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    The Week In News, But Shorter

    July 31 - August 6, 2023

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    The Week In News, But Shorter
    July 31 – August 6, 2023

    As summer slowly winds down (we’re not rushing it!) retailers are preparing for two of the biggest shopping seasons of the second half of the year – back-to-school shopping and the winter holidays of course. This back-to-school season is shaping up to be massive, with shoppers expected to spend in record numbers and with much of that being in-store. Back-to-school shopping is as much of an experience as it is a seasonal ritual. Who doesn’t have crystal clear memories of picking out new shoes and supplies with their parents in late summer? This is a great time for retail centers to lean into customer and retailer experiences and offerings – it’s certainly not too late and could be a good time to pilot some new technologies.

    This week we read up on Amazon’s overhauled delivery network, DoorDash ghost kitchen opening in a mall and how an “old-school” retailer is embracing Web3 and AI. Find us over on LinkedIn where we’ll be sharing more about the latest headlines and our hot takes.


    Digital Meets Physical

    Fanatics creates livestream commerce app [RetailDiveThe company is working to bring creators, brands and sports leagues onto the platform. Fanatics Live currently has relationships with Major League Baseball, Slam Magazine and VeeFriends. The company will also leverage existing Fanatics businesses including Fanatics Authentic, Topps and Lids.

    How Primark Built a Thriving Fashion Business Without Selling Online [The Wall Street JournalE-commerce is booming, but Primark is increasing its revenue by focusing on retail stores. WSJ’s Trefor Moss explains how Primark has gained a foothold in the U.S. fashion industry by pushing customers to shop in-store.

    At, a Sweeping Change in the Work Culture [WWDSaks, the e-commerce business of the Saks Fifth Avenue brand, is changing its work culture. Executives say the company is breaking down silos and has repositioned teams for closer collaboration and greater agility, and to apply data insights more effectively to buying, planning and marketing. 

    With rebrand, Claire’s leans into AI and web3 [GlossyAs accessories chain Claire’s undergoes one of its biggest identity shifts since being on the brink of bankruptcy in 2018, it’s expanding its marketing to include AI integration for creative identity, a teenage docu-series, new digital and physical mascots, and more web3 involvement. 

    Micro & Last Mile Fulfillment

    Inside Walmart’s Warehouse of the Future [The Wall Street JournalA Walmart warehouse in Brooksville, Fla., has shifted to automation to handle most products and is a prototype of the company’s larger plans to fully or partially automate its more than 100 warehouses across the US. “What this technology does for us is increases capacity, increases the accuracy of our loads, increases the speed of the supply chain and lowers cost,” said David Guggina, executive vice president of supply chain.

    Amazon says it’s delivering more packages in one day or less after overhauling delivery network [CNBCAmazon said it’s made progress on establishing same-day and one-day delivery as the standard in the U.S. The company said it achieved its “fastest Prime speeds ever” last quarter, as investments in its fulfillment and transportation network paid off. Amazon plans to double its same-day delivery sites in the next two years.

    DoorDash’s Grocery Business Fuels Growth to Record-High 532 Million Orders [PYMNTSThe food delivery giant, which operates in more than 25 countries, shared in its second-quarter 2023 earnings report Wednesday (Aug. 2) that total orders rose 25% year over year to a record 532 million in the quarter, while the marketplace’s gross order value (GOV) grew 33% to a highest-yet $2.1 billion.

    Restaurants & Ghost Kitchens

    MrBeast sues to shut down the ghost kitchen-produced MrBeast Burger [CNNYouTuber MrBeast is suing the ghost kitchen behind MrBeast Burger to stop production of its popular burger, claiming the company is taking advantage of his brand to expand rather than focusing on the quality of the food.

    DoorDash opens virtual food hall in San Jose [RestaurantDiveDoorDash has opened a DoorDash Kitchens unit in San Jose, California, two years after unveiling its initial pop-up DoorDash Kitchens in the Bay Area city. The virtual food hall is located at The Plant Shopping Center and includes 10 local, regional and national restaurants. 

    Meet the Latest Dining Aesthetic: Darkroom-Core [The New York TimesSome, like Baru, in Cincinnati, and Rouge Room, a Paris-inspired lounge in Las Vegas, embrace darkroom-core as a way to signal a transition to a nocturnal atmosphere. Rouge Room’s crimson-hued ceiling and backlighting smooths the shift from daytime — when the restaurant opens up to the pool at the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa — to dinnertime, when the drapes close and ruby light reigns supreme.

    Mall Talk

    Back To School Is A $40 Billion-Plus Opportunity For Physical Retail [ForbesBack-to-school shopping, the second biggest season of the year for retailers in terms of dollars spent, increasingly is becoming the most important opportunity of the year to draw shoppers into physical stores, and to create new customer relationships and strengthen existing ones.

    What’s working for — and against — retailers heading into the holidays? [RetailDiveAs the summer winds down, retailers are preparing for the all-important back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons. So far in 2023, despite inflation, economic uncertainty and a prioritization of spending on experiences over goods, consumers have come through pretty well for the industry. Yet, even with the first half of the year over, it’s hard to know what’s ahead.

    Local Malls, Stuck in ‘Death Spiral,’ Plunge in Value [The Wall Street JournalCrystal Mall’s parking lots used to be so crowded that parents would line up to drop off their teenagers near one of the entrances rather than search for a spot. Now, the vast stretches of cracked pavement surrounding this 1980s-era regional mall on Connecticut’s coast have more weeds than cars. Valued by an appraiser at $153 million as recently as 2012, Crystal Mall sold in June for just over $9.5 million in a foreclosure auction.

    Simon Property Group says its retail portfolio is worth $3.5B [RetailDiveThe market value of Simon Property Group’s “other platform investments,” a stable of businesses apart from the REIT’s core real estate strategy, is valued at about $3.5 billion or roughly $10 per share, CEO David Simon told analysts Wednesday.

    JLL Ups The Ante In CRE’s Artificial Intelligence ‘Arms Race’ With In-House ChatGPT [BisNowJLL is the first major commercial real estate brokerage to launch its own large language model artificial intelligence product, announcing Tuesday the firm deployed “JLL GPT” to its brokers around the world. Similar in name and function to ChatGPT, the large language model, or LLM, that has taken the world by storm, JLL GPT harvests information from the company’s proprietary databases and offers it up in bespoke responses to questions posed by its users.




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