Welcome to The Week in Retail, a weekly round-up for marketers from Quad Insights that covers the latest must-know news surrounding the retail space.

Consumers increasingly interested in shopping at small businesses for holiday gifts, report says

Consumers are increasingly interested in supporting small, local, independent businesses when it comes to holiday shopping. That’s the takeaway from a just-released survey from Jungle Scout, which revealed that 20% of respondents report shopping for holiday gifts at local and small businesses — a 10% increase over last year. While Walmart (55%), Target (22%) and Kohl’s (14%) ranked first through third among consumers as the leading in-store shopping destinations, specialty, independent, boutique and local stores came in fourth (12%), according to the survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers ages 18 and older. Costco, Walgreens, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Macy’s and Home Depot trailed in the fifth through 10th spots.

Other factors also point to growing interest in supporting local, small businesses, per Retail Dive’s Tatiana Walk-Morris, with spending on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25) at independent establishments reaching an estimated $17 billion. The American Express 2023 Saturday Consumer Insights survey revealed that “more than half (53%) of respondents reported shopping online at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, a greater share than the 34% who shopped online at large retailers that day,” Walk-Morris notes.

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Target partners with Sèchey to expand selection of alcohol-free beverages

Target just announced that it’s increasing its selection of non-alcoholic beverages, CNN Business’ Jordan Valinsky reports. Through a partnership with Sèchey, an online retailer specializing in alcohol-free spirits and wines, Target will begin selling an assortment of popular non-alcoholic beverage brands at approximately 450 stores nationwide. Brands such as NOPE, Ghia, Surely and Katy Perry’s De Soi will add to the retail giant’s selection for customers “to enjoy as they prepare to entertain for the holiday season and beyond,” Target said in a statement.

The move comes as some consumers, particularly younger ones, are “ditching alcohol and emphasizing wellness,” notes Valinsky, contributing to more than $500 million in sales of non-alcoholic beverages in 2023, according to Nielsen IQ.

True Religion gets into pet apparel category with new collection dropping in spring 2024

True Religion has announced plans to enter the pet apparel category with licensing partner Wiesner Products’ pet division Paw NYC, per Rivet’s Angela Velasquez. In spring 2024, the denim brand and retailer will launch its first collection for cats and dogs, which, in addition to apparel, will include collars, harnesses, toys and more.

“At True Religion, we love our pets,” True Religion CEO Michael Buckley told Velasquez. “Now they’ll be dressed as stylishly as our customers.” With its foray into the $20.5 billion global pet accessories market, True Religion joins a host of other fashion brands, such as Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger, Velasquez notes.

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Safeway, MrBeast partner on “Survive in a Grocery Store” video challenge to address food insecurity

Albertsons Companies grocery store Safeway announced this week a partnership with leading YouTube creator and philanthropist MrBeast (AKA Jimmy Donaldson) — famous for his video challenges and giveaways — to create a new kind of video challenge for his popular YouTube channel. In the “Survive in a Grocery Store” video, MrBeast challenges a contestant to see how long he can last in a Safeway store. Each day he stays in the store, the contestant wins $10,000, provided he selects $10,000 worth of products to give to local charities each day. For the experience, the Safeway and Albertsons team worked with MrBeast’s team to replicate a functional grocery store, with signage, aisles, cash registers and more.

The promotion aligns with Safeway’s longstanding commitment to give back to the community, Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons Cos., said in a statement. “Our collaboration with MrBeast furthers our mission to break the cycle of hunger as part of our Recipe for Change environmental, social and governance framework,” she said. With the help of sponsors, including Shopify, Copia, PepsiCo, Campbell’s, Dude Wipes and Country Crock, over $450,000 worth of items — from groceries to electronics — were donated to local nonprofits and community organizations.

Further reading


Thanks for reading. We’ll see you next week.

If you’d like to catch up on prior installments of this column, start by heading to last week’s recap: “The Week in Retail: December 1, 2023”

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