Tractor Supply Co. operates about 1,700 stores and an e-commerce site selling hardware, animal supplies and farming equipment -- but not tractors -- and has grown by serving the needs of rural communities, executive Rob Mills said in an episode of "Retail Gets Real." "The passion of our team members and the knowledge of living the lifestyle and understanding rural America is just amazing," he said.
Chinese fashion brand Inman launched as an online-only retailer and was one of the first to open a shop on Alibaba Group's Tmall. Inman has also been a leader among e-commerce firms shifting into brick-and-mortar retail with the opening of 450 stores since mid-2015.
H.E. Butt Grocery is testing a mobile self-checkout app that lets customers scan items as they shop in a pilot project at two stores in San Antonio, Texas. The company currently has no plans to expand the test, spokesman Dya Campos said.
Growth in the deli category is outstripping that of the rest of the grocery store by more than four times, and Hormel has launched a new deli division to capitalize on that demand, said CEO Jim Snee. "Our new deli division represents almost $1 billion in annual sales and will be the company's next growth engine," Snee said.
Grocers are discussing with the US Agriculture Department their potential role in the Trump administration's proposed changes to SNAP benefits, including converting shopping dollars to a delivered box of specific items. "Rather than dismiss this out of hand, let's discuss how it can be improved," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.
Mushrooms are becoming a go-to ingredient in the functional food and beverage space. From Four Sigmatic's Mushroom Coffee Mix to NordicNordic's chaga tea, manufacturers are looking to mushrooms to convey benefits sought out by fans of adaptogenic products, writes Maura Judkis.
The majority of smart speaker owners, 89%, report being happy with their devices, per a report from Gene Munster's Loup Ventures. Of the 520 US respondents, 31% reported owning a smart speaker, and the devices are used primarily for playing music, checking the weather and asking general questions.
Retail sales declined by 0.8% in December in Canada as consumers spent less on electronics and more on new vehicles, per data from Statistics Canada. A 9.1% decline in sales at appliance and electronics stores drove lower-than-anticipated economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, the data also showed.
Canada's retail sales dipped 0.8% in December from the previous month, fueled by a drop in consumer electronics sales, Statistics Canada said. Sales grew 1.5% in the fourth quarter, and sales for the entire year were up 6.7% over 2016, the biggest annual growth rate in two decades.
Uruguay developer Estudio Luis E. Lecueder is considering plans to build two new malls in northern Montevideo beginning in 2020, partner Carlos Lecueder said. The project presents a good business opportunity since the region is underserved by retailers and incomes are rising, as the country continues to enjoy economic growth.