Instacart, trying to stay ahead of increased demand, has debuted two new delivery options to help get groceries where they are needed more quickly and with less stress. "Fast & Flexible" is designed to match those who need orders delivered as soon as possible with the first available shoppers, while the new "Order Ahead" option will allow customers to place orders up to two weeks in advance.
Costco Wholesale reported a 12.1% rise in March same-store sales, the retailer's biggest increase in at least seven years, as consumers continued to stock up on food and essentials. The growth was tempered by shortened store hours and limits on the number of shoppers allowed in the store at one time.
Tractor Supply has been designated as an essential retailer and is hiring about 5,000 employees, many of whom will clean carts and make sure shoppers are social distancing. The mostly rural-based retailer has seen a surge in pet food and animal feed sales as panic-buying shoppers stock up, new CEO Hal Lawton said.
The coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered stores across the country has taken a significant toll on Nordstrom, and prolonged closures could mean distress for the company, the retailer said in a regulatory filing. Nordstrom has furloughed most of its employees and is generating some revenue from online sales.
Consumers and employees in Los Angeles grocery stores and other essential businesses will be required to wear cloth face coverings starting Friday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said. Stores and other businesses will be permitted to refuse service to customers who aren't wearing masks.
Average spending by teens is down 13% this spring over the same period last year as the coronavirus outbreak has raised concerns about the economy, according to a Piper Sandler survey. Nike, American Eagle Outfitters and Adidas ranked high among footwear and apparel brands, and while girls are spending less on makeup, Ulta Beauty and Sephora top the list of favorite beauty retailers.
Retailers that have been forced to close stores indefinitely have furloughed staff and put rent payments on hold to conserve cash, but many will still need to renegotiate loans and refinance debt in the coming days, Cowen analyst Oliver Chen said. The pandemic is having a ripple effect through the fashion brands that depend on department stores and other retailers for their sales.
Some lingerie and underwear retailers and brands have seen an uptick in business in recent weeks as homebound consumers seek comfy attire. Some are winning customer loyalty by giving back, including MeUndies, which made $50,000 worth of N95 masks for Los Angeles health care workers.
Uber has created Work Hub, a service to help drivers whose work has dried up during the pandemic find alternative gigs including grocery delivery and food production. The service refers workers to Uber Eats and other Uber platforms, as well as outside retailers and brands including Albertsons, Dollar Tree and Walgreens.
Shipping software company Shippo raised $30 million in new funding late last year, and it's one of several startups proving attractive to investors by providing essential e-commerce services during the pandemic. E-commerce, which generated 11% of total US retail sales last year, surged in March as stores closed and consumers stayed home.
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