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Cyber Week, Here We Come

| Mike O'Brien

Sales expectations are somewhat muted based on a welter of surveys and experts, as well as most retail earnings, but Cyber Week is still kind of a big deal, extended season and early deals notwithstanding. There are, of course, no lack of consumer jitters due to nagging inflation, with study after study indicating some degree of hesitancy.

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How Alen Expanded from DTC/Ecomm Onto Lowe’s Shelves

| Mike O'Brien

For 16 years, Alen has been selling its a top-rated air purifiers on Alen.com and Amazon. Now the company has expanded into retail, with product in 300+ Lowe’s stores, with potential for expansion. Alen has seen sales climb 210% growth since 2020. The CEO and the COO of Alen talk about the company’s growth and channel approach.

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Target Sees Q3 Earnings Slump, Warns of Q4 Softness

| Mike O'Brien

Target brought bad news Wednesday, with Q3 earnings miss plus a warning about a softer Q4, as families make tough budget calls on essentials vs. nonessentials heading into the holidays while high inflation lingers, registering a 7.7% rate in October. The company is calling for a low single-digit decline in Q4 comparable sales, and an operating margin of 3%.

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Walmart Posts Strong Q3, Ecommerce Up 16%

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart gave the retail sector a much-needed pre-peak season shot in the arm, especially following Amazon’s recent miss, posting better-than-expected Q3 sales and adjusted earnings, as its low-priced grocery business soared and ecommerce revenue grew 16%. Three billion of the loss was from a settlement of opioid litigation.

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Holiday Spending Forecasts Lower in Transition Year

| Mike O'Brien

With lowered holiday shopping expectations amid inflation concerns, consumers hunt for deals as early promotions lured them in but not in the hoped-for droves, and inventory remains a challenge. Retailers continue to discount and promote to clear out stock, increasingly using resale platforms like Poshmark, ThredUp and Etsy.

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Walmart Offers 50% Off Walmart+ to Boost Subscriptions

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart is offering half off on new sign-ups to its $98-a-year Walmart+ subscription program, an offer which expires today, in a bid to boost membership ahead of Cyber Weekend and the rush to the conclusion of the peak holiday season. The giant retailer is also throwing in access to early Black Friday deals starting Nov. 7.

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Revlon Lenders Seek Restitution of Lien Rights in Bankruptcy Case

| Mike O'Brien

A group of Revlon lenders has filed a lawsuit alleging the iconic beauty retailer, now in bankruptcy court, conspired with banks and lenders to steal away first-priority liens on Revlon’s well-known brands and intellectual property in order to secure new capital as the company was failing.

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Kroger and Albertsons Deal Facing D.C. Antitrust Scrutiny

| Mike O'Brien

Senators are asking for a hearing and FTC oversight to review the proposed $24.6 billion mega deal merging Kroger and Albertsons into a grocery powerhouse, expressing concerns about its impact on the competitive landscape and on consumers dealing with soaring prices. The FTC has its work cut out with a hot political football.

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Ecommerce Winter or Digital Shelf Spring? Your Call

| Joe Gaudreau

The digital shelf is the ecosystem of how consumers interact with brands and retailers to discover, research and purchase products. To win there and convert more buyers, brands must provide consistent, relevant and up-to-date product information across digital touchpoints, including stores, ecommerce, DTC and social.

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Putting Kroger and Albertsons in Context

| Mike O'Brien

Last week Kroger announced it was acquiring Albertsons for $24.5B, a major deal on the order of Amazon buying Whole Foods in 2017 that immediately reshaped the power structure in grocery. Neil Saunders, managing director and retail analyst at GlobalData Retail, helps us put the deal in context in our latest MCM CommerceChat podcast.