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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After several quarters of successful growth, Vera Bradley is attempting to turn its positive earnings into long-term success with the acquisition of millennial jewelry brand Pura Vida. The transaction, finalized on Thursday, saw Vera Bradley taking 75% control over Pura Vida for $75 million, only a little more than the Pura Vida’s $68.3 million in revenue from last year. Vera Bradley’s revenue for the same period was around $416 million, in comparison.
As a retailer targeting teens, Forever 21 faces stiff competition as bankruptcy has rattled the category. But Forever 21's specialty -- fast, disposable fashion released on a seemingly never-ending cadence -- has helped to protect it. Middle-of-the-road retail has been susceptible to being squeezed out as customers skew to the high and low ends of fashion's totem pole.
Amid store closure closures left and right by mass brands from Gap to Victoria’s Secret, malls are being forced to figure it out or face their fate. The former has translated to offering leases customized to emerging brands’ needs (ample perks included), bringing in businesses that deviate far from retail, and giving potential visitors a trip-worthy experience by getting thoughtful about the amenities and ambiance provided.
Over the past three years, Walgreens has been culling the number of products it has been carrying under its private label brands, placing a greater emphasis on categories like health and beauty care, while at the same time creating new brands around certain categories to help them stand out more.
Showfields, the experiential rotating retail space in New York City, opened on Tuesday its fourth floor, which had been under construction since the store’s opening in March. Rather than dedicate the fourth floor to more retail space, Showfields designed it to be a coworking space.
Loyalty program members are often a retailer’s most valuable customers. So to get the most value out of these customers, retailers are analyzing their purchase behaviors, including how responsive they are to certain email promotions and other marketing messages.
At its investor day yesterday, CVS Health announced that it plans to open more HealthHubs -- which are redesigned drugstores that include more health services and products -- in Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and Tampa this year. By the end of 2021, CVS Health expects to have 1,500 HealthHubs.
While startups brands shift their marketing spend to physical catalogs to break out of crowded digital platforms, Ikea is taking its print catalog to Pinterest. With a shoppable catalog built into Pinterest boards, Ikea hopes to drive both awareness and conversions.
J.Crew and Gap are looking to spin off Madewell and Old Navy respectively, in an attempt to generate some short-term cash infusion and help their parent companies regain a sense of focus. But both of their recent earnings reports show that, even though these soon to be independent companies have been reporting solid growth for the past couple of years, they still have a tough road ahead.
As Walmart's sought to build out a technology operation to compete with Amazon, it's changed the way it thinks about the role of its tech executives. The company has gone from thinking of its e-commerce and tech teams as entirely separate divisions to giving its top tech leaders more responsibility over multiple parts of the company.
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