In today’s top retail news, Reebok joins the burgeoning portfolio of brands that Authentic Brands Group has accumulated over the past several months, and South Korea’s Coupang looks toward continuing its expansion despite some criticism and regulatory trouble. Also, retail jobs are getting more digital as merchants embrace omnichannel and social commerce capabilities, and another retailer turns to artificial intelligence (AI) to help it optimize prices.
Adidas is offloading Reebok into Authentic Brands Group’s (ABG) burgeoning portfolio of brands as the German sportswear giant seeks to strengthen its own position in a direct-to-consumer (D2C)-led strategy. The announcement of the Reebok acquisition comes as ABG prepares to go public in a $10 billion initial public offering (IPO) after a series of high-profile acquisitions over the past several months.
While U.S. eCommerce growth rates drop with consumers doing more shopping in stores, South Korean eCommerce platform Coupang is benefitting from a spike in COVID-19 cases that is forcing local shoppers to do more of their shopping online. However, the so-called “Amazon of South Korea” is also facing criticism over its labor practices and regulatory inquests into allegations that it messed with algorithms to prioritize its own products over those of rivals.
As retailers embrace an omnichannel approach, however, store associates are increasingly asked to engage digitally as well, whether it’s simply handling buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) orders or taking care of digital customer queries. Adam Levene, founder of social commerce platform HERO, told PYMNTS that it comes from a deeper understanding that customers start shopping online and finish in-store, or vice versa. Some retailers are also asking associates to create shoppable content, helping merchants level up their online spaces.
Minnesota-based tool and equipment supplier Northern Tool + Equipment is the latest to adopt the AI-powered software created by Revionics to help optimize its prices, promotions and markdowns as inflation in the U.S. continues to rise. Matthew Pavich, managing director of global strategic consulting at Atlanta-based price optimization platform Aptos, told PYMNTS in July that rising inflation presents an opportunity for more retailers to utilize AI and price optimization software.