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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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.