July 28, 2021
Retail Roundup
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Retail Updates
Walmart will pay for employees' books, college tuition
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Walmart will now pay 100% of the cost of tuition and books for employees enrolled in academic programs at 10 university partners that are part of the retailer's Live Better U education program. About 28,000 of the 1.5 million Walmart and Sam's Club employees now participate in the program, which previously did not cover books and required participants to pay $1 per day toward the cost.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (7/27),  CNN (7/28) 
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Bed Bath & Beyond takes on supply chain delays
(Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Bed Bath & Beyond will open a distribution center in Pennsylvania this year and a second facility in California in 2022, both operated by Ryder System with a mix of humans and automation. The distribution centers are meant to mitigate supply chain delays and reduce replenishment times at namesake and BuyBuy BABY stores.
Full Story: Bloomberg (7/26) 
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Target, author team on limited-edition kids' line
(Target)
Target has partnered with children's book author and illustrator Christian Robinson to create a limited-edition line of books, kids' clothing and home goods designed to promote creativity and inclusivity. The first of the more than 70 items in the line will launch in mid-August online and in most Target stores, and more home goods are slated to debut in October.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (7/26) 
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GMDC|Retail Tomorrow and the International Housewares Association will host three weeks of virtual meetings starting Sept. 28, with sessions on housewares, general merchandise and self-care. "We have seen the self-care, general merchandise and housewares landscape evolve at a rapid pace throughout the past year, and as this trajectory continues, this event series is an opportunity to address these changes and prepare for more as we approach the latter half of 2021," said Patrick Spear, president and CEO of GMDC|Retail Tomorrow.
Full Story: Supermarket News (free registration) (7/22) 
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General Merchandise and Health Beauty Wellness News
Sephora expects to reach its goal of sourcing 15% of prestige hair care brands from Black-owned companies by the end of the year, according to the company's latest diversity, equity and inclusion progress report. The retailer recently signed eight new brands founded by women of color, and Sephora expects to meet the goal of doubling the number of Black-owned beauty products by year's end.
Full Story: Women's Wear Daily (subscription required) (7/28) 
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Garnier hair care brand unveils shampoo bars
(Garnier)
L'Oreal's Garnier brand has released a Whole Blends shampoo line in a bar format. The four varieties use zero plastic packaging, representing "a huge milestone for the brand" and its sustainability goals, said Adrien Koskas, global brand president of Garnier.
Full Story: Drug Store News (7/27) 
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Innovation and Retail Technology
Walmart will sell the e-commerce technology it created for customers to be able to buy items online and pay in-store to small and midsize retailers. The company will offer the services through a cloud-based subscription after partnering with Adobe.
Full Story: CNBC (7/28) 
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Industry and Consumer trends
Retailers are looking forward to a strong back-to-school shopping season, as schools and colleges return to in-person learning this fall after more than a year of remote education. Students who were college freshmen last year will outfit dorm rooms for the first time in addition to this year's freshmen, and families with younger kids are expected to spend on backpacks, lunch boxes and other gear they didn't need for at-home schooling.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (7/26) 
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GMDC News
Registration OPEN!
GMDC|Retail Tomorrow Fall Strategic Meetings provide a unique opportunity for virtual trading partner collaboration. The goal of these meetings is to accelerate long-term business growth and identify new business opportunities in Selfcare, General Merchandise, and Housewares. Learn more and register.
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Return to Brick-and-Mortar
Recent data shows that brick-and-mortar retail is demonstrating resilience in the face of an e-commerce boom due to the pandemic. Assuming we see a return to normalcy in the coming months -- it is time to figure out what to do next. Gain insight from BHDP's recently conducted consumer surveys and retail roundtable discussions. The results may surprise you. Register today!
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Kristin Chenoweth,
actor, singer
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