Retail Roundup - Top Retail Stories - October 2018
From Sears to the start of the holiday season, and my new favorite word "Phygital", here's what everyone was talking about this month.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Yes, I know today is Halloween. Looks like we're in for more treats than tricks this season. With the demise of Toys 'R Us, retailers are stepping up their game to capture holiday sales, Prediction is that Santa will be bringing a good holiday season to the retail industry.
NRF’s early estimates predicts a 4.1% increase in holiday sales vs last year, reaching over $720B in sales. It’s a decline from last year’s 5% growth, but better than the 5 year average of 3.9%. https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/consumers-will-spend-41-percent-more-last-year-during-winter-holidays-according?utm_medium=Homepage%20Hero&utm_source=Website&utm_campaign=Winter%20Holidays&utm_content=Holiday%201%20Release
FAO Schwartz plans re-entry into NYC for 1st holiday season without Toys ‘R Us. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/10/09/fao-schwarz-open-new-store-pop-ups-just-toys-r-us-exits/1576425002/
Target investing in the in-store toy experience ahead of the holidays, including adding 250K square feet of toy space and hosting in-store “hours of joy” to create experiential events to drive in-store traffic - https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/16/hundreds-of-target-stores-are-getting-a-makeover-in-the-toy-aisles-ahead-of-the-holidays.html
Target rolls out free 2-Day shipping with no minimum for the holidays - https://www.chainstoreage.com/operations/target-takes-on-rivals-with-free-two-day-shipping-for-holidays/
WalMart revamps stores and offer additional customer benefits advance of the holidays. Enhancements include in-aisle checkout, more items available for 2 Day delivery and a deeper toy selection than years past - https://www.retaildive.com/news/walmart-revamps-stores-e-commerce-for-the-holidays/541042/
Sears’ files for bankruptcy
Once the largest retailer, the troubled chain filed for bankruptcy. While no longer CEO, Eddie Lampert works to ensure that his investments through his hedge fund are completed. It will most likely be Sears' last holiday season.
Once the largest US retailer, Sears’ files for bankruptcy - https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/15/sears-files-for-bankruptcy.html
142 locations set to close & CEO Lampert is out- https://www.retaildive.com/news/sears-filed-for-chapter-11-with-plans-to-close-142-stores-now-what/539654/
Sears’ no longer printing iconic holiday catalog - https://www.chainstoreage.com/technology/sears-stops-the-presses-on-iconic-holiday-catalog/
Vendors’ aren’t optimistic about the chance of a turnaround. Whirlpool, amongst others, wants their product back now. - https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-whirlpool-demands-sears-return-products-1030-story.html
JC Penney gets new CEO. Will it matter?
Jill Soltau, formerly of Joann’s Stores, will be taking the helm of the challenged retailer. The market liked the decision, with stocks rising approx. 10% on the news. Can she turn this ship around? - https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/02/jc-penney-appoints-jill-soltau-as-ceo.html
Her strong merchandising background could help differentiate JCP from the pack. - https://www.retaildive.com/news/good-thing-jc-penneys-new-merchandiser-is-the-ceo/539258/
Let's get Phygital
Digital brands & physical stores continue to partner to bring a truly omni-present experience to customers.
Walgreens takes stake in Birchbox, beauty-subscription service and is piloting premium beauty experiences in 11 markets. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/04/walgreens-takes-minority-stake-in-deal-with-beauty-company-birchbox.html
Walmart partners with PayPal to do banking transactions in stores - https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/11/paypal-will-let-customers-deposit-and-withdraw-cash-at-walmart-stores.html
Comings and Goings
Sam’s Club to open first cashier-less store, called “Sam’s Club Now”. These stores are 25% smaller than a traditional Sam’s & focus on grab & go items & popular consumables. - https://www.chainstoreage.com/technology/sams-club-preps-to-open-first-cashier-less-location/
Amazon is now a real player in brick & mortar, with over 600 locations - https://www.retaildive.com/news/amazon-store-count-tops-600/539882/
Mattress Firm files bankruptcy and starts process of closing 200 stores - https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/05/mattress-firm-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy-protection.html
What story was most impactful this month? What did I miss?