Report: Sept. retail sales growth topped forecasts | According to NRF, September was up 12% year-over-year excluding car dealers, gas stations and restaurants, and the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Read more about NRF's numbers. | Nordstrom to court recruits with seasonal perks
October 16, 2020
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Report: Sept. retail sales growth topped forecasts
(Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
US retail sales grew 1.9% in September over the previous month, beating economists' forecasts and topping the 0.6% increase in August, according to the Commerce Department. Growth was fueled by higher spending on clothing, cars, sporting goods and hobbies.
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/16),  Reuters (10/16),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/16) 
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According to NRF, September was up 12% year-over-year excluding car dealers, gas stations and restaurants, and the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Read more about NRF's numbers.
Grow your retail business this holiday season
This year's holiday shopping season poses a unique opportunity for retail businesses worldwide. Join industry experts for a webinar on October 22nd as they discuss how retailers of all categories can achieve inventory balance, improve forecasting, and get tips for creating a nimble inventory strategy. Register now
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Industry Watch
Nordstrom to court recruits with seasonal perks
(Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
Nordstrom will hold hiring events around the country today to recruit 22,000 employees for its stores, as well as fulfillment and distribution centers. The retailer will raise all hourly workers' pay by $2 through the holiday season and offer additional perks and pay to managers and supply chain employees.
Full Story: Footwear News (10/15) 
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Survey: Publix, AmazonFresh best in customer service
(David Ryder/Getty Images)
When it comes to customer service in food retail, Publix is best among brick-and-mortar grocers while AmazonFresh is ranked at the top of the online grocery category on Newsweek's 2021 Best Customer Service list. Wegmans, Trader Joe's, Sprouts and The Fresh Market secured the second through fifth spots in the brick-and-mortar rankings, respectively, while FreshDirect and Shipt finished second and third in the online category.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (10/15),  Supermarket News (free registration) (10/15) 
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Furniture retailer Room & Board reported its highest August and September sales since launching 40 years ago, as the pandemic kept people at home and spending on furniture and decor. The retailer, which operates 20 locations in 11 states, based its original model on IKEA and has since transitioned to higher-end goods.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (10/17) 
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How retailers should embrace the new normal
The pandemic has reshaped consumer behaviors and the customer experience, most likely permanently. As we look to 2021, retailers need to focus on planning for the future with strategies that meet both the immediate and long-term needs of their customers and maximize the potential of all their sales channels. Join SmartBrief and retail industry experts to explore how the retail landscape has changed this year and how retailers can succeed in 2021.
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Retail Trends
The Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from large US companies, has introduced plans to stay focused on racial equity, Roundtable Chairman and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon says. In an op-ed, McMillon outlines the group's planned first steps, including advocating for greater transparency in hiring and promotion practices and backing legislation to help level the playing field.
Full Story: CNBC (10/15),  USA Today (10/15) 
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Williams-Sonoma bumped its percentage of sustainably sourced cotton to 75% of all cotton used in its products by the end of 2019, according to the company's annual sustainability report. "We're on track to reach nearly 100% [responsibly] sourced cotton by 2021, and we're increasingly opting for lower-impact fibers such as recycled polyester and renewable/biodegradable materials like jute, linen and wood," the company noted.
Full Story: Home Textiles Today (10/13) 
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Market Share Gains
Sponsored content from Commerce Signals
6 Companies That Won Consumer Market Share This Summer
Taking market share is always hard, but these companies did it this summer amidst lower consumer spending. This article highlights the biggest share gains in hotels, mass, ride sharing, hardware and convenience stores. Some of them will surprise you. If they can hold onto these share gains, their future is bright.
 
Retail Technology
Walmart unveils automated smoothie kiosk in Calif. store
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A Walmart store in Fremont, Calif., has become the first to host an automated smoothie kiosk from Blendid, giving shoppers a contactless option to order customized drinks. The kiosk features a robotic arm, machine learning capability and artificial intelligence that allows it to do everything from measuring ingredients to processing payments.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (10/15) 
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NRF News
With conflicts around health and safety policies likely to escalate as we head into the holiday season, the NRF Foundation's Retail Operations and Customer Conflict Prevention credentials will arm employees with the skills they need to better manage health and safety and resolve customer conflicts. Learn more and register.
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This year, consumers plan to spend $2.4 billion on candy for Halloween. Source: Prosper Insights & Analytics.
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More than 148 million US adults plan to participate in Halloween-related activities like trick-or-treating and wearing costumes this year. To learn more about how people are planning to celebrate responsibly, Kevin Johnson, chairman of the Halloween and Costume Association, and Christopher Gindlesperger, senior vice president of public affairs and communications at the National Confectioners Association, joined the Retail Gets Real podcast. Listen now.
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Chain Restaurant News
Jack In The Box debuts plant-based chicken sandwich
(Raised & Rooted)
Jack in the Box has begun testing the plant-based "Unchicken Sandwich" at units in the Monterey, Calif., and Reno, Nev., markets. The sandwiches, made with a chicken alternative from Tyson Foods' Raised & Rooted brand, come in classic and spicy versions.
Full Story: Forbes (10/15) 
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