Tru Kids brand focusing on consumer experience with traveling exhibit
Tru Kids is launching the Toys ‘R’ Us Adventure pop-up experience with help from Candytopia, an interactive art exhibition. The pop-up is coming to Chicago and Atlanta just in time for the holiday season and will include brand experiences from Melissa & Doug, Paw Patrol, and others.
“As we focus on bringing a reimagined Toys ‘R’ Us to the United States, we believe this live experience coupled with our new experiential retail stores will attract families from around the world and create a unique opportunity to rediscover the magic of this beloved family brand," Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids, said in a statement.
Tru Kids is hoping to breathe new life into the Toys ‘R’ Us brand with a heavy focus on immersion and customer experience. According to Chuck Luckenbill, Principal at Luckenbill Retail Solutions and former VP of Store Planning and Design at Toys ‘R’ Us, focusing on entertaining the consumer could help immensely.
“This fresh start that this new company has could be a really good thing,” Luckenbill said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “In not doing these large, monster stores that are packed full of merchandise, just opening something a little bit more interactive and fun for the customers might be a win-win situation.”
Perch CEO talks Target, Nordstrom Local, and the future of J.C. Penney’s
Perch CEO Trevor Sumner joined “Retail Rundown” as a guest to help break down some of the top news stories in retail. Sumner was joined by Carol Spieckerman, a RETHINK retail advisor and president of Spieckerman Retail. Julia Raymond hosted the episode which covered Target’s new loyalty program, J.C. Penney’s category moves, and Nordstrom Local’s Move to NYC.
Listen to the full episode or read the transcription here: https://www.rethink.industries/podcast/retail-rundown-september-16-2019/Perch_
Madison Reed plans to open 600 brick-and-mortar stores
Madison Reed recently joined other direct to consumer (DTC) brands in opening brick-and-mortar retail stores. However, the growing retail brand is taking things a step further than most. They are planning to open 600 stores by 2024.
Casper, a DTC mattress brand, shocked many last year by announcing plans to open 200 mattress stores by 2021. This decision my Madison Reed is an even more aggressive bet on a similar plan. The 600 new stores that Madison Reed is adding will increase the retailer’s footprint by 6,500%.
At the moment, most of Madison Reed’s sales are online, followed by its current color bars, and lastly wholesale. While the company has a wholesale partnership with Ulta, CEO and Founder Amy Errett noted that the margins in wholesale make it a less desirable channel.
When discussing Madison Reed’s color bar locations with Retail Dive in March, Erret offered the following insight:
"We've always wanted to focus on our direct-to-consumer relationships," Errett said. "We have all the same data that we have about our online customer. We built our own proprietary technology cause in many retail situations, the dot.com portion of the company doesn't talk to the store portion, so we've been really thoughtful about that."
Erret is hoping that this new development will help Madison Reed “scale physical retail like no other.”
Sounding Smart by The Retail Water Cooler
Sephora was at the top of a Sailthru ranking of retail personalization for the third straight year with high email and personalization scores. Nordstrom ranked no. 2 with improvements to its mobile score. The top 25 brands ranked by personalization shared lots of similarities including the use of push notifications. Retail Dive went into detail on those similarities in this article.
Casper is the newest retailer jumping on the CBD bandwagon by introducing its new sleep gummies. The company teamed up with Plus, an edible startup, to create a gummy that combines both melatonin and CBD. Casper claims that the product, priced at $35 for 14 gummies, is designed to “help you sleep better.”
Stein Mart is introducing buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) service at all 283 of its locations. The company claims that this method will fill about 15% of its online orders. Stein Mart expects that this will lead shoppers to make more purchases once they are in the store and help reduce shipping costs.
Walgreens is partnering with Wing to launch a trial drone delivery program in Christiansburg, Virginia. Sugar Magnolia will also take part in testing this program while FedEx Express is testing a similar drone delivery system. Drones are expected to fill order in minutes, showcasing how this type of delivery system can improve access to healthcare items, improve last-mile delivery service efficiency, and open new growth opportunities for businesses.
Showfields has reconfigured its store to add 11 new brands for the holiday season. The retailer, which dubbed itself “The most interesting store in the world,” reopened its store a few weeks ago after a four-day refresh. The store that combines retail, design, and performance art now features 35 brands in a variety of categories from apparel and accessories to home decor and liquor.
Fashion District Philadelphia (The District), a joint venture between PREIT and Maserich has officially launched. The District spans 3 city blocks and approximately 900,000 square feet of space. It will offer retail shopping, dining, and entertainment with a focus on providing a unique consumer experience.
Amazon is expanding its Chicago and Austin hubs, which will create 1,000 new tech jobs. To fill these positions, Amazon hosted “Career Day” events in several major cities. The company plans to extend its Chicago hub by 70,000 square feet and lease an additional 100,000 square feet of space in Austin to accommodate these new employees.
Jeff Bezos has announced that Amazon will be conducting a new effort called “Climate Pledge.” The company is ordering 100,000 electric delivery vehicles and released its 2018 carbon footprint emissions numbers which were higher than those of UPS, FedEx, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Target. After about fifteen-hundred employees orchestrated a walkout demanding that Amazon gets to zero emissions by 2030 among other things, the announcement did not directly address that it will meet those demands.
Primark hopes to succeed where other British companies have failed by generating over $300 billion in the U.S. clothing and shoes market. To help reach its goals, the company is planning to utilize suppliers located in Central American countries.
Ikea claims that it will generate more reusable energy than its stores consume by 2020. The furniture chain has invested about $2.8 billion in solar and wind energy over the past decade and it expects to offer home solar panels in stores across all its markets by 2025. Ikea plans to be climate positive by 2030.
Walmart recently announced that it will stop selling all e-cigarettes in U.S. stores. A company announcement attributes the decision to: “Growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes.” The company plans to sell its existing inventory before exiting the market.
Best Buy, among other retailers, is expanding its lease-to-own program. However, Minnesota state law is barring the company from implementing this program in the state where it was founded. While Best Buy cites the program as another way to expand its base and reach more customers, those in opposition believe that this practice can be used to target people who have bad credit with high interest rates. Kavita Kumar of the Star Tribune broke the situation down in this article.