June 9, 2021
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Top Story
Best Buy encourages employee vaccines with sweepstakes
(Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
Best Buy will offer 21 cash prizes of $5,000 each to employees who enter a sweepstakes by showing proof they have received COVID-19 vaccines by July 22. The retailer isn't requiring its approximately 100,000 employees to get vaccinated but is instead using the sweepstakes as an incentive, a strategy other companies and some states are using to encourage the public to get their shots.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (6/8) 
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Boost performance with omnichannel analytics
Advanced analytics take behavioral, preferential and descriptive insights and combine them with data science to allow for true customer intimacy. Has your retail business achieved such intimacy? In this SmartFocus, learn about the real-world applications of advanced analytics based on the experiences of Spanish clothing brand Desigual and food maker Goya. Download now
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Industry Watch
Big Lots to go bigger with store growth plans
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Big Lots will open 20 new stores this year as part of an expansion plan begun in 2019 that has helped drive sales growth, which was further spurred as consumers spent their federal relief checks, Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Ramsden said. Revenue at the discount retailer grew 13% to $1.6 billion in the quarter ending May 1 from the same period last year.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (6/8) 
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Costco will open five new US stores this summer, as well as one each in Australia and Japan, following strong sales growth during the pandemic that has continued into this year. The retailer operates more than 800 global locations, including 559 in the US and Puerto Rico, and plans call for adding 20 more this year.
Full Story: Business Insider (tiered subscription model) (6/9) 
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Texas-based Academy Sports + Outdoors has stayed open during the pandemic, enabling it to better predict the right merchandise mix to grow sales this year, CEO Ken Hicks said. Apparel and footwear were strong categories in the first quarter, fueling much of the retailer's 39.1% sales growth during the period, and Academy expects continued strong sales through this year's back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.
Full Story: Women's Wear Daily (subscription required) (6/8) 
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Retail Trends
Staples is on its fourth attempt to acquire Office Depot and Office Max because it sees the growth potential in a merger of two office supply retailers that have been losing ground to rivals including Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy. Both retailers have made moves to shore up sales and market share through efforts including Staples' creation of an experiential store concept called Staples Connect.
Full Story: Modern Retail (tiered subscription model) (6/9) 
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Andrew Clarke was fired for being gay about a decade ago and his experiences carving out a career in retail have shaped his approach in his current role as CEO of Francesca's. Clarke is leading a turnaround at the fashion retailer with an inclusive approach meant to make all employees and customers feel welcome, making the formerly internal motto "Free to be you" part of the company's marketing message.
Full Story: CNBC (6/8) 
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Food is too good to be wasted
Learn more about how Unilever is providing good, honest food without worry or waste. Learn more.
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Featured Content
Sponsored content from Acosta
How to keep up with today’s digital shopper journey"The pandemic has created years of change in just one short year," says Acosta Chief Growth Officer John Carroll of the shift to an increasingly digital shopper journey in grocery retail. In order to adapt, the industry must evolve with new sales, marketing and commercial solutions. Read the Q&A.

    Retail Technology
    Opinion: What's next in Walmart's digital drive
    (Walmart)
    Walmart's recent omnichannel success is attributable in large part to its ability to "strike the right balance in the sales of food and general merchandise," writes Bill Bishop of Brick Meets Click. Bishop explores the retailer's recent e-commerce initiatives and looks ahead to how it will meet challenges that include increased competition in the omnichannel space and "not allowing the online sales shift to reduce the profitability of its stores."
    Full Story: Supermarket News (free registration) (6/8) 
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    NRF News
    To get a better understanding of the conscience and mindset of the citizen shopper, NRF partnered with GfK Consumer Life to dig deeper into what's driving consumers' values and choices, and what it means for organizations and individuals operating in a post-pandemic environment. Download the report to learn more.
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    Close to 40% of conservative consumers say brands should avoid getting involved with issues and focus on their products instead. Source: GfK.
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    NRF hosted a Retail Advocates Town Hall with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on June 4 to have key discussions on the unique challenges facing Black-owned businesses and the priorities of the caucus. Representatives Colin Allred, D-Texas, Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., discussed the importance of vaccines, infrastructure and battling bias in retail. Read more.
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    Chain Restaurant News
    Starbucks outlines rules for the return of reusable cups
    (Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
    Starbucks will allow customers to use their reusable cups again starting June 22, the latest move in the chain's effort to return to normal. The company paused the reusable cup program in March 2020 and it has outlined strict rules for its return: Cups must be clean and baristas will put them in a ceramic holder and prepare drinks with nothing touching the cup.
    Full Story: CNBC (6/8) 
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    NRF JOB BOARD
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      Chief of Staff - Human Resources
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      Director Finance
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    QURATE RETAIL GROUP - Qvc West Chester Studio Park
      Director, Inventory Process
    BELK - Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
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