Today in Retail: CVS Investing $3B in Tech Upgrades; Tractor Supply Focuses on Digital Sales Growth

CVS Health

Today in retail, Macy’s is combatting organized retail crime with RFID while SkyPad and Saks Off 5th team up on performance analytics. Plus, Tractor Supply is looking to double its digital sales growth this year and CVS will use digital connectivity to keep new customers engaged and returning.

SkyPad Partners With Saks Off 5th on Performance Analytics

Product performance analytics company SkyPad on Wednesday (Feb. 9) announced it has partnered with discount designer retail chain Saks Off 5th to “significantly transform the way sales and inventory data is shared between Saks Off 5th and its vendor partners,” according to the announcement.

SkyPad will use automation and a self-service reporting interface to improve Saks Off 5th’s vendor data distribution, eliminating the need to email manual reports or rely on limited metrics. The company provides vendors product and location level insights with year-over-year comparison capabilities across a shared-view digital platform.

CVS Sees $3B Tech Investment as COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Set to Plunge

CVS Health is looking to leverage the 37 million new customer connections it made during the COVID-19 pandemic through 32 million tests and 59 million vaccination shots and prepare for a time without the benefit of vaccine and testing foot traffic and revenue.

The largest U.S. pharmacy chain said during its quarterly and 2021 full-year earnings call Wednesday (Feb. 9) that it is planning to spend up to $3 billion on “technology and digital enhancements” to improve the consumer experience and community locations.

The challenge CVS faces now — alongside its peers and rivals in retail, health insurance and pharmacy categories — is how to keep its large new customer base engaged and coming back, and that typically means increased digital connectivity.

Macy’s Cranking up RFID Use to Combat Organized Retail Crime

Macy’s is increasing its use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to protect its assets as reports of high-profile retail thefts are increasing across the U.S., according to a report in The Wall Street Journal Tuesday (Feb. 8).

The National Retail Federation said last year that almost two-thirds (64%) of loss-prevention experts have made organized retail crime — where items are stolen to be resold — more of a priority as the number of incidents have increased. That includes so-called “flash mob” thefts at Nordstrom Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc., Louis Vuitton and other stores.

Tractor Supply Plows Ahead With Plans to Redouble Digital Sales

Tractor Supply Co. doubled its digital sales in the past two years and the self-titled “rural lifestyle retail leader” is out to double them again, with plans to push its digital sales over $2 billion by 2026.

CEO Hal Lawton said the operator of 2,000 stores in 49 states intends to increase its digital investments to help convert customers into “power users,” who can browse, order, pay, pick up, deliver, check inventory, make appointments and more no matter if they’re in-store, online or using the mobile app.

Tractor Supply Co. this week teamed up with Germany’s Software AG to integrate systems and deploy advanced mobile solutions that will expedite purchase by Tractor Supply customers.