Instacart issued its long-expected initial public offering of stock on Tuesday, priced at $30 a share for a valuation of $10 billion, well below the $39 billion it was valued at after a fundraising round in early 2021, but at an offering price low enough to entice retail investors to join the party. The company has been profitable since Q2 2022 despite falling revenue, thanks to various trimming.
Danish global shipping and logistics giant A.P Moller-Maersk is jumping into ecommerce fulfillment, opening a micro fulfillment center in Dallas powered by technology from Israeli firm Fabric that will initially serve one client in health and wellness but could be expanded to a multi-tenant operation. The 38,000-square-foot facility will utilize Fabric’s automated storage and retrieval (AS/RS).
Amazon posted a blowout Q2, with net sales up 11%, profit doubled from 2022, analysts cheering and an upgraded fulfillment plan refocused on same-day delivery. But Amazon still needs to find ways to improve a grocery business that is getting failing marks from industry observers. AWS growth continues to slow, and management said GenAI won’t contribute meaningfully in the near term.
Two separate reports paint a portrait of the once-robust e-grocery market continuing to face challenges, one that has never been the same since the pandemic lockdowns lifted and consumers returned to physical stores en masse for everyday essentials. It goes against rosy predictions of hockey-stick growth from three years ago, even though gains have mostly held.
Online prices continue to fall as inflationary pressure has eased and retailers discount to clear out stocks ahead of Q4 ordering. Prices were down 2.3% year-over-year in May, the largest drop since the onset of the pandemic, and down 1.2% from April 2023, according to Adobe Analytics. It was good news for consumers but bad news for retail ledgers. Big-ticket categories remain challenged.
Standards body GS1 US is looking for major retailers and brands to step up and implement its QR-like Digital Link 2D barcode on packages, in order to drive broader market adoption and enable the transmission of richer data that can unlock a trove of value-added services like discounts and offers at checkout.
Grocers are increasingly concerned with the impact of the digital age on customer loyalty, as options have proliferated and made it easier for shoppers to cross over to competitors, according to a new report from Incisiv, The Food Industry Association (FMI) and Loyal Guru. About 75% of grocers said e-grocery has made shoppers less loyal, while 71% report that improving loyalty is a C-level issue.
Boxed, purveyor of bulk home products that likened itself to an online Costco, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to find a buyer and enduring sustained weak revenue and earnings, a far cry from the promise of its SPAC IPO in December 2021. An affiliate of its main creditor may purchase its software service.
Boxed, the once high-flying online answer to price clubs like Costco, BJ’s Wholesale and Sam’s Club, is considering a bankruptcy filing if it can’t find a buyer as its struggles continue 15 months after going public in a much-anticipated SPAC deal. At the same time, Boxed said it plans to lay off about 25% of its 136 employees.
Instacart is launching a new service aimed at SMBs, including possibly smaller niche and specialty grocers as well as office supply firms, in a bid to increase revenue lost to major grocers that have taken back fulfillment, as it looks to boost a sagging valuation ahead of an expected IPO.