Curbside Pickup Success Shows Americans Still Like In-Person Shopping
Though their jobs and roles will probably transform, curbside pickup has proven to be a success for many retailers. The New York Times reported that Target saw its curbside sales jump over 700 percent last quarter, and electronics retailer Best Buy saw almost $5 billion in online revenue in the second quarter, but 41 percent of that had come from curbside or in-store pickup. The phenomenon is keeping brick-and-mortar spaces relevant, a bright spot at a time when many customers are moving their shopping habits online. A customer that chooses to pick up an online order, “takes the last mile,” said Oliver Chen, a retail analyst at Cowen, referring to the typically more expensive part of delivering a package. The shift is most significant for retailers that offer groceries, particularly fresh produce.
As Autumn Turns to Winter, How Will Outdoor Shopping Fare?
With winter weather right around the corner for a good portion of the United States, it’ll be interesting to see how weather plays a role in the shopping experience. Will people mind shopping outdoors when it’s 25 degrees and snowing? Will they persist with curbside pickup if driving is treacherous? Will they prefer to go somewhere indoors, if at all? Commercial real estate publisher GlobeSt.com, citing information from consumer data analyst Placer.ai, saw consumer traffic drop about 25 percent for the month of August at outdoor shopping malls compared to pre-pandemic foot traffic. “While indoor malls have not fared as well, the same report shows that indoor mall foot traffic, while also vastly improved from March and April, is still down 37.2% from pre-pandemic levels,” said Kelsi Maree Borland, commercial real estate industry journalist. What do you think will happen in winter? Will the southern half of the country fare better than the northern half? Peek into your wintry crystal ball and click here to Tweet us your thoughts!
Purple Promotes Cleanliness for Customer Comfort at Retail Shops
When your humble e-newsletter editor hears the word “purple” two things come to mind: any grape candy (And. They. Are. All. Awesome.) and the late, great Prince (whom he joyously got to see live in concert with his son a few years before his untimely death. That, and this horrific dinosaur, are the worst things to ever happen to purple. “Purple” is also a successful mattress brand that has gone to great lengths to make sure customers can feel safe in their retail stores. Tres White, Purple’s chief retail officer, recently spoke exclusively with Total Retail about its safety strategies. Besides the basics, they “sanitize beds between customers, pulling top sheets over beds before customers lay down and using pillow protectors for testing pillows. We also regularly sanitize all displays and point-of-sale equipment.” His advice as retailers continue to re-open and offer their customers a safe shopping environment? “Monitor the unique customer experience of your locations and [evolve] to meet customer needs.”
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