Walmart will invest $11 billion in its stores this year, with plans to remodel 500 locations for expanding digital commerce and improving the supply chain. Remodels will include a long list of changes including adding self-checkout kiosks, re-merchandising grocery and electronics sections and adding consultation rooms in the pharmacy departments.
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J. Crew's turnaround plans could include spinning off its popular Madewell brand into a separate, publicly-traded company, the retailer said. Madewell booked a 26% sales increase last year, and an IPO for the brand could come as soon as the second half of this year.
Wegmans is entering New York City for the first time with a 74,000-square-foot store in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The supermarket is expected to open in the fall and will be one of three new locations to open this year.
Rite Aid will launch sales of CBD-infused beauty products at more than 200 stores in Oregon and Washington this month, joining CVS and Walgreens, which recently also began selling some topical products made with the cannabis-derived ingredient. Rite Aid will also stop selling e-cigarettes at all locations, but it doesn't plan to end tobacco sales.
Easter-related spending on candy, food, gifts and other items is expected to reach $18.11 billion this year, according to an NRF report. Eighty-seven percent of consumers shopping for the holiday plan to purchase candy, the report said.
A number of luxury brands that have expanded in China in recent years are now looking to the US for growth as the pace in China slows. For example, high-end Italian leather goods brand Il Bisonte has opened a store in New York City, marking its re-entry into the US after decades of focusing on Asia and Europe.
Retail has been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster so far this year, from some disappointing sales reports to an overall feeling of optimism and renewal as retailers and brands really start to crack the code of channel convergence and the new era of shopping. In a new blog post, SmartBrief's retail editor looks at the most-clicked stories and biggest trends that resonated with readers in our Q1 retail "Editor's take." Read more.
Walmart is scaling up its ad business with the acquisition of ad tech specialist Polymorph Labs. The company's team will become part of Walmart's in-house division for advertising, with the goal of targeting online shopping audiences more accurately.
Albertsons has signed on with the IBM Food Trust network to take advantage of its blockchain technology. The company will initially monitor bulk romaine lettuce from a distribution center, then eventually expand the process to other items in its food supply chain.
Kentucky small business owner Ann Wingrove wants Congress to understand the unintended consequences the trade war and increased tariffs are having on her store, her nine employees and consumers across the country. "I see employees not getting raises. I see capital improvements not getting made," said Wingrove, owner of Completely Kentucky, a store that sells local handmade arts and crafts. Watch the video.
Retailers will be able to discover and explore the latest retail technology while networking with industry peers at NRFtech 2019 in San Francisco May 19-21. Those who want to attend can save 20% on a full conference pass if they register today. Learn more and register.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has teamed with gaming event producer DreamHack and esports company ESL to sponsor player lounges at some of their events and create a branded gaming tournament, the Chipotle Challenger Series. Winners will get a custom Chipotle trophy and free food from the chain for a year.