July used to be a lull in the retail world, but that all changed five years ago when Amazon launched Prime Day to celebrate its 20th birthday and created a Black Friday cultural event for Prime members. Vox does a deep dive into the history of Prime Day and how it has evolved, and what may be in store for future Prime Day events as it continues to expand into concerts and events. However Prime Day also brings a boost to competitor brands who also offer their own deals and specials. Walmart, Target and Best Buy all reported increases of in-store traffic during Prime week, as well as online.
In other brands making headlines, the iconic department store Barneys New York is facing financial trouble and may file for its second bankruptcy. This follows the closing earlier this year of famed New York City store Henri Bendel.
Other stories from July we recommend reading include,
1. Pop up shops continue to be a tactic in the marketing playbook for brands wanting to attract young consumers and gain attention in the age of Instagram. Adidas created a one day only adult playground in New York to sell its Ultraboost sneakers and gain social media traction. Lingerie DTC brand ThirdLove opened its first pop-up to compete with Victoria’s Secret, and will be open until the end of 2019 which gives customers the opportunity to interact with the brand in person.
2. On the flip side, AdAge explores if experiential marketing, like pop-up shops, has reached its peak and examines if the busy market for traditional brands and DTC disrupters has reached the point of over saturation. The article stresses that marketers need to determine if the ROI on the cost of putting together such a spectacle is worth it to their bottom line.
3. It seems it’s never too early to talk about back to school shopping. RetailDive looks into back to school predictions and shopping trends. Consumer spending is expected to reach nearly $26.2 billion, or $696.70 per household, on K-12 back-to-school items in 2019. The total household spend is up from 2018's reported $684.70, while spending a year ago was higher — $27.5 billion total — due to more families with children in grades K-12, according to National Retail Federation's 2019 survey. Average consumer spend for college-related items is also projected to increase this year. Back-to-school college spending in 2019 is expected to rise to $54.5 billion, or $976.78 per household, found the NRF report.
4. Modern Retail looks into the challenges retailers are finding as they turn stores into eCommerce fulfillment centers, as stores like Target and Walmart try to take on Amazon. Volume (in terms of products) is one challenge in addition to training the store staff to handle fulfillment requests.