Today in retail, inflation-smacked consumers content to eat dinner and watch movies at home for now, while retailers are using cash incentives to encourage customers to pick up their orders. Plus, Harrods postpones summer sale amid supply chain hang-ups.
With spiraling food and gasoline prices fueling a level of inflation and lost buying power, the financial appeal of simple luxuries like “dinner and a movie at home” continue to be a good fit for the countless households facing an unprecedented struggle to make ends meet.
In announcing its increased full-year sales outlook, the Connecticut-based specialty retailer pointed to “current trends in its business and the outlook for the remainder of 2022,” as well as its intention to leverage investments in talent, capacity expansion, tech and operations.
Shares of Chefs’ Warehouse have dramatically outperformed the markets and the sector, with its stock up 2% year to date compared to 20% and 30% respective declines this year for the S&P 500 and the S&P Retail Index ETF (XRT). An overnight report from furniture retailer La-Z-Boy saw the Michigan-based business catching investors by surprise with record revenues that rose 32% for the three months ended April 30, as well as record sales, operating profit and operating margins at its retail unit, and 40% growth at its Joybird brand that it acquired in 2019.
As food at home prices continue to soar, grocery shoppers are looking for deals and discounts more than ever. Noting this demand, major retailers are incorporating food and beverage offers into their usual deal day promotions.
Amazon, for one, shared Thursday (June 16), along with the announcement of its Prime Day offers for July 12 and 13, that Prime members will get 20% off “select everyday essentials” from U.S. Amazon Fresh stores year-round starting Wednesday (June 29). Additionally, throughout July, Whole Foods Market shoppers are included in an Amazon-wide offer of 6% back for Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card holders and 5% year-round.
Meanwhile, Target is gearing up for its deal days, Target Deal Days, around the same period (July 11–13). The retailer also announced its offers for the event Thursday, noting that shoppers receive a $10 Target Gift Card for $50 food and beverage purchases. The event has specifically positioned itself in opposition to its competitors’ comparable days, Amazon’s Prime Day and Walmart’s Walmart+ Weekend, with the announcement repeating multiple times that there is “no membership fee required” to access the offers. Walmart, for its part, did not advertise any food deals for its Walmart+ Weekend in its announcement of the event, focusing instead on retail categories.
U.S. retailers are starting to incentivize customers with cash to get them to try digital shopping features like curbside pickup and buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS), a move that’s not only aimed at nurturing new consumer habits and loyalty through convenience but one that is also designed to save retailers money on spiraling delivery costs at a time of record fuel prices and rising labor costs.
“Order Online, choose the size and color of the item you want, and [get] 10% Off When You Pick Up In Store,” reads a current offer from apparel retailer PacSun. In the pharmacy category, Rite Aid is offering customers $10 off a $40 order when they buy online and pickup at store.
Perhaps most aggressive of all is Domino’s Pizza, an early adopter of the outsourced delivery trend since January that the company has reframed as “Carryout Tips” — as in, consumers tipping themselves $3 rather than a delivery driver. Even Walmart is getting in on the incentives game, albeit on an even broader basis, by offering customers $30 ($10 off their first 3 orders) for trying the retailer’s pickup or delivery service, a move that is part of the Arkansas-based chain’s increasing effort to use its 4,700 domestic super centers as fulfillment hubs.
Social media giant Twitter will allow Shopify merchants to display and automatically update up to 50 items for sale on their profiles as part of a new collaboration that will make it easier for users to buy items as they scroll through their feeds, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Wednesday (June 22).
Through the collaboration, users will be able click on items and be directed to the merchant’s website to buy the items. Twitter had been testing the feature with a small number of users before rolling it out on a grand scale and at no cost, according to the report.
Twitter’s partnership with Shopify is slightly different than Shopify’s deals with Facebook and Instagram, which allow shoppers to complete purchases without leaving the apps. A Twitter spokeswoman said in the report that businesses surveyed by the company preferred to control the purchasing process.
The supply chain has claimed another high-profile, hotly anticipated victim, as the delayed arrivals of the season’s hottest new looks has forced high-end department store retailer Harrods to postpone its annual summer sale, according to a Bloomberg report Wednesday (June 22).
“Our supply chain is running two to three weeks behind where it should be,” managing director Michael Ward told Bloomberg TV at the Qatar Economic Forum. “A good example of that is we’ve just delayed the summer sale for two weeks because I need another 10% of new-season stock to allow me to function into the new year.”
Harrods is not the only retailer that’s been forced to change or update its plans on the fly as a result of ongoing supply chain snags, zero-tolerance COVID-19 policies in China, the ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine and other economic conditions. The situation has hampered industries from high-end fashion to electronics to cars to grocery stores and restaurants and just about everything in between. Tight labor markets present another challenge, particularly in the U.K., where airlines, retailers and others are struggling to recruit workers, the report said.