Lowe's installing lockers for online purchase pickup | Walmart will end one-way aisle traffic patterns | Amazon Fresh leverages advantages, plans new location
September 23, 2020
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Lowe's installing lockers for online purchase pickup
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Lowe's has placed lockers at some of its US stores to offer a contactless pickup option for the growing number of customers opting to buy online and pick up in store. The home improvement retailer said it expects to have lockers installed in most areas by Thanksgiving and at all 1,700 of its stores by March 2021.
Full Story: FreightWaves (9/22) 
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The 2020 Retail Talent Strategy Report
Retailers need to build a workforce that is flexible, resilient, and trained for the jobs of today and tomorrow. This report lays out data on workforce trends and sample reskilling plans to help you get started. Download now.
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Industry Watch
Walmart will end one-way aisle traffic patterns
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Walmart will revert to normal two-way aisle traffic starting in October, doing away with the one-way aisles it had used to help social distancing since the pandemic began. The retailer is also opening second entrances it had closed at many stores, but will still mandate masks for in-store shoppers and keep other safety measures in place, including plastic shields at registers.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (9/22) 
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Amazon Fresh leverages advantages, plans new location
(Amazon)
Amazon Fresh has confirmed it will open a new brick-and-mortar store in Whittier, Calif., on the site of a defunct hardware supply store. Brick Meets Click's Bill Bishop says Amazon is bringing innovation and a smart business approach to its grocery expansion, leveraging its technological advantages and luring "customers to do more of their grocery shopping within the Amazon ecosystem."
Full Story: The Whittier Daily News (Calif.) (9/23),  Supermarket News (free registration) (9/22) 
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Saks Fifth Avenue has added booths in its New York City flagship where shoppers can check on their voter registration, register if they haven't already and request an absentee ballot. The booths were created in partnership with nonpartisan organization Vote.org, and the upscale store has also decorated its windows with information on milestones in the history of US voting.
Full Story: Footwear News (9/22) 
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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
Nike reported an 82% increase in digital sales in the quarter ending Aug. 31, buoyed by back-to-school shoppers, a rise in women's apparel sales and a revival of sales in China. Most of the brand's global stores reopened during the quarter and, while visits lagged below pre-pandemic levels, shoppers came with a plan to purchase, the company said.
Full Story: CNBC (9/23),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/22) 
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E-commerce giant Amazon led the list of top retail brands on Brand Keys' annual list of 100 brands ranked for customer loyalty. Home Depot, Nike, Trader Joe's and eBay rounded out the top five retailers on the list, which features 19 retail brands.
Full Story: Women's Wear Daily (subscription required) (9/22) 
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Italy-based New Guards Group is a holding company that's taking on traditional luxury fashion conglomerates with a portfolio of eight young brands, including Virgil Abloh's Off-White. "There needed to be new energy in our old system, a way to incubate exciting young brands from exciting new people," said CEO Davide De Giglio, who co-founded the company in 2015.
Full Story: The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (9/23) 
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NRF News
NRF PROTECT ALL ACCESS is a free digital event Sept. 22-25 that showcases how the retail security community is responding to COVID-19 and other threats. It is also a great opportunity for an entire team to earn CEU credits. Session topics include post COVID-19 payment security, new challenges in de-escalation and managing store operations in the face of crisis. View the rest of the agenda and register here.
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About 70% of urban residents think retailers should take a stance on social justice issues. Source: Kantar Retail.
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Months after the pandemic, many food truck operators are finding new opportunities in non-traditional outlets like suburbs and socially distanced events. Some restaurants have also acquired food trucks since the pandemic to serve as an additional back-of-house kitchen to supplement outdoor seating or to expand their market. Read more.
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Chain Restaurant News
Chipotle's loyalty members get first dibs on carne asada
(Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Chipotle Mexican Grill will put carne asada back on the menu for a limited time in a launch that will first be offered exclusively to members of the chain's digital rewards program. Upwards of 10 million customers ordered the grilled steak when it was first introduced last year, making it the most-popular limited-time protein item in Chipotle's history.
Full Story: Restaurant Business online (9/22) 
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