Store of the Future

From McDonald’s to Chipotle, restaurants are doubling down on drive-thrus

Fast food and fast casual chains are betting on drive-thrus to remain popular, even as the pandemic subsides. Particularly in the early stages of the pandemic, restaurants struggled as indoor dining shuttered in most states. But, drive-thru visits soared, up 26% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020 according to NPD Group. In response, experienced drive-thru players like McDonald’s as well as other newer players announced new investments in the feature.

Latest Stories

  • JUN 07, 2021

    Why retailers are increasingly building mobile apps for store employees

    As store workers at many big-box retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy are now expected to deal with both online and in-store orders, retailers are increasingly thinking about creating new tech tools to help workers manage the growing list of tasks they're responsible for. Walmart, for example announced last week that it was creating a new mobile app called [email protected] Through the app, store employees can manage their shifts and view their schedules, use a voice-activated personal assistant to answer common questions, such as where certain items are located throughout the store, and eventually, use the app to scan merchandise in the backroom.

  • MAY 21, 2021

    ‘Buying things that make them feel happy’: Dresses and bright colors are driving sales at apparel startups

    As the United States begins to reopen, small fashion startups navigate new consumer interest in dressing up, bright colors, and in-store experiences. The fashion industry struggled in the pandemic, with economic uncertainty slowing discretionary spending and leading to store closures. Small fashion brands, with limited assortments and nimble business teams, pivoted to e-commerce and comfort. Now, small fashion start-ups are offering bright colors, dressed up silhouettes and in-store experiences that consumers are flocking to.

  • MAY 18, 2021

    Retailers and employees struggle to navigate new CDC mask guidelines

    Over the last few days, major retail businesses released a flurry of statements over the weekend updating to a no-mask-policy or doubling down on continued mask usage for customers and employees alike. However, most of these businesses didn’t address their plans to support their sales associates amongst the confusion, and some employees are concerned about enforcement, health, and safety moving forward.

  • APR 27, 2021

    As brands take livestreaming more seriously, hosts become a hot commodity

    Nordstrom, Amazon, Mall of America, TikTok, Walmart and hundreds of other brands are trying to popularize the medium to the United States. That has, in turn, giving rise to a new category of retail professional: livestream shopping host.

  • APR 15, 2021

    As brands consider opening pop-ups, New York City loses its luster

    E-commerce brands are getting ready to test the waters of physical retail again. The increase in vaccinations over the spring has coincided with an uptick in pop-ups from e-commerce companies like Misfits Market and Cuts Clothing. The interest in pop-ups is being spurred by a combination of factors, including the fact that rent is still low in many places right now. But not all e-commerce companies are fully ready to commit to retail again.

  • APR 06, 2021

    After coronavirus losses, retailers are betting big on new store openings this year

    Despite the record number of closures of brick and mortar stores over the past year, some retailers are finding an expansion opportunity. Several brands -- especially in booming categories like athleisure and discount stores -- are taking advantage of real estate deals to increase their footprint. Among them are Gap Inc., Lululemon and Dick's Sporting Goods.

  • MAR 22, 2021

    Buy now pay later services are going after smaller businesses

    The installment payment space is infiltrating local businesses. After a year of customers seeking the financing options from tech startups like Klarna and Affirm, buy now pay later startup Sunbit is hoping to ride that wave by attracting small merchants.

  • MAR 17, 2021

    How Sam’s Club’s mobile app helped it compete during the pandemic

    A year into the pandemic, digital and mobile have become retailer must haves. Warehouse clubs have typically been behind the times when it comes to those types of services. However, as the success of the Sam's Club shows, Walmart's investment in mobile shopping features has paid off for the subsidiary.

  • MAR 05, 2021

    Why Target is investing billions to remodel its stores

    Target's long term plans to capitalize on its record sales year includes investing in its physical stores. In its fourth quarter earnings announcement, the big box retailer unveiled plans to spend $4 billion annually to modernize and automate its existing stores, along with opening new ones near college campuses and metro areas.

  • MAR 03, 2021

    Why Tonal is launching a shop-within-shop at Nordstrom

    This week, Tonal announced a store-within-store partnership with Nordstrom to bring its workout machines to a national consumer base. The move shows that as the virtual fitness field deepens, so does competition for retail space and customers.

  • FEB 25, 2021

    Why Heyday is pivoting to franchises to expand nationally

    After years of focusing on growing within large cities like New York and Los Angeles, skincare startup shop Heyday is going the franchise route to expand. The company, which closed a $20 funding round this month, is hoping the addition of a virtual consultation platform will help it gain a bigger presence.

  • FEB 17, 2021

    Drugstores are accelerating plans to reinvent themselves as health care destinations

    Companies like Walgreens and CVS have managed to keep revenue growing during the pandemic -- but they've also been hurt by falling sales of products in non-essential categories like beauty. Before the pandemic, these companies were trying to reinvent themselves as primary care destinations, by adding more spaces in store and online for health care products and services beyond just refilling prescriptions. Now, the coronavirus pandemic has only made that transformation more urgent.

  • JUL 16, 2021

    Report: Brands that deliver exceptional customer experiences drive revenue growth

    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.

Modern Retail Livestream Commerce Trends
Jul 28, 2021

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.