Best Buy's pre-pandemic investments in tech and e-commerce paid off as the retailer closed its stores to all but curbside pickup. Demand for computers and gaming consoles soared as consumers across the country switched to working from home, and the retailer is focused on safety as it reopens stores to customers by appointment only, CEO Corie Barry said.
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Macy's expects to report a first-quarter operating loss of between $905 million and $1.11 billion on projected sales of about $3 billion, down from $5.5 billion in the same period last year. "We anticipate that our sales recovery will be gradual and that for a period of time, we will be a smaller company," CEO Jeff Gennette said.
Kroger has introduced a new telenutrition service aimed at helping shoppers make healthier food choices for cooking at home during the pandemic. Part of Kroger Health's Food as Medicine platform, the online option offers a free initial consultation with a registered dietitian, who can then help customers create healthy eating plans for themselves and their families based on their individual circumstances.
Mall owners and other retail landlords are looking to compel J. Crew to pay rent on stores that are reopening across the country. The retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and has asked the court to allow it to defer all rent payments until July 6 to conserve cash.
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The pandemic has led several retailers, including J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus, to file for bankruptcy protection, a trend that's likely to create new sales opportunities for Macy's, CEO Jeff Gennette said. "We see there's about $10 billion worth of opportunity that's up for grabs right now based on what's going on with the competitive climate," he said.
Retailers including American Eagle Outfitters and Sephora have spent years innovating the in-store experience to encourage shoppers to linger and browse, but the pandemic has made many of those changes unsafe. As retailers reopen, they're paring down the merchandise selection and reorganizing stores to maintain safe distances, limiting the number of shoppers allowed in at one time, and requiring masks, all of which add up to a changed shopping experience.
The results of the pandemic haven't been spread evenly among all retail segments -- department stores and apparel retailers that were forced to close their stores in mid-March and are only now starting to reopen have felt significant effects. In addition to health concerns, worries about employment and finances could keep consumers from heading out to shop, GlobalData Retail's Neil Saunders said.
Total U.S. consumer spending was down 11% in March due to the impact of COVID-19, but some consumer categories felt the impact far more than others. Airline purchases, for example, were down 67% for the month and 92% in the last week. Grocery, meanwhile, was up 29% in March. Read the article
As consumers spend more time at home, Crate & Barrel is rethinking how to bring joy to their spaces. Watch CEO Neela Montgomery speak to NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay about leading in crisis and how the retailer is adapting its business model for online consumers through virtual selling, user-generated content and other strategies. Watch the full interview.
Grocery supply chains have risen to the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and are providing employment opportunities for displaced workers. Analyst Sucharita Kodali says the biggest challenge has been worker safety and preventing the spread of the virus. Read more.
Taco Bell will add 30,000 or more employees this summer, many of whom will fill new roles created to maintain safety standards as restaurants reopen. Other new posts will be dedicated to helping manage the rising demand for off-premises dining.