Lowe's has created a virtual tool called Lowe's for Pros JobSight that lets contractors hold digital consultations with consumers wary of allowing strangers into their homes during the pandemic. Contractors connect via video chat with homeowners, get a digital view of the problem, tell the homeowners which parts to order and talk them through repairs.
A handful of loyal brand fans showed up for the reopening of the iconic L.L. Bean flagship in Freeport, Maine, on Monday. The store had never been closed for longer than 24 hours until the pandemic forced it to lock up in mid-March, and it has reopened with limited hours and precautions in place, including a limit on the number of shoppers allowed in at one time.
Retailers including Target, Nordstrom and Levi Strauss & Co. spoke out in support of protesters, expressed outrage over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and vowed to be part of the solution to the country's racial problems. "The murder of George Floyd has unleashed the pent-up pain of years, as have the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. We say their names and hold a too-long list of others in our hearts," Target CEO Brian Cornell said.
Apparel brands and retailers are refocusing their summer promotional messaging from vacations to staycations, as many consumers are expected to stick close to home. "In general now we have to show that we are aware of the situation, we are living in the same situation as everyone else," said Melanie Travis, founder and CEO of swimwear brand Andie.
Bigthinx, an artificial intelligence startup backed by Prada Group, has teamed with Fashinnovation to create the first 3D Virtual Fashion Show. The show will star models and styles created using animation, 3D digital design and photos.
Protests in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis are forcing grocers around the nation to close some stores, adjust operating hours or change delivery services to keep employees and shoppers safe. Target, for example, will pay affected staffers for up to 14 days of their scheduled hours and allow them to work in other Target locations, the company said.
The pandemic has altered shopping trends around the nation, but the latest research from 210 Analytics, IRI and the American Frozen Food Institute shows frozen foods continue to be a customer favorite, as they have been since the outbreak began. For the week ending May 17, dollar gains in frozen foods were running almost 31% higher than the same week in 2019.
Bi-Lo has joined Instacart in an effort to boost its same-day delivery capacity. The grocer, a subsidiary of Southeastern Grocers, plans to add new delivery options for customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Krystal Register, who spent 12 years as the retail dietitian at Wegmans, has been named by FMI to the newly created role of director of health and well-being, where she will serve as an issue expert and oversee FMI's nutrition policies. "Krystal's sterling reputation in the nutrition community contributes to her being a trusted authority within the nutrition and dietetics field," said FMI's Hilary Thesmar.
Microsoft, Apple, Twitter, Facebook and Amazon are among many companies in the tech industry and elsewhere that have spoken in support of the black community amid protests spurred by the killing of George Floyd. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel is calling for greater investment in housing, health care and education to address inequality.