Amazon has been joined by numerous startups and retailers in attempting same-day delivery. The logistics of such deliveries have improved, but cost is a factor, especially as Amazon can make up losses in other areas of its business.
W.W. Grainger is eliminating about 200 management positions and will close some stores, with each move expected to bring millions of dollars of cost savings. "We will only take actions where we create economic value and can serve customers effectively. ... Branches will remain an integral part of the Grainger offer to serve specific purchasing locations," said DG Macpherson, the company's chief operating officer.
Distributors have struggled to fill important positions, Bridget McCrea writes. She suggests an eight-point strategy that includes companies vetting their online presence, using job search boards, forming partnerships with schools and colleges, and using mobile platforms to advertise availability.
Business has slowed for traditional shipping companies as physical retailers contend with overstocked shelves. Meanwhile, the rapid rise in e-commerce has delivery services including FedEx, UPS and the US Postal Service gearing up for another big holiday season.
Toys R Us plans to set itself apart from mass merchant and online rivals with a focus on voice-activated toys, robots and other interactive, technology-fueled playthings, Toys R Us Chairman and CEO David Brandon said. Longer term, the retailer will evaluate the size of its brick-and-mortar stores. "Our stores are probably larger than they need to be. We'll be looking at formats that allow us to be in a little smaller space," Brandon said.
It's more than a month before Christmas and much too early to determine how the shopping season will shake out, Hudson's Bay Co. CEO Jerry Storch said. A warm autumn and other factors have dampened apparel sales, but other sectors including off-price retailers, discount stores, home improvement chains and restaurants have seen higher spending, he said.
Seventy percent of consumers plan to pay for holiday purchases either with cash or debit cards, rather than credit cards this year, according to a survey from Bankrate.com. Only about 14% of all adults and 19% of millennials said they'll use Apple Pay or other mobile payment systems.
Albertsons has named Giant Eagle Information Chief Anuj Dhanda as its new chief information officer, starting next month, the company said. Dhanda will be in charge of Albertsons' information technology strategy, as traditional supermarket retailers work to catch up with the changing e-commerce market.
Specialty grocers see a lot of opportunity for expansion in core markets of the Southeast like Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami, as well as in some secondary markets, but they face challenges when it comes to finding the right space, real estate expert Bryan Belk said. "The biggest struggle developers are having is finding the right piece of land. Retail developers cannot afford the intown land costs, which is morphing a lot of traditional retail developers into mixed-use developers," he said.
- Page 1