Stores Weekly
First Edition

Whether it’s a revolution in retailing or just a major upheaval, whatever is happening in the industry belies the remarkable stability among the nation’s leading merchants. The annual snapshot that is STORES Magazine’s Top 100 Retailers has changed very little over the past several years.

The challenge for retailers today is to disrupt their business before something else does it for them. The focus needs to shift from defense to offense; from holding on to what once was considered sacrosanct to making bold decisions buttressed by fearless thinking.

Going to the ballpark for a professional baseball game endures as one of the great American rites of spring and summer. Ken Babby, the owner of two minor league professional baseball franchises, has a unique view of the ballpark as a retail paradise where clubs must be in tune with their customers — the fans.

   
Windstream Services, LLC
      
Technology Recovery Group Ltd. (TRG)
   

Retailers’ goal: Own the hanger. The problem: There are only so many hangers that fit in shoppers’ closets and a finite amount of disposable income that can be devoted to purchasing new items. Retail tech startup Rohvi addresses that problem by offering retailers a buyback platform that turns past transactions into repeat purchases. Shoppers can return already-worn items for store credit.

Unlike in apparel or consumer electronics, it can be challenging to engage shoppers and build excitement in the retail world of office supplies. Since its merger with Office Max in 2013, Office Depot has been transforming from a simple provider of office products into a broader product and service platform.

NRF is proud to provide our members with the online Retail Buying Guide to search for trusted vendors, products and services in the retail industry. Our guide is a user-friendly forum designed to bring suppliers and purchasers together. You can search by keyword, location, company name or category. Available whenever you need it, the Retail Buying Guide makes it easy to locate products and professional services geared to the retail industry. Click here to visit the online Retail Buying Guide! To advertise, please contact Sarah Allen for more information.

Trends

There are those who would say gum isn’t good for much. Gumdrop Ltd. would beg to differ. The U.K. company has developed a closed-loop recycling model for chewing gum, allowing the treat to be turned into products such as Wellington boots, mobile phone covers, travel mugs and stationery.

A recent report from Finder.com, based on a survey of 2,000 Americans, estimates that $30.43 billion is spent on “spontaneous drunk purchases” nationwide. Almost half of American adults who drink alcohol regularly — roughly 68 million people — admit to making purchases under the influence.

The digital edition of STORES includes must-read pieces, including the articles featured here. Read the current issue and browse the archives for issues you may have missed.

   
Opterus Inc.
      
Axis Communications Inc.
   
NRF News

Stefanie Botelho created Fitzroy to solve her own problem: She was buying a lot of gifts for children, but it was tough to find something unique and special. She built an online wholesale marketplace to solve this issue, and now helps niche stores find emerging independent brands that want to grow.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week in favor of allowing states to require online sellers to collect sales tax the same as local stores. “The retail industry is changing, and the Supreme Court has acted correctly in recognizing that it’s time for outdated sales tax policies to change as well,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

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May retail sales grew 5.6 percent over last year as a growing economy prompted consumers to continue to spend. “The economy is looking strong and households have a solid financial foundation on which to base their spending,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said, noting increased take-home pay thanks in part to tax cuts.

   
A&G Realty Partners, LLC
      
Datalogic USA, Inc.
   
Retail Deals

Mirakl, a leading global marketplace solutions provider, announced a new partnership with Toyota Material Handling U.S.A., North America’s top manufacturer of forklifts and material handling equipment, enabling TMHU to accelerate its digital strategy.

 

P.F. Chang’s, the full-service casual dining restaurant where every dish is made from scratch every day, opened its doors on Ramstein Air Base in Germany. This is the first restaurant P.F. Chang’s has opened on a U.S. Armed Forces base.

 

LEON, the pioneer of Naturally Fast Food, will launch its first U.S. location in Washington, D.C., later this summer. This move from co-founder and CEO John Vincent signifies his intention to introduce a new category of fast food to America and invite people to fall in love with fast food again.

 

Amazon.com announced plans for the first Alabama fulfillment center to be located in Bessemer, which will create 1,500 full-time jobs with benefits starting on day one. The company currently operates a sortation center in Mobile, Ala.

 

Mastercard will partner with Refinery29 to bring a new element to the interactive festival of style, culture and creativity, as the 29Rooms official payment technology partner. This year, cardholders will have the opportunity to experience 29Rooms with exclusive access, new payment technology and “priceless” experiences along the way.

 

Elohi Strategic Advisors and The Independent Broker Alliance (IBA) launched a partnership in May 2018 to increase availability of the award-winning Impossible Burger at restaurants and other foodservice outlets nationwide. The partnership will increase availability of Impossible Foods’ flagship product at traditional restaurants as well as corporate canteens, museums, hotels and other locations.

 

No Cow, the Denver-based makers of non-dairy, high-protein, low-sugar products such as bars and cookies, released a partnership video with up-and-coming professional basketball player, Mikal Bridges.

 

PayPal Holdings Inc. has agreed to acquire Simility, a leading fraud prevention and risk management platform, for a purchase price of $120 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments. The acquisition of Simility will enhance PayPal’s ability to deliver fraud prevention and risk management solutions to merchants globally.

 

SUPERVALU INC., the largest public company grocery wholesaler in the United States, has entered into a reseller agreement with Instacart, creating a new professional services offering and expanding the company’s digital capabilities