Facebook is trialing an "Order Food" button in its app; the button enables consumers to order and pay for food deliveries without leaving the app in partnership with Delivery.com and Slice. The new feature lists participating restaurants with ratings, photos, price ranges and cuisine categories.
Fashion retailer Forever 21 has partnered with mall operator GGP to create a beauty boutique concept called Riley Rose. The partners will open 10 locations at GGP malls this year and three more in 2018, with a selection of beauty products, accessories and home goods aimed at millennials.
J.C. Penney has rolled out an initiative aimed at selling soft goods and appliances to other businesses including hotels and rental property owners. Hotel operators have already been ordering bedding, towels and other goods from the department store's website, CEO Marvin Ellison said.
Despite news of high-profile retailers shuttering stores and laying off staff, the data show the retail picture remains strong. US retail sales have grown 4.6% over the past three months from the same months last year, and the industry employs 15.9 million people.
Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani is bullish about the future of brick-and-mortar stores in India, despite the rise of e-commerce. The company, which operates stores under several banners including Big Bazaar and Easy Day, turned a loss into a profit last year and saw its stock price jump 128% in the first four months of 2017, as it expanded.
A significant drop in cocoa prices over the past nine months is hurting farmers and fueling civil war fears in Ivory Coast, the African country that produces more than 40% of the world's cocoa supply, according to Euromonitor International. Cocoa prices fell to nearly a 10-year low amid an oversupply and falling demand for chocolate.
Chicago-based beauty and spa brand Bluemercury has grown to around 140 stores with 40 more on the drawing board since Macy's bought the company in 2015. "I bet I could open 60 stores in Manhattan, 40 stores in Chicago, 50 in the greater Chicago area, and that's my intention," founder and Chief Operating Officer Barry Beck said.
Menswear brand Kith launched its second capsule collection last week at Bergdorf Goodman, which has increasingly teamed with trendy menswear designers to woo younger consumers in recent years. "The goal was to create product that was relevant to both the Kith and the Bergdorf consumer, thus dispelling the idea that these two types of customers can't shop in the same place," Kith owner Ronnie Fieg said.
Regional malls like the one in Pueblo, Colo., that serve small towns are holding their own in the age of online shopping by serving as community hubs. Pueblo Mall draws shoppers from small Western towns hundreds of miles away, and with 1,100 employees it's one of the town's largest employers.
Several retailers are serving as examples for others looking for ways to embrace digital technology to boost sales and brand awareness, writes Firebrand Group founder and CEO Jeremy Goldman. Amazon, Cosabella, Lowe's and Starbucks have implemented tech tools from ordering apps to service robots.
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