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

Holiday season retail sales grow 3.1%

Retail sales experienced a boost this holiday season, with the latest Mastercard Spending Pulse report indicating a 3.1% year-over-year increase in U.S. retail sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24. That number comes in below Mastercard’s September projection of a 3.7% rise, per Chain Store Age’s Zachary Russell. The report, which covers both in-store and online retail sales — excluding automotive — using all forms of payment, showed the largest growth in online retail sales, with an increase of 6.3%, while in-store sales grew just 2.2% from the previous year.

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Appeal of free shipping ranks higher than same- or next-day delivery for U.S. shoppers, report says

A just-released report from Forrester reveals the relative appeal of certain shipping options among consumers, with free shipping leading the way, per Retail Dive’s Tatiana Walk-Morris. Three-fourths of U.S. online shoppers surveyed by Forrester noted that free shipping is among the most important factors they consider when choosing where to shop, whereas only one-fifth of respondents said the same for same-day or next-day delivery.

“Given the costliness of implementing same-day delivery and shipping, and consumers’ lukewarm feelings on it, the investment may not be worth it for some retailers,” Walk-Morris writes. Forrester, however, revealed the appeal of “buy online, pick up in store,” with 22% of respondents indicating an interest in that option — which, as Walk-Morris notes, offers “a more cost-effective way to provide products quickly.”

Giant Food hosts virtual dietitian-led pantry makeover series

The Giant Company’s Giant Food, an Ahold Delhaize USA banner store, kicked off a pantry makeover virtual series this week in which staff dietitians share their favorite pantry staples and recipes, per Drug Store News’ Sandra Levy. The virtual event is taking place every Thursday in January, with a different dietitian focusing on a new category of items each week and providing recipe inspiration, per the event page. Those who attend are automatically entered to win one of three virtual pantry makeovers from a Giant Food dietitian, valued at $100 each.

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Dollar Tree to expand cage-free eggs signage pilot following positive results

Dollar Tree has announced plans to expand its pilot program, launched in 2023, that was intended to gauge “how shoppers respond to in-store signage and messaging regarding cage-free eggs,” Supermarket News’ Bill Wilson reports. First installed in the refrigerated sections of 63 of its Family Dollar stores (Family Dollar is a subsidiary of Dollar Tree Stores, Inc.), the signage informs shoppers which eggs came from cage-free chickens, while supplemental in-store messaging and labeling educates customers on the difference between cage-free and caged.

The program aligns with a commitment the discount retailer made in 2016 to offer only cage-free eggs by 2025, Wilson notes. “After experiencing positive results with the initial wave of testing,” Wilson writes, “Dollar Tree … will expand the pilot this year to hundreds of stores based on product availability, affordability and customer response.”

Further reading

Thanks for reading.

If you’d like to catch up on prior installments of this column, start by heading to our last recap: “The Week in Retail: December 22, 2023 edition”

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