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QuickWit Weekly, 5.3 – Last Week’s Top Stories

From Albertson’s to a resurrected mascot…

First, let’s talk Albertson’s. Their latest earnings release was dominated by their digital sales growth (+258% FY2020); same-store sales were up +16.9% (FY2020). Below is a snapshot of what they talked about in their earnings call—Kroger for comparison.

Albertson’s has been heavy on CX and Operations to drive their strategy forward. It’s lead to impressive gains: +865% growth in pickup, adjusted EBITA up +60% ($4.5 billion), 400+ stores remodeled, and +$500 million to their productivity savings goal (now at $1.5B by 2022)

They’re winning with micro-fullfilment centers (curious if Kroger’s bet will pay off in time against MFCs), private label (>25% HH pen.), loyalty program (+20% growth YOY, 93% retention rate), and more shoppers (+11 million) in 2020. They’re testing and innovating with robots (who isn’t), BOPIS, and more to keep their momentum up.

And, despite the rebalancing and strong results, Albertson’s projects mid-single digit decline for FY2021 as the COVID retail boost tapers off. Safe projection or hedge against the Street? Time will tell, Albertson’s.

The best of the rest:

Amazon posts some monster numbers for Q1 – Either Amazon is continuing to surprise or Wall Street analysts still can’t forecast retail; but the beat over expectations was over 4 Billion dollars! ….. Hint: it’s probably both.

Also, Amazon is piloting a program to let sellers contact their buyers directly, ideally building a relationship with that buyer and driving loyalty. The short and long term impact of this is going to be interesting as sellers have been begging for the chance to directly connect with those buying their products—now that they have it, what will they do?

Based on a study by CSA, Amazon will overtake Walmart as largest U.S. retailer by 2025; Kroger staying at #3.

Joining Walmart and Amazon, Kroger announces their own drone pilot.

7-Eleven Debuts New Brand Tagline that would make Nigel Tufnel proud. (*Spinal Tap Reference for our younger audience).

We can no longer avoid the Noid, as Domino’s partners with Nuro and brings back an icon. The retro trends continue as the pizza chain goes back to a mascot from simpler times…did anybody else have the Noid video game?

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