Monday, October 31, 2016

Don't discount Aldi when it comes to disruption

When you hear about disruption in the grocery industry you probably think of Amazon, but watch out for Aldi, it’s more disruptive than you might think. Why? The formerly bare bones EDLP that stocked mainly shelf-stable goods has transformed itself into an effective promotional retailer — without surrendering the low price position. And it is growing fast. Forty years ago Aldi opened its first store in Iowa; soon there will be 1,800+ units in the U.S.
 
The way Aldi is executing its new strategy makes it a powerful, perhaps underappreciated, disruptive force in a competitive marketplace that’s currently being squeezed between two growing pressures: How to match low prices and how to pay for additional services like online grocery.

So what is Aldi doing?. . . more

With Amazon Opening Food And Book Stores, Clothing Could Be Next

Image result for amazon storesIt is supposed to be hush hush, but reports are leaking out from Amazon: the Seattle giant is planning to greet more of its customers in physical stores. There will be Amazon book stores, Amazon food stores, Amazon pop-up stores, and maybe even Amazon fashion stores.

Maybe it was the success of its pop-up stores that gave Amazon’s management the confidence to develop a physical store program. The initial idea was to sell some Amazon hardware in small pop-up stores in shopping malls. . . . more

American Apparel reportedly filing for second bankruptcy

American Apparel is preparing for its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in roughly a year, with multiple sources telling Bloomberg the filing could come as soon as the next few weeks.

A bankruptcy could make the Los Angeles-based apparel retailer more appealing to a buyer, as it would allow American Apparel to let go of leases and shutter part of its operations. Brand licensors Authentic Brands Group LLC and Iconix Brand Group Inc. have already expressed interest in an acquisition, according to reports earlier this month.. . . more

Reviews-only site opens brick-and-mortar concept

Sleepsherpa.com, an online sleep resource that offers reviews of mattresses, bedding, pillows and sleep devices, has entered the physical space.
 
The company has opened a mattress showroom in Edina, Minn., that allows customers to try out a selection of the online-only mattress brands that have sprung up the past few years and disrupted the traditional mattress-buying model by offering generous trial periods and low pricing.. . . more

Online men's clothier J.Hilburn tries on brick & mortar stores

Image result for j. hilburnDallas-based online men's clothier J.Hilburn believes it needs to put its brand in front of new potential customers by opening showrooms with regular retail hours.

J.Hilburn is testing that idea first with a storefront in Dallas' Inwood Village shopping center.

If it goes as planned, J.Hilburn CEO Veeral Rathod said, the company will open 10 to 15 showrooms over the next five years in major U.S. cities including New York, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, Houston and San Francisco.. . . more

Sporting goods retailer revs up expansion

Modell’s Sporting Goods is opening a flagship on the site of a former rival.
 
Modell’s will open a two-level, 20,000-sq.-ft. store on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in a site formerly occupied by Sports Authority. The opening is slated for mid-November.. . . more

Consumer spending rebounded in September

Consumers boosted their spending in September at the fastest pace in three months, while their incomes grew by a modest amount.

Consumer spending increased 0.5 percent, a significant rebound from August when spending fell 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Monday. The increase was led by a 1.3 percent surge in spending on autos and other durable goods. Incomes increased 0.3 percent in September, slightly faster than the 0.2 percent gain in August.. . . more

Friday, October 28, 2016

Google testing voice search for local shopping

Google has been testing a feature on mobile that allows consumers to verbally query the item at a nearby store and have multiple results returned in audio along with prices and availability. A more detailed list serves up on the mobile screen.

The audio response emphasizes the impact of voice search and provides another way for Google to sell ads. Bring up Google Chrome on an iPhone, for example, and query through voice search "little black dresses near me" and Google's assistant will respond with "dresses are available for $295 at Saks Fifth Avenue in Costa Mesa. They are also available starting at $9.99 at seven other stores in that area."  . . . more

Testy turf war pits Boston's Tasty Burger against Chipotle

Local burger chain Tasty Burger is locking horns with fast-food burrito giant Chipotle over its new burger spin-off company, claiming the just-launched Tasty Made chain violates the Hub company’s trademark.

“When a $12 billion company comes in and effectively puts a mark out there that’s confusing to your identity and your company, and they have the wherewithal to put that internationally, that’s a serious threat,” said David Dubois, chief executive of Tasty Burger Corp. “It’s literally the protection of our brand.”. . . more

Simon Properties postpones luxury Copley Place tower

A planned 52-story Copley Place residential tower will be delayed — and could be completely canceled — because of rising construction costs and concerns over the rising supply of luxury housing in Boston, Simon Property Group said.

Simon Property last December had said they also intended to renovate the property and add more space for luxury retailers and restaurants at the upscale shopping mall, hotel and office complex. The entire face of the outside area on Dartmouth Street, between the mall and Tent City apartments, was to be redone.. . . more

Bon-Ton closing store in Hamden, CT

Image result for bon ton hamden ct storeBon-Ton Stores Inc. said Thursday it plans to close a department store in Hamden, Conn., marking at least the sixth store closing announcement by the retailer over the past two years.

Bon-Ton, which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee and York, Pa., and is the parent company of Boston Store, said the Connecticut store will shut down when its lease expires Jan. 31. The store, which operates on the Bon-Ton brand name, has 61 employees.. . . more

US economy grew at 2.9 percent rate in third quarter

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.9 percent rate in the July-September quarter, the strongest pace in two years, as the battered export sector rebounded and businesses finally began restocking their shelves at a faster clip.

The third-quarter gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, was double the 1.4 percent pace in the second quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday. . . . more

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Chipotle's Burger Concept, Tasty Made, Opens Today in Ohio

Image result for tasty made burgerChipotle Mexican Grill will open its first Tasty Made burger restaurant in Lancaster, Ohio, on Thursday, October 27. Tasty Made serves only burgers, fries, and shakes made with high-quality ingredients, but served at prices that compete directly with typical fast-food chains.

The grilled-to-order burgers are made from fresh, not frozen, Responsibly Raised beef, from animals that were raised without antibiotics or added hormones.. . . more

Canadian health and beauty retailer to open stores in U.S.

A retailer that specializes in natural, plant-based wellness and beauty products is hoping to make a big splash in the United States.
  
Saje Natural Wellness will open its first U.S. store at the end of November, in Malibu, California, with plans to open 25 additional locations in 2017. The company’s stores are designed to offer a sensorial and educational experience, allowing engagment with the products on display.. . . more

New tools to help brick-and-mortar stores fight back against online shopping

The Poynt 5 Brick-and-mortar merchants need to become more like Apple, Starbucks and Nordstrom and deliver better in-store experiences, said Osama Bedier, founder and CEO of point of service payments (POS) company Poynt. Bedier was also the brain behind Google Wallet.

"You have got to get rid of the checkout lanes and lines and make shopping pleasant again," said Bedier. "Technology has been preventing retailers from doing that.". . . more

Consumer confidence takes a hit in October

Consumer confidence experienced an October surprise of sorts after reaching a nine-year high in September.
 
The index now stands at 98.6, down from 103.5 last month.
 
“Consumer confidence retreated in October, after back-to-back monthly gains,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.  . . . more

Empty Space Haunts Fifth Avenue as Retailers Balk at Rent Hikes

530 5th Ave New York, U.S.Landlords on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue are sitting on a record amount of open space as retailers balk at committing to expensive new leases in one of the world’s most prestigious shopping districts.

The availability rate on the famed strip, home to Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store, jumped to 15.9 percent in the third quarter, up from about 10 percent a year earlier, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc. The rate has climbed steadily this year, surpassing the prior peak of 11.3 percent, set in the fourth quarter of 2014.. . . more

Internal Amazon documents reveal a vision of up to 2,000 grocery stores across the US

Image result for amazon grocery storeAmazon wants to open 20 brick-and-mortar grocery stores over the next two years, and the online retailer believes the US market has room for up to 2,000 of its Amazon Fresh-branded grocery stores over the next decade, Business Insider has learned.

Amazon is planning to operate a 20-location pilot program for its grocery stores by the end of 2018, in places like Seattle, Las Vegas, New York, Miami, and the Bay Area, according to documents viewed by Business Insider.. . . more