Tops Friendly Markets offers an employee wellness program that includes walking, weight loss and other perks for associates and their spouses, a move that has won the retailer recognition in the business world and with consumers. "It creates a halo for the company that shoppers notice," said Gail Marchese, who manages benefits and wellness for Tops.
Demand for prestige beauty and skincare products is on the rise nationally and in Los Angeles, where Macy's-owned beauty retailer Bluemercury sees the potential to grow to 100 neighborhood stores, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Barry Beck said. Bluemercury has grown from a single Washington, D.C., store to 153 locations in 25 states since its inception in 1999.
Target will offer about 1,700 holiday items for under $15 each this year, start free shipping next month and promote its holiday offerings in a campaign dubbed "Together's the Joy." The retailer will feature deals each weekend and ramp up the use of tech tools, including mobile payments through its app and voice-enabled shopping through a Google partnership.
Food retailers are often more burdened by taxes than members of other industries, which is why grocers stand to benefit greatly from tax reform, FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin writes. "Much-needed tax reform in this country is not about reckless tax cuts; it's about tax fairness. As Democrats and Republicans negotiate the specifics of tax reform, they must keep their favorite grocery stores in mind," she writes.
Retailers, brands and farms see an average cost of $10 million when food is recalled, according to a study from FMI and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, but FMI's partnership with RevenueShield and other recall insurance programs can offer protections. Recall insurance "can be the difference between companies going out of business or surviving," Berrian Insurance Group's Joe Bermudez said.
The 4.2% unemployment rate is raising prospects for seasonal hiring and the possibility of a permanent position after the holidays, industry experts say. There's also some evidence that the tight labor market is driving wage increases for retail employees on the front lines, Glassdoor Analyst MaryJo Fitzgerald said.
Walmart sees a retail future where virtual reality tools can create improved experiences, including 3-D holograms that would let Bonobos customers virtually try on new fashions. Other innovations in the pipeline include 3-D images that give ModCloth shoppers a better way to find the right fit and virtual shopping assistants.
Spanish winemaker Miguel Torres Maczassek has been searching for higher land and hearty older vines in a bid to make the wine business more resistant to climate change. Many of the tough old vines that proved themselves resistant to phylloxera also seem to be drought-resistant, he finds.
Target will make over 1,000 of its 1,800 stores in the next three years, up from the 600 announced earlier this year, after seeing positive results from its first remodels, CEO Brian Cornell said Thursday. As it focuses on competing with Amazon and Walmart, Target will also open more small-format stores and bolster its private-label offerings.
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