Retail Revolution

Why the holidays may upend American malls

Malls have been struggling for a while now, but this holiday season may bring about a whole new reckoning. As more people shop online, traditional mall tenants find themselves in a lurch. Sales have plummets, many have gone bankrupt. And the only time of year that usually cushions the blow may leave malls worse off than before.

Latest Stories

  • OCT 22, 2020

    As experience-based gifts wane, new types of presents emerge

    This year, many consumers aren't expecting or giving a Disney trip or a concert ticket under the tree. In fact, experience-based presents such as flight-based vacations and live shows are some of the least asked for, according to consumer data. Instead, shoppers are looking for alternatives like at home hobbies and gift cards for later use to make up for the lack of these experiences.

  • OCT 22, 2020

    ‘Very few businesses should be DTC only’: Grocery startup brands are finding the traditional retail model easier

    CPG brands in the frozen and fridge aisles are finding themselves at the crossroads of opportunities. While direct to consumer has become a popular strategy for building a food or beverage brand, some founders argue that now is a great time to invest in scaling into national brick and mortar retailers. “E-commerce is a great tool, but it can’t be the be-all and end-all strategy," said one founder.

  • OCT 20, 2020
    physical retail

    ‘Retail feels risky’: How the holiday pop-up has changed

    Last year, New York' Soho neighborhood was filled to the brim with holiday pop-ups, both from more established retailers and brands like Ugg and Kohl's, as well as up-and-coming startups like East Fork Pottery and Stuart & Lau. But this year, the coronavirus has put a damper on holiday pop-ups. Few retailers are opening pop-ups this year with the goal of getting shoppers to spend hours checking out their winter wonderlands. Rather, they're opening pop-ups in order to ease capacity limits at existing stores, or to test out a new market while they can find a good deal on rent.

  • OCT 19, 2020

    ‘I’m already dreading the big rush’: 5 retail workers on the upcoming holiday season

    Brick-and-mortar retailers have been trying to prepare for the upcoming holidays -- as have digital brands. But no one quite knows what to expect. Modern Retail spoke with five people whose livelihoods depend on holiday retail sales. We asked them how they’re preparing and what they're fearing most. From digital marketers to Shipt app delivery workers, all are entering into a new world and fear they don’t have the adequate safeguards. 

  • OCT 15, 2020

    Modern Retail Research: Brand and retail workers are voting for Biden, in hopes of a better economy

    Brands and retailers that have struggled to keep their businesses afloat are holding on to the notion that it’s all uphill from here. And, new research indicates that they’re looking to the election to cement hope for a brighter, recession-free future. In an early-October Glossy/Modern Retail survey of 67 brand and retail workers, 38.7% said the economy is a top-three issue that’s most important to them in this election.

  • OCT 14, 2020

    With resale, Ikea is trying to find new ways to acquire customers

    Ikea is testing out a new way to incentivize customers to come to its stores during the holiday season. The Swedish furniture retailer announced on Tuesday that over Black Friday, it will be hosting an event called Buy Back in 27 countries, where it will encourage customers to bring in old furniture for Ikea to resell. Between November 23 and December 24, customers who bring in furniture previously bought at Ikea will get store credit. Ikea's efforts to build out a resale business -- the company will also be opening a secondhand shop in Sweden next year -- coincide with its efforts to find new customer acquisition channels.

  • OCT 12, 2020

    ‘This is about brand awareness’: Why Food52 is partnering with Nordstrom

    The kitchen and home-focused media and commerce company announced last week that Nordstrom will begin selling its direct-to-consumer produce line. Food52, which was first known for recipes and food-focused digital media, has been slowly growing its own product line, called Five Two. Now some of those products will be in Nordstrom. For Food52, it presents a way to get more eyeballs. And for Nordstrom, it helps cushion the coronavirus retail blow.

  • OCT 09, 2020

    Why Dollar General is trying to attract higher income shoppers with new chain Popshelf

    On Thursday, Dollar General announced that it is launching a new chain called Popshelf, which is targeted towards wealthier shoppers and will carry crafting items, home decor, health beauty products. Ninety-five percent of items will be priced at $5 or less, according to a press release. It's part of Dollar General's play to increase average order value, and attract new shoppers, in order to increase its profits.

  • OCT 06, 2020

    ‘Beauty has always been political’: Brands promote voter turnout in hyper-partisan U.S.

    Following a wave of fashion brands launching voting merch, beauty brands are rolling out their own get-out-the-vote efforts — with some more partisan than others. With the U.S. election less than one month away, a growing number of beauty brands are promoting voter registration through social media campaigns and merch. Most brands have taken a stand on progressive issues, especially with their support for Black Lives Matter this summer. But in an America sharply divided along political lines, they are taking differing approaches on whether to directly (or indirectly) endorse a candidate.

  • SEP 30, 2020

    Why Apple’s App Store fight could extend into retail

    A number of companies are fighting Apple over a tax it takes for apps that charge for digital events. It's a long brewing battle, and Apple recently gave a few a reprieve. But the issue doesn't target just a few big companies, but also smaller ones that are trying to diversify their offerings into digital services.

  • SEP 22, 2020

    With new fashion line, Walmart’s private label apparel strategy emerges

    On Monday, Walmart launched Free Assembly, a new private label line of men's and women's clothing with pieces ranging from $9 to $45 in price. It's not the only fashion move that Walmart has made as of late, as the big-box retailer has been looking for ways to get customers to buy more higher-margin items like clothing in order to make its e-commerce and store businesses as profitable as possible. But Walmart has a unique opportunity to grow apparel sales right now as people people are making fewer trips to stores, but looking to buy more in a single trip.

  • SEP 21, 2020

    Office clothing brands face a bleak future where nobody goes to offices

    Rent The Runway just announced plans to end its Unlimited rental option. This was a core part of its offering and hints at pain felt throughout the workwear and formalwear space. Fewer people are going to work and attending large events. As a result, demand -- both for department stores and platforms like Rent The Runway -- is cratering. In the middle of a pandemic with an unknown timeline ahead, the future of many of these companies looks ominous.

  • MAY 05, 2021

    Brand guide: The Amazon expert’s playbook for Prime Day 2021

Modern Retail Virtual Forum
Jul 21, 2021

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

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