Ecommerce Shutdowns, Layoffs Among Impacts of Coronavirus Outbreak

| Mike O'Brien

The coronavirus outbreak is continuing to wreak havoc on retail, with the impact going beyond store shutdowns to online business being shuttered. Companies that closed their ecommerce operations in recent days include fashion brands Reformation, Marysia and The Frankie Shop, and retailers TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods.

Ulta Beauty Has Strong Q4 Online, Responds to Coronavirus Threat

| Mike O'Brien

Ulta Beauty saw ecommerce sales increase 20% to 30% during fiscal 2019 ending Feb. 1, 2020, aided by a store pickup rollout chain-wide, while also taking steps in store to address the growing coronavirus threat. Ulta also reduced hours of operation, is temporary closing some stores and discontinuing hair services in stores.

Amazon Competition, Data Privacy Top 2020 Ecommerce Priorities

| Douglas P. Clement

Competing with Amazon, addressing privacy issues linked to collection of data by third-party technologies and improving site speed to boost sales are top priorities identified in a new study from ecommerce platform provider Yottaa. The report suggests Prime-style free same-day shipping will become widespread among brands in 2020.

After Shedding the Coat, Burlington Stores Is Mothballing Ecommerce

| Douglas P. Clement

After spending years trying to shed its “coat factory” branding – think Boston Market on the fast casual side – Burlington Stores is shedding something else: ecommerce. The CEO said ecommerce represents just 0.5% of total sales and doesn’t leverage the company’s “treasure hunt” draw for shoppers, giving stores a huge advantage.

4 Ecommerce Checkout Tech Trends to Improve the Customer Experience

| Kushal Shah

The juxtaposition of “fast and frictionless yet safe” checkout puts a large burden on retailers who may be tempted to add extra steps to increase security. While there are many ways to meet these growing customer expectations, the best approach is to prioritize the user experience. Here are 4 trends to watch for in 2020 and beyond.

Target Upbeat on Q4, 2019 Results and Strategic Plans

| Douglas P. Clement

Target CEO Brian Cornell piled on superlatives when discussing Q4 and 2019 results, including six consecutive years of 25%+ growth in ecommerce sales. Same-day (order pickup, drive up and Shipt delivery) accounted for more than 80% of Target’s Q4 comparable digital sales growth of 20%, compared to 1.5% overall comp growth.

SHOP SAFE Act of 2020 Targets Counterfeit Ecommerce Products

| Douglas P. Clement

With a legislator raising the alarm that consumers’ “lives are at risk” due to dangerous counterfeit ecommerce products, a bipartisan group proposed the SHOP SAFE Act to crack down on ecommerce fakes. The GAO found that 20 of 47 items purchased from third-party sellers on popular consumer websites were counterfeit.

Coronavirus Impacts Being Felt Far and Wide in Retail, Ecommerce

| Mike O'Brien

Escalating concerns over the spread of the coronavirus are affecting every industry and sector, and retail and ecommerce are certainly no exception. This includes not only challenged supply chains in Asia and other affected countries but also things like runs on certain products in supermarkets and price clubs as consumers panic.

Coronavirus Market Volatility Has Cole Haan Delaying IPO

| Douglas P. Clement

Footwear and lifestyle accessories brand Cole Haan’s plans to raise a reported $100 million in an IPO are on hold due to market volatility related to coronavirus concerns, several media outlets reported. Reuters said Cole Haan declined comment on the news, adding Warner Music Group Corp. also delayed its IPO plans for the same reason.