APOCALYPSE? DOLLAR GENERAL DISAGREES.
Apparently Dollar General didn’t get the memo that retail is dying; they announced this week they will be adding...wait for it...900 stores next year. These will be added to the value retailer's existing network of more than 14,000 stores.
Global Retail Data’s Neil Saunders put in perspective just how many stores DG has, ‘almost 75% of the population now lives within five miles of a Dollar General store.’
In fact, Dollar General and its main competitor, Dollar Tree, have added nearly 2,000 stores to their count this year. And it’s worth a reminder that more stores are opening this year than closing, with dollar and convenience stores leading the pack.
If you are still waiting for the goodies you bought over Cyber Weekend - it’s not just you. Racked reports that UPS has been running into some major delays in their holiday order fulfillment, despite having bulked up on staff for the busy season - and while a record-breaking holiday weekend for retail is good news, delayed receipt of merchandise can really p*ss off shoppers. Just check Shopbop, Asos, and Ssense’s Twitter feeds if you’re in the mood for some customer service entertainment.
When mama’s new shoes don’t arrive in time for the holiday party - ain’t nobody happy.
MORE LUXURY COMPETITION
Another luxury retailer just scored a major coup. Moda Operandi, a platform that enables shoppers to pre-order directly from the runway, has just closed a round of funding worth $165M. Founded in 2011 by a former Vogue editor, the self-described ‘pre-tailer’ has been extremely successful at its short-run trunk show concept, a concept that plays perfectly into the notion of luxury and scarcity, and what’s more, it keeps inventory levels essentially non-existent.
And just how well are luxury brands faring this holiday season? Check out our latest analysis here.
EAGLE FLYING HIGH
They may be straddling two of the trickiest segments in retail right now - teens and the mid-market - but American Eagle reported on Wednesday their 11th consecutive quarter of growth. (And we know it’s a pretty different and significantly more positive story than many of its competitors are telling of late.) What’s the difference between AEO and many of its beleaguered competitors? Savvy digital marketing campaigns (untouched models!), a strong secondary business of intimates (aerie), and a profitable store fleet (many of which operate on under 3-year leases).
Speaking of brick-and-mortar, J.Crew will be closing its only full-line store in New York’s Soho district. As Soho remains a key area for shopping traffic, this closure is a pretty telling sign of the troubled state of their business.
THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT
Who doesn’t love getting an award? This week, Retail Dive handed out the honors for retailer, store format, turnaround and disrupter of the year (amongst a few others). The winners were Amazon, Sephora, Target, and Brandless, respectively. It needs no explanation as to why these headline-dominating brands scored the annual honors.
Though, perhaps J.Crew was a little less than thrilled with their ‘Disappointment of the Year’ nomination. Wonder what kind of trophy commemorates that diss?