Retail Revolution

‘The timing couldn’t be better’: Vending machines are entering a new golden age

Restaurants may be slowly reopening, but vending machines are in the midst of a renaissance. Before, automat-style choices were futuristic oddities. Now, a number of companies are pitting their growth on building machines that can serve food. Social distancing is still in full effect, so perhaps these machines will be the future of food service.

Latest Stories

  • JUN 18, 2020

    Brands see opportunities offering social distance-friendly office solutions

    Startups catering to office-based employers are rethinking their services to fit the new workplace. Solutions for socially distant workplace designs is proving to be a major opportunity for some businesses. From health workstation partitions to individually packaged kitchen staples, here are some of the ways companies have changed their services to offer social distancing service. 

  • JUN 15, 2020

    Starbucks’ new store layout signals an industry mad dash toward pick-up

    Starbucks' new store strategy aggressively favors digital orders and pickup, building on its experimental format from recent years. The post-pandemic look of its shops in the next 18 months will favor to-go over customers using its seating area for socializing.

  • JUN 15, 2020

    High-end restaurants may hold the future for meal kits

    With restaurants closed, high-end establishments are offering what could be considered the antidote to Blue Apron. These meal kits aim to offer finer dining options with a possibly more sustainable business model than other meal kit predecessors. Whether or not these restaurants keep offering them once establishments reopen remains to be seen.

  • JUN 15, 2020

    Explainer: How the 15% Pledge is picking up steam in retail

    Retailers are now being called upon to better diversify the products they carry on their shelves. At the end of May, Aurora James, founder of Brooklyn accessory brand Brother Vellies, launched the 15% Pledge, calling on retailers to up the amount of shelf space dedicated to products from Black-owned businesses to 15%. Last week, the movement scored its most significant win to-date, when Sephora announced that it would sign the pledge.

  • JUN 09, 2020

    As cities slowly reopen, more retailers look toward same-day delivery services

    Same-day delivery continues to see interest beyond food and alcohol, as services like Postmates and Ohi continue to see increased demand. “We’ll continue to offer Postmates going forward,” said Neighborhood Goods CEO Matt Alexander, including at the New York Chelsea Market location when it reopens.

  • JUN 03, 2020

    How brands are tackling product development while remote

    Despite social distance restrictions being loosened in California, the timeline for Grove's San Francisco office return won’t be until “sometime after Labor Day," said CEO Stuart Landesburg. With pre-planned product launches being pushed back, the strategy to resume facility operations has proven tricky. While some members of the team are able to work remotely, others who need to test and devise new products are having difficulty doing their jobs. It's a problem felt by many brands.

  • JUN 02, 2020

    How the coronavirus changed the summer launch playbook

    As apparel retailers are set to re-open their stores, another question they've been grappling with over the past couple of months is exactly what new product or brand launches to move forward with. The way that retailers typically draw customers into store is with new product.  But many retailers are hesitant to increase their inventory levels when they have apparel that have been sitting in their stores that they need to clear.

  • MAY 27, 2020

    Cross-shopping is on the decline and grocers are trying to capitalize

    Most American shoppers are still “fearful to shop at a grocery store." The lack of delivery slots combined with a rising unemployment rate and shopping-related health risks, is resulting in a decline in cross-shopping. Grocery stores, as a result, are trying to focus more on marketing as one-stop shops. And they're seeing results too: average basket sizes have dramatically increased.

  • MAY 22, 2020

    The coronavirus is accelerating Foot Locker’s plans to move its stores out of malls

    Foot Locker has long been a staple of the mall, with an estimated 80% of its stores being located in malls as of 2018. Now, the coronavirus is accelerating those plans, CEO Dick Johnson said during the company's first quarter earnings call. The sneaker retailer has had to rethink its physical retail strategy over the past couple of years, not only to lessen its reliance on malls, but also to give its customers new reasons to visit the store.

  • MAY 18, 2020

    Stores are building tools for shoppers that know what they want

    As stores re-open, the shoppers who are coming back are more likely to be on a mission. Many of the shoppers who are venturing out to the store are ones who are going to the store because they know what products they want to buy, but can't find it online. In order to cater to these shoppers, more retailers are rolling out tools to help them get in and out as quickly as possible.

  • MAY 14, 2020

    Brands are pivoting to offering at-home office perks

    From fitness and wellness, to snacks and lunches, employers are coming to terms with transitioning on-premise benefits to their teams virtually. To offset potential churn -- and even potentially add new clients -- some B-to-B players in charge of stocking startups’ kitchens and providing corporate gym memberships, are expanding what they offer to meet clients where they are. Here are some of the business changes brands have recently made.

  • MAY 11, 2020

    Contactless payments see boost as cash handling fear rises

    The mass adoption of contactless POS technology could finally take over. A growing fear of the virus spreading with credit cards and cash handling has pushed more merchants to implement touchless payment options.

  • JUL 09, 2020
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    Advertisers, from DTCs scrapping for share in a crackling at-home beauty market to seasoned retailers leaning into the quarantined consumer’s e-commerce surge, what’s changing about your campaign KPIs? How are you using data to make choices and effectively budget across channels? What’s working, what’s broken and how will you fix it? Take this survey and get the full results plus a $5 Starbucks gift card.

Modern Retail Virtual Forum
Aug 10–Aug 11, 2020

At the Modern Retail Virtual Forum, we’ll bring together senior retail marketers online to discuss the challenges they’re facing and the solutions they’re seeking in the era of smarter retail.

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