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    The Week In News, But Shorter

     

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    The Week In News, But Shorter.

    November 14 – 20, 2022

    We really don’t play favorites when it comes to property owners, but this is the second week in a row that an initiative from Simon has caught our eye. The mall operator is teaming up with Leap to open multiple stores at its properties for direct-to-consumer brands. Leap’s platform enables brands to deploy stores that work in concert with e-commerce more rapidly and at significantly reduced cost and risk, and it’s a model we’ve been championing for a while now. Leap enables brands that wouldn’t typically have the resources to open physical retail to “test drive” with hands-on support. While it’s great that Simon and Leap are working together on this effort (as part of a broader partnership), there are ways you can bring this model to your own centers too. Unsure how? Let’s chat.

    This week we also heard about how the metaverse is translating to real-world revenue for some retailers, how some retailers are remodeling with fulfillment in mind, and about what to expect later this week when one of the busiest shopping days of the year kicks-off. Are you ready? Let us know over on  Twitter or LinkedIn.

     

    Digital Meets Physical
    Primark’s Online Trial Runs Into Problems On First Day—That’s A Good Sign [Forbes]
    Popular value fashion retailer, Primark, launched a click-and-collect service today, after saying that it did not plan to move to an online model last year—but the site promptly crashed, albeit temporarily, due to demand.5 tech revolutions that haven’t happened (at least not yet) [RetailDive]
    Hey retailers, it might be time to ditch your stores, move your inventory to the metaverse, replace your staff with robots, switch from cash to crypto and invest all your profits in some blockchains. But before you do, it might be worth stopping to consider all the technological utopias that have not come to pass.

    TikTok launches e-commerce feature in app to compete with Amazon [Semafor]
    TikTok quietly entered the United States e-commerce market this week, where it will compete with Amazon and other retail giants during the coming holiday shopping season. Users can now make purchases directly through the app using a feature called TikTok Shop, which the company officially began testing in the U.S. this week. It was previously only available in the UK and seven countries in Southeast Asia.How retailers are connecting the metaverse to the real world and revenue [RetailDive]
    Brands are diving into virtual environments to connect with young consumers. But are these digital spaces just billboards for brands, or can they have tangible benefits?

    Micro & Last Mile Fulfillment
    Last-Mile Delivery Carrier Better Trucks Secures $15 Million for Expansion [Yahoo! Finance]
    Better Trucks is a last-mile delivery carrier focused on next-day and two-day parcel shipping to residential customers, leveraging in-house technology to streamline the delivery process. Its shipping clients include leading national retailers delivering across the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Texas, as well as e-commerce and fulfillment companies such as ShipBob. Better Trucks is also available on the leading multi-carrier shipping platforms such as EasyPost and ProShip.

    Target Introduces Larger Store Concept With More Fulfillment Space and Merchandise [RetailTouchpoints]
    The first new store concept recently opened outside of Houston, and Target plans to utilize the format in half of the 200 store remodels and almost all of the 30 new stores planned for 2023. The new store layout includes a backroom fulfillment space that’s five times larger than previous stores of similar size to help support ongoing digital growth — stores fulfill more than 95% of the retailer’s digital orders and same-day services accounting for more than 10% of Target’s overall sales.

    DoorDash is starting to look like a tech platform [Chain Store Age]
    DoorDash has made a few moves which suggest it wants to expand beyond offering delivery of food (as well as purchases from non-food retailers such as Sephora and Tractor Supply Company) and evolve into a more broadly-based tech platform, like Amazon or Google. Fellow on-demand delivery providers Instacart, and to a lesser extent Uber, have already been transforming themselves into tech platforms.

    Restaurants & Ghost Kitchens
    PepsiCo Adds Ghost Kitchen Side Hustle to Drive Foodservice Sales [PYMNTS]
    At a time when many consumers are adding second jobs to augment their income, it seems PepsiCo is looking to supplement its core beverages and snack foods business via a new side hustle in restaurant technology that’s aimed at growing its presence in foodservice. The soft drink giant announced that it is offering restaurant customers a turnkey ghost kitchen solution to enable them to drive revenue with additional off-premise sales.

    New virtual restaurant at SEA extends airport ghost kitchen trend [RunwayGirl]
    Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) has joined the small but growing flock of airports that are home to ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants with the opening of a chicken-themed virtual restaurant, called Chicky. Seattle celebrity chef Kathy Casey, who already operates several venues at SEA, hatched the idea, taking inspiration from a large porcelain chicken in her test kitchen and lessons learned during the Covid crisis.

    Subway includes ‘smart fridges’ in ‘grab & go’ store expansion [Chain Store Age]
    Subway is focusing store expansion on non-traditional locations, including interactive, fully unattended smart fridges. The quick-service sandwich chain is basing expansion plans on “grab & go” stores that serve customers who are in a hurry, outside of its traditional brick-and-mortar locations. These include Subway’s first-ever smart fridge, opened in September 2022 at the University of California San Diego.

    Mall Talk
    The outlet mall opportunity [Glossy]
    With inflation-weary shoppers hunting for bargains and over-inventoried retailers looking to offload merchandise, it’s a promising time for outlet malls. The lower-price, suburban, open-air sibling of indoor shopping centers has faced a bumpy road in recent years with fierce competition. That’s come from online sellers, a growing preference among many consumers for convenience over shopping-as-activity and a wave of store closures during the pandemic.All eyes on the consumer ahead of Black Friday and the holidays [CNN]
    It has been a tough year for American consumers. Inflation everywhere. Rapidly rising interest rates. A housing market that is starting to cool off. That begs a question with the holidays right around the corner: Are shoppers finally tapped out?

    In-person retail back, with emphasis on value [Chain Store Age]
    In-person shopping is back with a vengeance. That’s according to a report from location intelligence provider Gravy Analytics, which found that foot traffic to shopping destinations was 15% higher during the third quarter of 2022 compared to the year-ago period.  Department stores saw the biggest (49%) increases in foot traffic during the period, followed by outlet malls (38%) and malls (37%).U.S. Shoppers Are Still Spending, as Long as Retailers Give Them a Reason [The New York Times]
    Retail sales rose last month, and several companies reported strong earnings. But discounts seemed to drive a significant portion of purchases.

    Simon partners with Leap to bring DTC brands to shopping centers [Chain Store Age]
    Simon is looking to help direct-to-consumer brands evolve into omnichannel retailers by expanding in brick-and-mortar. The mall operator is teaming up with Leap to open multiple stores at its properties for direct-to-consumer brands. To start, Simon and Leap are planning to open four stores at Simon centers located in California and Florida.

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