When it comes to US retail, who’s winning and who’s losing? Today’s retail news roundup will help you stay up-to-date on the latest developments. According to Goldman Sachs, older millennials will spend the majority of their clothing budgets online. It’s not perfect yet, but BOPIS – buy online, pick up in-store – may be a big trend for retail according to a new report by Kibo and Multichannel Merchant. The biggest losers in retail so far seem to be the employees – 13,000 US jobs lost in the past three months, 38,000 so far this year according to US govt. data and more on the horizon according to CNN.
Primark, a UK retailer entering the US market in Boston, is up to 202% less expensive than other US retailers according to a Morgan Stanley study. Wayfair was named 2016 Internet Retailer of the Year by IRCE. While many investors are avoiding the retail industry, the Motley Fool likes American Eagle Outfitters. Business Insider looks at the impact of deeper discounting on sales at Victoria’s Secret and doesn’t like the prospects.
By September 2016, a new Wayfair app will let online shoppers view products in their home virtually. Shopping malls are turning to technology to try and rebuild sales according to a Wall Street Journal report. With its newest store in Chicago, will Rejuvenation be the next big store brand from Williams Sonoma? Analyst Mary Meeker has 11 important internet trends for retailers and most of them revolve around mobile.
The next wave of online shopping is about to hit
Up to this point, digitally-savvy millennials have propelled much of the growth in online spending. Yet a new report suggests that as the group’s influence spreads, a broader majority of shoppers could be on the verge of mimicking their habits, thereby fueling a sustained period of online sales growth.
According to the research, released Thursday by Goldman Sachs, older millennials (ages 25 to 34) are more likely than any other generation to spend most of their clothing budget online. Separate data collected by the firm over time has found the online spending habits of 35- to 44-year-olds have lagged this group by about one to two years, with those between ages 45 and 54 straggling another two or three years.
Given that Goldman pegs the acceleration in millennials’ digital adoption to late 2014, the firm predicts that U.S. apparel and accessories sales growth will increase by a steady 20 percent over the next four years. That compares to gains of less than 10 percent just six years ago. Via cnbc.com
9 experts on the state of ‘buy online, pick up in-store’
In what may be the ultimate iteration of merging online and brick-and-mortar operations, many retailers are scrambling to establish dedicated buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) services in their physical stores.
Using the service, customers can quickly come in and grab their online orders from physical stores’ dedicated BOPIS counters, reducing shipping costs and time spent waiting for the package to arrive. Some retailers like CVS and Target (which has since announced it is ending the program) have tried to streamline the process even further, partnering with startups like Curbside to provide curbside pickup services where the customer doesn’t even have to leave their car. But while this reduces effort on the part of the customer, it’s worth noting this can have the negative effect of preventing any impulse buys the customer may make when picking up an order in-store.
Given the growing focus on BOPIS from brick-and-mortar retailers, a new study from Kibo and Multichannel Merchant sought to parse out how effective the service is for customers. Based on mystery shopper visits to 30 retailers that offer the service, the study found that 90% of retailers surveyed had online orders ready and waiting for the shopper at the scheduled pick-up time. Associates were able to find the order in under a minute at 43% of the stores, while 50% took one to four minutes. 75% of locations had orders ready for pickup in 24 hours or less. Via retaildive.com
Layoffs in aisle 4! Retailers are big job killers
Ralph Lauren (RL) was the latest big brand name consumer company to announce layoffs, saying on Tuesday that it was looking to cut about 1,200 jobs — 8% of its full-time workforce. That news follows recent layoff announcements from Macy’s (M), Nordstrom (JWN) and Walmart (WMT).
Several other retailers — including Gap (GPS), Sears (SHLD) and J.C. Penney (JCP) — have announced plans to shut stores, which could lead to even more retail employees being let go. And then there are the bankruptcies. Pacific Sunwear and Aeropostale both filed for Chapter 11 protection in the past few months. And Sports Authority is going out of business.
Much of the pain in retail is due to the upheaval in the apparel industry. According to data from the U.S. government, nearly 13,000 jobs have been lost at clothing and clothing accessories stores in the past three months. Fast fashion upstarts are making life more difficult for some of the older mall-based stalwarts. Via money.cnn.com
US retailers priced 200% higher than Primark
The study compared prices between Primark and 14 stores in Boston, where the Primark opened its first U.S. location. Analysts found huge price disparities.
“Primark’s low price points could act as a disruptive force in U.S. retail, in our view,” bank analysts wrote, according to MarketWatch. “We think Primark’s similar offering but at even sharper price points could win over shoppers, particularly value-focused millennials.” Via fierceretail.com
Wayfair named Internet Retailer of the Year
Wayfair Inc., the online home furnishings retailer that grew its online sales 71% last year in its first year as a public company, was named Internet Retailer of the Year, taking the top prize in the second annual Internet Retailer Excellence Awards, held Wednesday night.
“Our job is never really done,” said Jane Carpenter, Wayfair’s director of public relations, in accepting the award. “We’re really focused on creating the world’s best e-commerce experience for the home.”
Wayfair, No. 24 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, operates e-commerce sites Wayfair.com, Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane and Dwell Studio, and increased its active customers in 2015 to 5.4 million from 3.2 million. The e-retailer was selected as the winner of the Internet Retailer of the year award over four other finalists: Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1), Etsy Inc. (No. 23), Nike Inc. (No. 47) and Nordstrom Inc. (No. 18). A panel of judges that included Internet Retailer editors and industry consultants selected the winner. Via internetretailer.com
Why I’m Buying American Eagle Outfitters But Avoiding the Rest of the Apparel Industry
The past several years have been brutal for many apparel retailers, due to the rise of “cheap chic” rivals like Zara and a decline in mall traffic caused by the rise of e-tailers. Many retailers got trapped in a loop of slashing prices to boost sales, which caused margins to plunge.
But there have been a few rare winners in this troubled industry like American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO). I generally don’t like apparel retailers, but I recently picked up shares of American Eagle for four simple reasons. Via fool.com
Victoria’s Secret is discounting heavily
The company is famous for its Semi-Annual Sale, which means customers have to wait for bargains. If they can’t, they pay full price. But more recently, Victoria’s Secret held another sale before the Semi-Annual Sale. And that could be a troubling sign, if it means that the company is giving in to the urge to increase markdowns for the sake of foot traffic.
Incessant discounting is a problem that’s plaguing the retail industry, as many consumers have been conditioned to shop only at sale price. Once you go there, it’s difficult to ever come back, as companies like Banana Republic have recently been forced to admit. Via businessinsider.com
Wayfair brings products into consumers’ home virtually
Customers of Wayfair Inc. no longer have to guess how items will look in their own personal spaces.
The online home furnishings and decor retailer has launched WayfairView, its new augmented reality (AR) smartphone application. Developed by Wayfair Next, the company’s in-house research and development team, the app, using Google technology, allows shoppers to visualize furniture and décor in their homes at full-scale before they make a purchase.
Consumers will be able to shop with WayfairView on the upcoming Tango-enabled Lenovo PHAB2 Pro smartphone, available September 2016. To use WayfairView, shoppers will be able to view a particular room in their home through the lens of the Lenovo smartphone, select a Wayfair product and virtually place that product in the room to see how it fits and looks within the space. Shoppers can also move and rotate products to visualize various layouts and perspectives. When ready to make a purchase, shoppers will be seamlessly connected to Wayfair’s shopping app in Google Play. Via retailingtoday.com
Mall landlords turn to tech to evolve and survive
Simon Property Group chairman/CEO David Simon in April pushed back against the widely-held notion that American malls are dying, while Taubman Centers COO Bill Taubman last month said that the biggest problem facing U.S. malls is under-performing retailers. While some destination and many class A malls seem to be thriving, others are struggling as anchors like Sears and Macy’s falter or close.
Others, including software and data companies, are also coming to malls’ rescue. They say the model is not so much doomed, but changing, in sometimes fundamental ways. After lagging when it comes to technology, mall owners are now increasingly leveraging software tools to also transform it. Via retaildive.com
Will this be the next big store brand from Williams Sonoma?
A retailer that specializes in reproductions of classic lighting products and house parts is quietly expanding under the ownership of Williams-Sonoma.
Rejuvenation is set to open its first location in Chicago. Founded in 1977 as an architectural salvage store and acquired by Williams-Sonoma in 2011, the Portland, Oregon-based retailer specializes in lighting fixtures and house parts, including bath hardware and door and cabinet hardware, which are based on “the best pieces of the past” and reinterpreted for modern taste. Many of the goods in the company’s core lighting and hardware categories are made at its manufacturing facility in Portland.
Rejuvenation also sources vintage home products, restoring the goods and selling them online and in its stores. The Chicago store, which will also sell in-home design services, will be located in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood and span 6,000 sq. ft. It will be the company’s seventh store, with existing locations in Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and three in California (Palo Alto, Berkeley, and Los Angeles). Via retailingtoday.com
11 takeaways for marketers from Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends report
The Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) partner released her highly-anticipated annual forecast last week, pointing toward a mobile-first, data-rich and video-heavy path forward for online advertising. The report comes at a time when advertisers are dealing with challenges on several fronts, particularly the fast-growing adoption of ad blockers among digital natives.
As consumers have more choices available to them, advertisers must come up with inventive solutions to engage their target audiences in personalized, timely ways. And with the proliferation of new technologies and a treasure trove of data to tap into, the industry is rethinking the skills that are essential for marketing success in 2016 and beyond.
According to Meeker’s report, the answer to many of these problems begins with mobile. Here are the 11 most important takeaways (and charts) from the report. Via retaildive.com
US retail and the details
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