Walmart to add digital features in supercenter remodels | How Best Buy has grown during the pandemic | Nordstrom to drop furs, exotic skins from stores
September 30, 2020
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Walmart to add digital features in supercenter remodels
(Andrew Caballero-reynolds/Getty Images)
Walmart will remodel 200 of its US supercenters this year, with technology and other features designed to combine the best of in-store and in-app shopping, said Janey Whiteside, the retailer's chief customer officer. Remodels, which will be expanded to 1,000 locations next year, will feature contactless checkout options, improved signage that works with the Walmart mobile app and separate sections for major product categories.
Full Story: Business Insider (9/30) 
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A Guide to What's Next
The way we work, live, and shop has changed. Retailers are looking for new ways to stay engaged with customers. Learn how to continue serving your customers and supporting your employees while adapting to rapid changes in retail. Download the e-book.
Industry Watch
How Best Buy has grown during the pandemic
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Best Buy's decision to close its stores in March hasn't slowed sales in the pandemic; rather, it shifted sales to online as the electronics retailer quickly retooled to serve consumers who were suddenly doing work and school from home, CEO Corie Barry said. Stores reopened after six weeks for appointment-only visits and began to reopen fully in June, and strong sales allowed Best Buy to call back two-thirds of its furloughed workforce.
Full Story: CNN (9/29) 
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Nordstrom will stop selling products made with fur and exotic animal skins at its namesake, Nordstrom Rack and Last Chance stores by the end of 2021. The retailer stopped using furs and exotic skins in its private-label fashion lines several years ago, and other retailers including Macy's and Bloomingdale's have made similar moves.
Full Story: Footwear News (9/29),  CNN (9/29) 
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French luxury brand Cartier has hired former Conde Nast executive Erica Lovett to head diversity and inclusion efforts at Cartier North America. The push to create a diversity and inclusion plan will focus on the company's culture and partnerships as well as recruiting, retaining and engaging employees, Cartier North America CEO Mercedes Abramo said.
Full Story: Women's Wear Daily (subscription required) (9/29) 
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Tips for retail recovery – "Watch the data."
Missed our special Webcast with retail expert Dr. Barbara E. Kahn? Get the playback and Kahn's expert guidance for retail recovery and growth, plus receive a signed copy of Dr. Kahn's book "The Shopping Revolution" – while supplies last. Get the playback
Retail Trends
American Eagle Outfitters and its Aerie brand have grown sales during the pandemic by stocking comfy clothes, using consumer feedback to drive decisions, and investing in e-commerce and social media, said AEO Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Foyle. The retailer, which has kept its focus on its target Gen Z shopper, debuted two new brands this year: Unsubscribed and Offline.
Full Story: Fast Company online (9/28) 
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Mall of America makes room for small merchants
(Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Minnesota's Mall of America has opened its doors to 17 small businesses owned by women and people of color whose shops were hurt by the pandemic and damaged during recent civil unrest. The mall is giving free space to the businesses for a minimum of six months as part of a new project called the Community Commons.
Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (9/29) 
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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.
Retail Technology
Save Mart, working with Starship Technologies, is now delivering groceries from its flagship Modesto, Calif., store using self-driving robots that offer a contactless buying option for shoppers. The robots, which use machine learning and artificial intelligence for guidance, can carry 20 pounds of groceries up to four miles, although for now deliveries are limited to within two miles of the store.
Full Story: The Modesto Bee (Calif.) (9/29),  Winsight Grocery Business (9/29) 
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NRF News
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and Jeff Gennette, chairman & CEO of Macy's, will discuss COVID-19's impact on the retail industry and the upcoming holiday season. Don't miss this free conversation, in collaboration with PwC, tomorrow, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m. ET. Register now.
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About 43% of holiday shoppers surveyed this year say they are waiting until November to start buying for the season. Source: NRF's annual consumer holiday survey.
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As shopping habits and preferences shift overnight, staying on the cusp of change is vital to ensure a successful holiday season. In this webinar brought to you by Salesforce, brands will discuss how to use data to unlock evolving shopping behaviors that maximize sales and provide exceptional shopping experiences during the holidays and beyond. Register now.
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Chain Restaurant News
Fazoli's ghost kitchen wing test takes flight
(Eli Hodapp/Flickr)
Fast-casual Italian chain Fazoli's is putting the wings it created under its delivery-only concept, Wingville, on its core menu starting today. Wingville launched more than a year ago using Fazoli's restaurant kitchens as ghost kitchens, and an expanded test this year drove 11% sales increases at locations that offered the wings.
Full Story: Restaurant Business online (9/29),  Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (9/29) 
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