Kimberly Redmond | |

Walmart has kicked off an overhaul of its advertising business, unveiling a plan to add space for ads at its stores and sharing shopper data with brands.

The Arkansas-based company will rebrand its media network from “Walmart Media Group” to “Walmart Connect” as part of a plan to boost its advertising businesses more than 10 times within the next five years. 

The new advertising platform – which will debut in time for the 2021 holiday shopping season – will be built in partnership with ad technology company Trade Desk and allow brands to use Walmart’s real-time shopper data to make ads more effective and better target audiences. 

Kimberly Redmond | |

Lowe’s Companies plans to boost its staffing, as the home improvement chain announced it will be hiring more than 50,000 new store employees this spring.

It will also pay out $80 million in discretionary bonuses to current workers as a way to recognize “their continued dedication,” the North Carolina-based company announced Thursday.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Walmart will be using robots to help keep up with the increasing demand of online orders for pickup and delivery.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailed announced Tuesday it plans to convert or add space at dozens of its stores into high-tech warehouse spaces where the Alphabot, a self-driving robot, will fetch certain items and bring them to a workstation to be prepped for customers. () 

According to Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer products in the U.S., the technology will whittle the pick-and-pack process down to “a few minutes” and it’ll ensure orders are ready for shoppers to pick up in an hour or less.

Reuters | |

Furniture giant IKEA said it is on track to cut its emissions further after an 11% reduction in its climate footprint in the 12 months to the end of August, partly because of temporary store closures.

Brand owner Inter IKEA said on Monday carbon emissions throughout the value chain - from the production of raw materials to customers’ use and disposal - fell in its fiscal year (FY) 2020 to 21.2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Reuters | |

(Reuters) - Department store operator Macy’s Inc said on Tuesday it would close about 45 stores this year as part of its three-year plan to lower store count in order to focus on its more productive outlets.

Even before the lockdowns in the United States last year, Macy’s had announced the plan to close 125 of its least productive stores to tackle plummeting mall traffic. It had closed about 30 stores in 2020.

“Macy’s is committed to rights...

Reuters | | Inc said on Tuesday it bought 11 Boeing 767-300 aircraft, as it looks to boost its delivery capabilities to cater to a surge in online orders.

The aircraft, including seven from Delta Air Lines and four from WestJet Airlines, will join Amazon's air cargo network by 2022, the online retailer said in a statement here.

In June, Amazon had leased 12 Boeing 767-300 converted cargo aircraft from Air Transport Services Group Inc, bringing its total fleet to more than 80.

Reuters | |

Department store chain J.C. Penney Co Inc said on Wednesday new owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management Inc have begun a search for a new chief executive officer to replace Jill Soltau.

Soltau, who joined the struggling retailer about two years ago, will leave the company on Dec. 31.

Reuters | |

U.S. retail sales rose 3% during this year’s expanded holiday shopping season from Oct. 11 to Dec. 24, a report by Mastercard Inc said on Saturday, powered by a pandemic-driven shift toward online shopping.

U.S. ecommerce sales jumped 49% in this year’s holiday shopping season, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse report, underscoring the COVID-19 pandemic’s role in transforming customers’ shopping habits.

Holiday e-commerce sales made up 19.7% of total retail sales this year, the data showed, noting that options such as buy online and pick-up-in-store, contactless technologies were key for retailers.

Reuters | |

Amazon seller Bernie Thompson shifted half of his production out of China to reduce his business risks and still found himself in the crosshairs of logistical chaos besetting the movement of goods around the globe.

A surge in demand for furniture, exercise equipment and other goods for shoppers sheltering at home in a worsening COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal trade flows.

That has stranded empty cargo containers in the wrong places, spawning bottlenecks that now stretch from factories to seaports. Container ship operators ferry the majority of consumer goods, and transportation and trade sources warn that prolonged industry disruption could cause shortages and complicate the global economic recovery.

Reuters | | Inc said on Sunday it had closed one of its warehouses in New Jersey out of caution till Dec. 26, after seeing an increase in asymptomatic positive cases amongst workers.

“Through our in-house COVID-19 testing program, we detected an increase in the number of asymptomatic positive cases at our PNE5 facility in northern New Jersey and have proactively closed the site until December 26th out of an abundance of caution,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters.

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, said it isn’t anticipating any impacts to operations or deliveries due to this shutdown.