Business lost to the pandemic has rebounded for StockX, an online marketplace where people selling and buying items -- sneakers, mainly -- negotiate on a price before StockX provides authentication and shipping. "We've seen an incredible return to activity in the marketplace," StockX CMO Deena Bahri said on the Modern Retail Podcast. "By mid-April we started to see an incredible return back to normal -- and even better than normal -- shopping behaviors."
A number of grocery and food-related companies are trying to raise money while the results are in their favor. Instacart, for example, raised $225 million and Albertsons is preparing for an IPO. It makes sense that these companies are looking for this cash now -- they've shown impressive growth in an otherwise uncertain economy.
As malls prepare to welcome back shoppers, the types of experiences that they are willing to step out of the house for has changed. Rather than spending hours rifling through racks of clothing, some shoppers are turning to curbside pickup. Instead of spending a Saturday at the movie theater, they may stop by a restaurant that's open for outdoor dining. And that means some malls may have to reconfigure their space to make way for new types of attractions.
As Gap takes another legal hit from landlords, the physical retail world and commercial real estate worlds may continue to face mounting tension before new terms are set. While some retailers face lawsuits, others are trying to ink agreements to temporarily pause rent, with the understanding things will pick back up in the future. Some players are also renegotiating leases to encompass future unprecedented crises. Put together, it points to future commercial real estate contracts having a new look.
Restaurants may be slowly reopening, but vending machines are in the midst of a renaissance. Before, automat-style choices were futuristic oddities. Now, a number of companies are pitting their growth on building machines that can serve food. Social distancing is still in full effect, so perhaps these machines will be the future of food service.
Before the pandemic, the used car sales app Carvana targeted a generation of socially awkward app-users, many of whom were finally aging into buying their first car. Enter coronavirus, and a social distancing-ready purchasing system suddenly made sense for every generation of Americans -- including those well acquainted with the patter of a used car salesman. The question remains whether or not this car buying model will last.
Juneteenth is here. And for the very first time in most cases, companies of all types are recognizing this day with a paid holiday for employees. For many, it’s one small step towards allyship and support for racial justice and solidarity with the Black community. And for leaders, bringing this into the office and into their (virtual) workplaces is one big way to mark this.
Kroger has been investing in its digital infrastructure since 2017. This all helped it grow profits during the first quarter of 2020. The grocer saw huge revenue growth too. While other retailers have seen big profit hits a result of putting their businesses online, Kroger was able to grow profit despite the digital shift.
In 2019, the popular headline was that email marketing was seeing diminishing returns. Then, everyone was forced to stay home and everything changed. New data shows that open rates have risen dramatically and email engagement is also on the rise. While it's not terribly surprising, it does mean that brands are rethinking some of their older tricks.
The professional world may have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but there is one constant that still powers our workday: coffee. Trade Coffee is focused on how-tos and videos about the brewers that customers support. Next, it's looking to grow on YouTube. "That's where people are consuming content and nerding out, if you will, wanting to go down that rabbit hole. That's the nature of coffee. You get into it a little bit and then you want to keep going further," said the brand's CMO on the latest Modern Retail Podcast episode.
As one of the early DNVBs to incorporate physical retail, menswear brand Untuckit was hit hard by the pandemic. Many items saw demand slip and all of its stores had to close down. Despite the setbacks, founder Chris Riccobono told Modern Retail he doesn't have plans to permanently close any stores.
Starbucks' new store strategy aggressively favors digital orders and pickup, building on its experimental format from recent years. The post-pandemic look of its shops in the next 18 months will favor to-go over customers using its seating area for socializing.
Retailers are now being called upon to better diversify the products they carry on their shelves. At the end of May, Aurora James, founder of Brooklyn accessory brand Brother Vellies, launched the 15% Pledge, calling on retailers to up the amount of shelf space dedicated to products from Black-owned businesses to 15%. Last week, the movement scored its most significant win to-date, when Sephora announced that it would sign the pledge.
Lululemon's sales dropped 17% this quarter compared to the year before. Still, it was able to focus on its digital programs after retail stores had to abruptly close. While the results weren't pristine, the athleisure brand did illustrate why investing in digital fulfillment and engagement helped offset some of the headwinds felt by the global pandemic.
Store closures could grow exponentially this year as brick-and-mortar retailers have seen their sales collapse over the last couple of months. Consulting firm Coresight Research released a study this week projecting that the number of permanent store closures in the U.S. could reach 20,000 to 25,000 this year. The question remains: what will happen to all those spaces?
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.
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.Buy Passes