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    The Week In News, But Shorter

    May 8 - 14, 2023

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    The Week In News, But Shorter
    May 8 – 14, 2023

    While there was an official declaration that the COVID-19 emergency is over, the implications are still being felt in some aspects of the retail industry – most notably when it comes to downtown vs. suburban settings as corporate workers remain working from home. And while headlines might have you believe that every company is returning to office, there is a large portion of the working population that is going to remain working from home, and thus shopping suburban. That means that some retailers are shifting investments from downtown locations to suburban areas to better meet demand, but there are other benefits as well, especially when it comes to fulfillment (you know our spiel about being closer to consumers’ homes…) Are you seeing a shift in your retailers based on the distance to downtown? Let us know over on Twitter and LinkedIn.

    This week drone delivery reappeared in headlines, a surprising mall tenant is seeing success, and there are mixed predictions about the future of ghost kitchens. We’re looking forward to ICSC 2023 in Las Vegas next week – please let us know if we’ll see you there!

    Digital Meets Physical

    Amazon begins selling toys, clothing through mobile games [Financial PostAmazon said on Tuesday it had begun selling users of mobile games related physical items such as T-shirts and toys as it teamed up with the makers of Pokemon GO to provide merchandise related to a new game. The e-retailer announced a business-to-business program called Amazon Anywhere allowing video game makers to sell goods directly through their respective platforms.

    The LVMH Approved Web3 Tech That Really Works For Retail [ForbesDream Assembly Base Camp, the Web3 fashion accelerator program created by Farfetch and global Web3 accelerator-meets-investor Outlier Ventures, which launched in 2022, has just announced its second cohort of start-up talent. “The companies joining us are creating innovative tools and experiences that will greatly support the Web3 opportunities for the luxury sector,” said Hilsum in a statement.

    The Companies Trying to Make Live Shopping a Thing in the U.S. [The New York TimesPoshmark is one of many companies racing to break into the United States’ nascent live shopping market, which is estimated to bring in $32 billion in sales this year, according to the retail consulting firm Coresight Research. Eying the live shopping market in China, which, by comparison, is projected to bring in $647 billion this year, American companies have for years poured money into the medium, where people buy and sell products in real time over video. But American consumers have yet to take to live shopping in the same way.

    Micro & Last Mile Fulfillment

    Amazon is offering shoppers $10 to pick up purchases in-store as delivery costs soar [Yahoo! NewsAmazon is offering some shoppers $10 to collect purchases in-store, rather than having them delivered. The e-commerce giant is among a number of retailers who are rethinking free shipping options. It recently tacked on a $10 fee for grocery orders under $150.

    Drone firm Zipline lands GNC, other customers for home delivery service [SupplyChainDiveDrone delivery firm Zipline has landed new customers in the retail, food and healthcare logistics sectors for its planned home delivery service. GNC, Pagliacci Pizza and Associated Couriers will be using Zipline’s Platform 2 service, which uses a delivery drone and droid to transport goods.

    DoorDash sees ‘rapid growth’ in grocery delivery [Winsight GroceryDoorDash Inc. reported strong sales for the first quarter of 2023, and “outsized growth” in its grocery and convenience store sales, during the company’s earnings call. DoorDash noted that it continued to make “significant investments” in the non-restaurant side of its business, which includes grocery and convenience store deliveries.

    Amazon opens robotic fulfillment center in Connecticut [RetailDiveAmazon opened a robotics fulfillment center in Windsor, Connecticut, where workers will process orders alongside bots.The 3.8 million square-foot facility will have “thousands of robotic systems such as mobile robots and robotic handling systems that help employees deliver for customers everyday,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

    Restaurants & Ghost Kitchens

    NRA: One-third of operators predict ghost kitchens will decline [RestaurantDiveRestaurant operator expectations for the future of ghost kitchens are firmly divided. About one-third of operators expect these businesses to become more common, and roughly the same amount expect them to become less numerous. Consumers prefer ordering from brick-and-mortar restaurants, with 70% of diners saying it’s important for their food to come from a physical location.

    Why Mother’s Day is the most hated day in the restaurant industry [CNNMother’s Day is one of the busiest days for the American restaurant industry. It also has a reputation among waiters and restaurant staff as one of the most grueling days on the calendar. What’s so bad about it? From big groups that show up in waves (“most of us are here!”), to food-fussy kids and grandmas to splitting the check dramas and coffee-cup lingerers, restaurants hate this holiday.

    Deliverect acquires ChatFood, offers dine-in ordering [RestaurantDiveDeliverect, a tech company that integrates online orders for restaurants, has acquired ChatFood, which offers social media ordering, order and pay at table and loyalty solutions, the companies announced Wednesday. ChatFood’s strongest market is within the Gulf region, where over 3,000 foodservice locations use its technology.

    Small Business Owners Struggling to Pay Rent [WWDDue to “cumulative pressures” of inflation, rising interest rates, fears of a recession and bank failures, small business owners polled by Alignable are experiencing fading optimism. Those polled are seeing lower sales, profits and customer counts — resulting in struggles to pay rent.

    Can Actual Rats Save the Mall? [The New York TimesSnoofles, Algernon and Ikit are just some of the thousands of pets that have been adopted from animal shelters sprouting up in malls across the country. A growing number of shopping centers are offering animal rescue groups empty storefronts for free or at a significant discount.

    The Decline of the Five-Day Commute Is a Boon to Suburban Retail [The Wall Street JournalA growing number of retailers in city office districts are relocating their businesses to the suburbs, where visits to shopping centers are on the rise as fewer people commute to downtown workplaces. With average office usage rates still only around half of where they stood before the pandemic in many major cities, many bars, restaurants and other retailers that cater to the five-day-a-week office crowd have been reeling.

    Mall Talk




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