Health care is shaping up to be the next area of interest for big-box retailers, with companies like Dollar General and Walmart searching for ways to boost their medical credibility. Two recent announcements highlight the new arms race.
The line between store and e-commerce retail associates continues to blur. This month, Apple became the first major company to test a "flex" work schedule for its retail associates beyond the pandemic. The tech giant is reportedly allowing the pilot program's participants work both in-store and at-home during the test run.
Modern convenience store chain Foxtrot plans to open 50 new stores over the course of the next two years, expanding to New York City, Austin, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and Houston. Under the expansion, Foxtrot will retain its commitment to under thirty minutes delivery and under five minutes pickup, data-driven merchandizing and 40% local goods.
This summer, several brands are abandoning the traditional showroom and getting on the road. As pop-ups and showrooms return, brands including Cuyana and Maker&Son are bringing their inventory to customers via a showroom-on-wheels concept.
This month marked the first time that two million passengers were screened in airports on a single day. Suitcase and travel brands are embracing the return of air travel by offering new products, expanding into new markets and doubling down on brick-and-mortar.
In 2020, the retail industry was completely upended. Some stores closed, others were forced to pivot. Now, longer-term business decisions are being made once again. Modern Retail mapped out all the ways that retail might be changing within a single city block.
As cities open back up, out of home is coming back into play -- but a new strategy is emerging. For one, subways still aren't the holy grail they once were. Instead, brands are increasingly turning to digital signage -- as well as outdoor spaces where people feel more comfortable.
Grocers like Walmart and Kroger saw explosive growth in 2020. Now, in an attempt to both keep growth apace and figure out more profitable revenue streams, they're looking into ghost kitchens.
Before the pandemic, there were distinct lines between New York's most popular neighborhoods for shopping -- from Soho to Fifth Avenue. Now, no one knows exactly what the most sought-after New York City retail neighborhoods will be going forward, and retailers are operating in a holding pattern until more office workers and tourists return to Manhattan.
Brands are carrying outdoor retail experiences into a post-pandemic future. During the pandemic, outdoor malls outpaced indoor shopping and were better equipped to accommodate social distancing regulations. In response, traditionally indoor retailers and brands experimented by pushing their shopping experiences outside, hosting open-air popups or building outdoor structures. Now, these brands and retailers are incorporating the outdoors into their future retail plan.
When customers place an order through Amazon’s Prime Now program -- its two-hour grocery delivery service that the company is now rolling into its main shopping app -- the order is routed to a network of Amazon workers, called Amazon Shoppers, to pick the orders. Modern Retail spoke to one shopper who shared how her job has changed.
The future of samples is pre-packed, according to brands experimenting with handing out free products in the coming months. As CPG brands attempt to find and retain customers, some companies are looking to digital and outdoor pop-ups to distribute samples.
In 2020, in-store foot traffic dropped precipitously due to pandemic stay-at-home orders and social distancing regulations. While large retailers like Kohl’s discussed the return-to-store in their 2021 first quarter earnings calls, many brands report that foot traffic still hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. To draw consumers back to store after a year spent at home, brands are returning to events, offering in-store-exclusives and courting a vaccinated consumer.
Late last year, the use of virtual assistants in physical stores received a major boost when Amazon started integrating Alexa into its growing physical retail network -- most prominently in its Amazon Fresh grocery stores. Around the same time, other retailers, like McDonald's, also began offering voice assistants at stores -- suggesting that a concept long relegated to novelty status might be catching on in the wake of the pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, retail workers found their to-do-lists growing by the day. At the beginning of the pandemic, they were tasked with cleaning down highly-trafficked areas and working quickly to restock the items that were flying off the shelves, like toilet paper. Then, during the first round of stay-at-home orders, many of them were transferred over to fulfill curbside and buy online pickup in-store orders, services that became more popular during the pandemic. As a result, many retail workers are feeling burnt out after a year of being pulled in multiple directions.
Every interaction a customer has with a brand is an opportunity to nurture the customer-brand relationship. This report highlights tactics that top brands are using to improve the customer experience.
At Modern Retail’s Livestream Commerce Trends, we’ll explore how the growth of livestream and video shopping trends are transforming how retailers, brands and marketing teams are engaging with consumers in-stream and live across social and owned-and-operated websites.REGISTER