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.

Shogun Raises $10M to Help Ecommerce Brands Battle Amazon

| Douglas P. Clement

Shogun, a drag-and-drop ecommerce website builder, has raised $10M in Series A funding from Initialized Capital, VMG Partners and Y Combinator to expand its platform and launch a new product helping sellers compete with Amazon and do headless commerce. Major brand clients include Leesa, MVMT and K-Swiss.

First Amazon Go Self-Serve Grocery Store Online in Seattle

| Douglas P. Clement

Amazon’s hunger for a bigger bite of the $839B grocery market was evident in the opening of the first checkout-less Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle. The 10,400-square-foot space, roughly 5x the size of an Amazon Go store, stocks 5,000 items. Tech startups AiFi and Grabango are reportedly working on systems for competitors.

Target Breaks Into Top 10 for U.S. Ecommerce Sales

| Douglas P. Clement

Target’s strong focus on ecommerce, including a 2019 holiday push on fast delivery options and BOPIS, has propelled it into the top 10 for U.S. ecommerce sales, according to a new report from eMarketer. Target checks in at No. 8 with projected 2020 U.S. ecommerce sales of $8.34 billion, increasing its share from 1.1% to 1.2%.

Amazon Reportedly Using Hybrid MFC Approach in New Grocery Store

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is reportedly using a micro-fulfillment center solution from Dematic at its first grocery store not named Whole Foods outside Los Angeles, sending a loud signal to the rest of the market that an MFC capability is critical to success and maintaining market share in the red-hot e-grocery sector.

Target Facing Unionization Efforts at Test Fulfillment Center in New Jersey

| Mike O'Brien

Workers at a Target fulfillment center in New Jersey are considering union representation, stirring up labor issues for the retailer as it reworks the supply chain to move inventory closer to customers and better integrate store and online channels, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. Amazon and FedEx are also facing unionization pressures.

Report: Most Brands Seeing 4x ROI on Amazon Advertising

| Douglas P. Clement

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.

Brandless Goes Away, A Rare Stumble for SoftBank

| Douglas P. Clement

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.