In retail, it is important to look at things from both a micro and macro perspective.
That’s why this week, alongside top stories from the American retail battleground, we’ll also take a look at some major developments shaping the international retail industry.
From Nike’s wearable tech innovation to China’s new status as the world’s largest retail market, here is a handy overview this week’s hottest news:
Is logistics the new battleground for retailers in the competition with Amazon?
Over the last year, both Walmart and eBay have partnered with 3rd party logistics providers in an attempt to compete with Amazon’s two-day shipping.
Digiday reports that both marketplaces also partnered with installation services like Handy, Porch and Installernet, that are available for customers when purchasing items that require installation or assembly.
This will not replicate Amazon’s logistics machine.
However, by matching the purchase with professional installation services, retailers could provide an added value to the delivery service becoming a one-stop-shop.
Are more logistics tech acquisitions on their way? After Walmart acquired Parcel and Target acquired same-day delivery platform Shipt, it’s safe to bet there will be more logistics tech acquisitions down the road.
Image Source: Walmart Corporate
Is China about to close the retail gap with America?
According to a recent report by eMarketer, China is expected to surpass the U.S in total retail sales for the first time ever: China is expected to see its total retail sales grow by 7.5% in 2019 to $5.6 trillion, compared to 3.3% growth in the U.S. retail market to reach $5.5 trillion.
What made this change possible?
Number 1# reson: The customers.
The new Chinese generation is digital native and on the lookout for unique experiences.
Alongside growing online sales (In 2019 China will account for nearly 56% of all online retail sales globally and is expected to exceed 63% by 2022), Chinese brick and mortar retailers are offering integrated customer experiences across their digital and physical channels.
Alibaba, for example, has opened numerous tech-enabled brick and mortar stores, including more than 100 grocery stores under the Hema brand.
At the same time, this retail growth is being driven by technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and the IoT, which enable retailers to offer more personalized buying experiences.
Image Source: Medium
It’s the end of the line for Gymboree.
The children’s clothing retailer filed for bankruptcy for the second time in less than two years, bringing about the end of its flagship brand.
What happened to the children’s clothing retailer?
Gymboree used to be connected to an experience. Since the company sold the playgroup portion of its business, the brand stopped offering a distinctive experience for its customers.
The company’s financial state was not set up for success. After filing for bankruptcy for in 2017, Gymboree was bought by lenders and carried a large debt load. It completed a reorganization by September 2018, but that wasn’t enough.
Just like many traditional brick-and-mortar stores, the growth of online sales hurt Gymboree. At the same time, it was losing to traditional retailers like Children’s Place and Gap, discounters such as TJ Maxx and big-box competitors.
The reasons that led to its bankruptcy and shutdown are not unique to Gymboree. The same thing happened with RadioShack.
Just last October, Sears, the once-dominant retail chain, also filed for bankruptcy.
Who will be up next?
Image Source: Today
Nike is maximizing athletes’ performance with a new high-tech shoe: meet the Adapt BB, Nike’s iPhone-controlled, self-lacing basketball sneaker.
Nike’s new release is another step in the trending field of wearable tech: The sneaker allows athletes to customize their fit in real time through a phone app that resizes once placed on the foot.
But that’s not all: athletes can use buttons on the side of the sneaker or via the app in order to adjust the fit.
For example, they can opt for a looser fit while sitting on the sideline and then tighten the sneakers during game time. The smart shoe also transmits data to Nike, allowing the company to update the setting to improve fit and performance.
This isn’t Nike’s first innovative show- Huarache, Flywireand Flyknit are just a few of the smart shoes it released in the past.
In 2016, Nike introduced the HyperAdapt 1.0, the first Nike multipurpose performance shoe to feature power lacing. However, the Nike Adapt is without a doubt the most advanced fit solution to date.
Image Source: Standard
We hear all the time about the fierce retail competition in the Amazon age.
In today’s e-commerce race, American retailers are constantly seeking ways to offer added value and match Amazon’s offering.
But while Amazon maintains its competitive advantage in the US, Its Chinese rival Alibaba is driving major global changes, playing a significant role in China’s retail growth.
In a talk last year, Jack Ma, co-founder of the Alibaba Group said “the China-US trade war could persist for 20 years”.
With its 53.3 percent stake of the Chinese Market, fierce technological edge and international expansion plans, it looks like this war (especially in the retail sector) will last much longer.