Retail Pulse: Kohl’s To Curate Brands With Facebook; Domino’s Rolls Out eBike Tie-Up


Brick-and-mortar retailers are teaming up with social media platforms to curate labels for their stores and their websites. Kohl’s, for instance, will bring emerging brands to over 50 physical retail locations and online starting in the fall through Curated By Kohl’s. The retailer also plans to team with Facebook on brand curation starting next year — “identifying and engaging with brands that have built a strong online community on the social media platform.”

Kohl’s Chief Merchandising Officer Doug Howe said in an announcement that the retailer is “excited to launch Curated by Kohl’s as a way to surprise and delight Kohl’s customers with a continuous stream of new, relevant merchandise, and as an avenue to bring new customers to Kohl’s.” Howe continued, “Furthermore, Curated by Kohl’s provides the opportunity for us to showcase innovation, connect with digital retailers, and team up differently with best-in-class digital platforms like Facebook.”

Curated by Kohl’s will offer its first selections starting in the middle of October in time for the holidays. Its next assortment of brands that will be chosen in conjunction with Facebook will be available next spring. The Curated by Kohl’s selections will be refreshed quarterly with “new, unexpected products” through different categories that could include apparel, home and accessories. At the same time, customers who shop the selections can tap into shopping through the Kohl’s app or Buy Online Pick Up In Store.

Kohl’s is not the first retailer that has collaborated with Facebook in recent times. The social media platform announced last year that it was opening its first small business concept in nine Macy’s locations across the United States. The move was to bring 100 popular small businesses and digital brands on Facebook as well as Instagram into retail stores. The shop was to be located in The Market @ Macy’s in various cities such as Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale and Seattle.

Facebook wrote in a press release in November about the concept, “The Market @ Macy’s helps both emerging and established brands reach new audiences by showcasing them in a physical space inside Macy’s. We know the power of connecting businesses with the people who love them most, which is why we’re proud to play a role in expanding the communities of these businesses to in-store shoppers at one of the most beloved retail stores in the world.”

From Macy’s to Kohl’s, social media platforms such as Facebook are teaming with brick-and-mortar retailers to bring emerging (and established brands at times) into stores and onto eCommerce websites.

In Other Brick-and-Mortar News

Domino’s is rolling out an eBike partnership to make sure its food is delivered in the most efficient way possible. The quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain’s stores across the country will soon have the option to use custom eBikes for pizza delivery via a Rad Power Bikes partnership. After a successful test launch, hundreds of eBikes will be used across corporate-owned Domino’s throughout Salt Lake City, Miami, Houston, and Baltimore later this year.

Domino’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations Tom Curtis said in an announcement, “Domino’s tested e-bikes in a number of corporate-owned stores across Houston, Miami and New York earlier this year, and those stores saw improvements in overall delivery and service.” Domino’s also recently embraced connected in-car commerce through technology to let diners place their orders on the go.

On another note, Walmart Canada and Instacart unveiled the national expansion of their relationship to deliver groceries to hundreds of more communities across Canada. The expansion is said to build on a pilot of 17 locations in Winnipeg and the Greater Toronto Area, which the company said in an announcement “has been strongly embraced by Walmart customers.”

The service is now available to customers in communities throughout British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan, among other locations. Walmart Canada President and CEO Lee Tappenden said in the announcement, “Canadian families are busy. By introducing more online shopping options at Walmart, we’re helping make life easier and more convenient for them.”

In other news, Applebee’s has announced that it has partnered with DoorDash for national delivery. Customers can order online through web and mobile app. Scott Gladstone, vice president of strategy, off-premise and development at Applebee’s, said in an announcement, “Within the casual dining category, we continue to be at the forefront of innovation in off-premise offerings, and will continue to look for ways to make enjoying our food available to our guests for any occasion.”

To keep tabs on the latest retail trends, check next week’s Retail Pulse.