Robomart is trying to make "store hailing" -- by which a customer taps a button on an app that summons a store-in-a-van shop for a small fee -- a thing. Analysts suggest mobile stores are another iteration of hyper-convenience models like under-15 minute delivery, though are skeptical about profitability and scalability.
Softbank-backed, insurance unicorn Extend has announced that it had become an obligor -- a licensed insurance provider that can now design and underwrite customized product insurance plans in-house. Extend and other technology-focused, data driven providers are hoping to offer more customizable plans more quickly than legacy providers and expand services to smaller startups.
Big CPG has been aggressively pushing into plant-based grocery products the past year. Many of these efforts are increasingly coming from partnerships with the likes of Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and Hungry Planet.
Fast fashion retailers including H&M, Zara and Uniqlo are beginning to grow beyond pre-pandemic levels. This is happening while digital disruptors like Shein continued to gain steam throughout the past year.
Madison Avenue's Business Improvement District (BID) has been looking to drive consumers back to its shops and increasingly digitizing a famously brick-and-mortar shopping experience. In December, the BID released a new multi-brand loyalty app across its tenants and, going forward, is working to build a multi-brand digital experience in appointment booking and events.
After two years and a number of obstacles, connected fitness companies are at a turning point. This year, companies like Peloton, Mirror and Tonal are facing challenges as consumer demand subsides and people returning to gyms. More so, these companies are amid a number of legal battles over technology and design copyright.
This week, Nike and Lululemon were the latest retailers to enact shortened store hours at select locations, with Lululemon lowering its fourth quarter earnings and revenue expectations due to the Omicron variant. The two retailers join Starbucks, Macy's, Walmart, and Apple on the list of retailers temporarily closing locations or reducing hours due to staffing shortages and Covid-19 safety concerns.
Last week, both Target and Walmart released new home organization collections, betting on continued strength in the home category. Walmart is investing in the space via a partnership with the Netflix-backed home organizing duo, The Home Edit. Target, meanwhile, is launching a new private label, Brightroom, to meet its customers' home organization needs.
Even with the e-commerce boom, value footwear retailers DSW and Shoe Carnival aren't losing sight of the importance of their brick and mortar footprints after a recent rebound in sales. Both companies are modernizing their existing stores with the addition of shop-in-shops, digital signage and services for kids.
In late December, Crocs bought Hey Dude Shoes, a brand of casual canvas boat shoes and sneakers for a whopping $2.5 billion. Crocs' CEO Andrew Rees explained the addition of Hey Dude would help Crocs break into new footwear categories and become the second largest player in casual footwear.
Known as a celebrity hot spot, Erewhon is at the top of many health food brands' wishlist. The grocery store's status as a north star for other retail buyers and influencers often creates a halo effect for brands on its shelves. So much so, that the high end retailer is an important account for better-for-you CPG brands looking to break into traditional retail.
Abercrombie's sales were up 10% year-over year in the third quarter of 2021 after a major rebrand. In 2022, the brand is hoping to spread digital analysis skills to all its employees -- not just data analysts, use data to assist with clothing fit and tighten up its brand site's search and browsing functionalities to better serve its new customer base.
Predicting when the supply chain woes will subside requires a crystal ball. But a number of logistics and retail experts took their best shot at guessing when we can expect a "new normal" to shake out.
2021 saw over a dozen venture-backed retail brands go public. There were several reasons for this, including long-planned public offerings and a need for cash to continue recent e-commerce growth. According to investors, we should expect this IPO roll to continue well into 2022.
In 2020, the decades-old traditions of rushing to stores for Black Friday deals or to get a last-minute Christmas gift were out of the question for many people. While foot traffic during big sales days like Black Friday and Super Saturday rose this year thanks to no stay-at-home orders, in many cases, it didn't surpass 2019 levels. Experts say it may never return to pre-pandemic levels.
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