Good News and Bad News in Retail

My personal opinion is that it is important for us to be as informed as we can be about the retail world. Store closings, lay-offs, bankruptcies are not really good news, but we need to know.

We want to know if our favorite places to shop are going to be there or are they going strictly e-commerce. I mean after all Amazon bought Whole Foods and you can, shop on line and have your groceries delivered to you. You will miss out on pinching the tomatoes or thumping a cantaloupe but if it convenient for you so be it. And a lot of the items at Whole Foods are getting price cuts, it is about time.

It appears that Pharmacies are taking a hit in the retail world today. If the front retail space at Walgreen’s for example, did not do well, the pharmacy prices would make up for it. Not so today. With the President asking for a reduction in pharmacy prices and with the competition at let’s say Sam’s and Costco, Walgreen’s will take a hit. Have you ever shopped for grocery items there? The cost is absurd. CVS is the largest Pharmacy in the US and they are taking hits as well. They are stupid high with just about every retail or grocery item. And it is a good thing they no longer sell cigarettes, but this has hurt their business as well. If you stopped by there to pick up some cigarettes, you might have picked up a couple of other items as well, not so now. Why go there, make two trips, one for cigarettes and then go to CVS for something else. There is nothing there that I need that badly to pay a stupidly high price for. Now the irony I find in this is that they still sell wine and beer. Now let me get this straight, cigarettes are bad for us but wine and beer are good for us. Has anyone pointed out to them that alcohol kills more than cigarettes. I guess not. Well, that is a rotten shame, Pharmacies not doing well, they gouge you on scripts and on the retail items you pick up there, so finally, the retail world has caught up with you.

Everyone has heard of Levi Strauss and contrary to popular belief he never sold his dungarees to 49 er’s.  But the company he founded 166 years ago staged a gold rush of its own last month in the form of an initial public offering that swiftly topped its opening share price and left it with an $8 billion valuation. They have 50,000 retail locations in 110 countries, and 2900 branded stores.

The secret that Levi has hit upon and other retailers take note, Levi’s brand and product are rooted in authenticity and originality. The brand is a celebration of democratic and inclusive ideals,” Levi’s SVP and Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Sey told Retail Dive in an email. “We have always been a brand that connects people. Cool city kids, hipsters, people from the heartland, moms in the suburbs. They all wear Levi’s and they all wear them their own way. What you are seeing in the ads is simply a reflection of who we are. Of the inclusive and democratic nature of our brand.”

It seems whatever Amazon touches brings about gold for someone. Kohl’s and Amazon teamed up and this has increased sales and customers for Kohl’s. If you have an Amazon return you can take it to Kohl’s in some parts of the country, What this has done for Kohl’s is increased traffic and sales. In Chicago for example, Kohl’s business increased by 10 percent. Those Kohl’s stores that did have an increase, it was no more than 5 percent. With a boost in sales and shoppers at Kohl’s who can argue with a partnership like that.