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    The Week In News, But Shorter

    November 21 – 27, 2022

    blog We hope our American readers enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving, and that all of our readers survived the biggest holiday shopping weekend of the year. While Black Friday has changed quite a bit over the past few years — from lines forming on Thanksgiving and fights breaking out over coveted items, to no in-person shopping thanks to Covid, to a more mild, but just as busy weekend — it still reigns as a major moment in retail. What is yet to be seen is if shoppers will or won’t turn out, and if they will or won’t spend in response to steep discounts. What did you experience this Black Friday/Cyber Monday both in-person and online? Let us know over on Twitter or LinkedIn. We’ll be keeping an eye on the industry reports and share our thoughts next week on what it means for the remainder of the year.

    This week we saw more news about digital-first brands breaking into physical retail, about which delivery platforms are expanding their offerings, and how restaurants were able to compete with home-cooking this holiday.

    Digital Meets Physical
    How Argent, A Women’s Workwear Label, Is Using Physical Retail To Grow Its Brand [Forbes]
    Argent is far from the only brand to re-open stores since the pandemic. Brands like Therabody, Parade, Brooklinen, and Frances Valentine, are all examples of digital brands that have announced store expansion plans over the past year. So, despite the looming economy, physical retail is in high demand. Amazon ‘Just Walk Out’-enabled store comes to Bridgestone Arena [Chain Store Age]
    The home arena of the Nashville Predators professional hockey team is leveraging Amazon technology in a new cashierless convenience store. The store, called “Twice Daily” and located inside Bridgestone Arena, will be the first retail location in a Nashville sports and entertainment venue to feature Amazon’s Just Walk Out frictionless shopping technology and Amazon One palm-based payment solution.

    The direct-to-consumer kitchenware brand Our Place gets physical [RetailWire]
    The digital kitchenware site Our Place is one of the latest online-only brands to move into brick and mortar retailing. Our Place, which launched in 2019, just opened its first physical location in Los Angeles. Others in direct-to-consumer cookware have pursued expansion into the brick-and-mortar world through partnerships, rather than building a standalone store footprint. Post-FTX, fashion brands are launching phygital collections and their own metaverse platforms [Glossy]
    Despite cryptocurrency’s and NFTs’ falls from grace in recent months, brands still view the closely-related web3 as a lucrative creative opportunity. Brands including Nike and Italian footwear brand Casadei are building their own metaverse platforms and phygital collections to provide more tangible value to customers.

    Micro & Last Mile Fulfillment
    NYC bodegas to offer delivery under new Uber Eats partnership [Winsight Grocery Business]
    The delivery platform is working with point-of-sale provider National Retail Solutions to give thousands of small grocers, delis and convenience stores the ability to deliver orders in 30-60 minutes.DroneUp has partnered with Walmart to make home deliveries even faster [Fast Company]
    In just a few years, drones have gone from a futuristic, Jetsons-like idea to something that’s routinely delivering your Hamburger Helper. Part of that success is thanks to drone operator DroneUp, which has been working with Walmart to get consumers in a handful of states their lightweight goods in as little as half an hour.

    Macy’s establishes mini distribution centers at 35 stores [RetailDive]
    Macy’s is using space within 35 of its stores to function as mini distribution centers as the retailer positions its e-commerce network to handle an expected influx of shipments ahead of the holidays.Gopuff launches scheduled deliveries, gifting and in-store pickup [TechCrunch]
    Gopuff customers can now place an order when the marketplace closes to have Gopuff deliver the order as soon as it reopens. Alternatively, customers can schedule an order in advance for a specific date and time, or arrange for an order to be picked up where Gopuff offers retail and in-store shopping.

    Restaurants & Ghost Kitchens
    Restaurants push Thanksgiving promotions in response to high grocery prices [Nation’s Restaurant News]
    Thanksgiving dinner, sides and all, is expected to cost about 20% more this year versus last year, and restaurants are promoting group-occasion meals in response.DoorDash will let customers gift DashPass subscriptions [RestaurantDive]
    DoorDash is selling three-month, six-month and 12-month memberships of its DashPass subscription as a holiday gift option for consumers, the company announced Monday. The company is running a DashPass subscription sale from Nov. 25 to Dec. 16. Buyers can gift themselves or others a DashPass membership for a year at $59 compared to the full price of $96.

    Mall Talk
    Retailers’ Holiday Discounts Are Steeper This Year, CFOs Say [The Wall Street Journal]
    Some chief financial officers in the retail sector say markdowns are necessary to start the new year without the drag of excess stock on their shelves. Companies were caught off guard earlier this year by rapid changes in consumers’ buying habits, leaving them with a glut of early-pandemic favorites such as athletic wear and home goods.Stressed-Out Americans Plan to Buy Fewer Christmas Gifts, Donate Less to Charity [The Wall Street Journal]
    Households, retailers and charities nationwide, feeling the pinch of inflation, are bracing for a humbug holiday season. U.S. consumers and businesses have trimmed spending plans for gifts, charitable contributions and holiday events, data show. The penny-pinching threatens to spoil the year-end for many, especially firms and nonprofits that tally their largest share of sales and donations in November and December.

    Black Friday is back as record number of Americans are expected to go shopping [RetailWire]
    Americans may have started their Christmas shopping in July or October or some other point before this week, but research indicates that a record number of the nation’s citizens still plan to go hunting for gifts between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.ICSC predicts $125 billion in consumer spending over Thanksgiving weekend [Chain Store Age]
    Consumers are ready to shop over Thanksgiving weekend — particularly in physical stores. That’s according to the ICSC Thanksgiving Weekend Intentions survey, which found that consumers plan to spend a total of $125 billion over Thanksgiving weekend, which represents a 10% increase over 2021. On average, 89% of consumers expect to shop in the period beginning Thanksgiving Day and ending on Cyber Monday, despite concerns around inflation and rising interest rates.

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