Amazon Reportedly Weighing J.C. Penney Acquisition Out of Chapter 11

| Mike O'Brien

Shortly after J.C. Penney filed Chapter 11, Amazon reportedly was in talks about possibly picking up the troubled store chain on the cheap. The plan calls closing 242 of 846 stores by 2021, setting up a real estate investment trust (REIT) to handle the balance of its physical assets and receiving $900 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

Amazon Increases its Dominance in Apparel Sales

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is continuing to dominate in apparel sales online, according to a new report from CoreSight, which reports 70% of apparel shoppers bought clothing or footwear on Amazon in the past 12 months, up from 60% a year ago. This compares to 51.2% who said they did so on Walmart, 44.6% at Target and 35.3% at Kohl’s.

Macy’s Closing 125 Stores, Shuttering Offices in Realignment

| Douglas P. Clement

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.

UPS Says National Returns Day Will Be 26% Higher Than 2019

| Mike O'Brien

UPS is projecting a 26% increase on “national returns day” on Jan. 2, when 1.9 million inbound packages are expected to hit its network as Q4 ecommerce continues to balloon. Another somewhat smaller returns peak of 1.6 million packages/day will hit the week of Dec. 16; the daily average that month will be 1 million, UPS said.

Prime Day by the Numbers: 175 Million Items Ordered and Other Cool Stats

| Mike O'Brien

Prime Day saw 175 million items purchased by Prime members over the two days, according to Amazon, eclipsing its 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined, while analysts pegged total GMV at $6 billion to $6.2 billion. See what other interesting statistics we found to paint a picture of the concocted “Christmas in July.”

Delivery Flexibility, Options Win Customers in the Age of Amazon

| Guy Bloch

Amidst shifting consumer demand and a move toward true omnichannel, retailers’ ability to leverage their physical presence is vitally important. Options such as deliver from store, buy online pickup in store (BOPIS), buy online return in store (BORIS) and delivery drop-offs in lockers are a major advantage over online retailers.

Stein Mart Looks to Amazon Lockers, Other Initiatives to Boost Sales

| Mike O'Brien

Stein Mart has become the latest retailer to partner with Amazon, betting that increased traffic to the ecommerce giant’s lockers in the back of its stores for order pickup and returns will translate to sales for the struggling discount chain. The lockers will be located in about 200 of Stein Mart’s 283 stores by early June.

Kohl’s Expands Amazon Returns to All 1,150 Stores in the Lower 48

| Mike O'Brien

A year and a half after first testing the program in Los Angeles and Chicago, Kohl’s will start accepting Amazon returns in July for free at its 1,150 stores in the 48 continental U.S. states, even without a box or label. Kohl’s says that “eligible Amazon items” can be returned free of charge.

Kohl’s Brings Personalization Front and Center

| Daniela Forte

Kohl’s has taken steps to improve the omnichannel customer experience using an innovative promotional model, personalization and its marketing efforts, attendees were told at eTail West. CMO Greg Revelle said the company’s core mission is to serve families with great products, savings and easy experiences.