During its third quarter earnings on Tuesday, Walmart reported slower sales growth compared to the prior quarter. America's biggest retail chain is seeing fewer people panic-buying compared to the earlier days of the pandemic, and its shoppers have less money to spend as any enhanced benefits from the CARES Act have no run out. However, Walmart's e-commerce business in particular continues to make steady gains against competitors.
With a second lockdown on its way, consumers are set to fully embrace crafting projects this year. These DIY hobbies range from sewing and knitting, to painting, with winners including art supply retailer Michaels and sewing machine manufacturer Brother seeing a spike in demand. Now they're hoping they can keep up the momentum.
In Karla Gallardo's estimation, the world got tired of fast fashion just as the direct-to-consumer model was being proven out. "By 2010 there was fatigue, there was dissatisfaction with the quality," Galardo said on the Modern Retail Podcast. "A lot of of news was coming out in terms of the conditions of the factories where these products were made. There was an opportunity for something better right after that bubble burst." On this episode, she spoke about growing her brand and dealing with coronavirus-related hurdles.
Brands are changing things up this holiday season. In a November survey of 27 Glossy and Modern Retail readers who work for brands, 37% of respondents said their companies will be running promotions for eight weeks or more this holiday season, while just 18.5% said they ran promotions for eight weeks or more in 2019.
This year, Black Friday has been replaced by a season of savings. Retailers are now advertising multiple days of deals ahead of Black Friday, rather than just offering sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, as they've mostly done in years' past. Walmart is advertising "Black Friday Deals for Days," while Lowe's is calling its promotional event a Season of Savings. But in order to get customers to start shopping earlier, retailers also have to convince them that they won't get a better deal by waiting until the last minute.
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Mail in catalog shopping may seem like a channel of the past, but one brand that still relies on its circular has found advantages in keeping it on over the years. Uncommon Goods, the online marketplace for gifts and crafts, has adjusted its print marketing this year. The company, which has seen an increase in new e-commerce customers and a huge influx of online traffic, is looking toward new digital tools to retain these new customers.
Rite Aid's rebranding effort showcases the drugstore industry's ongoing need to stay relevant. Thanks to disruptors' arrival in recent years, chains like CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid have found even more reason to elevate their services and modernize their stores. Rite Aid's new strategy is yet another example of national pharmacies attempting to stay relevant in an increasingly digitized world.
With a pandemic driving its six brick-and-mortar stores to little use, lingerie company Adore Me has relied on a try-at-home model. "We basically send you a bunch of items, you decide what you keep, and you only pay for what you keep," Adore Me vp of growth Camille Kress said on the Modern Retail Podcast. On the program, she spoke about how the company has launched satellite brands and what its future store strategy may be.
As startups editor, Anna will be tasked both with assisting our editor-in-chief, Cale Guthrie Weissman, with in-depth stories, as well as mentoring new reporters as they join the Modern Retail team. Anna has been an indispensable part of our brand, and this new role will help Modern Retail become even more of an authoritative voice in business journalism.
This holiday season, the plethora of online shopping is already proving to be exhausting. To ease checkout and discourage store crowding, high end retailers -- typically rely on brick and mortar spectacles, decorations and enthusiastic store associates -- are offering "gifting experts" to ease the lift.
The major publicly held companies -- like Tupperware, Nu Skin and Primerica -- have posted sales increases. And 63% of companies reported to the Direct Selling Association, the industry’s main trade group, that they’ve seen a “positive impact” on their US revenue since the start of the pandemic. It turns out that the same algorithms that can amplify political social media posts are also great for spreading a multi-level marketing pitch.
Retailers across all sectors are having to rethink how they approach the holidays, and grocers are no exception. The challenge they face is two-fold: grocers preparing for an uptick in demand for grocery delivery, as coronavirus cases rise in the U.S. And, they're anticipating that certain items like baking supplies and smaller turkeys will be in demand, as people spend more time at home and have holiday gatherings. But what remains to be seen is whether or not grocers will experience the same rush of shoppers as they did in the spring.
GDP and unemployment are one set of statistics, but another way to measure the extent of the economic slowdown brought by the pandemic is a bit more mundane: Traffic. According to the maps and navigation app Waze, traffic was down around 70% in the early days of the crisis. "It was like a light switch," Suzie Reider, a managing director of global ads at Waze, said on the Modern Retail Podcast. She spoke about how businesses have slowly evolved over the last few months.
Under Armour is paring down its ambitions in the digital fitness space. Last week, the athletic apparel retailer announced it was doing away with two apps that it had previously acquired in 2015. The company is selling MyFitnessPal, and shutting down Endomondo by the end of the year. When Under Armour these two apps, alongside MapMyFitness several years ago, the company hoped that by owning a variety of digital fitness apps, it could get the tens of millions of people who used these apps to subsequently buy their workout gear from Under Armour. That hasn't panned out.
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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