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    The Week In News, But Shorter

    August 7 - 13, 2023

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    The Week In News, But Shorter
    August 7 – 13, 2023

    We recently had the honor of speaking with Nicole Silberstein at Retail TouchPoints about one of our favorite topics, (which will come as no surprise to readers of this newsletter);  mall-based fulfillment. In her in-depth article on the topic, we had a chance to comment on why this service is really a no-brainer for property owners and a growing need for retailers and also had a chance to hear about a successful implementation from one of our clients, UAE based mall operator Majid Al Futtaim (MAF). We of course also acknowledged some of the apprehensions and challenges, but offer potential solutions as well. We hope you’ll give the article a read and let us know your thoughts over on LinkedIn.

    This week we heard more about back-to-school and how some are embracing nostalgia, while others are implementing new related technologies. We also a report on another trend we’ve been keeping a close eye on, and it wouldn’t be a “Week In News” newsletter if we didn’t hear about the topic on everyone’s minds and AI-powered initiatives.


    Digital Meets Physical

    Shopify on Its New AI-powered Direction [WWDArtificial intelligence is not just changing the face of commerce, but the essence of the platforms that power it, like Canadian retail technology provider Shopify. Its focus on small merchants has always been core to its DNA, but amid the latest breakthroughs in AI, the company is refocusing on larger operations, executives told WWD.

    Zappos Is Employing Nostalgia to Win Over Consumers This Back-to-School Season [Footwear NewsThe online shoe retailer has rolled out a ’90s-style catalog to advertise its kids’ and teen merchandise. The catalog, which was sent out in mid-July to about 700,000 customers who typically purchase shoes for kids, includes product images, games and a shoe sizer.

    Amazon sets a second Prime sale for October, again [RetailDiveAmazon will hold a second sale event in October, open to Prime members in 19 countries, Doug Herrington, CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores. The e-commerce giant held an October sale following its mid-summer Prime event for the first time last year.

    Micro & Last Mile Fulfillment

    Target will offer free carside Starbucks delivery at over 1K stores [GroceryDiveTarget will offer Starbucks items for free carside delivery on Target Drive Up orders placed at 1,700 stores. Customers who place Drive Up orders through Target’s mobile app will be prompted to add their favorite Starbucks menu item to their order. Target says it is the first retailer to offer this service “at this scale.”

    Ocado ramps up same-day delivery options as turnaround continues [Retail GazetteOcado is planning on expanding its same-day delivery options to create more slots for customers as it faces growing pressures from part-owner M&S to start showing signs of a turnaround. Although the online grocer does have same-day delivery options in most locations across the UK, its availability is limited to a few thousand each week.

    Gopuff looks to boost membership program amid struggles [GroceryDiveGopuff announced that it now offers customers who subscribe to its Fam membership program an average savings of 30% off more than 100 “top-selling essentials” like eggs and laundry detergent. Gopuff is aiming to boost its $7.99-per-month Fam membership program as it has struggled to reach price-sensitive consumers who have pulled back on e-commerce shopping.

    Staples taps DoorDash for same-day delivery [RetailDiveAdding to a roster of retail partners, DoorDash has partnered with Staples to offer deliveries from nearly 1,000 U.S. stores, DoorDash announced Monday. DoorDash has a back-to-school deal hub featuring Staples, Office Depot, Walgreens and other major retailers offering school supplies deliveries. 

    Restaurants & Ghost Kitchens

    As prices rise, some restaurants see fewer customers [Yahoo!FinanceRestaurants across the country are continuing to raise prices and reporting fewer customers coming in the doors. In the National Restaurant Association’s June restaurant performance index, 57% of operators reported a decline in traffic from last June. This was the third straight month of decline, leading the association to say the current situation was “dampened.”

    Can the Dream of the Four-Day Workweek Start With Restaurants? [The New York TimesWhile other types of businesses are clamoring to return to prepandemic norms, Hearthside is one of an emerging class of restaurants around the country — from New York City to Nashville to Los Angeles — that are paring back their hours to create a more sustainable schedule for their employees and draw wary veteran workers back to the business.

    Are you being fooled by food delivery ghost kitchens? [The HillWith food delivery on the rise, it seems like there are twice as many restaurants on delivery apps than actual restaurants in your area. You may not even recognize the names of some of them. Why? It turns out, those restaurants you don’t recognize are likely not actual restaurants. Instead, they may be ghost kitchens, which are delivery-only options based inside another restaurant’s kitchen.

    Mall Talk

    Seizing momentum, L.L. Bean expands store fleet, wholesale [RetailDiveL.L. Bean joins a growing number of retailers and brands demonstrating an appreciation of wholesale. Several DTC brands, after touting the strategic and financial advantages of selling directly to customers, have turned to wholesale to boost growth and customer acquisition.

    Bye Bye Flagships? Tiny Stores Boast Big Eco-gains [WWDWhile size and scale have long been a marker of success for stores, more and more forward-thinking retailers are making the environmental case for staying small. Mass merchants still often boast bigger is better, with many pledging to expand footprints after the pandemic. 

    The Crucial Piece of the ‘Mixed Used’ Mall that No One’s Talking About: Logistics and Fulfillment [Retail TouchPointsIt’s no secret that the mall isn’t the draw it once was. Kids these days are just as happy to meet up on Roblox and Fortnite as they are going to their local shopping center. The idea of transforming malls into “mixed use” gathering spots has become popular, but an aerial view of these complexes provides an interesting perspective on another potential evolutionary path for the mall: as a fulfillment center.

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