Today in retail, Target is testing curbside returns and Starbucks order delivery, while Overstock’s stock price surges after the company’s blockchain-based trading platform gets an investment from Intercontinental Exchange. Plus, one man’s furniture trash is another person’s furniture treasure, and big retailers believe an omnichannel approach is the way forward for the flagging sector.
Overstock Soars After Embattled eTailer Reports Market Share and Profit Gains
eCommerce retailer and technology company Overstock.com Inc.’s stock price surged almost 25% Wednesday (Feb. 23) after the company reported the results of its fiscal 2021 fourth quarter and full year, with the jump coming three months after its share price tumbled 65% in November.
Overstock celebrated its most successful Cyber Five — Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday — period in the company’s history, which helped it deliver on profitability targets for the quarter. Investors were also excited about Intercontinental Exchange’s strategic investment in tZero, the blockchain-based trading platform for cryptocurrencies and digital assets in which Overstock owns a majority stake.
Lowe’s Rolls Out Solid Home Improvement Forecast
Lowe’s fiscal 2021 fourth-quarter earnings reflect optimism about the home improvement sector and consumers’ willingness to continue doing it themselves, even as the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ease, with demand for tools and building materials strong as builders and handymen upgrade their toolkits to finish a backlog of delayed projects.
Lowe’s same-store sales rose 5% in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28 and the company expects its fiscal year 2022 total sales to be in the range of $97 billion to $99 billion, compared to a previous forecast of $94 billion to $97 billion.
Retail Sustainability Trend Goes From Resale to Refuse With Furniture Made From Trash
Brooklyn-based furniture maker REDU is looking to tap unprecedented consumer demand for sustainable, reusable products that cut waste and reduce stress on the environment, expanding the reach of its recycled furniture via an interactive retail showroom in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Meanwhile, resale platforms such as Kaiyo and Chairish approach sustainability via marketplaces that pair up secondhand furniture buyers and sellers, and other brands are striving to shrink their carbon footprint and reduce waste in other ways.
Pottery Barn offers reclaimed wood furniture made with salvaged materials and Crate & Barrel sells a line of furniture that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
TJX FY22 Optimism Dampened by Stock Price Drop
Discount apparel and home goods retailer The TJX Companies missed analysts’ expectations in its fiscal 2022 fourth-quarter and full-year earnings, in part because of the spread of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic causing store closures.
Many of TJX’s stores were closed for at least part of the three-month period during the holiday shopping season, but the company still grew its overall store count by 117 to a total of 4,689 locations across its brands — TJX, Home Goods and Marshalls — and saw a 2% increase in square footage year-over-year.
The TJX Companies’ stores that remained open during the year performed well, with U.S. open-only comparable store sales up 17% from fiscal 2020. The fiscal year also saw net sales of $48.5 billion, up 16% from two years ago and up 51% from last year.
Home Depot, Macy’s, Walmart Push Omnichannel Integration of in-Store and Online Retail
Three of the largest retail brands have come out with similar plans in the past week or so that reflect their belief that omnichannel retail is the way forward for the industry as it continues to try to regain its pre-pandemic glory.
In their respective quarterly earnings reports, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon reflected on a changed business model that is increasingly digital, Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette told investors the integration of eCommerce and physical stores works better in every scenario and Home Depot’s incoming CEO Ted Decker announced plans to fight friction wherever it exists to meet evolving customer expectations. That tells us something these guys already know: Big retail is fully onboard the omnichannel bus.
Target to Test Curbside Returns, Starbucks Orders
Target will soon launch a test in select markets that allows customers to a Starbucks order or make a return through its contactless curbside service.
Customers will use the Target app to signal that they’re on the way to the store and get the option to place an order from the Starbucks menu that will be delivered to their car by a Target employee or make a return without leaving their vehicles.
Target will also expand the “backup item” functionality of its app, letting customers pick from a wider assortment of categories — including household essential and beauty products — and designate something as a second choice if their first-choice item isn’t available.