Publix makes a different kind of historic move
The new GreenWise Market stores Publix opened last week in Lakeland and Boca Raton, FL., bear no resemblance to the parent company’s conventional stores and that’s by design. The retailer is looking to create a highly differentiated shopping experience to appeal to the discriminating natural and organic shopper. The approximately 25,000-sq.-ft. stores reflect the retailer’s latest thinking on merchandising that will resonate with a discriminating shopper.
Dollar Tree exec moves mark unified era
Three high level executive moves and one key departure at Dollar Tree, Inc., unify oversight of the combined operations of the company’s more than 15,000 Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores roughly four years after the companies merged.
Michael Witynski was named president of Dollar Tree, Inc. to oversee the merchandising, store operations and supply chain functions for the combined Dollar Tree and Family Dollar organizations. Reporting to Witynski is Richard McNeely in the role of chief merchant for Dollar Tree, Inc., overseeing merchandising, marketing and global sourcing. Thomas O’Boyle was named COO of Dollar Tree, Inc.. after previously serving as COO of Family Dollar.
Left out of the new enterprise-focused reporting structure was Duncan Mac Naughton. He spent nearly three years at the company as president of Family Dollar. Given his prior background as chief merchandising and marketing officer at Walmart from 2011 to 2014, Mac Naughton was presumed to be among potential successors to CEO Gary Philbin.
INSIGHTS & INNOVATION
Chewy is eating everyone’s market share
Retail history is being made by Chewy.com, the online pet products retailers whose third quarter sales increased at an unheard of rate of 40% to $1.23 billion. Customer engagement metrics show more customers are shopping more often and spending more on a platform that is proving so sticky it will be hard for competitors to win customer back once they enter the Chewy ecosystm. Average sales per customer increased to $360 from $323, the active customer count increased 32.8% to 12.7 million and the penetration rate for auto-replenishment increased to 70.4%. Full year revenues will approach $5 billion.
Speaking of a sticky ecosystem, Costco checks out self checkout
With member renewals rates running near an all-time high, Costco is maintaining a measured pace when it comes to disrupting its business model. A case in point is the checkout experience. Costco generally does a good job of expediting the checkout process when lines start to build at its high volume warehouse, but shoppers increasingly expect a self-checkout option so Costco is complying. CFO Richard Galanti recently told analysts Costco will add self-checkouts at 92 warehouses in early 2020 to complement the 135 locations out of 646 locations in the U.S. and Canada that already offer self-checkout.
Theatro secures more funding to transform customer service
Retail technology start up Theatro’s efforts to transform customer service and retail operations with its voice-driven virtual assistant technology will be aided by an additional $20 million in funding from Sageview Capital. The new investment follows closely after Theatro secured $15 million from Cisco Investments and Honeywell Ventures. Theatro plans to use the fund to more rapidly scale its voice-driven mobile connectivity solution across retail, hospitality, manufacturing and other sectors where hourly employees can benefit from hands free communications.