Members of Nordstrom's loyalty program were recently miffed that they missed out on early access to the retailer's annual sale. While these kinds issues happen for big brands, this example highlights some pain-points Nordstrom – and other big brands – has experience with newly revamped, digitally-focused loyalty clubs.
Toys 'R' Us is angling for a comeback, but in order to do so, it will have to win over vendors who may be skeptical of working with a brand that's fresh out of bankruptcy. On Thursday, Tru Kids Brands – the new holding company of Toys 'R' Us – announced that it would be opening up two stores, one in Texas and one in New Jersey, in time for the holidays. Tru Kids will be partnering on the new stores with b8ta, a startup that's built both its own physical storefronts as well as a software platform to help retailers build experiential concepts
Ace Hardware is using a customer data feedback loop and in-store technology that better manages the way employees work across its different tasks: store management, specialty services like tire repair and deliveries. The retailer’s stores are located within 15 minutes of 75% of the country, and as customers now rely on the stores for more hands-on services as well as online order fulfillment, the company has rethought the way its employees work.
Brands that have participated in Amazon's one-year emerging brands program, which encompasses the initiative to launch DTC startup brands on Amazon, said they get access to a level of customer service and account management that others sellers don’t, and the participation opens doors to more opportunities working with Amazon.
Shortly after Sephora announced it was upping its clean standards in July to include 50 free-from ingredients versus 13, Target revealed more details around its clean program this week. Though Target Clean also extends to the retailer's household essentials and baby departments and spans approximately 5,500 items across the entire assortment, its beauty and personal care is its largest and entails 4,000 products
Much of retail work is seasonal and volatile. A growing number of new companies aim to tackle that uncertain labor force by partnering with brands and retailers to offer gig work. At first glance, this may look like temp work. But these new services are transforming the model by which brands and retailers find talent, as well as quietly shifting the labor makeup of the stores we visit.
Big-box retailers like Target and Walmart increasingly want their stores to double as fulfillment centers. They see their existing store footprints as one of the biggest advantages they have over Amazon, which has had to build more than 100 fulfillment centers in order to enable next-day delivery on millions of products for Amazon Prime members. But, there are limitations on just how much the store can do.
Amazon may be the only retailer with an event called Prime Day, but competitors are capitalizing on the growing name recognition of Prime Day among U.S. shoppers to promote their own sales events. No one is calling their sales event Prime Day outright, but other retailers are alluding to Amazon's annual two-day sales event in their marketing and promotional copy.
Accurate consumer data is a goldmine for companies. While businesses have sought out feedback to inform future product design, DTCs provide a strengthened relationship between brand and customer. With this, more digitally-native startups are able to capitalize on data to receive quick and informative feedback.
As Amazon's Prime Day expands from one, then one-and-a-half, to two days (taking place this year on July 15 and 16), retailers are bulking up their competitive defense strategies as well. This year, Target, Nordstrom, Walmart, eBay, and a slew of others announced a series of deals on the same days as Prime Days. More retailers are participating in the mid-summer sales event than in the past, too: RetailMeNot estimates that this year over 250 competitors will be offering some form of deals this summer, up from 194 last year.
Levi's has been expanding into new categories and exploring more direct ways to make sales, and has seen some favorable results. Menswear sales were up 6$, and womenswear rose 16%. But this growth offset one big decline: US wholesale. In total, wholesale in the United States dropped 2%. "It's a little bit of a melting iceberg," CEO Chip Bergh said.
The Dick's partnership is the first time that Story is partnering with another retailer, since it got acquired by Macy's in 2018. While "it's a little atypical for a retailer to sponsor another retailer," it's something that Macy's is looking to do more of, according to Story's founder and now Macy's brand experience offer Rachel Shechtman.
Nike's direct-to-consumer sales continue to grow consistently, but investments in digital capabilities and real estate continue to eat into the athleticwear company's profit margins. The athletic apparel company reported during its fourth quarter earnings on Thursday that sales from Nike Direct totaled $11.8 billion during its fiscal year 2019, up 13% from last year. To grow DTC sales, Nike has focused on directing customers to sign up for its free NikePlus app.
Nordstrom, Kohl's and Macy's are doing a lot of "new retail" right, but retooling the department store for modern customers involves more than just updates to store models, influencer collaborations or e-commerce initiatives -- these stores are competing in a new retail landscape that has called the value proposition of a department store into question.
The retailer, first opened by tailor Fred Segal in 1961, had its heyday in the nineties and early aughts, when it became the first to sell Kate Spade and Juicy Couture, and served as a popular haunt of Paris Hilton and the Olsen twins. Though it’s recently faced instability, its growth plans are unprecedentedly ambitious. As its new owner sees it, with today’s consumers craving authenticity, the brand’s reputation is the ultimate foundation.
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