Economy

Articles on how the economy is impacting retail.

  1. Associates & Employees
Starbucks and the Workers United union have agreed on a framework for collective bargaining discussions for the nearly 400 stores represented by the union. They also have aligned on how to resolve litigation between the union and the company and are seeking to establish a fair process for workers to organize. As a sign of […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
The Associated Press reports that “American consumers are feeling less confident this month as concerns over a possible recession grew despite most recent data pointing to a healthy US economy. “The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index fell to 106.7 from a revised 110.9 in January. Analysts had […]
  1. CPG: Food
We’ve posted a lot of commentary and emails against the Kroger-Albertsons deal, so it is important to point out that not everybody feels that way, as one MNB reader wrote: Throughout the saga of the Kroger-Albertsons deal I’ve definitely felt I carry the minority opinion.  I work for a large CPG and engage with Kroger’s […]
  1. Data & Insights
For some time now, many retailers have been exploring the use of artificial intelligence to enhance various aspects of their business, from inventory placement to merchandising assortments. However, the conversation gained renewed momentum in 2023 with the emergence of ChatGPT and generative AI. This increased interest in the potential of AI to transform retail operations […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
According to software firm Jisp, its Scan & Save retailer partners are thriving despite news of the UK slipping into a technical recession following a 0.3% drop in GDP in the last quarter of 2023. The company said, contrary to market conditions, retailers working with… This story continues at Scan & Save retailers defy technical […]
  1. Technology & Innovation
“When I get customer interaction I want it to count. Technology can help with that.” So said Naomi Simcock, Operations Director at John Lewis, in a Q&A conference session with consultant, Andrew Busby, at Smart Retail Tech Expo on 27th February at ExCel in London. “I’ve got a huge supply chain and other fixed costs, […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
Shop Price annual inflation eased to 2.5% in February, down from 2.9% in January, according to the BRC Nielsen Shop Price Index. Shop price annual growth is its lowest since March 2022. Food inflation decelerated to 5.0% in February, its lowest since May 2022, down from… This story continues at Cautious optimism amid February inflation dip […]
  1. CPG: Food
CNN reports that Kellogg’s CEO Gary Pilnick is in a bit of hot water with people frustrated with how inflation has driven up food prices. The story points out that Pilnick recently “said the company was advertising cereal for dinner to consumers looking for more affordable options. ‘Give chicken the night off,’ the ad’s cheery […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
Many entrepreneurs have turned to e-commerce thanks to its incredible flexibility and extraordinary earning potential. However, as is the case with any business, there are challenges to be aware of — and the challenges in the e-commerce sector can be particularly unique, especially in the light of a tumultuous economy. How the Economy Affects E-Commerce Recent […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
Grocery price inflation has fallen to 5.3%, marking the lowest rate since March 2022 and a decrease of 1.5 percentage points from January, according to marketing data and analytics company Kantar. Take-home grocery sales grew in value by 5.1% for the four weeks to 18… This story continues at February sees a welcome easing of […]
  1. Data & Insights
Mondra, a product footprinting and supply chain decarbonisation AI driven SaaS platform, has raised £3.6 million in pre-Series A funding.  Investors include 7 Generation Ventures, AlbionVC, GC Foodtech Ventures, Foodsparks by Peakbridge, Ponderosa Ventures, and Vala Capital.  The cash will be used to expedite Mondra’s roll-out to UK grocers, of whom, the company claims, 85% […]
  1. Technology & Innovation
One of the most promising changes in the retail market has been the regrowth of consumer confidence. At the end of 2023, both financial well-being and future financial confidence hit the highest levels in two years. This has been facilitated by the easing rate of inflation and while, consumer attitudes are not back to where […]
  1. Channel: Grocery
WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit to block Kroger’s proposed $25 billion merger with Albertsons Cos., contending that consumers will see higher prices and workers will see lower wages if the deal goes through. “This supermarket mega merger comes as American consumers have seen the cost of groceries rise steadily over […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
WASHINGTON — The National Grocers Association (NGA), which represents independent food retailers and wholesales, issued a statement supporting the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to challenge the merger of Kroger Co. and Albertsons’ Cos. “Every day, America’s local independent supermarkets face economic challenges due to the influence of massive power buyer chains who use their leverage […]
  1. Shopper & Customer
From the Associated Press: “Inflation has changed the way many Americans shop. Now, those changes in consumer habits are helping bring down inflation. “Fed up with prices that remain about 19%, on average, above where they were before the pandemic, consumers are fighting back. In grocery stores, they’re shifting away from name brands to store-brand […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
MNB reader Rich Heiland had a thought about out continuing conversation about CVS’s shortcomings: I consider drug stores a commodity. None of them do anything to distinguish themselves from one another in any significant way. I live in a downtown area. There is a Rite-Aid a block or so away. I go there. If there […]
  1. Technology & Innovation
Few technologies have excited as much hype (or promised as must change) as artificial intelligence (AI). However, many brands are still determining exactly what the role of AI in ecommerce is — or should be. There are several potential answers to that question, and many brands and retailers have already found uses for certain types […]
  1. Shopper & Customer
Grocery stores have been in a state of flux in recent years, influenced broadly by the economy and supply chain issues and, at the store level, by how consumers want to shop. This year, grocery bills are expected to exceed $300 a week, which in turn will impact the choices consumers are making at the […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has written to the Scottish minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity Lorna Slater MSP, raising concerns about the impact that a ban on disposable vapes would have on responsible retailers. The Scottish government set out its plans… This story continues at ACS sets out disposable vape ban […]
  1. Data & Insights
In the more than 70 years since Joseph Sherwood bought a bankrupt jewelry store in Bell Gardens, Calif., much has changed in the world, and in retail. That post-WWII period in the Western U.S. was marked by the Dust Bowl Exodus, now a distant memory for most. Since then, the demographic makeup of California has […]
  1. Partnerships & Alt Profit
J.Crew has already gotten its feet wet in the circular economy, launching a resale program in partnership with its sister brand Madewell in January 2023. Now, the brand has partnered with SuperCircle for a swimwear takeback program focused on responsibly recycling swimwear that would otherwise end up in landfills. The “Second-Life Swim” program will be […]
  1. Department: Food
Are you hungry to carve out a niche in the bustling food industry but not quite sure where to dig in? Get ready for some food for thought! We’re about to explore ten tantalizing types of food retail businesses that might just align with your entrepreneurial appetite and spice up your life.  From the sweet […]
  1. Channel: Mass
Walmart said this week that it’s planning on easing its requirements for in-full and on-time shipments from suppliers. According to The Wall Street Journal, Walmart said that it wants its suppliers to deliver shipments on-time 90 percent of the time and in-full 95 percent of the time, down from the 98 percent threshold the company […]
  1. Channel: Grocery
The Boston Globe this morning reports that “in an effort to pressure Stop & Shop to change its pricing in certain community stores, youth organizers with the Hyde Square Task Force in Jamaica Plain are calling on the grocery chain to use its consumer data profits to eliminate the price inequities the group uncovered in […]
  1. Trends & External Forces
There’s a terrific piece in The Atlantic that essentially is writer Anna Kramer’s ode to her Kitchen Aid mixer. An excerpt: “My KitchenAid stand mixer is older than I am. My dad bought the white-enameled machine 35 years ago, during a brief first marriage. The bits of batter crusted into its cracks could be from […]
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  1. Merchandising
  2. Media & Marketing
  3. Technology & Innovation
  4. Merchandising
Testing for Ships in Product Packaging compatibility often involves “a series of drops and vibrations,” a packaging innovation team leader said. Sellers can expect fee discounts for program participation. Amazon is pulling back the curtain on how it’s teeing up more packages to arrive on doorsteps without Amazon logos. Last week, the Ships in Product Packaging program expanded by […]
  1. Shopper & Customer
  2. Department: Food
  3. Department: Nonfood
  4. Media & Marketing
  5. Retailer Media
  6. Agencies & Vendors
  7. Data & Insights
  8. Shopper & Customer
  9. Trends & External Forces
  10. Retail Operations
  11. Merchandising
84.51° is out with a new report that “examines who omnichannel shoppers are, where they shop, and some of the reasons why they choose to shop in-store and online.” Some key findings: •  “This shopper is likely to be Millennial or Gen Z, is engaged with natural and organic, is more likely to have children, […]
  1. Channel: Mass
  2. Corporate Finance
  3. Media & Marketing
  4. Shopper & Customer
  5. Trends & External Forces
Walmart this morning released its final results for Q4 and the just completed fiscal year, saying that Q4 revenue was $173.4 billion, up 5.7 percent from the same period a year ago.  Q4 operating income was up 13 percent to $7.3 billion. US same store sales for the quarter were up four percent. Global e-commerce […]

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