Walmart has created new private-label fashion brands in several categories to add more style and fend off competition from Amazon, which is making bigger inroads into apparel retail. Walmart is the most-shopped retailer for apparel, followed by Amazon Fashion and Target, which are tied for second place, according to Coresight Research.
Supermarket operator Kroger has launched a Culinary Innovation Center in Cincinnati to focus on prepared food innovation and position itself as part of the restaurant industry. In-store restaurants were on track to grow 3.5% in 2017 and book sales of about $42.3 billion, according to a report released last year.
Sears expects to book a fourth-quarter profit of between $140 million and $240 million, despite a double-digit dip in same-store sales, thanks to a benefit of up to $495 million from the new tax law, the retailer said in a regulatory filing. The company also said it will record an impairment charge linked to its trade name for the third consecutive year as revenue continues to fall.
Toy retailer FAO Schwarz has returned to growth mode after shuttering its iconic New York City store two years ago, with plans to expand internationally. The retailer will partner with Chinese distributor Kidsland to open stores in Beijing and Shanghai in 2018, and it has teamed with Hudson Group to open branded shops at airports in the US and Canada.
December's strong holiday sales made it likely that sales would dip in January, and the 3.6% year-over-year increase offers retailers a more accurate metric, former Hudson's Bay Co. and Toys R Us CEO Jerry Storch said. Inflation of about 2% to 3% could help boost retail sales this year, he said.
French design house Yveline Kay Atelier has created a program to show fashions from aspiring designers to US consumers and retail buyers. Beginning this spring, the studio will film fashion shows in Paris and live-stream them for audiences at US department stores, giving buyers a chance to gauge customer interest.
Startup Trendage has launched a platform dubbed Automated Product Recommendations. The platform will use artificial intelligence, visual search and real-time trend data to give retailers the ability to recommend additional items to complete an outfit.
Scannable shelf tags could be a better customer interaction than digital beacons as customers walk through stores, Lisa Lacy writes. Consumers are empowered to scan only those tags that interest them, instead of beacons broadcasting to any shopper with an app open, she writes.
When Maddie's Motorsports had to replace its credit card readers to accept new chip cards, it took the opportunity to begin accepting PIN transactions with debit cards. PINs aren't available for credit cards in the United States, but Maddie's says they have made their debit card transactions more secure than the signature transactions used in the past. Learn more.
Search tools can lead to an improved customer experience and a better bottom line. At NRF 2018: Retail's Big Show, leaders from Pinterest, Google and Nordstrom discussed strategies for enhancing product discovery and transforming customer relationships. Watch the session here.
Shake Shack plans to open up to 35 new US restaurants this year, marking its biggest expansion year to date, the company said Thursday. The chain expects to grow to 200 US locations and 120 international restaurants by 2020.