Last summer, Kroger began selling cannabidiol products at over 1,000 of its stores across the country. The country's largest national grocery chain joined the CBD boom in stocking topical CBD products like oils, balms and creams. Kroger, along with Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS, has been on a mission to introduce CBD use to mainstream shoppers since the hemp-derived compound was decriminalized in 2018. With hundreds of stores, largely located in the Midwest and the South, Kroger has quickly become one of the biggest brick and mortar CBD sellers by footprint, with plans to become the go-to hub for large CBD producers.
Blue Apron is considering either selling itself or raising more private money. It's also closing one of its facilities. Undoubtedly, the meal kit company has had a rough few years -- and this latest development may mean the beginning of the end. How did Blue Apron go from a startup darling to where it is now?
The 2020 election cycle is in full swing, and retailers are wasting no time getting political. This week, several retailers announced initiatives revolving around the current political discourse. From offering support female candidates to pledging to give employees time off to vote, brands are increasingly becoming more comfortable taking a public stance on issues. Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign is a top example of this strategy, which was viewed as both polarizing and courageous by the public and the industry. Shortly after the former NFL player's first Nike ad ran in late 2018, the sneaker maker's sales spiked by 10%, bringing in revenue of $847 million.
Tailored Brands, the parent company of stores including Mens Wearhouse, has had a rough few years. The company is trying to rebuild its digital credibility with its new CMO, Carolyn Pollock. Modern Retail talked to her about the men's retail landscape and how she plans to go about her plans to revamp the portfolio of menswear brands.
"We really thought the opportunity was to combine healthy and safe needle piercing with really accessibly priced, fun jewelry in an environment that the customer was excited to spend time in," Harman said.
From luxury brands to sportswear, retailers across the industry are feeling the non-health effects of coronavirus.
During its fourth quarter earnings report on Tuesday, Walmart once again reported strong growth in its online grocery business, which has become the crux of its e-commerce strategy in recent years. But the company was also hurt by weak sales in toys, apparel and gaming.
Walmart is shutting down Jetblack, its shopper concierge service. It's one of many small digital programs Walmart on which Walmart is scaling back. This move highlights Walmart's changing approach to its digital experiments. It no longer needs to spend a lot and think big; the retail giant has made a name for itself as an e-commerce leader and can now think more conservatively.
Showfields is expanding beyond NYC and into the Miami market, where it plans to open a second concept shop in May.
Peapod is shutting down its Midwest division, laying off 500 people. While it's only a small percentage of its overall business, the move highlights the headwinds grocery e-commerce businesses face. While more grocers try to offer more digital fulfillment options -- it becomes ever more clear that it remains an difficult, unprofitable program.
Many onlookers believe a DTC cooling is on the horizon. With a bunch of less-than-stellar exits from the likes of Casper, Peloton and Harry's, the VC-funding model of branding building seems to be crumbling. This leaves both investors and founders left with the question: Is it worth it to raise money from venture firms? It's becoming a more complicated topic, and one that will have a big impact on a company's choices down the line.
Direct-to-consumer "ended up being the best solution we could come up with," said Sunday founder Coulter Lewis. "That enabled us to do this custom approach."
Under Armour's look forward to 2020 includes expected losses that the company blames on China's coronavirus outbreak.
The race to go cashierless has another entrant. This month 7-Eleven became the latest chain to test cashierless stores at its Irving, Texas headquarters as part of a pilot program. The 700-square-foot store, which opened on Feb. 5, is currently available to employees only via an app, allowing them to check in, shop and exit the store. The 7-Eleven launch is part of a wave of existing retailers trying to offer shoppers a more frictionless checkout process, which includes foregoing long line waits. A company spokesperson did not comment on how the initial testing has gone thus far.
Forty-six individuals have been short listed for Digiday's 2020 Future Leader Awards, which recognize the next generation of leaders from the media and marketing, fashion, beauty and retail industries.
As brick-and-mortar businesses struggle to stay competitive in the Amazon era, a retail revolution has occurred.
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