It’s been another busy month in the world of retail as many blue-chip brands reported earnings and many retailers made their way to ShopTalk in Vegas. We saw headlines about stores shutting physical locations including JCPenney, Victoria’s Secret, Payless, and Gymboree to name a few. But not all was doom and gloom. Gap announced it would spin off Old Navy into a separate company and that it would acquire children’s retailer Janie and Jack. And Allbirds announced it was expanding to China, opening its first physical stores in the country.
Here’s a look at some of the other stories that caught our eye over the last few weeks.
1. Experiential retail continues to be more than a buzzword. RetailDive does a deep dive into what experiential brings to store design specifically, highlighting that location, service and shareability are what matters most. Along the same lines, RISNews examined California Closets’ experiential showrooms, which have boosted sales 20 to 30 percent. And DSW caused a stir when it announced it would be adding nail salons in some stores to attract more millennial women.
2. In tech news, FedEx is experimenting with robots for last-mile delivery for partners like Walmart and Pizza Hut. The robots could become part of Same Day Delivery and travel on sidewalks and roads at 10 miles per hour. In January, Amazon unveiled a robot product called Scout for door-to-door delivery.
3. Sourcing Journal takes a deep dive into what luxury footwear brands are doing right, with a continued focus on athletic and athleisure styles helping to drive strong results.
4. Lastly, Amazon reversed its announcement that it would be building a second headquarter in Queens. NY, after pushback from local politicians. Amazon already has 5,000 employees in NY and reports that it will continue to grow that number.