August 3, 2021
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Top Story
Target, Kohl's, Home Depot bring back mask rules
(Target)
Target and Kohl's are among the major retailers reinstating mask mandates for all employees at stores in areas where COVID-19 cases are on the rise due to the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Home Depot is going further by requiring employees, contractors and vendors to mask up in stores and offices and on all off-site job locations.
Full Story: CNBC (8/2),  The Wall Street Journal (8/2) 
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Emarsys Presents: US Retail Insights
Emarsys showcases pioneering marketing speakers, globally renowned brands, and compelling retail stories. Sit back and get exclusive insights from the world's leading retail brands including:
• Home Depot
• Char-Broil
• Instant Brands
• Gymshark
• Puma
Register now and get access to all five sessions on demand.
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Industry Watch
CVS, Target, Walmart to test plastic bag alternatives
(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Target, CVS and Walmart will begin testing sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic bags, with the goal to eventually roll out winning solutions to stores and delivery platforms. The pilot program is part of the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag, managed by Closed Loop Partners, which began last summer and has received a $15 million collective commitment from the three retailers.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (8/2) 
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Whole Foods to set delivery fee in 5 US cities
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Amazon Prime shoppers who order grocery deliveries from Whole Foods Markets in five US cities will pay a $9.95 service fee starting Aug. 30. The retailer said the fees imposed in Boston, Chicago, Manchester, N.H.; Portland, Maine; and Providence, R.I., are being tested as a way to cover higher operating costs without raising food prices.
Full Story: Bloomberg (8/2) 
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Coach and Kate Spade parent Tapestry will increase its minimum wage for hourly employees to $15 starting next month and pay one-time bonuses of $500 to store associates and $1,000 to store managers, the company said. Tapestry is also establishing the nonprofit Tapestry Foundation, with plans to invest $25 million in efforts related to environmental and social issues.
Full Story: Footwear News (7/28) 
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"Skate to where the puck is going"
As retail businesses settle into a new era of shopping, their finance teams are uniquely positioned to drive forward-thinking change. Retail industry experts from Oracle and SmartBrief explore the key role played by retail finance leadership and how retailers can successfully acquire and integrate a new business into their operations in this new report. Read now
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Retail Trends
Amazon has expanded the rollout of Amazon One biometric hand scanners to its grocery stores, bookstores and 4-star locations across the US after the first one's debut last year. Now the company is offering $10 in store credit for shoppers who register their palm prints with the system, which links palm prints to their Amazon accounts and lets them pay with a swipe of the hand.
Full Story: TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (8/2) 
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The holiday season is typically a time when retailers fill seasonal posts with people in need of extra cash, but this year, merchants are going into the season shorthanded and scrambling to fill vacant posts in a tight labor market. Turnover rates are soaring even as wage rates rise, and the number of job seekers is down 10% from pre-pandemic levels, while job vacancies have grown by nearly 70%, says Mathieu Stevenson, CEO of Snagajob.
Full Story: The Dallas Morning News (tiered subscription model) (8/2) 
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Gap taps "The Dope Educator" for back-to-school push
(Gap/YouTube)
Gap's back-to-school "Individuals" campaign features a 30-second spot starring Memphis, Tenn., elementary school teacher David Jamison, known as "The Dope Educator" via viral videos, greeting his class with handshakes and dances as they chant their mantra: "Who are we? The Rockets! The Rockets are? Respectful and responsible, optimistic, collegiate, knowledgeable, engage with enthusiasm, trustworthy and striving for success." The push is running across social and streaming TV, billboards at schools and in Times Square, and on the windows of the retailer's stores.
Full Story: Marketing Dive (7/30),  Adweek (8/2) 
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NRF News
With the debut of products from Grove Collaborative on Target store shelves this spring, a whole new group of consumers has been introduced to natural products. Co-founder and CEO Stuart Landesberg joins Retail Gets Real to talk about the brand's evolution, teaming up with one of the biggest retailers in the country and how Grove Collaborative is helping consumers live a more sustainable lifestyle by building trust. Read more and listen to the episode.
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Petco sales increased 10.4% in 2020. Source: NRF's 2021 Top 100 Retailers List compiled by Kantar.
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New uses for the home and the booming real estate market led to an increase in sales for Wayfair and Williams-Sonoma Inc. in 2020. Apparel sales are also expected to increase as more people return to the office, reversing the dips seen when stores closed early last year. Read more.
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Chain Restaurant News
Quiznos owner High Bluff Capital to buy Church's Chicken
(Church's Chicken)
High Bluff Capital Partners will acquire Atlanta-based Church's Chicken from FFL Partners for an undisclosed amount. High Bluff's growing restaurant portfolio under its REGO Restaurant Group arm includes Quiznos and Taco Del Mar, and the Church's deal will add 1,500 units around the world that collectively generated $1.2 billion in sales last year.
Full Story: QSR (8/2),  Restaurant Business (8/2),  Forbes (tiered subscription model) (8/2) 
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CHICO'S FAS - Fort Myers, Florida, United States
  Senior Analyst - Product Management – Digital & Innovation
WALGREENS - CHICAGO, Illinois, United States
  Sr. Finance Systems & Process Improvement Analyst
BELK - Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
  Sr. Manager Product Management – Supply Chain Warehouse Management
NORDSTROM - Seattle, Washington, United States
  Senior Manager, Online Data Science - Marketing
THE HOME DEPOT - Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  Director, Customer Intelligence
RALPH LAUREN - New York, New York, United States
  Vice President Retail- Opry Entertainment Group
RYMAN HOSPITALITY PROPERTIES - Nashville, Tennessee, United States
  Dir, Internal Audit-FT
MEIJER - Fred, Texas, United States
  VP Production - Technical Design, Fabric R&D & Quality
GAP, INC - San Francisco, California, United States
  Senior Manager, Retail and Omnichannel Strategy
BRILLIANT EARTH - Denver, Colorado, United States
  Senior Project Manager, Marketing - LOFT
ASCENA RETAIL GROUP - New York, New York, United States
  Sr. Engineer - Change Management
TARGET - Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, United States
  Sr. Project Manager, Market Insights (Seattle, WA
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August is ripening grain in the fields blowing hot and sunny, the scent of tree-ripened peaches, of hot buttered sweet corn on the cob.
Jean Hersey,
writer, gardener
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