Lego is on track to open more than 70 new stores worldwide and expand in China
Lego is on pace to open more than 70 stores across the world in 2019. This excludes China, where the company is preparing to open more than 80 stores by the end of the year. Lego is anticipating that it will operate over 140 stores in total.
These openings will bring the retailer to nearly 600 physical locations worldwide.
This expansion comes amid a strong start to 2019 where revenue grew $2.9 billion USD in the first half of the year. Meanwhile, consumer sales improved by 5%. While operating profits fell 16%, Lego attributed the drop to long term investments in growth.
LEGO Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen is excited about these changes.
“We are satisfied with our performance given the transformative shifts which continue to reshape the global toy industry,” Christiansen said in a statement. “Against this backdrop, we continue to grow consumer sales and market share in our largest markets.”
Along with these changes, Lego is looking for ways to improve its experience for both online and in-store shoppers by providing new activities and events to drive immersion.
Target’s “Good & Gather” grocery brand will become the company’s biggest own brand ever
Good and Gather, Target’s new private label food and beverage brand, hit shelves last week. The brand will roll out in several stages. Its current 650 products which will increase to 2,000 items by the end of next year.
"This is the biggest brand launch we've ever done in food, and when it's completed next year, Good & Gather will be the biggest own brand Target offers. Period," said Stephanie Lundquist, executive vice president of food and beverage at Target.
Since entering the grocery space over 10 years ago, Target’s involvement in the food and beverage business has driven considerable growth for the company. Grocery is now a $15 billion business for Target. The food and beverage category now makes up one-fifth of Target’s business and has seen eight consecutive quarters of comparable sales growth.
In the past, the company relied on existing private label brands like Archer Farms and Simply Balanced, but will begin phasing these brands out as Good & Gather grows.
According to Lundquist, these changes will clarify Target’s position in food and beverage and help to elevate the company’s grocery department.
Walmart to test primary care and mental care at new clinic
Walmart continues to invest in the health care market, this time by launching a new clinic called Walmart Health in Dallas, GA. The clinic will include primary care and counseling services and it will be located in a separate building from the Walmart next door for patient privacy.
Along with primary care and counseling services, Walmart Health will offer dental, labwork, Xrays, audiology, consultations, and immunizations according to sources from CNBC.
Walmart has not confirmed all of the details about this clinic, but has acknowledged that the concept exists. The facility will open on Sept. 13 and patients can already begin booking appointments on walmarthealth.com.
Sounding Smart by The Retail Water Cooler
Retail sales made moderate gains in August, rising 0.6% from July and 4.6% year over year according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is backed by the National Retail Federation’s interpretation which also found that August retail sales rose 0.4% from July and 4.6% unadjusted year over year.
Chino Holdings, J. Crew’s parent company, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO). Upon completion of the IPO, the company will be renamed Madewell Group, Inc. and it will split off from J. Crew.
The retail shipping race is on according to Retail Dive. As the holiday season approaches, consumers will be looking for retailers who can accommodate their last-minute shopping needs best. This Retail Dive piece explains how that will likely affect various retailers as well as consumers.
Neighborhood Goods raised $11 million in funding and plans to open a new location in Austin, TX. This brings Neighborhood Goods’ total funding to $25.5 million which will allow the company to expand its store and Dallas headquarters staff.
Walmart is going national with its unlimited grocery delivery service this fall. After piloting Delivery Unlimited in Houston, Salt Lake City, Miami, and Tampa, Walmart is expanding the membership program to 1,400 more stores in 200 markets.
Electronics retailer H.H. Gregg is opening its first brick and mortar store since closing all 220 stores it had after filing bankruptcy two years ago. The store opened this September at Cedar Grove Shopping Center in Somerset, New Jersey.
7-Eleven will be hosting its second annual event for emerging brands in Irving, Texas from Oct. 22-23. Sixty-five brands will showcase their products and make their case for why they belong on 7-Eleven shelves.
Customers will be able to order photo prints from and pick them up from CVS through Google photos starting this October. The pharmacy partnered with Kodak Moments to offer same day photo service at over 7,400 U.S. stores.
H&M recently launched an employee ambassador program called “H&M Insiders” to improve upon its eternal ambassador program. Each H&M Insider will have their own personal page with a bio and shoppable photos of their outfits. This comes as influencer marketing is on the rise with increases coming to 65% of influencer marketing budgets according to Big Commerce.
Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen revealed that he does not expect its automated warehouse-distribution centers to be profitable for two or three years. Kroger and Ocado plan to open 20 facilities over the next few years.
Walgreens has joined Apple Card’s rewards program to offer 3% Daily Cash on purchases. This will include purchases made in Walgreens and Duane Reade stores as well as online purchases at walgreens.com or in the Walgreens mobile app.