In today’s top retail news: CVS told investors that it expects its increased focus on healthcare to be a boon for sales, while RH executives believe the pandemic has permanently changed the way people think about their homes. Also, Klarna has unveiled a new browser extension to allow people to use buy now, pay later (BNPL) at nearly any online store, and Rent the Runway is looking at potential opportunities beyond apparel and accessories.
Drugstore chain and health insurer CVS Health expects its sales to grow as it continues to expand its services — both in stores and in people’s homes — in its quest to make healthcare more accessible and easier to afford. CVS also outlined its plans for subscription services and home healthcare as part of its shift toward new health-related products and services.
Supply chain bottlenecks are still slowing the delivery of some RH items, but most customers are willing to wait as the pandemic has permanently shifted the way people view their homes. Though in the short term, spending will shift back to travel, leisure and other parts of the economy, RH Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman told analysts on a conference call, two years of spending an increased amount of time at home has made people reconsider their priorities.
BNPL platform Klarna has debuted a browser extension that will allow customers to use the company’s flexible payment options on their desktop computers at all online stores, even those that aren’t Klarna partners. Desktop shopping comprises almost one-third of all eCommerce traffic and 44% of online orders come through a desktop, Klarna said.
In the company’s first quarterly report since going public in October, Rent the Runway executives said they see massive opportunities for customer acquisition in the coming years, as well as a potential to move beyond clothing and accessories, even as subscriber counts remain deflated versus pre-pandemic levels. Rent the Runway said it had just over 116,800 active subscribers at the end of October, an increase of 78% compared to the same period last year, and representing 87% of the active subscribers the company had at the end of the 2019 fiscal year.