The trucking sector added 2,000 jobs in July, according to the Labor Department, and industry experts say some of the growth can be attributed to consumers switching to online purchasing. Average rates for refrigerated trucks, flatbeds and vans all came close to their highest point of 2020 going into August, according to DAT Solutions, while load volumes from the top warehouses increased by 25% last month.
Watch and accessories brand Fossil is shifting away from wholesale deals and brick-and-mortar retail to e-commerce to strengthen sales as shopping habits shift, CEO Kosta Kartsotis said. Wholesale business has dropped from 60% of total revenue four years ago to less than 40%, and it's forecast to fall further to 20%, he said.
High-end and other mattress brands including Parachute and Sweden-based Hastens have seen demand grow amid the pandemic as consumers spend more time at home. "People are putting more money into the home next and other things that make them feel good," said Mark Abrials of Avocado, which sells carbon-negative and wool-free mattresses priced from $899.
Fanatics raised $350 million in an investment round that values the online licensed sports apparel retailer at about $6.2 billion, sources said. Startup funding has remained steady despite the pandemic, and the market for initial public offerings is rebounding.
Direct-to-consumer menswear brand O.N.S will continue opening new stores and focusing on brick-and-mortar retail channels to grow sales, founder Brian Chung said. "For us the one-on-one styling experience, in which we sometimes replace a client's whole wardrobe, is important to maintain," he said.
Ball's Price Chopper has teamed up with CBD retailer American Shaman to create a 500-square-foot store-within-a-store CBD shop inside a Ball's location in Kansas City, Mo. The two companies say it is the first CBD store within a multistore grocery franchise in the US, and Ball's Vice President Scott Bayne said shoppers have expressed an interest in having CBD products available within the store.
Boosting technological capabilities will be crucial for grocers as they continue meeting challenges of the pandemic and preparing for an altered landscape in the future. In this Q&A, Rich Minns of Capgemini looks at how and where food retailers can build up omnichannel platforms and better use data to personalize engagement with shoppers.
Solid economic gains and smart strategic investments made by independent grocers in 2019 helped position many of them to better deal with the turbulence caused by the pandemic this year, according to the 2020 Independent Grocers Financial Survey. "Independent grocers started to see positive trends pre-pandemic, which is a great sign of the strengthening," said Robert Graybill, CEO and president of FMS Solutions, which conducted the survey along with the National Grocers Association.
The Kroger Health arm of Kroger has rolled out a COVID-19 testing program for employers in 17 states, with plans to expand it to more locations soon. COVIDCare Plus combines Kroger Health's Test Home Collection Kit with access to primary care clinics and telehealth consultations to help supervise specimen collection.
Intel likely will phase out Type A USB ports on laptops and replace them with USB 4.0 ports, leaked documentation indicates. While this may be a challenge for users with older peripherals, most recently purchased peripherals will work with USB 4.0.