Over the past several weeks, a steady drip of traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have announced plans to launch their own rental and resale service. They see these services as a way to reach a younger, more socially-conscious consumer, and they're inspired by the success of fast-growing startups like Rent the Runway and the RealReal. But many of the startups these traditional retailers are seeking to emulate remain unprofitable, and are struggling to maintain high levels of customer service as they continue to scale.
ThredUp just raised $175 million, and has big plans to scale. One of its strategies focuses on partnerships with big retailers. While the online clothing resale company describes this as a new platform, it's more of a way to gain more widespread recognition.
Fashion subscription service Le Tote announced it was buying Lord & Taylor for $100 million. At first glance, it's an example of a digitally native company trying to enter the big leagues. But it remains to be seen if the bet will pay off.
Target just announced a new private label grocery brand, Green & Gather. While the company offers numerous private labels, this marks Target's attempt to retool its overall grocery strategy.
Nike’s newest venture, a sneaker membership model for kids, is part of the brand’s push to establish stronger direct customer relationships. This time, the idea is to start young.
This past week, Arizona Iced Tea announced plans to launch a partnership with a cannabis company. It follows a few other bigger brands dipping their toes in the cannabis space. While ingredients like THC and CBD are trending culturally, the companies trying to launch these products have an unclear regulatory road ahead.
In an SEC filing this week, Walgreens Boots Alliance said that it would close 200 stores in the U.S. as part of a cost-cutting program as the pharmacy chain struggles to chart a path forward for its vast store fleet.
A rent increase was only the final breaking point in a years’ long lead up to Barneys’ bankruptcy decline. A series of business deals saddled the brand with too much debt that led to a degradation of customer service from top-line pressures and a loss of identity helped seal its fate well before rent skyrocketed.
More retailers are turning to podcasts to get across their brand messaging. The most recent example is Staples, which announced an entire new content platform. The question remains: Are these programs real, or just a passing trend?
As its marquee shaving brand Gillette continues to lose market share, P&G has instead turned its attention to developing new premium products in the shaving category, acquiring smaller digitally-native brands, as well as trying to stay ahead of consumer trends in other of its top product categories.
The strategy is pretty straightforward: Mark Cross doesn't want other websites like The RealReal or Poshmark eating its lunch, and instead will make it possible for consumers to buy its own previously-owned products using its own proprietary technology. This is part of the company's latest push to expand to more affordable categories, away from its known niche of expensive products.
While the term "innovation lab" has fallen in and out of favor, retailers are still trying to figure out exactly how to put these concepts to work, including how much autonomy they should give teams responsible for creating forward-thinking products and services.
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.
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.
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.
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