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.
August sees 8.7% YOY spike in e-commerce grocery sales
Online grocery sales were up 8.7% year-over-year in August, with sales totaling $9.3 billion, according to the Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey, released on Tuesday. Driving this growth was a 5% increase in monthly active users who prefer ship-to-home.
Mass retailers such as Walmart and Target were big winners, with grocery pickup remaining strong — accounting for three-quarters of the overall YOY rise in sales — while delivery largely remained flat.
In a statement, Mercatus President and CEO Sylvain Perrier emphasized the need for grocery stores to ensure more seamless experiences to boost customer loyalty. “By providing personalized recommendations and promotions, based on shopping history and personal preferences,” he said, “grocers can strengthen connections with their customers that go beyond simply the transaction and increase the likelihood of repeat business.”
• “Grocery e-commerce sales jump 9% in August” (Grocery Dive)
Dollar General launches effort to automate distribution centers
In an effort to enhance its distribution networks and address supply chain issues, Dollar General has automated its South Carolina distribution center to more efficiently and effectively replenish store shelves, CEO Jeffrey Owen said on the company’s latest earnings call. Through a $45 million investment in technology and other improvements, the national discount retailer has expanded the capabilities of its Jonesville warehouse, enabling the company to process thousands of additional SKUs for more than 1,000 stores in the Southeast region, while maximizing space and lowering costs, David Wren of The Post and Courier reports.
“The automation is part of the retailer’s effort to streamline the way it transports merchandise to stores,” Wren notes. “The company plans to roll out automation at its other distribution centers, open new sites and expand its in-house truck fleet from 1,800 to 2,000 by the end of this year.”
• “Dollar General plans to fully automate South Carolina distribution center” (Supermarket News)
Amazon streamlines logistics with new set of supply chain services
Amazon announced on Tuesday a new end-to-end, fully automated group of services that makes it easier for third-party sellers to ship and store their products through the online retailer and elsewhere, streamlining the logistics process, the company said in a statement. Supply Chain by Amazon, which supplements Fulfillment by Amazon, allows sellers to move products from their manufacturing facilities direct to customers’ doorsteps. This includes everything from the shipment of products across borders and the handling of customs clearance to managing the right inventory levels and replenishing products across all sales channels, even those outside of Amazon — a featured called Multi-Channel Distribution. MCD “will allow sellers to replenish all their sales and fulfillment channels from a single inventory pool,” TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez reports, “which simplifies supply chain management and allows for cost savings on inbound shipping.”
Currently in the pilot phase, Supply Chain by Amazon is expected to roll out to all sellers later this year.
• “Amazon is launching new supply chain services that will expand its logistics and fulfillment business beyond its marketplace” (Business Insider)
Macy’s begins selling Brooks Brothers sub-brand
Macy’s has begun selling apparel from Brooks Brothers sub-brand B by Brooks Brothers in-store and online, Retail Dive’s Daphne Howland reports. The 205-year-old American luxury menswear brand, owned by Authentic Brands Group, is known for its collection of suit separates. Currently only available at Macy’s, the B by Brooks Brothers line was created to provide “high quality and value,” a spokesperson told Retail Dive, with fabric blends, such as wool and polyester, not typical of Brooks Brothers.
• “IAB and MRC’s new retail media guidelines target the industry’s measurement issues” (Ad Age)
• “Walmart adds late-night express delivery” (Winsight Grocery Business)
• “Birkenstock Files For IPO Two Years After Its $4.3 Billion Acquisition” (Forbes)
• “Infographic: It’s a Frugal Back-to-School Season as Inflation Bites” (Adweek)
• “Bondi Sands expands presence on US shores with Walmart launch” (Inside FMCG)
• “Kroger and Albertsons plan to sell over 400 stores in connection with $24.6B merger” (Fox Business)
• “Joann eyes $60M in product cost savings as suppliers offer concessions” (Retail Dive)
• “The Save Mart companies will partner with Uber Eats for on-demand delivery” (Supermarket News)