July 30, 2021
Housewares SmartBrief
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Industry Update
Pop till you drop with these popcorn maker options
The Orville Redenbacher hot air popper gets a nod from reviewer Bryan Holt as the best home popcorn maker, but the Wabash Family Farms stovetop popper with integrated stirrer offers a better old-fashioned experience. Holt details these and five other brands and types.
Full Story: The Manual (7/26) 
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Video: Nordic Ware, Walmart execs chat about partnership
The bundt pan was the first item Nordic Ware sold through Walmart. (Nordic Ware)
Nordic Ware is 75 years old this year and has been providing bakeware and cookware to Walmart for 35 years. Nordic Ware executive Jennifer Dalquist recently gave Walmart US President and CEO John Furner a tour of Nordic Ware's Minnesota headquarters, and the two talked about the partnership.
Full Story: Kitchenware Today (7/28) 
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Lori Jayne Bernstein's two housewares stores in Palm Beach are eye candy for shoppers who love exquisite table settings. While she's been designing, manufacturing and personalizing home accessories and linens for decades, she got her start by making fabric-covered barrettes at age 11.
Full Story: Palm Beach Daily News (Fla.) (7/29) 
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Connecting the digital + physical worlds in retail
While the recent surge in digital interactions will remain, consumers now crave in-person interaction – which makes connecting the two more important than ever for retailers. This on-demand webinar explores the implications of the Covid-19 digital surge for retailers and how reimagining retail digital transformation can augment human interactions. Watch now
Trends & Innovations
HelloFresh rolls out digital store with grocery items
HelloFresh has introduced the HelloFresh Market, a digital store that offers add-ons to its meal kits, including pantry items, ready-to-heat meals and fresh produce. "Ultimately for us, the goal is to move to a broader food solutions group instead of a dinner solutions group," said HelloFresh US CEO Uwe Voss.
Full Story: Winsight Grocery Business (7/28) 
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Purchase Housewares Online
Buy your next bestsellers online through Connect COMMERCE, a robust, year-round e-commerce platform from IHA. Located on IHA's digital marketplace Connect 365, Connect COMMERCE allows qualified buyers to search suppliers' listings for new products and purchase them directly online. Learn more.
Retail News
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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Target set a goal of growing the percentage of Black members of its workforce by 20% by 2023, as part of a bigger diversity and inclusion effort begun last year after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. At the retailer's first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Forum, executives spoke frankly about the challenges in attracting both people of color and women, especially in areas like technology.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (7/28) 
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Dollar General debuts store-within-a-store model
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Dollar General has launched two store-within-a-store models in the Nashville, Tenn., area, combining its pOpshelf concept with DG Market stores. The pOpshelf stores contain a variety of products priced at $5 or less, and the company plans to bring the concept to 25 stores.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (7/28) 
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Amazon is kicking off what it describes as "one of the fastest modern commercial electrification programs" by testing electric delivery vehicles in Detroit and 15 other cities. The retail giant could operate 10,000 electric vehicles as early as 2022, en route to an eventual fleet of up to 100,000 vehicles.
Full Story: DBusiness Magazine (Detroit) (7/28),  WDIV-TV (Detroit) (7/28) 
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Finance & Policy
The Biden administration is rolling out measures to help delinquent home mortgage borrowers remain in their homes, including provisions that could offer principal and interest relief.
Full Story: Realty Biz News (7/28) 
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IHA News
Sean Daly has joined the International Housewares Association as vice president, member and buyer relations. Daly has more than 25 years' experience in the housewares industry, with an emphasis on global sales and marketing, which he honed while working for several IHA-member companies. Read more on the IHA blog.
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The data confirms consumers are enthusiastically embracing in-store shopping again. Some wonder, though, if the rush back to stores could end up short-lived novelty, a pent-up release by a reopening society that can't resist the convenience of e-commerce that became more routine during the pandemic. Continue reading this post by IHA's Peter Giannetti on the IHA blog site.
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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