September 13, 2021
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How CEO Michelle Gass is reshaping Kohl's
Gass (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Michelle Gass has focused on redefining Kohl's role in the retail landscape since taking over as CEO three years ago, and her tenure has included striking partnerships with Amazon and Sephora. She talks about earning a chemical engineering degree to open career doors, lessons learned working for Howard Schultz at Starbucks and the challenges that came with the pandemic.
Full Story: The New York Times (9/10) 
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Industry Watch
Kroger raises guidance as home cooking trends continue
Kroger raised its full-year outlook after reporting a rise in order sizes in the second fiscal quarter, as consumers stocked up on larger items and the ingredients they needed for preparing meals at home. The grocer faces higher costs amid supply chain challenges and rising food prices, and is also battling losses from theft, Chief Financial Officer Gary Millerchip said.
Full Story: CNBC (9/10) 
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J. Crew is keeping a focus on collaborations as it works to court new customers without alienating loyal brand fans, said Olympia Gayot, vice president of women's design, who returned to the company a year ago after three years at Victoria's Secret. For example, two original works from artist Katherine Bernhardt will roll out this week on items in a back-to-school collection that will be available online and at three select stores.
Full Story: Glossy (tiered subscription model) (9/10) 
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Jamie Nordstrom started working for the family business in 1986 in the stockroom of a Nordstrom store in Bellevue, Wash., and worked his way up to head of the retailer's e-commerce arm before he was chosen to head the department store division in 2014. He talks about Nordstrom's evolution to a more integrated retail model focused on serving customers across channels according to when, where and how they want to shop.
Full Story: Women's Wear Daily (9/13) 
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Trader Joe's targets hot markets for store expansion
(Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Trader Joe's has opened three new stores so far this month with an eye toward capturing a slice of growing markets in New York, California, Colorado and North Carolina. The grocer's new location in Colorado Springs is a wine shop in a state where groceries and alcohol must be sold separately, and plans call for new locations in Brooklyn, New York's Upper East Side and Sacramento, Ca., which are areas with surging real estate markets.
Full Story: Winsight Grocery Business (9/10) 
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Retail Trends
An estimated 78% of US consumers live within five miles of one of the country's more than 9,000 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, and the pharmacy chain's average customer is a white suburban baby boomer earning over $80,000 annually, according to data from analytics firm Numerator. The company generated global sales of $139.5 billion in 2020, and filled 818 million prescriptions.
Full Story: Business Insider (tiered subscription model) (9/12) 
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Luxury brands including Dior and Balenciaga are following affluent shoppers who have fled cities for suburban areas and vacation hot spots in recent months. Lockdowns that put travel and dining out on hold helped Americans save a collective $2.6 trillion since the start of the pandemic, according to Oxford Economics, and pent-up demand for luxury goods is driving strong sales growth.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (9/10) 
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Reports that an Amazon Fresh site in Florida will feature a drive-thru lane and recent experiments by Hy-Vee and Walgreens in using pharmacy drive-thrus to fulfill grocery orders have some industry experts considering the potential impact of grocery drive-thru options on the future. As demand for pickup alternatives continues to grow, "retailers are right to be thinking outside the box and trying things," said Jason Goldberg of Publicis.
Full Story: Modern Retail (tiered subscription model) (9/13) 
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NRF News
Learn how Levi Strauss Americas is keeping its brand timeless and utilizing consumer behavior, Generation Z and social media to differentiate itself in the world of denim apparel. Marc Rosen, president of Levi Strauss Americas, joins the Retail Gets Real podcast to talk about the history of the Levi's brand and its goal to become the world's best digital apparel company. Read more and listen to the episode.
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The Home Depot increased same-store sales by 19.7% in 2020. Source: NRF's 2021 Top 100 Retailers List compiled by Kantar.
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The NRF Retail Law Resource Center is a new hub for in-house retail counsel to learn the latest strategies on guiding and advising organizations. Track weekly legal cases, access workplace trainings, learn about employment law, COVID-19, retail litigation and opportunities to connect through committees, councils and more. Learn more.
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Chain Restaurant News
KFC exec sees the potential in plant-based chicken
KFC is betting that plant-based chicken alternatives could become more common if they can more closely replicate the flavor and texture of real chicken, said Kevin Hochman, US president of the chain, which has tested plant-based nuggets from Beyond Meat in certain markets. "Younger people tend to be the ones that want to eat more plant-based. We envision this trend to continue to grow," Hochman says.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (9/10) 
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