Gap outlined plans this week to increase its focus on off-mall and outlet stores as well as e-commerce, moves that sent the retailer's shares surging 14% on Thursday. The company will shutter 220 namesake and 130 Banana Republic stores over the next few years, while opening up to 40 new Old Navy stores and about 100 Athleta locations.
Santa won't appear at any Macy's stores this holiday season because of the pandemic, but the retailer will create a virtual version of the 159-year tradition. From Nov. 27 to Christmas Eve, kids will be able to go online to visit Santaland, be greeted by elves and have an interactive video visit with St. Nick.
Barbie sales grew 29% in the third quarter and demand for other toys was also strong, leading parent Mattel to its biggest quarterly revenue increase in 20 years. Mattel, which has been diversifying the decades-old doll line with a wider array of body sizes and skin tones, attributes its growth to parents looking to pull their kids away from digital screens, Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz said.
With the pandemic likely to remain a persistent concern during the holidays, Target is rolling out new steps to keep shoppers and staff members safe. The measures include expanded pickup and delivery options with double the number of Drive Up sites, more contactless payment alternatives and a shopper reservations system, designed to promote social distancing and control store capacity by letting customers make appointments to shop.
Grocery Outlet, which has become a growing presence on the West Coast with its unique consignment model, now appears ready to grow its East Coast operation. Although the company hasn't commented on its expansion plans, it recently posted job openings for "retail professionals" who are interested in operating "new stores throughout Pennsylvania."
Working with Instacart, ALDI says it will soon allow the growing number of shoppers in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to use Electronic Benefits Transfer to buy their groceries online. The new EBT program will be rolled out soon at 60 ALDI sites across Georgia, with expansion to another 570 locations in Illinois, California, Florida and Pennsylvania planned for the next several months.
Israel-based PointGrab has developed a device resembling a smoke alarm that mounts on ceilings to monitor workplace social distancing and foot traffic. The system uses tracking sensors to display the data on a dashboard as dots, but it does not collect images or personal information.
With Halloween approaching fast, a number of community leaders and entrepreneurs are planning to make the most of the holiday while dealing with the continued challenges of the pandemic. This article summarizes some of those efforts, which include trick-or-treating opportunities at small businesses and other programs meant to engage with the community.
Logistics real estate investment trust Prologis is seeing both inventory levels and rents increase as retailers restock nationwide, with utilization of its space averaging 84% and some markets such as Central Valley, Calif., and Lehigh Valley, Pa., virtually at capacity. Chief Financial Officer Thomas Olinger said rents have surpassed pre-COVID levels and may continue trending upward.
Amazon has made a new $100 million investment in Mexico, including fulfillment centers in the cities of Monterrey and Guadalajara, a support facility outside of Mexico City and 12 additional delivery stations for a total of 27, to expedite orders to customers. Amazon has also launched its fifth and largest fulfillment center in Brazil.
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