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.

Expansion of luxury retail stores contributes to increase in sales, report says

Luxury sales in the U.S. reached $70 billion in 2022, with retail expansion a major driver of that growth, according to real estate services company JLL’s just-released 2023 Luxury Report. New York and California saw more than half of new store openings, but Sunbelt cities such as Atlanta, Miami and Las Vegas also saw a significant rise in retail stores. Luxury retail giants LMVH, Kering Group and Richemont led the charge, with 108, 100 and 96 new locations respectively. Overall, retail expansion by luxury brands included an additional 650,000 square feet of space — the majority of which was street retail, followed by high-end malls. JLL’s report revealed an overall increase in retail foot traffic as well, with New York’s luxury retail corridors seeing the most notable increase.

Despite continuing economic uncertainty, consumers continue to spend on luxury items, Fashion Dive’s Howard Ruben reports. “Luxury’s core consumer base remains well-capitalized and shows a consistent appetite for luxury items, evidenced by the robust earnings growth observed over the past year,” C. Ebere Anokute, National Research Manager for JLL, told Ruben.

Hy-Vee unveils in-house media network to help brands create personalized shopping experiences

Capitalizing on a growing trend, Hy-Vee has launched its own retail media network (RMN), Hy-Vee RedMedia, enabling the grocery store chain to connect brands with its customers across multiple platforms to build “brand affinity through meaningful and personalized interactions,” the company announced. Through the network, brands can create and implement omnichannel marketing strategies using digital, in-store and off-site advertising.

Hy-Vee says that its platform makes it easy to target specific consumers, thanks to its access to wide-ranging demographic and purchasing behavior data for its customers.

With 285 locations across eight Midwestern states, Hy-Vee is demonstrating the ability of regional chains to compete with national retailers in the RMN space, notes Maia Jenkins of Retail Info Systems. “The retailer described the platform as a ‘disruptor’ in the space,” she writes, “designed to create connections between brands and Hy-Vee’s customer base across various channels both online and in-store.”

Costco partners with Sesame to offer discount healthcare services to members

Costco and healthcare company Sesame just announced the launch of a new program to provide discount pricing to all Costco members on a range of outpatient medical services, per a Costco statement. A direct-to-consumer healthcare marketplace, Sesame connects healthcare providers with consumers seeking affordable care across all 50 states. As CNN’s Parija Kavilanz notes, Sesame “doesn’t accept health insurance because it primarily caters to uninsured Americans and those with high-deductible plans who prefer to pay cash for their health care.” According to the webpage for the Costco-Sesame collaboration, virtual primary care visits and health checkups (including a standard lab panel and virtual follow-up consultation) are $29 and $72 respectively, while virtual mental health appointments are $79.

Costco’s move is part of a growing trend among major retailers — including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Amazon— to provide access to healthcare services to customers “as the demand for urgent care access outside of a traditional hospital setting booms,” Kavilanz reports.

Ralph Lauren opens first-ever luxury store in Canada as part of North American expansion plan

On Wednesday, Ralph Lauren announced plans to expand its presence in Canada with the launch of its first store in the country. Located in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, the store builds on Ralph Lauren’s existing wholesale and outlet presence in Canada. The new location is part of the company’s targeted expansion plan in North America, as well as Asia and Europe, which it has dubbed “Next Great Chapter: Accelerate.” With a goal to deliver what Ralph Lauren calls “sustainable, long-term growth and value creation,” the plan includes opening additional stores in Canada as well as launching a French-language version of Ralph Lauren’s website.

Further reading

“Eddie Bauer unveils new brand identity” (Apparel Resources)

“Consumers plan to spend more on luxury: report” (Fashion Dive)

“Sycamore to take apparel retailer Chico’s FAS private for nearly $1 billion” (Reuters)

“Wrangler Goes Pink in New Bubblegum-Hued Barbie Collection” (Variety)

“Pacsun launches collection with Willy Chavarria” (Fashion Network)

“Shein hosts live fashion show for AW23 collection” (Fashion United)

“Kohl’s, Nine West debut adaptive clothing line” (Retail Dive)

“Rebag Debuts New Consignment Selling Option for Luxury Accessories” (Retail TouchPoints)

“Costco is selling gold bars and they are selling out within a few hours” (CNBC)

“A Reimagined Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is Now Streaming on Prime Video” (Decider)