Retail News Archive

By: Software Advice on November 4, 2019

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Week of November 25, 2019

DoorDash sued by DC attorney general over allegedly misusing worker tips, TikTok teases social commerce capabilities, plus more retail news

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Thirty-nine percent of consumers have ditched in-store purchases due to out-of-stocks

As many as 75% of millennial shoppers and 53% of Gen X shoppers have left a store empty-handed and instead bought items online, according to a survey from Zebra Technologies. Out-of-stock items is cited as the main reason customers leave stores to purchase online. Retail employees are experiencing the brunt of this dissatisfaction as 43% surveyed also cited customer complaints about out-of-stock items as their biggest point of frustration. Retailers can gain as much as $22 billion by recapturing sales lost from out of stock items, according to a separate survey.


Video-sharing app, TikTok, is running beta tests that allow some users to embed social commerce links in their videos, reports Adweek. Viewers can click on a link in the post that takes them to a dedicated purchase page for the item shown in the video or lets them browse similar products. The company has not shared further details on when or if it plans to scale the new social commerce capability to all U.S. users. [Read more]


DoorDash is being sued by Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine for allegedly engaging in deceptive tipping practices. The suit alleges that DoorDash customers paid millions of dollars in tips that the food delivery company then used to offset the costs of payments to its workers over the course of two years. The charges come after an investigation Racine’s office launched into DoorDash’s tipping practices in March 2019. [Read more]

Week of November 18, 2019

Nike ends direct sales on Amazon, Alibaba breaks Singles Day record with over $38 billion in sales, plus more retail news

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Injured retail workers are out an average 24 days

Retail workers miss an average of 24 days of work when they’re injured on the job, according to an analysis by AmTrust Financial Services. The most expensive injuries include falls, slips, strains or injury from repetitive motion, and vehicular collisions, with payouts as high as $21,000. These findings reinforce the importance of operations and safety training, especially for younger retail workers who tend to file more workers’ compensation claims, according to Matt Zender, senior vice president of Workers’ Compensation Strategy at AmTrust.


Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has invested $400 million in former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens startup. The company operates a network of delivery-only kitchens used to fulfill orders from food delivery companies such as DoorDash and Grubhub. CloudKitchens also owns several delivery-only restaurants, which operate out of these ghost kitchens. PIF was also an early investor in Uber. [Read more]


Nike will stop selling products directly to Amazon, ending a pilot test launched in 2017, in which it agreed to sell a limited number of products to the ecommerce giant in exchange for stricter policing of counterfeits. However, that strategy reportedly did not materialize as Nike has struggled to compete against third-party listers of their products. Nike has been expanding into direct-to-consumer sales through its mobile app and website, reportedly tripling sales since 2013. [Read more]


Sales for this year’s Singles Day hit a record high with $38.4 billion worth of goods sold on Alibaba, exceeding last year’s $30.7 billion, according to the Chinese ecommerce company. Over half a billion people from various countries participated in the shopping event on November 11. Electronics, gadgets, and fashion items were among the best-selling products in the 11th edition of the annual event. [Read more]

Week of November 11, 2019

Restaurant industry projected to grow 50%, Ralph Lauren introduces digital product IDs, plus more retail news


Amazon Fresh is now providing free two-hour grocery delivery that will be available to Prime members in 2,000 eligible regions. Until now, Prime members had to pay an extra $14.99 each month to get access to Amazon Fresh. Groceries have been one of the fastest growing segments at Amazon, according to Vice President of Grocery Delivery, Stephanie Landry. [Read more]


More consumers prefer Walmart to Amazon, according to survey data from First Insight. 55% of the 3,000 consumers surveyed say they would rather shop at Walmart than Amazon, up from 47% in 2018, while consumers who prefer shopping at Amazon decreased from 53% to 45%. “I think the novelty of Amazon is wearing off,” says First Insight CEO Greg Petro. The findings could be an indication that Walmart’s investments in its online operations are paying off. [Read more]


The restaurant industry is projected to grow 50% from 2018’s $833 million in sales, according to an industry report from the National Restaurant Association. By 2030, sales are predicted to reach $1.2 trillion and as many as 17.2 million people are expected to be employed in restaurants. As demand in off-premise dining increases, the Association predicts growth in delivery, virtual restaurants, subscription services and grab-and-go locations. [Read more]


The retailer has launched digital product identities to verify the authenticity of its products. The IDs were launched in partnership with software company Evrythng and adhesive manufacturing company Avery Dennison. Consumers can authenticate merchandise, view product information, and receive styling advice by scanning the QR code on the product with a smartphone. The IDs have been implemented across Polo products in select stores and on its website. [Read more]

Week of November 4, 2019

25% of consumers have started holiday shopping, Amazon’s 1-day delivery poses threat to retailers, plus more retail news

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( ‘Retail vortex’: How deepening discounts and thinning profit margins could take their toll this holiday season

On Nov. 5, the ecommerce marketplace will host a holiday hotline to offer free personalized shopping advice. Shoppers will speak to a team of in-house experts about who they’re shopping for and their price point. The Etsy team will then send a follow-up email with suggestions. Callers will receive Etsy gift cards and free shipping for their gifts.


The U.K. retailer is partnering with Lego to host an after-dark in-store ghost hunt on Halloween, led by ghost-hunter Yvette Fielding. Using Lego’s augmented reality-enabled smartphone app, the themed ghost walk will take place over two floors of the Tottenham Court Road store and will reveal eight new Lego sets. [Read more]


Consumers have begun their holiday shopping ahead of the season, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers conducted by ecommerce platform Profitero. Forty-five percent say they plan to start shopping before November and 25% say they started in September. As much as 41% of respondents say they plan to spend the most money online shopping in November. [Read more]


The ecommerce company’s one-day shipping which rolled out for over 10 million products for Prime members in June this year will raise consumer expectations and pose a big threat to retailers, according to Morgan Stanley. Other retailers might be forced to compete on that same expectation, which would impact their profits. Last week, Amazon announced that it will start delivering grocery products within two hours to Prime members. [Read more]

Week of October 28, 2019

Retailers not delivering on customer expectations, ghost kitchens take over fast-food chains like Wendy’s


Retailers are absorbing higher costs related to marketing, logistics, and returns, according to retail software firm DynamicAction. Last year, holiday returns rose 26 percent in the three weeks after Christmas from the year before, said the company, and they predict that number will continue to rise this year. [Read more]


After more than a two-year absence, the United Colors of Bennetton is entering the U.S. retail scene via a pop-up in Santa Monica, California. Customers will be able to see and try on clothing in person, but all purchases will be made through the in-store online portal and shipped directly to the customers’ homes. [Read more]


Retailers are not meeting customer expectations, and are missing the mark in delivery, convenience, and the in-store experience, according to a survey by Oracle Retail which polled consumers and retailers globally. For example, 57% of the 210 retailers surveyed said returning products is “very easy,” while the same share of consumers saw the return process as a “complete hassle” or said that it could be managed better. [Read more]


Wendy’s joins the growing list of fast-food chains that are jumping on the ghost kitchen bandwagon with plans to open two ghost kitchens in the U.S. by the end of the year. This is part of the chain’s expansion plans and helps Wendy’s save on real-estate costs in high traffic delivery areas. [Read more]

Week of October 21, 2019

Walmart subsidizes vendors in price wars with Amazon, H&M becomes a majority owner of Sellpy, and more retail news


Retail tech company Standard Cognition’s acquisition of the New York-based retail automation startup DeepMagic is part of its strategy to accelerate the development of autonomous checkout at stores. The shared technologies of the two companies could bring cashier-less checkout more squarely in the mainstream. DeepMagic’s co-founder Bernd Schoner will work with Standard Cognition as a consultant to help with technology integration. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Macy’s signs deal with Potbelly for four new in-store restaurants

According to the deal, popular neighborhood sandwich chain Potbelly will open three new outposts in California’s Macy’s stores, and one in a New York store. This development comes after Potbelly opened an outpost in Macy’s at the Mall of America last year. The move seems to be a part of the retailer’s strategy to add in-store dining as a tactic to target consumers’ love for experience-based shopping. It will also allow the restaurant brand to explore alternative formats.

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( H&M goes from minority shareholder to majority owner in Sellpy

With a stake of approximately 70% in re-commerce brand Sellpy, fashion retailer H&M is set to support the former’s global expansion, beginning in Germany. H&M began investing in re-commerce businesses in 2015, and the move with Sellpy is part of its strategy to become fully circular and promote secondhand fashion.

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( In price wars with Amazon, Walmart subsidizing vendors

As the battle for online customers heats up with the upcoming holiday season, Walmart’s new strategy is to lower the price of select items on its marketplace site. The vendors, however, will be paid the same amount that was listed before the cuts and Walmart will be subsidizing the difference. This move comes as a response to Amazon’s program that allows it to have full control over the prices of products listed on its marketplace.

Week of October 14, 2019

Restaurants to mandate tip pooling under proposed rule, Michael’s to offer pickup, drop-off service through UPS, plus more retail news


The vision benefits company has acquired optical retail chain Visionworks, which operates more than 700 stores in about 40 states and the District of Columbia. The retailer will continue to operate independently as VSP considers business integration opportunities in the months to come. [Read more]


Walmart is selling off women’s clothing company and online retailer ModCloth, two years after acquiring it. The acquisition was part of a strategy to ramp up its ecommerce business. ModCloth will now be part of investment firm Go Global Retail and will continue to operate independently. [Read more]


The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a new tip pooling and tip credit rule that would allow restaurant owners to mandate tip-sharing with back of the house workers, such as cooks and dishwashers—if all workers are paid at least the minimum wage. If finalized, employers will also not be able to pocket those tips or use them to reward managers and supervisors. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Michael’s to offer UPS parcel pickup, drop-off in over 1,100 stores

A new partnership between Michael’s and UPS allows Michael’s customers to pick up and drop off packages at over 1,100 stores in the U.S. through UPS Access Points, part of the carrier’s UPS MyChoice program. UPS has partnered with other retailers like Advance Auto Parts and CVS to offer buy online and pickup in-store options to cater to customers’ busy lifestyles.

Week of October 7, 2019

Forever 21 files for bankruptcy, Instagram ecommerce emerges, and more retail news


A study conducted by Coresight Research shows that the holiday season is losing importance for retailers as customers’ preference for online shopping increases. In the late 1990s, the holiday season accounted for 24% of all retail sales; today it’s closer to 21%, and that number is expected to continue to decline. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Adidas, Levi’s, Michael Kors test product launch alerts on Instagram

The new product launch alert feature on Instagram allows followers to opt in to receive reminders for when a new product is available for purchase online. Users receive a notification 15 minutes before the product launches, so they can make the purchase through the app before the product sells out. H&M, Warby Parker, MAC Cosmetics, and SoulCycle are some other brands also testing this feature.


The fast-fashion giant announced plans for a major overhaul, which includes closing up to 350 stores; 178 of which are in the U.S. It also plans to exit most of its international locations in Asia and Europe. The bankruptcy process will allow Forever 21 get out of leases and close stores at a lower cost. The retail chain is only the latest of its kind to file for bankruptcy due to a combination of high debt, rising rent costs, and increased online shopping among consumers. [Read more]

Week of September 30, 2019

Crate & Barrel to expand in-store full-service restaurants, Consumers plan to return holiday gifts this year, plus more retail news


The home furnishings retailer is expected to open up to 15 in-store, full-service restaurants following the successful launch of its first in-store restaurant near Chicago. Crate & Barrel CEO, Neela Montgomery, is working on ways to be more relevant to today’s consumers: “For us, it’s about relevance and reimagining our amazing stores.” The restaurants also aim to display the retailer’s dining products, and has proven successful so far. [Read more]


The Seattle-based retailer has named Ken Worzel as its chief operating officer, a newly created position designed to better coordinate the retailer’s online and physical operations. The role is intended to create a more seamless and improved service experience, according to CEO Pete Nordstrom. [Read more]


The updates to Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s business applications platform, include a new commerce cloud and connected store cloud designed to enable online and physical retailers to gather and analyze data. It also includes new capabilities to its customer insights cloud to help retailers keep track of their customers. [Read more]


This year, 77% of consumers plan to return a portion of their gifts this holiday season, with nearly 20% expecting to return more than half of their presents, according to a survey of over 15,000 consumers by Oracle Retail. Of that, 65% of respondents intend to return gifts to the store, while 32% said they’d return items by mail. [Read more]


Almost 30 retailers such as Foot Locker, Decathlon, Sephora and Maisons Du Monde have agreed to accept bitcoin payments in their stores at over 25,000 sales points. Point-of-sale technology provider Global POS, the EasyWallet application, and payments platform Easy2Play have partnered to develop the bitcoin-powered payment system which will be implemented in France’s retail stores. [Read more]

Week of September 23, 2019

GameStop closing hundreds of stores, Facebook pilots two new ad features, and more retail news

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Retail sales see moderate gains in August

According to a report from the Department of Commerce, retail sales in the U.S. rose 0.6% in August from July, and 4.6% year-over-year. While some argue that this moderate growth in retail means the combination of “negative chatter” about an economic slowdown and tariffs are not affecting consumers’ ability to spend, others opine that it’s “too early to assess the impact.”

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( WSJ claims Amazon changed search results to boost profits despite internal dissent

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the e-commerce giant optimized its product ranking algorithm to boost both Amazon-made and third-party items that are more profitable for the company. However, Amazon denies the report, stating that the profitability of products is only one metric in its product listings and not a key driver of what customers are shown. [Read more]


The world’s biggest video game retailer is closing between 180 and 200 of its 5,700 retail locations globally by the end of its fiscal year. This comes as a result of consumers increasingly buying digital games, leading video game retail stores to underperform. The company expects to close a “much larger” group of stores in the next one to two years. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Facebook pilots two ad features to streamline social commerce

The social media platform announced it is testing two new advertising formats to support direct sales and eliminate an estimated $213 billion lost when social customers experience confusion, complications, or other forms of friction during checkout. Given social commerce has the highest adoption rates among U.S. internet users compared to other new retail technology, this move will help Facebook build on the growing trend.

Week of September 16, 2019

Starbucks to reduce “remedial tasks” by automation,“Nice-to-have” products most impacted by tariff increases, plus more retail news


America’s largest retailer said it is discontinuing short-barrel rifle ammunition, such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber, as well as sales of handgun ammunition and handgun sales in Alaska. The retailer has also requested that customers no longer openly carry guns into its 4,700 U.S. stores, or its Sam’s Clubs stores. [Read more]


Products that consumers view as a “nice to have” but not a “necessity,” such as bicycles, handbags, games, and televisions, will be most impacted by tariff increases, according to a report by The NDP Group. Items that consumers consider “necessities,” such as skincare, baby gear and automotives will be less impacted, says the group. [Read more]


The acquisition of the warehouse automation and management technology developer is intended to boost efficiencies in Shopify’s Fulfillment Network service. Launched in June this year, the network is aimed at ensuring timely deliveries and lowering shipping costs for merchants and customers. [Read more]


The coffee chain has announced that its employee assistance program, which provides short-term counseling to U.S. employees, will be enhanced by training from mental health organizations, such as Mental Health First Aid and Born This Way Foundation. Additionally, it will remove “remedial tasks” from the workload of baristas’, with plans to automate, reduce or eliminate an additional 17 hours of tasks by digitally creating schedules and inventory of to-go items each week. [Read more]

Week of September 9, 2019

Social commerce is most popular new retail tech, Puma to open a flagship store in NY, and more retail news


Walmart’s Mexico unit is now offering three-hour delivery for certain home and tech products ordered on its website. Mexico is Walmart’s largest foreign market by store count, and this move is another push to compete with e-commerce rival in the realm of logistics. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Forever 21 prepares for potential bankruptcy filing

According to anonymous insiders, the fashion retailer has been seeking additional financing and is also working with a team of advisors to restructure its debt. But negotiations have stalled up to this point, and bankruptcy filing is under consideration. Filing bankruptcy would help the company close unprofitable stores and recapitalize. It could be problematic, however, for major mall owners—Forever 21 is one of the biggest mall tenants in the U.S.

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Social commerce sees highest adoption of all retail tech options

Thirty-four percent of adults in the U.S. say they have made a purchase through social media, according to a Bizrate Insights survey conducted in August. This number is up from 29% last year. Another 27% of adults say they’re interested in social shopping. This makes social commerce the most popular new retail technology among U.S. internet users, ahead of visual search, augmented and virtual reality, and voice commerce.


Burberry will integrate new service “R Message” with its iOS app through a partnership with Apple. It will allow store associates to directly message certain customers. Burberry already offers direct messaging with between customers and associates through iMessage Business Chat, but R Message will allow Burberry associates to offer individualized support rather than having customers go through a generalized system. The brand sees this new offering as a way to leverage and improve relationships with the high-value customers with heavy mobile device usage. [Read more]


The 18,000-square-foot store marks the sneaker retailer’s first brick-and-mortar location in New York and it’s the first Puma store of its kind in North America. Up to now, Puma has focused on selling through wholesalers, as well as its more than 100 outlets in the U.S., but it has not offered a full-size or full-price location. With this new store, the sneaker retailer joins competing brands such as Nike, Lululemon, Asics, Adidas, and Under Armour in having a premier location store on Fifth Avenue. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( The Gap will keep its name following split with Old Navy

When announcing a split with Old Navy in March, The Gap Inc. had said it would group its remaining brands—Gap, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix, and Hill City—under the name NewCo. However, following a week of celebration marking the Gap’s 50 years in business, the company has said it plans to keep its name after all, stating that “the credibility and reputation the company has built with the Gap Inc. name transcends any individual brand.”

Week of September 2, 2019

KFC’s meatless chicken, thousands of banned and mislabeled products on Amazon, plus more retail news


The retailer’s small-format expansion and remodeling ventures is part of a $7 billion investment plan to establish small stores in major cities like New York and updating larger stores with new fixtures. In-store experience is going to be the differentiator, according to its chief operating officer John Mulligan. Target is still on track to open 30 small-format stores across the country yearly and complete 300 store remodels by 2020. [Read more]


The Boston-based online retailer has launched its first full-service physical store in Massachusetts. In an effort to bring the online experience to life in store, customers will be able to don virtual reality headsets to digitally style a room and the 3,700 square feet will be used as a showroom for big ticket items, such as couches and coffee tables. The brick and mortar store, however, will not be able to accept returns or offer pickups for online purchases. [Read more]


Amazon is reportedly selling over 4,000 banned, unsafe or mislabeled products deemed unsafe by federal agencies, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal. Among those items, at least 2,000 listings for toys and medications lacked warnings about health risks, such as toys with unsafe amounts of lead or potential choking hazards to children. [Read more]


KFC became the first fast-food restaurant to serve plant-based chicken last week. The franchise in Atlanta began offering meatless chicken nuggets and boneless wings from Beyond Meat, a plant-based food company. The fast food restaurant plans to roll out vegan menu items nationwide based on customer feedback from the test in Atlanta. The plant-based chicken reportedly sold out in under five hours. [Read more]

Week of August 26, 2019

Target to launch grocery label, JCPenny and Macy’s partner with world’s largest thrift store ThredUP, plus more restaurant and retail news

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Voice promises to play a big retail role this holiday season

Voice-assisted retail is expected to play a bigger part in shopping this year than it did last year, according to a survey from of 1,045 American consumers. Amazon’s record-breaking holiday shopping season last year was powered in part by voice-activated shopping, with Amazon saying orders placed via Alexa were three times higher than they were a year ago.


Sales at eating and drinking establishments are set to grow by more than 4% this year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The National Restaurant Association projects overall industry sales will hit a high of $863 billion in 2019, an increase from 3.6% the year before. [Read more]


The retail giant is launching a grocery brand called Good & Gather in mid-September this year. The private-label brand will include over 2,000 items ranging from organic snacks to fresh salad mixes and frozen meals by late next year. This is part of a wider effort by Target to expand its in-house brands such children’s clothing label Cat & Jack and become more competitive in the grocery space. [Read more]


The restaurant review website has updated its app to reflect when delivery and takeout phone numbers are powered by Grubhub. The move comes after called out Yelp for “pushing” customers to call numbers owned by the food delivery service in an alleged plan to generate more commission fees for its partner, Grubhub. [Read more]


The POS provider has rolled out a new API for online ordering with the aim to make it easier for developers to build digital in-app payment services. The API lets businesses track and manage the lifecycle of a purchase—whether the purchase is made online or in-person—and consolidate order fulfillment into one central POS system. [Read more]


J.C. Penney and Macy’s will be setting aside sections of their stores for used merchandise sold by fashion resale site ThredUP, giving both an opportunity to meet the rising demand of online resale markets. Neiman Marcus, which first pioneered departments store partnerships with resale, has also announced plans to launch shops inside some of its stores where customers can sell pre-worn designer items to online seller Fashionphile. [Read more]

Week of August 19, 2019

Amazon requests approval for drone delivery, ghost kitchens are on the rise, plus more retail news

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Younique launches AR beauty tool

Direct-to-consumer beauty company Younique has launched an augmented reality tool that allows users to virtually test products from seven different cosmetics categories, such as mascara, foundation and eyeshadow, before their purchase. Earlier in May, cosmetics brand Lime Crime also introduced an AR app for its eyeshadow and blush products.


The Trump administration has narrowed the list of Chinese products it plans to impose new tariffs on as of Sept. 1. The move, which postponed a new ten percent tariff on goods like laptops, toys, and cellphones until Dec. 15, aims to spare shoppers from higher prices during the Christmas season as the administration faces mounting pressure from businesses over increasing tariffs. [Read more]


Amazon is asking to be excused from some federal rules around flight in order to begin drone delivery in the U.S. According to the petition, Amazon’s Prime Air service would use its custom MK27 drones capable of carrying up to five pounds to deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes. Amazon adds that the Federal Aviation Administration will be able to use the service to collect data on the future of drone cargo delivery. [Read more]


As demand for online food delivery increases, restaurants, start-ups, and third-party delivery services are looking into so-called “ghost kitchens” or “virtual kitchens” to manage the demand for delivery. These spaces have no retail presence and serve solely as a meal preparation hub for deliveries. [Read more]

Week of August 12, 2019

U.S. retail store worker pay hits 15-year high, CVS expands membership program for free delivery, plus more restaurant and retail news

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Tariff whiplash is already taking a toll on retail

The negative industry response to the 10% tariffs from the U.S. on the remaining $300 billion worth of imports from China has been swift. David French from The National Retail Federation said the strategy is “creating uncertainty and discouraging investment” while Rick Helfenbein, CEP of the American Apparel & Footwear Association referred to tariffs as “taxes on American consumers.” [Read more]


Online clothing marketplace Poshmark has confirmed that customer data from users in the U.S., including usernames, full names, email addresses, hashed passwords, as well as social media profile information, was recently “acquired by an unauthorized third party.” The company said it has since “enhanced security measures all across systems” as a future preventative measure. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( What apocalypse? Retail worker pay hits 15-year high

Retail store workers are seeing better pay than a generation ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Minimum wage is increasing nationwide across major chains, with average hourly earnings increasing 5.1% last year. However, retail associates still earn much less than hourly workers in other sectors, the bureau found.


The pharmacy chain is expanding its CarePass membership program nationwide. For $5 a month or $48 annually, customers can get free pharmacy delivery, discounts on CVS branded products, a monthly $10 coupon, and access to a pharmacy hotline. This strategy targets the millennial demographic, as 20% of people who enrolled in the pilot were born between 1981 and 1996, according to CVS. [Read more]


The delivery service announced a new policy last week which includes examining phone orders and a website to streamline the process for restaurants requesting control over URLs. Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, says more needs to be done. “Their announcement does not even address the major complaint from so many restaurants, which is that their fees have continued to go up as they dominated the market,” he said. [Read more]

Week of August 5, 2019

DoorDash to buy Caviar from Square for $410 million, Amazon explores launch of grocery stores, plus more restaurant and retail news

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Alibaba brings ecommerce platform to U.S. businesses

The Chinese ecommerce company has launched a B2B digital marketplace in the U.S. to help connect small and medium-sized businesses to vendors, services, and buyers. The move—aimed at diversifying its product offering—includes sellers such as Office Depot and food supplier Robinson Fresh.


Almost 30% of drivers are snacking from the food they’re delivering, according to a survey conducted by US Foods from about 500 food delivery drivers. In the survey, 54% of drivers admitted to being tempted by the smell of a customer’s food, and about half actually took a bite. [Read more]


Amazon is exploring the creation of a grocery chain, separate from Whole Foods, according to the New York Times. It will be designed for in-store shopping, pickup, and delivery. This comes after its struggle to integrate with Whole Foods in areas of price cuts and incorporating the grocery chain into its delivery system. [Read more]


The food delivery startup has entered into an agreement with payment platform Square to acquire Caviar, its food delivery app in a deal worth about $410 million in cash and stock. The acquisition will expand DoorDash’s customer base to a wider range of restaurants which will include Caviar’s higher-end restaurants. [Read more]


The fulfillment service Managed Delivery will provide end-to-end packaging and deliveries through its technology platform to sellers. Almost half of the items listed on its site will qualify for the service which will aim to deliver package in three days. [Read more]


In response to recent attacks on Amazon from the U.S. Treasure Secretary, Karl W. Smith argues that the online retail giant still commands less than 5% of the retail market and is simply responding to how Americans are choosing to spend their time He compares the ecommerce and retail industries to how Americans are spending more at restaurants while the grocery space has become more varied. [Read more]

Week of July 29, 2019

ThirdLove to open retail store in NYC, Walmart to integrate in-store and digital operations, plus more restaurant and retail news

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Deliveroo will now buy and deliver ingredients to restaurants

Restaurants can now buy ingredients and supplies through the U.K.-based third-party delivery company’s Food Procurement division. The new initiative for the company, which aims to be a one-stop shop for restaurants, underwent a year-long trial and is scheduled to be available to U.K. restaurants this summer.

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Amazon entices sellers to part with brands for as low as $10K

Sellers on Amazon can now agree to be acquired for as low as $10,000, at Amazon’s discretion. After the sale, the seller retains its patents, designs, and trade secrets and is allowed to continue selling the product if it’s rebranded. This is an opportunity for Amazon to expand its selection through the Amazon Accelerator program.


Online underwear retailer ThirdLove is opening a temporary boutique in New York through the end of 2019. Customers can come into the store for a real-life bra fitting with its “Fit Stylists,” and all of its online sizes will be available to try on in the store. ThirdLove representatives did not say if brick-and-mortal stores would become a permanent part of the company. [Read more]


The retailer is making organizational changes to further integrate in-store, digital, and leadership. The most significant change is bringing its U.S. supply chain teams together, which will be led by Greg Smith, current executive vice president of Walmart U.S. supply chain. [Read more]


The fast food chain has partnered with DoorDash to offer delivery to over 200 restaurants in Houston by the end of July. Both systems are integrated so orders can be sent directly to McDonald’s POS system. This ends McDonald’s two-year exclusivity with UberEats. [Read more]

Week of July 22, 2019

Giant Eagle pilots checkout-free technology, global fast food market to surpass $690 billion by 2022, plus more retail news

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( “Canceling Amazon Prime” spiked on Prime Day

Searches for “cancelling Prime Day” skyrocketed to 18 times higher than average on the first day of Prime Day, according to search intelligence firm Captify. Consumers are signing up for Prime, getting their deals, and cancelling their membership shortly after. This indicates that shoppers are becoming increasingly savvy and taking advantage of stiff competition on Prime Day.


Starting July 30, Etsy will give priority placement in the U.S. search results for products that ship free and for shops that guarantee U.S. buyers free shipping on orders of $35 or more. While Etsy claims that this should lead to more sales, individual sellers are concerned that accounting for shipping costs in products will result in uncompetitive prices. [Read more]


Giant Eagle is partnering with Grabango, a checkout-free technology provider, to create a “no-wait” and checkout-free payment experience. Multiple applications are being tested, including an app-based platform and another that allows the customer to pay with cash or credit card. The technology will use computer vision, artificial intelligence, and cameras to track what shoppers are grabbing. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Global fast food market to surpass $690 billion by 2022

The global fast food market is projected to be worth over $690 billion by 2022, according to a report from Zion Market Research. Drive-through facilities at fast food joints, the rise in adoption of western fast food among the emerging economies, and increasingly hectic lifestyles with dual incomes are expected to drive that growth.


Families with children in K-12 schools and colleges plan to spend “more than ever” on supplies this year, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation. Total spending combined for K-12 schools and colleges is projected to reach $80.7 billion, signaling the strong spending power of U.S. consumers. [Read more]

Week of July 15, 2019

Online retail to account for over half of U.K. sales in 10 years, Uber Eats pilots “dine-in” option at restaurants, plus more restaurant and retail news


Online shopping in the U.K. is expected to reach 53% in 10 years’ time—an increase from 19% presently, according to a report by Retail Economics. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, which could enable automation of delivery and personalization, will drive growth in the online space, said the report. [Read more]


Uber Eats has launched a “dine-in” option on its app that is currently being piloted in Dallas, Austin, Tucson, and San Diego. The option, presented alongside “Delivery” and “Pickup” at the top of the app’s screen, gives customers the option to preorder food then dine in at the restaurant. Uber says the dine-in feature “bridges the gap” between customers and restaurants, allowing diners to experience their meal in person. [Read more]


Walmart’s e-commerce unit is projected to lose more than $1 billion this year on as much as $22 billion in revenue, according to a report by Recode. The company has considered selling some of its recent online fashion acquisitions, such as Modcloth and Bonobos, revealed the report. [Read more]


Performance Food Group is to acquire competitor Reinhart Foodservice for $2 billion, creating a company with $30 billion in net sales. The move brings together two of the largest foodservice distributors in the U.S. and provides larger scale and a diverse customer base. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Retailers to lodge antitrust complaints against Amazon and Google

A group of leading U.S. retailers is poised to file complaints to the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Amazon and Google are harming competition. Companies like Walmart and Target are arguing that the tech platforms create an “information bottleneck” that has the power to “affect whether and how price and product information actually reaches consumers.”

Week of July 8, 2019

H&M pushes e-commerce presence, Shopify enables Apple’s iMessage support for owners, plus more retail and restaurant news


Retailers on Shopify can now provide real-time support through Apple Business Chat on their Shopify Ping customer communication app. Customers will also have the ability to use Apple Pay to purchase products directly through chat. With this functionality, merchants with limited budgets can provide a more sophisticated level of service as they manage chat interactions and purchases in one place. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( H&M pushes e-commerce while trimming store openings

The retailer is ramping up its e-commerce presence as it reduces the number of new store openings from 175 to 130. H&M’s strategic shift toward boosting its online space and efforts to reduce markdowns comes as it faces pressure from more nimble online retailers like Zara, Zalando, and ASOS.


Grubhub and its subsidiary Seamless have allegedly bought over 23,000 web domains to match real restaurant names in an effort to compete directly with official restaurant websites, according to a report by New Food Economy. This comes after news of a potential class-action lawsuit by a Philadelphia restaurant claiming that Grubhub charged thousands of restaurants for customer calls that didn’t result in food orders. [Read more]


Free in-store pickups are now available to Amazon customers at over 100 Rite Aid stores, with plans to expand to more than 1,500 stores by the end of the year. The partnership is aimed at providing more choices for Amazon’s customers to receive their packages and bringing more foot traffic to the drugstore chain.[Read more]

Week of July 1, 2019

J.C. Penney and Macy’s oppose tariffs, Toys ‘R’ Us to make a comeback, and more retail news


Women shoppers will be most impacted by the proposed tariffs on apparel from China, claims J.C. Penney, in a letter to the U.S. Trade of Representative listing a range of women-related apparel. Macy’s added: “It is hard enough for new parents to make ends meet while changing diapers and surviving on a few hours of sleep. Is it really a good idea to impose new taxes on baby clothes?” The tariffs will not come into effect until after July 2 when a seven-day final rebuttal period ends. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Toys ‘R’ Us to open U.S. stores by the end of 2019

The defunct toy chain is set to make a comeback this holiday season by opening about a half dozen U.S. stores and an ecommerce site, according to Bloomberg. The new stores will be about a third of the size of its previous outlets, with play areas and “experiential.” Toys ‘R’ Us will have to rebuild its customer base as it competes with retailers that have larger stores and stronger ecommerce presence.


Ecommerce company Shopify has announced the launch of a network of fulfillment warehouses to store and ship consumer goods for its online sellers. Taken straight out of Amazon’s playbook, the move is said to “make fast and inexpensive shipping the new standard on the internet,” according to its chief product officer Craig Miller, and is expected to challenge the likes of Amazon. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Americans now spend more at online retailers than restaurants

Online shopping is cementing its position as the future of retail. Spending at “non-store retailers,” or online U.S. retail stores, grew by $6.4 billion from 2018 to $62.04 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The nonstore retailer category comes above vehicles and parts at $3.2 billion, and restaurants and bars at $2.2 billion.


Former executive at Snap, Imran Khan, has launched a high-end ecommerce platform called Verishop which claims to be an “enhanced e-commerce platform driven by tech and rooted in retail.” The startup, focused on providing a curated product selection, fast delivery and excellent customer service, touts a free two-day shipping and 24/7 customer service. [Read more]

[null-IMAGE_EMBED]( Dunkin’ Donuts partners with Grubhub for delivery

Dunkin’ Donuts has rolled out delivery in over 400 restaurants in New York City through Seamless, Grubhub’s brand, with plans to expand to Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. Grubhub will integrate orders directly into the company’s POS systems and add geofencing technology around locations to monitor distance and traffic to ensure the most effective delivery times.