Thursday, September 21, 2017

Big Lots unveils new brand positioning, store prototype

Big Lots As Big Lots puts the finishing touches on its Store of the Future format, the retailer is also repositioning the brand and its tag line.

The one-time closeout chain, which abandoned that buying strategy a few years ago, is calling itself a community discount store – a moderately-sized format focused on providing inspiration for home decorating and highlighting its involvement in local causes.. . . more

Toys ‘R’ Us Might Be Dying, but Physical Retail Isn’t

sept17-19-482150427The recent bankruptcy filing at Toys “R” Us has roiled the toy industry. Yet the struggles at the company are not new. The firm was taken private in a $6.6 billion leveraged private equity buyout in 2005, with the aim of turning the chain around, but the resulting debt has proved to be unserviceable.

The news is part of a larger trend of closings that some are calling the retail apocalypse. The rise of e-commerce, combined with a shift in consumer preference toward dining out over shopping and with years of overbuilding, has made for distinctly unattractive economics in traditional retail.

Take a closer look, however, and the prevailing narrative isn’t quite what it seems. . . . more

Amazon Puts Whole Foods on Fast Track to Conventional Supermarket

Image result for whole foodsWhole Foods will change the way companies can sell and market their products in stores beginning next year, one of the biggest moves yet in its continuing push to operate more like a traditional market.

Under the changes planned to begin in April, Whole Foods’ 470 locations will no longer allow brand representatives to promote their products or check to make sure they are stocked and displayed correctly.. . . more

UPS expects to hire about 95,000 workers for holiday season

Image result for ups home deliveryU.S. package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc said on Wednesday it expected to hire about 95,000 seasonal employees for the upcoming, crucial peak holiday season.

The number of seasonal workers UPS hires for the holiday season has not changed since 2014. The company has about 355,000 permanent employees in the United States. . . . more

Roche Bros. Planning Its Third Brothers Marketplace

Roche Bros. Marketplace Waltham MARoche Bros. has unveiled plans for a third Brothers Marketplace—this one in Waltham, Massachusetts—in the spring of 2018.

The new store will be located at The Merc at Moody & Main, a 269-unit mixed-use transit-oriented development in downtown Waltham.. . . more

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Albertsons Cos. Acquires Online Meal Kit Service Plated

Image result for platedAlbertsons Cos. has acquired Plated, a meal kit service, in line with both companies’ strategy to “reinvent the way consumers discover, purchase and experience food.” New York City-based Plated will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Albertsons Cos. in Boise, Idaho. The transaction is expected to close later this month, pending customary approvals.

In teaming up with Plated, Albertsons Cos. says it adds a meal kit company with leading technology and data capabilities, a strategic step as it continues to focus on innovation, personalization and customization. Together, Albertsons and Plated will leverage their strengths to serve customers in a way that appeals to the evolving lifestyles and food preferences of people across the country. Among the key projected outcomes of this deal is for Plated to become the first omnichannel meal kit offering with national scale.. . . more

RetailNext Announces Positive Forecast for US Retail Performance over the Holiday Period

RetailNext Inc., the worldwide expert and market leader in IoT smart store retail analytics for optimizing shopper experiences, announced a positive forecast for U.S. retail performance over the November through December Holiday period, predicting a 3.8 percent year-over-year (YoY) lift in sales, driven in party by a 14.9 percent increase in YoY sales through digital channels.

Based on current retail trends and broader macro-economic data, RetailNext’s forecast for U.S. retail stores during Holiday 2017 (November – December) includes: . . . more

Could this be the last generation of Toys R Us kids?

For decades Toys R Us has made its living by immersing itself in all things toys. So it makes sense that the company's chief executive would use a beloved game as a metaphor to describe how it tumbled into Chapter 11 so suddenly, making the nearly $12 billion toy retailer the third-largest retailer in history to go bankrupt.

In a document filed Tuesday in federal bankruptcy court, CEO David Brandon said news reports in early September that the retailer had engaged an adviser to help with its $5 billion debt load had "started a dangerous game of dominos.". . . more

Walmart to offer extra holiday hours for current workers

Walmart to offer extra holiday hours for current workersWalmart won't be doing large-scale holiday hiring at its stores this year. Instead, like last year, it will offer extra hours to its current workers.

The nation's largest private employer says, however, that it will be taking on more temporary workers at its distribution centers. But it's not giving a number yet for its planned holiday hires at the centers.. . . more

Retail chains filing for bankruptcy protection in 2017

FILE - This Tuesday, March 4, 2014, file photo, shows a RadioShack store in downtown Cincinnati. Toys R Us has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, joining a growing list of companies struggling to navigate a retail landscape altered by technoToys R Us has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, joining a growing list of companies struggling to navigate a retail landscape altered by technology and changing consumer tastes. There is even a new term that has emerged which points to the dire state of the industry: Chapter 22. Those are companies that have been forced to seek bankruptcy protection for a second time. Overall, 35 retailers have filed for bankruptcy so far this year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Following are some of the retailers that have sought bankruptcy protection just this year:
. . . more

Bed Bath & Beyond Shares Slide After Missing Profit Estimates

Image result for bed bath and beyondShares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. tumbled 13% to $23.62 after hours Tuesday after the home goods retailer slashed its full year outlook and widely missed earnings and sales expectations in its second quarter.

Online sales at the company have been growing quickly for the past three years, but digital growth hasn’t been enough to offset sliding sales in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Same-store sales deteriorated faster than expected during the quarter, dropping 2.6%. . . . more

Grocery shopping — the new online frontier

Grocers that offer digital resources on e-commerce sites are positioned to attract, convert and retain online customers going forward.
 
This was according to “Beyond the Supermarket Shelves: How Consumers are Navigating the Grocery Shopping Experience Online and In-store,” a report from PowerReviews.
 
With only 17% of shoppers currently purchasing their groceries online, it is clear that customers are not abandoning brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, among those shoppers, 92% have also made an in-store grocery purchase in the last 90 days.. . . more

Deloitte: Retail holiday sales to increase by at least 4%

Retail holiday sales should rise a healthy 4% to 4.5% over last year's shopping season — a factor that could drive sales between $1.04 trillion and $1.05 trillion between November 2017 and January 2018, according to the annual retail holiday sales forecast from the firm’s retail and distribution practices. (Holiday sales are seasonally adjusted, and exclude motor vehicles and gasoline.)
 
There will also be an 18% to 21% increase in e-commerce sales during the 2017 holiday season, compared with 2016. Overall, e-commerce sales are expected to reach between $111 billion and $114 billion during the holidays.. . . more

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Best Buy sees solid growth ahead in 2021

itempropBest Buy Co. on Tuesday set financial targets for 2021, reflecting confidence that the turnaround strategy it started five years ago has positioned the company for steady growth of sales and profits.

The electronics retailer is aiming for annual revenue of $43 billion four years from now, a 9 percent increase from fiscal 2017, which was the final year of the turnaround effort the company referred to as its “Renew Blue transformation.”. . . more

Retailers triple same-day delivery offerings

According to the “2017 Digital Commerce Benchmark Survey,” from Boston Retail Partners, currently 51% of retailers indicate they offer same-day delivery, up from 16% last year, and within two years, 65% plan to offer this service. Delivery via a third party service, such as Uber or Lyft has also increased from 20% last year to 32% this year. The reason for the increase: retailers want to provide different options that enable customers to shop, purchase and receive their goods on their own terms.
 
Looking ahead, same-day delivery services will be even more innovative, as retailers explore autonomous fulfillment. Brands will also pursue self-driving vehicles and “helper robots,” the study said.. . . more

Best Buy’s Secrets for Thriving in the Amazon Age

Image result for best buy price matchThe most worrisome trend in big-box retail was “showrooming” — customers were testing new products in stores before buying them for less money online from another retailer. To combat showrooming and persuade customers to complete their purchases at Best Buy, Hubert Joly, Best Buy’s chief executive, announced a price-matching guarantee.

Mr. Joly also realized that if Best Buy was going to compete with Amazon, which has spent billions building a speedy delivery system and plans to use drones to become even more efficient, it needed to get better at things that robots can’t do well — namely, customer service.. . . more

Most Costco members don't shop at Costco all that much

Costco markets itself as a warehouse club where, in exchange for a membership fee, consumers get access to a variety of food, merchandise and services at discounted prices.

Of course, the company does offer those things, but that's not really the chain's business model. In many ways, Costco operates like a gym. It sells memberships knowing that many of its members won't show up. It's not upset if they do — and it takes care of its members who spend the most — but, in reality, it only needs customers to see the value of joining, not actually have them do any shopping.. . . more

Kohl's to start accepting Amazon returns at some stores in Chicago, L.A.

Image result for kohl's and amazonKohl's, which is opening some in-store Amazon shops, will start accepting returns for the online retailer at some of its stores in Los Angeles and Chicago starting next month.

Kohl's Corp. said Tuesday it will pack and ship eligible Amazon return items for free at the 82 stores offering the service. There will be designated parking spots near the Kohl's store entrances for those doing Amazon returns. While the service will allow Kohl's customers to skip their local post office for Amazon returns, it also gets them into Kohl's stores — where they might then shop.. . . moreKohl's and AmazonKohl's and Amazon

Walgreens' $4.38 billion Rite Aid buy wins FTC approval

Image result for rite aid and walgreensIn its fourth attempt, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. clinched regulatory approval for a deal to buy Rite Aid Corp. stores after a last-minute reduction of the number of stores and price.

The drugstore chain said Tuesday it secured clearance for a revised deal under which it will buy 1,932 Rite Aid stores for $4.38 billion. That's about 250 fewer stores than under a previous proposal, which totaled $5.18 billion.. . . more