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    The Week In News, But Shorter

    October 2 - 8, 2023

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    The Week In News, But Shorter
    October 2 – 8, 2023

    As we head into the all important holiday season, some retailers are experimenting with adding incentives for curbside pickups. An article this week in ModernRetail points out that while retailers like Target, Walmart and Kroger acknowledge that curbside pickup is one of their highest rated services, they are still doing more to spur impulse purchases and grow carts. And we agree that even further improving this service is indeed a path worth pursuing, we also want our mall operator readers to see this as a service that can be successful for you too. The myriad benefits of curbside are undeniable, and when the economies of scale offered in a mall setting are applied, the wins are even more so. Unclear how? Let’s chat.

    This week we read about some new drone complaints, a new player in reverse logistics, and which generation is driving mall shopping this holiday season. Anything we missed? We’re over on LinkedIn hoping to hear from you!

    Digital Meets Physical

    Walgreens Test of Ad-Enabled Cooler Doors Ends Up in Court [The Wall Street JournalA test by Walgreens of technology that replaced some cooler doors with digital screens that play ads has ended in acrimony. The vendor, Cooler Screens is suing saying that Walgreens obstructed an agreed-upon nationwide rollout of the internet-connected doors and demanded their removal from stores. Walgreens, meanwhile, says the technology didn’t work.

    Collaborative Growth: Canadian DTC Brands Forge Alliances In Retail Expansion [ForbesIn a world where digital brands dominate, Canadian direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies like Mejuri, Fable, and Silk & Snow are forging a unique path to success by forming mutually beneficial partnerships and shop-in-shop experiences. These brands, each with distinct offerings, share common values and a commitment to growth, resulting in a collaborative ecosystem redefining the retail landscape.

    Dancing with the Stars debuts in 3D at Westfield WTC [Chain Store AgeTens of thousands of commuters and shoppers bustling through Westfield World Trade Center this week are seeing Dancing with the Stars’ Julianne Hough and Alfonso Rebeiro rumba like they never have before. The show’s co-hosts are two-stepping and bunny-hopping across a 100-yard-long digital ballroom to promote the 32nd season of the show, and their spinning, flipping, and dipping jumps out at passersby in 3D.

    Amazon Go resumes suburban expansion with Washington store [C-StoreDiveAmazon opened its third suburban Amazon Go in the Seattle suburbs and sixth overall in the U.S. Amazon has scaled back its brick-and-mortar operations over the past year, as it closed nearly a third of its Amazon Go locations and halted the rollout of its Amazon Fresh grocery stores. However, this opening proves that it hasn’t given up on physical retail locations.

    Micro & Last Mile Fulfillment

    Amazon drone deliveries soaring as neighbors share concerns about noise [KBTXAmazon drones continue making deliveries in College Station skies, giving customers a quick and convenient way to shop. But, some neighbors say they’re fed up with the noise. During a city council meeting, former College Station Council Member, Bob Brick, spoke to leaders about his concerns as more than half a dozen drones took off in a matter of minutes.

    Uber launches new package return service [Chain Store AgeUber is expanding its package delivery operations into the reverse logistics space. The company, which initially expanded from its core rideshare business into third-party online delivery with the launch of Uber Eats in 2015 and then entered package delivery in 2020 (see more details below), is now offering a new “Return a Package” feature.

    Focus: UPS and FedEx customers regain upper hand in delivery price battle [ReutersU.S. retailers and other delivery customers for the first time in more than four years are easily winning discounts from United Parcel Service and FedEx, according to industry data and interviews with seven professionals who advise shippers in price negotiations.

    Retailers are adding incentives to encourage impulse purchases for curbside orders ahead of the holiday season [ModernRetailRetailers are adding new incentives to boost their overall curbside shopper experience for customers. Target said it will rollout its drive-up with Starbucks program across the country and Kroger started giving out free sample boxes along with its online delivery and curbside pickup orders. And Walmart is now offering late night online pickup and delivery as it builds out its suite of pickup and delivery options.

    Restaurants & Ghost Kitchens

    DoorDash tests a feature that rewards users for dining out, not ordering in [TechCrunchDoorDash has made a name for itself as a restaurant delivery service that has in  expanded to categories like groceries and convenience stores. But the company is now running a test of a surprising new feature: a rewards program that offers consumers credits for dining out at local restaurants. Called simply “Dine Out,” allows users to earn credits by swiping to “check in” while they’re at a restaurant.

    Blue Apron purchased for $103M by Marc Lore-led food startup [Chain Store AgeA leading meal kit provider is being purchased by a company founded by the former head of e-commerce of Walmart. Blue Apron has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by food and restaurant startup Wonder Group for $13 in cash per share of Class A common stock, or approximately $103 million. Wonder Group says this purchase is a step on its way to the planned development of a “meal time super app.”

    Domino’s, Microsoft team to transform ordering, store workflows with AI [ChainStoreAgeDomino’s is entering a wide-ranging partnership with Microsoft that will include the establishment of a joint innovation lab. The world’s largest pizza retailer and the tech giant will collaboratively leverage the Microsoft Cloud and Azure OpenAI service in an effort to enhance the ordering process via personalization and simplification.

    Mall Talk

    Macy’s sets out to triple its off-mall fleet in less than 2 years [RetailDiveMacy’s will open as many as 30 off-mall stores nationwide in the next 18 months, accelerating its small-format strategy, the department store said Tuesday. Openings of the locations, which are about one-fifth the size of its full-line stores, will begin next year and continue through fall of 2025.

    Gen Z headed to malls this holiday season: report [RetailDiveNearly half of Gen Z consumers (49.6%) plan to do their holiday shopping at malls, a higher proportion than the 40.8% average, according to JLL’s Holiday Shopping Survey Report 2023. Consumers plan to spend $530 on gifts alone this year, down from $612 last year.

    H&M eyes smaller stores and considers returning to former locations [Retail GazetteAccording to Drapers, property sources revealed the fashion giant was considering opening shops of around 8,000 sq ft, compared to its typical stores which stand at over 20,000 sq ft. The move could mean H&M returning to areas where it closed in recent years.




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