Softer-than-expected holiday sales drove Walmart’s Q4 2019 earnings below expectations, but strong ecommerce and online grocery sales provided buoyancy and optimism for the year ahead. U.S. ecommerce sales grew 35%, fueled largely by grocery pickup and delivery, propelling walmart.com to its highest quarterly growth of the year.
With Amazon largely credited for the 115% spike in third quarter 2019 ecommerce ad spend, it’s no surprise that Feedvisor’s annual brand report shows 75% of brands selling on Amazon also advertise there. Feedvisor found 83% of brands advertising on Amazon saw a 4x return on ad spend, with half seeing 7x.
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) retailer Brandless, which sold beauty products, non-GMO snacks and everyday items under its own non-brand austere label in a radical departure from the norm, is halting operations. Brandless is laying off 70 employees and retaining 10 to fulfill remaining orders, which stopped being accepted Feb. 10.
A Jan. 30 data breach linked to cosmetics giant Estée Lauder exposed more than 440 million records, but none apparently contained customers’ payment information or privileged information about employees. This follows recent data breach events at Visa and children’s clothing retailer Hanna Andersson.
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owner of the New York Stock Exchange, announced plans to acquire eBay’s marketplace business in a deal estimated at $30 billion. Two days later, the potential deal was off. The reason for the reversal? Investors pushed back hard, apparently. Here’s how the back-and-forth broke down.
The Federal Trade Commission is suing to block the $1.37B acquisition of affordable razor brand Harry’s Inc. by Schick owner Edgewell Personal Care. The FTC complaint alleges the acquisition would eliminate one of the most important competitive forces in the shaving industry. Edgewell and Harry’s say consumers would not be harmed.
Macy’s Inc. announced plans to close 125 stores within three years in an effort to find profitability amid an ongoing shopper flight from malls and department stores, while consolidating its headquarters in New York and cutting 2,000 corporate jobs. This will leave 400 Macy’s stores in place; about 30 will close in 2020.
Forever 21 has struck an $81 million deal to sell its assets to a group of mall owners and management operations, including Simon Property Group, Brookfield Properties and brand development/marketing venture Authentic Brands Group. It includes all of Forever 21’s assets and must be approved by a bankruptcy court judge.
Visa plans significant changes to rates merchants pay each time a consumer makes a purchase with its cards, Bloomberg reported, both online and in store, citing a document Visa sent to banks. According to Bloomberg, brands can expect to pay more for ecommerce transactions, while fees in grocery stores will decline.
The value of global retail industry mergers and acquisitions (M&A) soared in Q4 2019 to a total of $25.66 billion, according to UK-based data and analytics company GlobalData. That total value represents a 38.4% increase over Q3 and was up 160.7% compared with the average of $9.93 billion over the last four quarters.