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Retail News and Trends: 1st-3rd March - Weekend Roundup

Sujay Seetharaman
Sujay Seetharaman
Mar 4, 2019
Min Read


1. Amazon's 'Once a week delivery' option for Prime members

Just weeks after Amazon announced that it had decided to make half of all its shipments carbon neutral by 2030, it has announced that starting tomorrow, all Prime members in the US will be able to select a particular day to receive a week's worth of Amazon deliveries. After a Prime member enrolls in the "Amazon Day" service, Amazon will hold the week’s worth of orders and deliver all those items together on the customer's selected day. Amazon Day will appear as a delivery option for Prime customers on Amazon's online store. If customers enroll, they can still see other delivery options such as two-day or same-day delivery for individual packages.

2. Amazon plans to open several grocery stores

According to a report from WSJ, Amazon is planning to open several grocery stores, separate from the Whole Foods Chain. The company is reportedly planning to open the first outlet in Los Angeles as early as the end of this year. It is also reportedly exploring acquiring several regional grocery chains. It isn’t clear yet if the new grocery chain will carry Amazon’s name or what it will be called. People familiar with the story also said that talks are underway for Amazon grocery stores in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. After WSJ reported Amazon’s plans on Friday, Kroger’s share prices fell by about 4.5%, Walmart’s by 1.1% and Amazon’s rose by 2%.

3. Walmart and Affirm announce a partnership

Fintech company Affirm has announced a partnership with Walmart that will give shoppers the option of using Affirm to pay for their purchases over time at nearly 4,000 Supercenters nationwide. Walmart will begin to integrate Affirm as a payment option on Walmart.com over the coming weeks. Customers can check eligibility on Affirm’s online portal before heading to a store or while they’re in there, using mobile or desktop devices. Affirm is already available at Allswell and Hayneedle, both brands owned by Walmart.

4. JCPenny to shutter 18 stores and its Big & Tall subscription service

JCPenny has announced that it will close 18 full-line stores this year, in addition to the three previously announced closures. The company has also discontinued its Big & Tall subscription service which was being run in partnership with Bombfell since 2018. This move comes just weeks after the company announced that it was discontinuing its appliance sales. On the earnings front, its fourth-quarter earnings have turned out to be a disappointment with total net sales falling 9.5% to $3.67 billion from $4.05 billion in the year-ago quarter.

5. Zalando Q4 revenues surge 24.6%

Zalando announced that its fourth quarter revenues were up by 24.6% to €1.7 billion, although its full year’s earnings dropped by €40 million due to investments schemes. According to Retail Gazette, the company reportedly saw 34.1 million orders in Q4 2018, up by 32% from the same period, last year. Compared to the same year-ago period, GMV was up by 21.1% and Mobile visits by 79%. Sales for the whole year was up by 20% to €5.3 billion, but this was a slight slowdown compared to the 23.4% annual growth achieved in 2017.

6. JD.com invests $397 million in Farfetch

Chinese eCommerce giant JD.com announced on Thursday that it will sell its Luxury business platform Toplife to Fartfetch, the leading online eCommerce platform for the Fashion industry. Toplife will merge with Farfetch’s existing China business and this strategic partnership will reportedly create the premier platform for luxury eCommerce across China, JD's press release said. The combination of Farfetch's luxury know-how, and JD's same-day delivery speeds and highly professional service, will provide an unparalleled luxury proposition to Chinese consumers.  

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