October 12, 2021
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Top Story
Best Buy will acquire UK tech firm Current Health, as the retailer moves further into the health care category. Current Health, which works with telehealth and remote patient monitoring, will join a roster of health care acquisitions for the retailer, including connected health device maker and emergency responder GreatCall and senior care firm Critical Signal Technologies.
Full Story: CNBC (10/12) 
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Industry Watch
Macy's shares plans for more eco-friendly shopping
(Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
Macy's outlined a slew of sustainability goals in a new report, including plans to cut energy consumption by 10% from the retailer's 2018 levels by 2025 and develop lists of banned substances for its private-label brands. Macy's will also make it easier for shoppers to find sustainable products and start requiring ingredient disclosures on baby care, beauty, personal care and cleaning products by 2025.
Full Story: Women's Wear Daily (10/8) 
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Urban Outfitters parent URBN has expanded its Nuuly rental service with the launch of Nuuly Thrift, a peer-to-peer resale marketplace. The platform will let customers sell used fashions from any brand directly to other customers in exchange for either cash or credits that can be used to rent or purchase items from any URBN banner.
Full Story: Glossy (tiered subscription model) (10/12) 
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The role of Amazon's 4-Star stores
(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Amazon's 4-Star stores act as both showrooms and fulfillment centers and attract more tourists than the e-commerce giant's other brick-and-mortar concepts, according to retail analysts. The concept, which debuted in 2018 and has since grown to more than 40 locations, including its first international store that opened in the UK last week, features curated, location-specific selections of goods that have won 4-star ratings or higher on Amazon.
Full Story: Modern Retail (tiered subscription model) (10/11) 
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Digital Report: 2021 Omnichannel Retail Index
Findings from the industry's leading benchmark study of 100 brands & retailers is here! This year's Omnichannel Retail Index reveals an accelerated adoption of critical e-commerce and omnichannel capabilities — COVID-19 left them no choice! Get the Omnichannel Retail Index.
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Retail Trends
Supply chain delays make Halloween shopping tricky
(Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Ongoing supply chain challenges are driving a shortage of Halloween costumes and decorations at US stores, in a year when spending on the holiday is on track to hit a record $10.1 billion, according to an NRF survey. Home Depot said Halloween inventories have sold out fast, and Lowe's said stores have put out both Halloween and Christmas merchandise earlier than usual this year.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (10/10) 
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US container ports are expected to handle near-record levels of cargo imports in October, although congestion-related slowdowns could keep volumes slightly below last year's levels, according to the Global Port Tracker report from NRF and Hackett Associates. "Retailers are doing whatever it takes to make sure shelves are well-stocked for the holidays, from bringing in merchandise earlier to chartering their own ships," NRF's Jonathan Gold said.
Full Story: The Maritime Executive (10/7) 
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Cotton prices rose to levels not seen in a decade last week and brands and retailers are expected to weather the increases more easily than they did in 2011, when high prices ate into profits and affected consumer spending. "We think inventory will remain rational, margins will remain strong, and retailers will be able to push bigger and more consistent price increases than they've been able to for over a decade," Credit Suisse analyst Michael Binetti said.
Full Story: CNBC (10/10) 
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NRF News
According to an NRF and IBM survey from last year, nearly 80% of consumers report that sustainability is important for them. Consumers are demanding that retailers embrace sustainability -- and retailers are responding, demanding a lot of additional sustainability information from their suppliers. Retailers then use that information to select appropriate products and to identify those products on store shelves or online. Read more.
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Consumers plan to spend $3.3 billion on costumes for Halloween this year. Source: NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics 2021 Halloween Survey.
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This summer, NRF programming reflected on ways to innovate quickly and how agile movement doesn't need to be held back by bureaucracy, creating a sense of excitement about the future. Tune into the latest episode of the Retail Gets Real podcast to hear how leaders like UPS CEO Carol Tome are looking ahead with optimism. Read more and listen to the episode.
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Chain Restaurant News
Investment firm L Catterton will sell the 61-unit Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza & Wings to BurgerFi International in a stock and assumed debt deal valued at $161.3 million. Anthony's CEO Ian Baines will become chief executive of the combined company when the deal closes later this year, and Julio Ramirez will remain CEO of the BurgerFi brand.
Full Story: Restaurant Business (10/11),  Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (10/11) 
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