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    The Week In News, But Shorter

    February 4 - 11, 2024

    The Week In News, But Shorter
    February 4 – 11, 2024

    One of the most foundational aspects of the mall got a tech spotlight this week – signage. And while digital signage is of course not something new (it’s table stakes at this point), it’s a space that is continuing to innovate and is benefitting from tech advancements like AI. Having an offering at your property that remains fresh and on the cutting edge can be a big draw for retailers as reaching customers in immersive and new ways is certainly going to remain top priority. Not to mention, with novel formats and proper placement, these advertising spaces can become a meaningful revenue driver.  If you haven’t, now might be a good time to reevaluate your signage program and we’d love to help.

    This week we also caught up on how a major fulfillment provider is also paying more attention to inbound product as well (intriguing!), the latest takeaways from a major restaurant industry report, and what’s on the horizion for tracking in-store shopper behavior. Lastly, check out Kyle and David in The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres & Retailers (MECS+R) and let us know your thoughts on LinkedIn


    Digital Meets Physical

    How the Store of the Future will Track Shopper Behavior Ecommerce-Style [Retail TouchpointsThe digitization of brick-and-mortar stores is nothing new, but up until recently, it has primarily been focused on surfaces in the store that are already digital: point-of-sale systems or back-of-house tasks like inventory management. As a result, as the science of commerce has evolved rapidly online, driving deeper personalization and more efficient deployment of marketing and logistics resources, the physical store environment has remained stubbornly analog.

    Bergdorf Goodman to run its own e-commerce as parent Neiman Marcus Group drops Farfetch [RetailDiveNeiman Marcus Group is ending its commercial partnership with luxury e-commerce platform Farfetch, and its Bergdorf Goodman banner will no longer be replatforming onto Farfetch Platform Solutions.

    Moving from Monologues to Conversations: How Brands are Driving Innovation with Unified Commerce Experiences [Retail TouchpointsThe exact definition of unified commerce, and in particular its relationship to the idea of “omnichannel,” varies depending on who you ask. Some see it as the next evolution, others as the technical underpinnings that make true omnichannel experiences possible. Either way, the goal is to bring the total shopping experience, across every channel, closer to customers’ expectations.

    Modernizing the Mall, from Parking to Checkout [The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres & Retailers [MECS+RDavid Blumenfeld and Kyle Spencer discuss examples where retail property owners are innovating for their retailers, improving customer experiences, and making data-driven decisions for their properties.

    Micro & Last Mile Fulfillment

    Amazon looks to improve inbound fulfillment processes in 2024 [RetailDiveAmazon aims to improve its inbound fulfillment processes and inventory positioning this year as part of its continued push to reduce costs in its logistics network. “The goal is for our operations teams to have a better sense of what inventory — and how much of it — is coming in, which will allow them to align that inventory to what customers in that particular region want and need, helping to make our whole process more efficient,” Herrington said.

    Walmart Expands Drone Delivery in Dallas as It Races Amazon [The Wall Street JournalDrones are more likely to be buzzing overhead this year if you live in Dallas. Walmart plans to offer drone delivery to most of the region this year, a major expansion of its effort in recent years to provide the delivery option to some customers in several states. In Dallas, Walmart will partner with Wing, a unit of Alphabet, and Zipline, a global drone delivery company that works with healthcare providers and others. 

    Ahold Delhaize USA offering on-demand delivery via DoorDash [Chain Store AgeThe U.S. subsidiary of Dutch supermarket conglomerate Ahold Delhaize is making omnichannel delivery available. DoorDash will provide on-demand delivery from Food Lion, Hannaford, Giant Food, The Giant Company and Stop & Shop locations. Delivery from DoorDash is expected to be available to customers of all brands by March 2024.

    Starship Technologies raises $90M as its sidewalk robots pass 6M deliveries [TechCrunchIn the decade since it was co-founded by Friis and Ahti Heinla (Skype’s first engineer), Starship says that its robots have collectively traveled 11 million miles across neighborhoods and campuses in some 80 locations across the U.S. and Europe, making 6 million deliveries. Its partner/customers include companies like on-demand transport company Bolt, the grocery chain Co-Op and food services companies like Aramark, Sodexo and Chartwells and Grubhub.

    Mall Talk

    Simon Property Group trims stake in Forever 21, Brooks Brothers brand-management firm Authentic [RetailDiveThe REIT has reduced its stake in brand management firm Authentic Brands Group, from just under 12% to just under 10%, for $300 million in cash. This comes after the company said it had reduced its stake in Sparc, co-owned by Simon and Authentic, which licenses the brands Forever 21, Brooks Brothers, and other labels, and runs their operations.

    Cadillac Fairview Unveils Significant Digital Display Expansion in Canada’s Top Malls with Cineplex [Retail InsiderCineplex and Cadillac Fairview’s long standing partnership is looking to expand further and to innovate new ways to attract shoppers. The collaboration aims to enhance the consumer shopping experience by integrating immersive digital displays and personalising advertising with key data-driven insights – changing the retail landscape in Canada.

    How The Grove turned an empty walkway into LA’s most exclusive pop-up [GlossyUsing a 300-square-foot shipping container-like structure as its base, California property development and hospitality company Caruso turned a walkway in its flagship property into a lucrative pop-up shop back in 2016. Now, it hopes to recreate its success in its other properties.

    Restaurants & Ghost Kitchens

    Yum Brands disappoints as KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut fall short of same-store sales expectations [CNBCYum Brands on Wednesday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that missed analysts’ expectations as KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut all reported weaker-than-expected sales. Yum is the third global restaurant giant to report disappointing revenue for the last three months of 2023 after Starbucks and McDonald’s both missed Wall Street’s expectations.


    7 tech takeaways from the National Restaurant Association’s annual forecast [Restaurant BusinessThink technology is a big topic in restaurants right now? The National Restaurant Association’s annual State of the Restaurant Industry report devotes 14 of its 60 pages to tech and concludes that it will continue to play a major role in restaurants this year. Here are seven key takeaways from the data, which comes from surveys of operators and consumers.

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