Investment in US holiday advertising by the 10 largest-spending brands has dipped by 2% this year compared with 2017, hitting $986 million so far, according to Kantar Media. Facebook ad spend has fallen 34%, and when it comes to TV ad investment, Walmart's budget has dropped by 22%, Target's by 15% and Kohl's by 10%.
South Africa-based supermarket chain Shoprite Holdings has opened its first Kenya store in Nairobi with plans for three more locations in 2019. The retailer sees growth opportunity in the country, which is the second-largest retail market in Africa, according to Nielsen.
Subscription beauty players shifted their strategies this year amid growing competition, with some businesses like Ipsy adopting flexible plans. Others are expanding into physical retail, including Birchbox, which continues to grow its in-store presence at Walgreens.
Amazon has been cutting some low-priced, low-margin goods and is working with manufacturers to change packaging as the company focuses more on boosting profits, sources said. Some goods like bottled water and other grocery items that sell for $15 or less are heavy and costly to ship.
Google has unveiled its Google Shopping service in India, letting consumers there shop for deals from a variety of companies including Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart. E-commerce in India is on track to hit $150 billion by 2022, according to research.
Bigger than expected refunds resulting from the tax overhaul could be a boon for retailers in the traditionally slower months of February and March, according to a Wells Fargo report. "It's good for the economy because they'll do something with that money," said Carol Tome, chief financial officer of Home Depot.
British online retailer Victoria Plum could merge with brick-and-mortar competitor Bathstore. Investment firm TPG acquired Victoria Plum in 2014 and has reportedly been in merger talks with the US parent of Bathstore for several months.
Walmart India has promoted executive Sameer Aggarwal to chief business officer following the resignation of Chief Operating Officer Devendra Chawla. Aggarwal will lead e-commerce, technology and other business units, the company said.
From a peek inside Walmart's next-generation tech incubator to an infographic on Halloween shopping behaviour, NRF content of the past year featured retail's top brands and executives, and covered a range of retail issues and insights on a variety of platforms. As 2018 comes to an end, here's a look back at the most popular stories from the NRF blog, the Retail Gets Real podcast and NRF events. Read more.
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