Blueland CEO Sarah Paiji Yoo wants you to know that when you pay for cleaning supplies at the grocery stores, you're mostly buying water. "Often times consumers are paying really for a new plastic bottle -- and water, which we already have at home," Paiji Yoo said on the Modern Retail Podcast.
Even before the pandemic, malls were struggling to figure out how to diversify their tenant mix as fewer shoppers visit department stores. Now, the pandemic has exacerbated those challenges, as existing tenants stopped paying rent during March and April store shutdowns, and other types of businesses are concerned about signing new leases before the pandemic is over. Simon Property Group and Macerich's earnings from this week show that there is still a long ways for mall owners to go on the road to recovery.
Over the past several years, Kroger has been building out its own Amazon-style flywheel to protect its revenue growth as more grocery shopping moves online. So on Tuesday, it didn't come as much of a surprise when Kroger said it would be launching its own third-party marketplace. The grocer will likely find it challenging to match Amazon's reach online -- but retail analysts still say the marketplace could prove to be a boon if it helps Kroger subsequently grow its marketing business.
Bike sales are up 70% year-on-year, according to data from the NPD Group, with pandemic-wary customers eschewing public transport in favor of the open road and two wheels. But on the ground, bike shops are stretched to their absolute limit -- while profits are not as high as you might expect. For customers, the wait can be deeply frustrating.
It took a trip to London for Emily Schildt to realize that American grocery stores could do better. "I came back personally really yearning for a grocery store experience like I had there," she said on the Modern Retail Podcast. "They were just beautiful spaces in which to shop -- gorgeous products, but really thoughtful display and design." Whole Foods changed with its acquisition by Amazon in 2017, Schildt feels, and another bright spot, Dean & DeLuca, has closed doors and scrapped expansion plans. Last year Schildt founded Pop Up Grocer, a traveling showcase of a few hundred products that sets up in U.S. cities for a month at a time.
It can be a good time to sign a new lease, for retailers whose businesses haven't completely collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic. Landlords are desperate to find new tenants as more retailers increasingly declare bankruptcy. But retailers may also risk squandering cash if they sign a new lease before shoppers are completely comfortable returning regularly to stores and/or malls again.
As the pandemic continues, non-essentials focused on health and wellness are enjoying an upswing while riding the uncertainty wave. The already-booming CBD industry, which took off about two years ago and was already teetering on saturation, has extended its momentum thanks to the current wellness-focused consumer behaviors.
In September, seven-year-old rental startup Le Tote made an expensive, risky bet to acquire more customers. It spent $100 million to buy beleaguered department store Lord & Taylor from Hudsons Bay company. But as the coronavirus forced temporary closures in the U.S., it became clear the bet wouldn't pay off. On Sunday, Le Tote and Lord & Taylor both filed for bankruptcy. Now, Le Tote's survival depends upon it finding a buyer for as much of Lord & Taylor as possible.
On the latest episode of our Modern Retail Talk series, we spoke with Forrester's Sucharita Kodali about what she's observing in this brand new climate. The pandemic, she said, "set the retail industry back about five years." The good news, however, is that "there should be a fairly decent rebound."
Women’s lifestyle title Marie Claire is getting into the sampling business with the launch of Beauty Drawer. The first 5,000 members to sign up will receive samples of anti-aging cream from the launch partner, beauty brand StriVectin. With retail on lockdown "Working in skincare, samples are the number-one way to get people into a product."
Blue Apron recorded its first profitable quarter since going public three years ago. However, the meal kit service's luck is likely to end here, as mounting struggle to retain customers and the costs of attracting new ones continue. For its third quarter outlook, the company plans to ramp up marketing dollars again, in hopes of attracting new customers, and that likely will come at the cost of current profits.
A natural wine importer had vowed to draft an ethical contract to which all business partners will sign. Companies have long claimed to be ethical, but are now being asked more fervently to practice what they preach. A looming question underneath it all is how much of this talk about transparency and ethical business practices is used to shield from future scandals or as marketing jargon.
Piggy banks aren't especially in vogue, but the idea behind them sticks. By saving up a little over the long haul, you can pool quite a bit of money — enough, in Reel's experience, to pay for a luxury handbag, furniture or some electronics. The personal finance app lets customers save up for specific items. CEO and co-founder Daniela Corrente joined this week's episode of the Modern Retail Podcast.
Aldi is trying to strike gold in the United States. With customers more prepared to differentiate on price by a looming recession, it’s now perfectly positioned for widespread expansion. For its competitors, meanwhile, Aldi’s ascendance could mean a race to the bottom when it comes to prices -- as well as more private label products crowding out named brand stalwarts.
Less than two years into the opening of Hudson Yards, one of the most expensive real estate projects in the country, the development's shopping center is losing its anchor tenant. Last week, Neiman Marcus, which filed for bankruptcy in May, announced that it would be closing its Hudson Yards store, among other locations. As Hudson Yards considers a new type of tenant to take over the space, which spans three floors, each type of tenant comes with its own set of drawbacks.
One thing is true for nearly all conversions on Amazon: They’re captured by products on page one of the search results. And a significant share of purchases go to just the top few results.
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