Morrisons debuts first Nutmeg-branded store | Investor bids $20M for Pier 1's brand, e-commerce arm | Connected kitchens could offer new shopping experience
July 8, 2020
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Industry Update
UK supermarket chain Morrisons has opened its first store dedicated to its Nutmeg brand of home goods and other essentials in Derbyshire. The 5,400-square-foot standalone store will allow for the expansion of the Nutmeg brand beyond the selections sold in Morrisons stores.
Full Story: RetailGazette.co.uk (U.K.) (7/6) 
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Investor bids $20M for Pier 1's brand, e-commerce arm
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Retail Ecommerce Ventures has bid more than $20 million to buy Pier 1 Imports' e-commerce business and intellectual property. The firm, which owns Dress Barn's intellectual property, will be the lead bidder in a bankruptcy court auction for the home goods retailer's assets that's scheduled for today.
Full Story: The Dallas Morning News (tiered subscription model) (7/6),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (7/6) 
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Trends & Innovations
Connected kitchens could offer new shopping experience
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The rise of connected smart kitchens is creating new opportunities for seamless cooking and shopping experiences, with the connected appliance market expected to grow to $8.2 billion by 2024. Drop, a smart kitchen start-up based in Ireland, is working on an operating system that would connect smart appliances with recipe publishers and grocers.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (7/6) 
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Anomaly's "The Great Meal" spot for Coca-Cola marks the brand's first advertising since the start of the pandemic and features footage taped remotely in 13 homes around the world, including those in Orlando, Fla., London and Mexico City. The ad spotlights how shared meals have become more special during quarantine, and Anomaly's Laura Sampedro explains, "That's Coke's way of seeing the glass as half full."
Full Story: Muse by Clio (7/2),  Marketing Dive (7/2),  Campaign US (tiered subscription model) (7/3) 
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Retail News
Costco cuts sheet cakes to promote social distancing
(Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images)
Costco has stopped selling its popular $19 half sheet cake for the foreseeable future, citing the pandemic and the need to trim some departments to allow for proper distancing. Rivals including Sam's Club, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods Market are still selling their versions of the cakes designed for parties and made to feed as many as 50 people.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (7/6) 
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Walmart, with CAMP, is offering a virtual "Camp by Walmart" program on its mobile app, featuring celebrity-hosted experiences such as a cosmetics tutorial with Drew Barrymore and activities led by LeBron James. The retailer also partnered with Tribeca Enterprises to bring drive-in movie experiences to 160 parking lots at its stores.
Full Story: Ad Age (tiered subscription model) (7/3) 
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Amazon to open Go stores amid grocery expansion
(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Amazon will open two more Go cashierless grocery locations as part of a continued expansion of its grocery platform. The two stores will be located in Redmond, Wash., and Washington, D.C., while conventional stores are being planned for Los Angeles' North Hollywood neighborhood and three sites in the Chicago suburbs.
Full Story: GeekWire (7/3),  The Seattle Times (tiered subscription model) (7/3) 
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First-quarter reports from J.C. Penney and Macy's reflect the downturn that followed the closure of the retailers' stores during the pandemic. Sales at both retailers are starting to recover after most of their stores have reopened.
Full Story: MediaPost Communications (7/2) 
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Finance & Policy
Retail traffic was starting to trend upward when a surge of coronavirus cases has caused it to fall again. Traffic is down 34% from last year and hit its lowest point in April at 82.6%.
Full Story: CNBC (7/6) 
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IHA News
Consumers feel pressed for time due to a confluence of job demands and kids' schedules, and therefore place a high value on time-saving products. This stress on time heightens their demand for offerings that meet their needs. Join the authors of the 2020 IHA Market Watch Report for part one of a six-part series on consumer trends starting tomorrow, July 9. They will discuss the trend of time and its implications for product and retail strategy, including how it has evolved during the coronavirus pandemic. The program begins at 1 p.m. C.T. Register now!
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After The Inspired Home Show 2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns, Tom Mirabile, consumer trend expert and founder of Springboard Futures, shared highlights of what would have been his keynote presentation at the Show. Mirabile advises that "today's consumers have never been more diverse, demanding or complex." Read more about Mirabile's highlights on the Show blog site.
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Courage isn't something you are born with. It comes to you with experience.
Patricia Neal,
actress
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