grocery assortment

Optimizing Grocery Assortment for Omnichannel

| Julian Miller

Grocery assortment planning has been upended by omnichannel. Grocers were comfortable relying on broader, older models that identified underperforming products to remove from a store shelf, or leaning into models that focused on SKU rationalization. But assortment planning now presents an entirely new bag of challenges.

Levi Strauss jeans feature

Levi Strauss DTC Strength Slips a Notch

| Mike O'Brien

While iconic denim maker Levi Strauss has been a direct-to-consumer sales powerhouse for the past few years, an area where many brands large and small have placed their bets for sustained growth as wholesale has struggled, the company’s DTC numbers slipped a bit in the fourth quarter.

Marvin Ellison at Lowe's feature

Marvin Ellison of Lowe’s Pushing for Greater Diversity

| Mike O'Brien

Marvin Ellison, chairman, president and CEO of home improvement retailer Lowe’s, credited a faith in God and a worth ethic instilled by his parents that helped him achieve far beyond his humble roots, going from a part-time stocking clerk earning $4.35 an hour at Target to heading up a Fortune 500 firm.

NRF 2023 feature

NRF 2023: Enthusiasm Amid Concerns

| Mike O'Brien

The energy level at NRF 2023, aka the Big Show, was palpable, as large crowds swarmed the expo floors and outer halls of the Javits Center in New York, even as holiday numbers from the association itself and the government signaled concerns in the industry and the markets down the street.

crate & barrel exterior feature

Looking at Ecommerce Returns in a New Light

| Mike O'Brien

While ecommerce returns continue to soar and cost retailers both in terms of actual dollars and the bad customer experience, there are practical ways to reduce the rate, make the process more efficient and leverage the customer opportunity, attendees were told at the NRF 2023 Big Show in New York.

Walmart-Salesforce partnership feature

Walmart, Salesforce Team Up on Fulfillment Services

| Mike O'Brien

Drawing parallels with Amazon’s expansion of Buy With Prime to all U.S. merchants — do they each have moles in the other’s operation? — Walmart and Salesforce have linked up to provide the former’s delivery and fulfillment services to a wider swath of merchants in the latter’s app store.

Amazon JFK8 exterior feature

Amazon, UPS In Full-On Labor Battles

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon lost another skirmish in its ongoing multi-front labor war, as a federal regulator ruled Wednesday against its petition to have a successful union vote in Staten Island, NY vacated. At the same time, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is heating up rhetoric ahead of the expiration of its contract with UPS on July 31.

bed bath & beyond storefront

Bed Bath & Beyond Posts Ugly Third Quarter

| Mike O'Brien

Bed Bath & Beyond as expected posted a tough third-quarter report, with net sales and same-store sales down a third from last year and a net loss of $393 million as it considers a range of options up to and including a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. CEO Sue Gove said the company is listening to customers, but it may be too little, too late.

Boxed CEO Chieh Huang feature

Boxed, Amazon News Highlight Economic Woes

| Mike O'Brien

Boxed, the once high-flying online warehouse club that set out to be the ecommerce equivalent of brick-and-click competitors like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s, is now exploring strategic alternatives, which euphemistically means looking for a buyer. And Amazon acknowledged an expansion of its corporate layoffs from 10,000 to 18,000.

holiday retail sales street throngs feature

Overall Holiday Retail Sales Growth Outpaces Online

| Mike O'Brien

Depending on who you believe, domestic holiday retail sales were up 6% to 8%, which should cause retailers to do backflips, considering the state of the economy. But the rate of ecommerce growth was slower, reversing a trend from past years, with online sales up 3.5%, as the stores became the story.