Today’s Top Retail News: Holiday Spending Looks Flat; Target Meets Amazon Prime Challenge
In today’s top retail news, holiday spending is expected to be flat this year, Bed Bath & Beyond rolls out same-day delivery and Target goes up against Amazon Prime Day with “Deal Days.” Also, J2 Global has agreed to buy RetailMeNot.
It’s fairly well accepted that holiday spending levels will be flat compared to 2019 — which, in the middle of a pandemic, is nothing short of miraculous. And the digital-first economy will drive the difference between success and failure for many retailers. But these are the easy points. What’s not so easy is to predict the nuances — and that’s where the next two weeks will fill in the blanks when it comes to planning for Q4 2020. The first nuance concerns exactly how much consumers will spend. Most predictions, as stated, show a flat spend level overall. But the consumer mindset will be the key as the pandemic continues to rage and the economy continues to look spotty.
In a move that expands omnichannel shopping offerings for shoppers ahead of the holiday season, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. has rolled out same-day delivery from buybuy BABY and Bed Bath & Beyond. The move comes after the prior introduction of contactless curbside pickup and buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) earlier in 2020, according to a Tuesday (Sept. 29) announcement. Shoppers can access the same-day delivery offering for a flat rate of $4.99 for purchases of more than $39. Consumers in certain ZIP codes can shop online and choose the same-day delivery selection at checkout for eligible products. After an order is made, a Shipt personal shopper will retrieve the product from the local brick-and-mortar location and bring it to the customer’s residence.
Another contender has joined the Prime Day counterprogramming battle. Target announced on Monday (Sept. 28) that its “Deal Days” will compete day-to-day with Amazon’s proprietary holiday, which was confirmed only a few hours before Target’s. By going head-to-head with Amazon, Target throws down the gauntlet not only to its Seattle-based competition, but to Walmart as well. Target’s event, first reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, will feature “digital deals on thousands of items, more than double what the retailer offered last year, as it adjusts to the surge of consumers who have shifted to shopping online during the coronavirus pandemic. The sales will melt into Target’s already announced longer holiday sales season that the company said it would start in early October.”
Web information and services firm J2 Global, Inc. said on Tuesday (Sept. 29) that it has entered into a deal to buy RetailMeNot from marketing solutions firm Vericast for about $420 million, according to an announcement. RetailMeNot aims to help consumers save money by offering online and brick-and-mortar coupon codes, a RetailMeNot Deal Finder browser extension and cashback deals, according to the announcement. “We are excited at the prospect of adding RetailMeNot, and [its] talented employees, to our portfolio of brands dedicated to helping consumers save money and find deals, while delivering performance marketing solutions to retailers and brands,” J2 Global CEO Vivek Shah said in the announcement. The deal is forecast to close in Q4 2020 and is subject to traditional closing and regulatory acceptances.
Walmart Inc. is in talks for as much as a $25 billion stake in a Mumbai, India conglomerate that is planning to launch a “super app” designed to offer a mega selection of retail products, sources told Mint. The Tata Group app, on track to debut by year’s end or January of 2021, will offer food and grocery ordering, fashion and lifestyle, consumer electronics and consumer durables, insurance and financial services, education, healthcare and bill payments. “Walmart is keen to get a strong brand backing its eCommerce business, while Tata Group wants a global name and an established player in the online space,” a source told Mint. If the deal is signed, it would represent India’s largest retail space ever, eclipsing Walmart’s 2018 purchase of a 66 percent stake in Flipkart for $16 billion.