November 24, 2021
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Top Story
Dollar Tree announces first price increase in 35 years
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Dollar Tree will increase prices from $1 to $1.25 on most of the products sold in its stores by next April, marking its first permanent pricing increase in 35 years. The retailer, which has about 16,000 stores in North America, said most surveyed shoppers said they would continue to frequent Dollar Tree after the increase and the higher price point will allow the retailer to bring back some items it had previously discontinued.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (11/23),  The New York Times (11/23) 
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Check out holiday shopping data as it happens.
The anticipation is over — shopping data is here for the holidays. See the latest data from over 1 billion global shoppers, and check back frequently to stay up to date with emerging trends. Learn more.
Industry Watch
Don Liu joined Target from Xerox five years ago as chief legal and risk officer, and this year his role has included risk predictions as part of an effort to ensure the retailer's shelves are stocked for the holidays. Liu talks about getting ahead of supply chain challenges, the work that goes into responsible sourcing of products and the risks for retailers in 2022.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (11/24) 
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Gap's Q3 results reflect supply chain challenges
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Gap spent an additional $100 million on airfreight costs in the third quarter to stock stores, and supply chain delays also cost the retailer about $300 million in lost sales, the company reported. CEO Sonia Syngal said the freight expenses were necessary for the retailer's four fashion banners to compete during the holiday season, despite the hit to third-quarter profits.
Full Story: CNBC (11/23),  The Wall Street Journal (11/23) 
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Report: Amazon Fresh to open stores in New England
Massachusetts towns Braintree and Saugus are poised to become home to the first Amazon Fresh stores in New England, according to a report. The site in Saugus is the former home of a Big Y grocery, while the Braintree location is a 37,500-square-foot store that once housed a Saks Off 5th.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (11/23),  WCVB-TV (Boston) (11/22) 
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Retail Trends
Abercrombie & Fitch's signature fragrance, Fierce, has remained a constant in a time of great change for the retailer since its days as a teen favorite in the early 2000s. The retailer is now appealing to millennials with brighter stores, fewer pieces adorned with the brand's name and a more inclusive range of sizes.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (11/23) 
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Retailers including Walmart, Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods will once again shutter their stores on Thanksgiving, and Target said this week it will keep its stores closed on the holiday permanently. Closing on Thanksgiving has become easier for retailers that are spreading their Black Friday deals over longer times and looking to online retail to remain competitive.
Full Story: CNN (11/23),  The New York Times (11/23) 
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NRF News
Nearly 2 million more people than last year are expected to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, even as consumers have continued the trend of starting their holiday shopping earlier in the year. "Black Friday stopped being a one-day event years ago, and this year some consumers started shopping for Christmas as early as Halloween," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. Read more.
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About 30.6 million consumers plan to shop either in-store or online on Thanksgiving Day. Source: NRF's Annual November Holiday Consumer Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.
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Given the breadth and severity of problems in the global supply chain, retailers like Lowe's are bringing in products sooner and promoting services like two-day shipping, while Walmart is hiring, training and promoting thousands of supply chain associates. "Despite all the challenges they're facing, many (retailers) feel they will have a better holiday season than last year," said Jon Gold, NRF's vice president of supply chain. Learn more.
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Chain Restaurant News
Cracker Barrel expands its virtual brands
(Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Cracker Barrel grew its first two virtual brands, Chicken 'n Biscuits and Pancake Kitchen, to 500 and 100 locations, respectively, in the quarter ending Oct. 29. Takeout and delivery orders accounted for 20% of the quarter's total sales, and off-premises sales for the chain have held steady even as customers return to on-premises dining.
Full Story: Restaurant Business (11/23),  Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (11/23) 
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Thursday, Friday
In observance of Thanksgiving in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Thursday and Friday. Publication will resume Monday.
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Henry David Thoreau,
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