Jana Partners has acquired an equity stake in Macy's, and the activist investor group urged the retailer in a letter this week to spin off its e-commerce arm into a separate company, sources said. Macy's has a current valuation of $7 billion and Jana estimated in a recent presentation that the online business could be worth twice that.
Retail footwear prices rose 6.5% last month, topping the overall inflation rate, fueled by an 11.9% jump in kids' shoe prices and 4.9% and 5.5% increases in women's and men's shoes, respectively, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Several factors have led to several months of price increases in the shoe department, including wage increases for retail employees in a tight labor market and higher import charges.
Fashion reseller Poshmark has acquired Suede One, a tech platform that uses technology to authenticate sneakers, for an undisclosed amount. The system depends on computer vision and machine learning to authenticate items priced at under $500 and adds human review for more expensive items.
Levi Strauss & Co. will upgrade its e-commerce site with visual search technology and computer vision functions that further personalize the online shopping experience, executive Louis DiCesari said. "The computer vision allows us to learn from pictures, and better link our family of products and how they relate to each other," DiCesari said.
A recent study from Brick Meets Click/Mercatus shows that while ship-to-home demand has declined, grocery pickup and delivery services sales have continued explosive growth with $6.4 billion of the industry's $8 billion in online sales attributed to the popular category. "The combined pickup and delivery segment now captures nearly 80% of sales in the US e-grocery market, and pickup hit a record-high portion of total sales in our September research wave," said David Bishop of Brick Meets Click.
Independent grocer New Seasons Market and Afresh Technologies have collaborated on a new operations platform that will soon be deployed to some of the grocer's locations. The Fresh Operating System uses artificial intelligence to help grow sales and streamline such key tasks as ordering, inventory management and reducing food waste.
DoorDash will provide on-demand last-mile delivery service to the independent retail partners of United Natural Foods. The new partnership allows UNFI's independent operators to use the DoorDash platform to offer e-commerce shopping, ordering and delivery options to their customers.
A Software Advice survey of 700 retailers indicates the technological habits embraced by shoppers and retailers since the COVID-19 pandemic began are here to stay -- at least for the foreseeable future. Trends for small-business owners to watch include omnichannel retail, installment payments and direct-to-consumer sales via social media.
British workout wear brand Gymshark has reportedly started working with investment bankers on a plan to go public, a year after reaching a £1 billion valuation. Influencer marketing has fueled growth of the brand, which debuted in 2012 and now has a presence in over 180 countries.