Retail

The big picture

The year of the mall makeover

The retail apocalypse isn't happening exactly the way experts warned it would.

Jan 9, 2020 - Economy & Business
A crisis for retail jobs

A hit to the retail industry would reverberate across the economy.

Oct 16, 2019 - Economy & Business
Loosening Walmart's vise-grip on low-income consumers

Companies are betting that selling to this cohort of customers will rake in billions.

Jun 1, 2019 - Economy & Business
Deep Dive: How vanity will save retail

If Main Street is going to be saved, enduring American vanity will be among the primary reasons.

Updated Jan 12, 2019 - Economy & Business

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Walmart tests rival to Amazon Prime

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walmart plans to start publicly testing its new membership program called Walmart+ next month in hopes of competing with Amazon Prime, Recode's Jason Del Rey scoops.

Why it matters: The paid membership program "would include perks that Amazon can’t replicate, in part to avoid a direct comparison to Prime."

Coronavirus outbreak slams companies' 2020 sales projections

A man and a child walk past a closed Apple store in Shanghai on Feb. 20. Photo: Yifan Ding/Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak already is eating into companies' 2020 plans, with a number of firms announcing significant expected hits to their sales.

What's happening: After warning that it would need to write down its revenue expectations, a new report from Nikkei says Apple's iPhone inventories could remain low until April or longer and that suppliers are "currently operating at around 30% to 50% of capacity."

Walmart fumbles in the battle for wealthy shoppers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Walmart’s expensive attempt to woo wealthy shoppers is ending in failure.

Driving the news: Jetblack, Walmart’s personal shopping startup, is closing its doors, per WSJ. The service, which charged members $600 a year for a personal shopper whom they could text to get anything delivered — except fresh food — was costing the company thousands of dollars because it just never gained much popularity.

Valentine's Day doesn't pay as much as you might think

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Friday night's expensive — and hopefully romantic — prix fixe dinner for two isn't as lucrative for the restaurant industry as you might think.

Why it matters: Valentine's Day "ranked 94th in the year for consumer spending at local places nationwide" in 2019, Bloomberg reports, lower than Cinco de Mayo and a bunch of regular Saturdays.

Sweetgreen bets on kelp in 2020

A salad being made at a Sweetgreen. Photo: Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Popular salad restaurant Sweetgreen is buying into kelp in 2020, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Kelp is beneficial for both human and ocean health. Sweetgreen's temporary introduction of a "Tingly Sweet Potato and Kelp Bowl" will now give the food a platform across 104 stores nationwide.

Online dollar store Hollar to wind down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Hollar, an e-commerce company that raised more than $75 million in VC funding, is expected to wind down soon, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Between the lines: It's been a very tough month for direct-to-consumer startups, beginning with Casper Sleep's uninspired IPO and Monday's shutdown of SoftBank-backed Brandless.

Beyond Meat tests "fake" fried chicken across the South

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Beyond Meat is testing its plant-based chicken in KFC locations for three weeks across Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky, the company recently announced.

The big picture: McDonald's is one of the only major fast-food restaurants that has not embraced the fake meat boom, the Washington Post reports.

The great American toy slump

Photo: Axel Heimken/picture alliance/Getty Images

Americans are buying fewer toys in the post-Toys "R" Us era.

The big picture: As we've reported, the demise of the toy giant kicked off a war among U.S. retail titans Amazon, Target and Walmart to vacuum up its toy sales. But the end of Toys "R" Us dealt the multibillion-dollar American toy market a blow that it still hasn't recovered from.

Unpacking Casper's sleepy IPO

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Casper Sleep, the mattress retailer that was valued at more than $1 billion by venture capitalists, last night priced its IPO at the bottom of an already-slashed price range.

Reality check: Yes, this went just about as badly as most of us thought it would. No, it shouldn't be used as an avatar for the broader IPO or DTC markets.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

Retailers are guzzling data just like tech giants

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Much of the debate around data privacy has centered on the tech giants that are collecting consumer data, but retailers are formidable data guzzlers, too.

Why it matters: The places we shop track us in stores and online and use those troves of data to get us to spend more money. "I think it would be wise if everyone stopped thinking of retailers as retailers and started thinking of them as tech companies," Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute, tells Axios.

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