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Fierce Retail’s latest news


FierceRetail April 12, 2016

This week’s sponsor is GT Nexus.

Today’s Top Stories

1. Walmart expands online assortment

2. Yummy.com grows millennial grocery concept

3. JCPenney sizes up new apparel line

4. Facebook shopping gets easier

5. Loblaw to invest $1B in store growth

This week’s sponsor is 8×8.
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Also Noted

Spotlight: Coop Italia shows off the supermarket of the future

Stories from around the Web

News from the Marketing & Retail Industry



Today’s Top News

1. Walmart expands online assortment

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 | By Laura Heller

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is partnering with ChannelAdvisor to expand the number of products and brands offered on its website.

ChannelAdvisor aggregates retailers and brands for online marketplaces, and the program will create a larger marketplace on Walmart.com.

Growing digital sales is a priority for Walmart, which recently reported just an 8 percent increase for the fourth quarter of e-commerce sales globally. In contrast, Target grew digital sales by 34 percent during the same period.

The announcement was made during ChannelAdvisor’s customer conference in Las Vegas.

“Our partnership with marketplace retailers allows us to provide our customers with more brands and products on Walmart.com,” said Seth Beal, Walmart’s senior vice president of global marketplace. “Through integration with ChannelAdvisor, we can quickly team up with ChannelAdvisor’s expansive network of sellers and brands to help our customers find what they want.”

Walmart launched its marketplace in 2009, and products from third-party sellers are clearly called out and identified as Walmart Marketplace items to shoppers.

For more:
– see this Reuters story
– see this Retailing Today article

Related Articles:
Walmart head of online departs
Alibaba beats Walmart for title of biggest retailer
Former Walmart exec Tom Coughlin dies at 66

2. Yummy.com grows millennial grocery concept

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 | By Laura Heller

Upstart grocery delivery service Yummy.com has opened its sixth store in Los Angeles in its quest to target a very specific shopper: millennials.

Yummy.com is the latest iteration of HomeGrocer, and its newest location in Century City expands the company’s delivery area. Yummy.com is developed for younger shoppers in their 30s, or older consumers who want more fresh options and fewer traditional brands.

Essentially, Yummy.com wants the Whole Foods shopper looking for a more curated, modern grocery experience – the very shopper Whole Foods is targeting with its new 365 Market.

Traditional grocers are quickly expanding online services and delivery optionspaired with brick-and-mortar locations, but Yummy.com is largely a delivery service with the stores acting as fulfillment centers for orders placed online and by smartphone. A very small percentage of purchases are made in stores.

Barnaby Montgomery, CEO, told Supermarket News that the store “is focused on innovative systems for the modern customer’s needs and preferences [with] a seamless, frictionless shopping experience powered by our proprietary shopping systems.”

Each store carries about 4,000 SKUs, including freshly prepared foods. There are mounted tablets that let shoppers place orders with service areas such as the deli department to cut down on wait times while in the store. And mobile self-checkout will roll out soon, allowing shoppers to scan and pay for items on their iPhones.

The stores each fulfill between 125 and 350 orders daily.

Yummy.com projects it will process 30,000 orders a week, with an average order of $60. The company’s annual sales are estimated at $20 million this year; sales are steadily increasing and rose 21 percent in 2015, according to Supermarket News.

For more:
– see this and this article in Supermarket News
– see this story at The Shelby Report

Related Articles:
Whole Foods invests in Instacart
Whole Foods unveils concept geared toward millennials
Whole Foods expands My Street Grocery

3. JCPenney sizes up new apparel line

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 | By Laura Heller

JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) is launching a new plus-size private label in an effort to capture share of this growing business segment.

The Boutique+ brand has been in the works since last year and will include two collections designed by Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton. The 24-year-old Tipton was the first Project Runway winner to design for the plus-size customer with an eye to the youth market.

JCPenney is looking to capture the millennial market with Boutique+, with items priced between $12.99 and $39.99, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The plus-size market overall is estimated at $20 billion annually. The number of teens buying plus-size apparel has nearly doubled since 2012, to roughly 34 percent of that population, according to the NPD Group.

Target launched Ava & Viv, its plus-size line with a youthful twist, in 2015, and is currently running a summer swim campaign celebrating women in all shapes and sizes in conjunction with the redesigned, curvy Barbie.

The Boutique+ label will be available online and in approximately 500 JCPenney stores beginning May 1. About 200 store locations will get branded “The Boutique” departments.

JCPenney has long carried plus sizes, but the expansion into teen apparel within that category is a nod to the growing buying power of this group and a continuation of the retailer’s efforts to woo younger shoppers.

For more:
– see this Dallas Morning News article

Related Articles:
JCPenney finishes with strong sales
JCPenney introduces ‘Penney Days’
More executive changes at JCPenney

4. Facebook shopping gets easier

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 | By Laura Heller

Retailers can now create shops on Facebook through the BigCommerce platform. BigCommerce has expanded its Shop section on Facebook pages so that merchants can more easily create custom shops.

Nearly 50 percent of visitors to Facebook are actively looking for products, with a majority discovering new products in their News Feed, pages and groups, according to the social media site.

The expanded platform lets retailers add the Shop section to their Facebook Page to display and promote curated product collections, allowing shoppers to discover new products, subscribe to updates when new items are added and purchase them through the retailer’s online store.

“Selling through Facebook represents an additional channel to help new customers discover our brand, drive awareness for our products and increase traffic to our store,” Tanya Keller, community manager for Native Union, said in a statement.

Social media has been a challenge for retailers. Consumers are active on many social sites including Facebook – 23 percent say they follow a favorite apparel brand – but even with the arrival of a buy button on some sites, barriers still exist to closing sales on social media.

For more:
– see this BigCommerce announcement

Related Articles:
The buy button arrives
Yahoo buys social shopping site Polyvore
Social media increasingly leading the m-commerce charge

5. Loblaw to invest $1B in store growth

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 | By Laura Heller

Canadian supermarket chain Loblaw plans to invest roughly $1 billion in new stores and remodeling projects.

The company plans 50 new stores under its various banners, including Shoppers Drug Mart, and will remodel another 150 existing locations, according to CBC News. The retailer will invest $1 billion Canadian dollars ($775 million USD) and its real estate investment trust will invest an additional $300 million.

“We continue to invest in our business in ways that matter for the Canadian economy,” Loblaw President Galen Weston said in a statement.

Toronto-based Loblaw operates more than 1,050 grocery store and 1,250 stand-alone pharmacies in Canada. The planned expansion for 2016 mirrors that for 2015, when the retailer made roughly the same investment in its store base.

For more:
– see this CBC News story

Related Articles:
Retailers reap rewards after Target’s exit from Canada
Canadian grocery Loblaw launches click-and-collect
Walmart launches first Pickup Grocery store in Arkansas

Also Noted

Spotlight: Coop Italia shows off the supermarket of the future

Italy’s largest grocer cooperative, Coop Italia, showed off its version of the supermarket of the future at Microsoft’s Envision conference in New Orleans this week.

The concept uses motion sensors to detect a shopper’s location, and visual displays to communicate product information and make suggestions. The technology can provide allergen information and even make wine pairing suggestions. Read more.

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