The big car buying boom of the past year has spilled into the auto maintenance industry. While Americans are struggling to buy affordable cars during the pandemic, many are also increasingly taking care of theirs with regular car washing and servicing.
The holiday season is usually the biggest sales period for the book business -- but in recent weeks, authors, publishers and booksellers have all begun warning that industry-wide shortages might leave some of this year’s most popular titles unavailable come December.
Analysts predict further breakdown in U.S. supply chain logistics as the Delta variant shuts down overseas factories and holiday consumer demand threatens to overwhelm an already ailing supply chain. To get ahead and avoid holiday stockouts, major retailers are placing bigger product orders with vendors earlier. In the most extreme cases, some retailers are even chartering their own cargo ships.
Following last year's chicken sandwich wars -- and a subsequent research and development period -- restaurants are embracing the plant-based versions of chicken. Last week, Impossible Foods released its version of meatless chicken nuggets to 150 restaurants and chains including Fuku, Red Rooster, Fatburger and Dog Haus. In July, Beyond Meat launched its alternative chicken tenders in 400 restaurants including Detroit Wing Company and Burger Patch. Here's why there's a mad-dash for fake chicken.
Amazon is reportedly adding a drive-thru lane to one of its under-construction Amazon Fresh locations in Florida. Yet Amazon Fresh isn’t the only grocery chain to eye drive-thru as a possible way to speed up grocery pickup orders. Hy-Vee, Tesco and Walgreens are also on the case.
On Thursday, Facebook rolled out its first smart glasses model, Ray-Ban Stories, in partnership with glasses design house, EssilorLuxottica, for $299. While Facebook’s partnership may fix one issue formerly plaguing the wearable tech industry – clunky, ugly styles – analysts are still skeptical that iteration will drive widespread consumer adoption.
On Tuesday, Dick’s opened its first outdoor retail concept store, Public Lands, in Pittsburg while, on Wednesday, Athleta extended its collaboration with REI Co-op to 135 REI stores. New collaborations, products and store footprints that speak to both the outdoors and active wear spaces, said analysts, both appeal to a comfort and health-minded consumer as well as capture incremental interest in both categories.
Historically, the only holiday messaging retailers have embraced before Labor Day are Christmas in July-themed sales. This year, however, retailers want job applicants to start thinking about their holiday plans before the summer is over.
Consumers embrace vaccine card holders as cities roll out proof-of-vaccination mandates. Etsy merchants and apparel startups are creating holders or repurposing products that can store paper cards safely and stylishly to meet sudden demand.
Williams Sonoma's longstanding digital strategy established the foundation for much of its current success. Since launching its website in 2000, it has added a range of tools to help shoppers with everything from delivery scheduling to customer service to product visualization. Those investments began paying off in 2020 and continued to pay off this year.
This summer, two delivery services -- GoPuff and DoorDash -- have each taken preliminary steps toward deploying private-label food products. GoPuff, for instance, launched its own line of ghost kitchens -- or food preparation hubs without storefronts attached -- from which the company plans to produce meals from existing brands as well as its own private-label recipes.
On Monday, Ikea launched its furniture buyback and resale program in the U.S., joining a slate of smaller direct-to-consumer furniture brands and resale-focused furniture platforms embracing circular sustainability. The costs associated with furniture resale — from shipping to storing to logistics — are higher than in the booming apparel resale space, but furniture retailers are slowly adapting to the space.
Walmart is trying to launch a series of back-end services for retailers. But convincing retailers to trust a company as powerful as Walmart with their data remains a challenge -- as does building the sales infrastructure to sell B-to-B services and software to other retailers.
Last year during the pandemic, consumers invested in the home and bath space in droves: bath towel sales rose 12% to $2.9 billion while bath accessory sales rose 9% to $2.7 billion. As consumers continue to embrace self care, direct to consumer startups offer luxury items in the space and speak to self care and continued home renovations.
With another e-commerce-powered holiday season coming, publishers' gift guides are more important than ever. And brands still have next to no control over them.
At the Modern Retail Summit, retail marketers will discuss everything from the Amazon effect to new infrastructure to the shift in the direct-to-consumer world.Book Passes