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    The Week In News, But Shorter

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    The Week In News, But Shorter
    April 10 – 16, 2023

    April 10 – 16, 2023

    A few weeks ago we questioned if the days of free shipping were coming to an end, and this week an article in the Wall Street Journal questions if the days of fast shipping are coming to an end as well. A survey found that fewer e-commerce shoppers preferred same- or next-day delivery, down to 10% from 18% a year earlier. However we might argue that while that is a significant jump, it still means that a significant portion of the e-commerce population do want fast shipping. As costs rise and environmental footprints become more transparent, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues. In the meantime, we will continue to remind property owners of the added value their physical property brings when it comes to reaching consumers faster.

    This week we also saw more about the pull-back on the “meh”-tasverse, predictions about an upcoming national shopping day, and the tech coming to some big restaurant brands. Find anything else interesting in the headlines this week? Tag us on Twitter and LinkedIn and we’ll be sure to include it next week.

    Digital Meets Physical

    TikTok Shopping Is Off to a Slow Start [The InformationTikTok invited hundreds of U.S. merchants to join its shopping service in November, but fewer than 100 of them were using it as of last month, my colleagues Juro, Theo, Ann and Kaya reported on Monday. That’s just some of the reporting that shows how few inroads TikTok has made in U.S. e-commerce so far.

    Uniqlo’s Parent Company Bets Big on Tiny RFID Chips [The Wall Street JournalAt Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue store in New York, shoppers can checkout simply by placing their goods in gleaming bins of automated stations. This next-generation process is powered by radio frequency identification readers inside the checkout machines, which automatically read hidden RFID chips embedded in price tags.

    Major retail players are walking back their metaverse strategies [ModernRetailWalmart has reportedly shut down its Universe of Play metaverse experience on Roblox just six months after its launch. Walmart, for its part, said it discontinued the experience “as planned.” Walt Disney has axed the next-generation storytelling and consumer-experiences unit that was mapping out the company’s metaverse strategies late last month.

    Palm-reading checkout hits Denver Whole Foods Markets [Winsight Grocery Business] The Amazon One palm-recognition service is now available at Whole Foods Market stores in Belmar, Cherry Creek, Colfax, Colorado Boulevard, Governor’s Ranch, Highlands Ranch, Ideal Market Denver, SouthGlenn, Tamarac, Union Station and Washington Park.

    Micro & Last Mile Fulfillment

    Online Shopping’s Fast-Delivery Race Is Slowing Down [The Wall Street JournalOnline shoppers are increasingly willing to wait for delivery, according to a survey, which found that 10% of online consumers preferred same- or next-day delivery, down from 18% a year earlier. Shoppers value the knowledge of when a package will arrive and lower shipping costs over speed, industry insiders say.

    The ‘dark store theory’ has cost Michigan cities millions. It’s facing new challenges. [MliveWalmart is making a legal argument in Houghton, MI, that it should pay property taxes based on the value of its land and building and not its business operations. The city disagrees, claiming that Walmart in 2004 agreed to pay future taxes based on favorable terms it gave the retailer to build and open a store there.

    FedEx and Amazon still haven’t figured out sidewalk delivery robots. Will mass adoption ever come? [SmartCitiesDiveDelivery giants’ tests of autonomous bots fizzled out. But many logistics experts still believe that the technology can catch on, creating potential challenges for cities.

    Restaurants & Ghost Kitchens

    Restaurant prices are rising faster than grocery prices for the first time since inflation ran hot [CNBCRestaurant prices outpaced grocery prices on a 12-month basis for the first time since inflation started accelerating in mid-2021. The price of food away from home is up 8.8% over the last year, while the price of food at home is up 8.4% in the same period.

    Chipotle unveils sustainable-restaurant design to cut carbon footprint in half by 2030 [CNBCChipotle is piloting a new restaurant design to help reach its sustainability goals. Next year, more than 100 of the chain’s new locations will use all-electric equipment and some additional elements from the new design to halve greenhouse gas emissions.

    Domino’s now lets you order pizza via Apple CarPlay [The VergeDomino’s already lets you quickly order pizza at the tap of a button on your phone, but now, it’s enabling you to do it on your car’s infotainment screen via CarPlay. The new feature puts a simplified version of the Domino’s app on your dash and lets you “Tap to Order,” which instantly signals your main store to start making your favorite order for pickup.

    Mall Talk

    Ecommerce Inflation Easing, But Shoppers Still Shifting Spending Due To Prices [ForbesOnline prices declined, on a year-over-year basis, for the seventh consecutive month in March, but persistent inflation in categories like groceries continues to impact discretionary spending on items like electronics, toys, and gifts.

    More than 50K stores may close by 2027: UBS [RetailDiveRetailers closed more stores than they opened in 2022, reversing a trend in 2021 that saw about 11,000 net stores added to the U.S. retail sector’s brick-and-mortar footprint. That trend is likely to continue “as a tough macro backdrop and shift in spending away from goods forces closures at smaller, undifferentiated retailers,” the analysts said.

    Shanghai’s Tube Showroom Ventures Into Experiential Retail [WWD] Dia Creative Communications, one of Shanghai’s most prominent fashion showrooms, ventured into experiential retail last week with the opening of Dia Underground at the basement level of Xintiandi Style II, a trendy shopping mall in downtown Shanghai.

    National Shopping Outlet Day No. 2 planned for June [Chain Store Age] Next month, big deals will once again have bargain hunters streaming into Simon outlet centers nationwide. Ninety Simon Premium Outlets and The Mills properties will be celebrating the second installment of National Outlet Shopping Day in June. Simon promises thousands of exclusive deals from even more retail brands this year, plus VIP events hosted by luxury retailers.

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