April 5, 2019 by Sujay Seetharaman

1. Sears to open three small-format stores

Sears will open three small-format Home & Life stores in May, with locations in Anchorage, Alaska; Layette, Louisiana; and Overland Park, Kansas. These stores will reportedly be fashion-free and will be dedicated to four categories: major appliances, small kitchen appliances, mattresses; and connected home products. From a size standpoint, these stores will range from 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, as opposed to the traditional Sears stores, which can be as large as 100,000 square feet.

2. CVS ramps up same day delivery

CVS pharmacy is launching same-day delivery prescription, which will have the order delivered within hours. When a medication has been filled and is ready for pickup, patients can opt to have their medications delivered within hours. They select On-Demand prescription delivery service via the CVS Pharmacy app, via SMS text, or by calling their local CVS Pharmacy. The delivery service charge is $7.99 and the packages will be delivered by Shipt. This new service is now available in 6,000 CVS locations across the country.

3. Walmart introduces an online baby registry

Walmart has introduced an online baby registry, powered by a personalized chatbot named ‘Hoo the Owl’ which asks parents questions about their baby to help them get started. The personalization tool gathers information including birth date, gender (or if the parents prefer, gender neutral), state and preferred nursery theme, then pre-populates the registry list with relevant items. Parents can create and manage their registry using the Walmart App, initiate returns online and use Siri to open the registry. 

4. FedEx opens its 2000th location to support eCommerce

FedEx Office opened its 2,000th retail location with the addition of a storefront in a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia.  In its press release, FedEx quoted a report from Metapack Consumer Research which says 75% of customers are concerned about porch piracy. These FedEx Office locations would be ideal options for such customers who are worried about having their packages stolen. Besides, the presence of these locations inside Walmart will drive foot-traffic and impulse or incidental purchases by people who come to pick up their packages.

5. Amazon partnership with Kohl’s

Kohl’s has reportedly partnered with Amazon to set up return centers inside its stores. This announcement comes exactly a month after Amazon announced that it was closing all 87 pop-up stores. Kohl’s executives were quoted as saying that the decision would fetch more footfall, as observed by the trend in its Chicago store. Kohl’s in recent months has also partnered with companies like grocer Aldi and fitness chain Planet Fitness to lease out available retail space from its network of 1,100 stores across the country.

Sujay Seetharaman

Market Analyst @ PipeCandy

Currently donning the Researcher's hat. Talks to himself.