accounted for 0.5% of its total sales. Here, Modern Retail lays out the case for and against off-price retailers investing in e-commerce.
As the coronavirus spreads, home cleaning brands like Lysol and Clorox have seen a surge in sales. But for organic home cleaning brands, which aren't always effective against the virus, the issue is causing an interesting problem: There are lots more questions about their efficacy, leading in some cases to increased sales. But at the same time, they can't advertise false claims that they can help prevent the spread of the virus. At Blueland, the DTC cleaning supplies brand has seen a surge in sales this past week, particularly with hand soap being purchased in large bulks, said CEO Sarah Paiji Yoo.
In the past two years, Grove Collaborative has become one of the biggest companies in cleaning supplies, hitting a $1 billion valuation last September following a $150 million series D funding round. Like other modern brands, it comes with a do-good, purpose-based mission. Having already implemented practices like having all facilities running on renewable power, Grove Collaborative is now committing to go plastic-free by 2025. “This timeline also forces it to be done on my and my team’s watch, unlike corporations that promise change down the line through a different CEO and management,” Landesberg said.
During its fourth quarter earnings on Thursday, Kroger reported its biggest increase in operating profit all year, a sign that its cost saving measures are starting to pay off even as it makes costly investments to grow its online business. Kroger reported that fourth quarter identical sales, excluding fuel, were up 2%, while digital sales were up 22%. Total company sales were $28.9 billion, compared to $28.3 billion last year.
What started as a messaging app in 2011 is now a mobile payments giant through which travels a third of China's data traffic. "People use it for everything. For utilities, for gaming, obviously to communicate with their family and friends, and to do business," said Lu.
Target is the latest big box retailers to announce plans to attack digital alcohol sales. It joins a group of other players -- including Walmart and Amazon. The industry-wide focus on adult beverage shows a huge area of growth, but it also represents a host of new obstacles for digital grocery programs
At this point, many factory and facility workers have stopped going to work, due to quarantine orders and restricted transit. And following last month’s Chinese New Year holiday, the result is a backlog of unfulfilled shipments that continues to grow. While dips in overall sales figures aren’t yet being seen by all, the fear of running out of stock going into the coming months has sellers on high alert to plan ahead.
As fears of the coronavirus spreading accelerated in the U.S over the weekend, some grocery delivery services have also reported seeing some unusual spikes in activity, as shoppers feel compelled to stock up on certain products. Instacart said in a statement that over the last few days, it has "seen a surge in customer demand for pantry items such as powdered milk and canned goods, as well as personal care products like hand sanitizer and vitamins." Amazon warned customers on Monday that orders through its Prime Now and Amazon Fresh delivery services are being delivered more slowly than usual. (Amazon did not respond to a request for comment).
For the past couple of years, Bath & Body Works has been the one bright spot of L Brands, reporting positive comparable sales growth while Victoria's Secret has been reporting declining sales. Soon, the mall-based lotion and candle retailer will get a chance to stand on its own.
The health and wellness startup Hims, and its newly launched brand Hers, was one of the breakout success stories in DTC since launching in 2017 -- reaching, at one point a sky-high $1 billion valuation thanks to a $100 million additional round it raised a year ago. The company, which began with a goal to provide male customers with taboo healthcare treatments for erectile dysfunction treatment, has recently added dozens of products such as skincare, haircare and women’s birth control.
Safety concerns for workers and their surroundings has been top of mind for the retail industry, especially for companies that largely rely on China-based manufacturing and supply distribution. While many top brands have taken a hit to their projected bottom line due to the outbreak, preventing spread via business-related travel is the immediate priority.
It's been four months since Bed Bath & Beyond named former Target executive Mark Tritton as its CEO, in the hopes of reversing nearly three years of same-store sales declines. Tritton has started to lay out his agenda for turning the big-box retailer around, beginning with cleaning house. Last week, the company cut 500 jobs, or about 10% of its corporate team. Now, the next step is for Tritton to figure out how to bring more people back in-store.
With so many direct to consumer brands out there, launching one seems like something anyone can do However, founding and building a company comes with many challenges that can spur rushed, oftentimes ill-advised decisions. While in hindsight the mistakes made can seem easily avoidable, startup founders say that making them helped eventually steer them in the right direction. This can include the commonplace lapse in judgment of taking on too many roles at the company or choosing the wrong fulfillment strategy.
After Walmart started more aggressively growing its marketplace following its Jet.com acquisition in 2016, it wasn't a question of if the company would launch a fulfillment service for third-party sellers, but when, given that Amazon has had a fulfillment service since 2006. This week, Walmart finally took the wraps off its fulfillment service, which the retailer said it soft launched with select vendors a few months ago. But, agencies and sellers say that Walmart still has a way's to go in matching Amazon's features and reach.
On big-box retailer Lowe's fourth quarter earnings call today, CEO Marvin Ellison acknowledged that the company's website is "still under construction." That statement isn't often uttered by retail executives in 2020. But Lowe's is still in the process of upgrading a website that was built on a decade-old tech stack.
Advertisers, from DTCs scrapping for share in a crackling at-home beauty market to seasoned retailers leaning into the quarantined consumer’s e-commerce surge, what’s changing about your campaign KPIs? How are you using data to make choices and effectively budget across channels? What’s working, what’s broken and how will you fix it? Take this survey and get the full results plus a $5 Starbucks gift card.
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