Issue 04-20-20

Retail sales plummet after surge

NEW YORK — The full force of the coronavirus pandemic slammed the overall economy and the mass market retail industry in March, requiring unprecedented operational responses from chain managements and workers. While the ultimate impact of the outbreak, both on companies and on millions of individuals remains unclear, essential retailers have emerged as perhaps the

Walmart beauty exec retires

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Jody Pinson, one of the most respected faces in mass market beauty retailing, has retired after 30 years at Walmart. Pinson held myriad positions through the years at Walmart, from tagging apparel in a warehouse to participation in the management training program. She was promoted to a buyer role in 1999 and

Retailers ramp up charitable giving to meet critical needs

NEW YORK – In addition to serving their customers by keeping stores open during the coronavirus pandemic, mass retailers are working to support their communities through grants and charitable giving. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced a $25 million commitment to strengthen the global public health response, bolster food security and support the needs of

Costco acquires logistics company

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. last month made a $1 billion deal to bolster its e-commerce operations, acquiring Innovel Solutions, a logistics firm specializing in the storage and delivery of big and bulky items. The move is seen as helping Costco support online sales of such products as furniture, large appliances, fitness equipment and

Retail staffers in midst of finest hour

The hundreds of thousands of employees who make the retail marketplace function, those staffers who are frequently overlooked, routinely unnoticed by their superiors, and all-too-frequently underpaid, undervalued and underappreciated, have emerged as the heroes and heroines of the coronavirus ­pandemic. They have routinely accomplished the impossible, working exhaustingly long hours with little rest and less

COVID-19 crisis puts retailers to the test

For retail companies that sell essential merchandise and remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis has created new exigencies that are testing their mettle. With consumer preferences and shopping patterns undergoing sudden and dramatic shifts, stores have had to scramble to meet unprecedented demand, while at the same time doing everything they can to

Competitive agility: today’s new business imperative

Keeping up with today’s consumers can be all consuming. The consumer packaged goods industry is at this critical turning point. The established players are being forced to listen, as owning and selling a big global brand no longer guarantees survival. The rise of plant-based, lactose-free, vegan-friendly, “clean,” natural and organic products is testament to the