It's been another week with far more retail news than there is time in the day. Below, we break down some things you may have missed during the week and what we're still thinking about.
From Walmart's free wellness day to all the store-related news in the past few days, here's our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Walmart to host free Wellness Day event
This week, Walmart announced it is organizing a free Wellness Day event on Saturday. Consumers can get free health screenings and no-cost Covid-19 vaccines as well as affordable immunizations — including measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, HPV, tetanus and whooping cough. Over 4,700 Walmart pharmacies across the country are participating in Walmart Wellness Day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time.
Since the big-box retailer began hosting Walmart Wellness Days in 2014, its pharmacies during that time have administered over 4.75 million free health screenings for customers. "At least 41% of Americans delayed care during the pandemic, according to the CDC, and that can lead to negative health impacts in the future," Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president of Walmart health and wellness, said in a statement. "We want to make it simple for our customers to prioritize their health and catch up on preventive care by offering convenient health resources where they're already shopping for groceries and back-to-school items."
Ermenegildo Zegna plans IPO
On Monday, Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna Group and special purpose acquisition corporation Investindustrial Acquisition Corp announced an agreement to make Zegna a public company on the New York Stock Exchange in the fourth quarter of this year. The company's namesake brand was founded in 1910, and it acquired Thom Browne in 2018. The Zegna family will still control the company with a 62% majority stake.
Bezos thanks Amazon customers for space flight
Ever made an emergency same-day purchase of diapers over Amazon's website or worked a frenetic Prime Day shift in one of the company's warehouses? If so, you may have also unknowingly purchased a few droplets of rocket fuel or a couple stitches in the spacesuit of Amazon founder and Chairman Jeff Bezos, who completed a suborbital flight this week via his side-hustle space company, Blue Origin.
On landing, Bezos, who has helped finance Blue Origin with sales of his Amazon stock, thanked "every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this." The backlash to those comments came swiftly, with critics and media pointing out that the e-commerce giant's workers make a median income of $29,007, while Bezos as CEO made nearly 58 times that. His net worth of $209 billion is more than seven million times what the median Amazon worker makes in a year.
Diane von Furstenberg (might) have a limited edition Echo Dot
As part of its Day 1 Editions program, Amazon may make a DVF limited edition Echo Dot. Touting it as "the best-dressed Echo yet" the Alexa device is in collaboration with the famed designer and features a lips pattern familiar to fans of the brand. The catch? The device will only be made if it reaches its pre-order goal by Aug. 13. As of press time, the $59.99 Echo Dot was at 60% of its pre-order goal.
What we're still thinking about
As everybody knows, three is a magic number, and that could be why Victoria's Secret is testing not one, not two but three ways to remodel its existing stores. Those it's keeping, that is. Executives at the company's first solo investors meeting this week (just ahead of its split from L Brands sibling Bath & Body Works) proudly noted that it's been closing a lot, replacing what they said were too many overly large stores in malls with fewer, smaller off-mall locations.
In addition to the revamps, Victoria's Secret next year will test a new store concept in 10 locations, also mostly away from malls, which will have more inclusive imagery and mannequins, and in-store pickup of online orders, executives also said. Speaking of which: In three to five years, the company also aims to make half of its revenue online.
If three is magic, how about ten hundred times three? While Victoria's Secret closes stores, Ross is going the other way. The off-price retailer this week said that it opened 30 new stores in 11 states in June and July alone, and is on track to running 3,000 total once it's done expanding its fleet. With the new additions, the company runs 1,896 stores in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Guam under the Ross Dress for Less and DD's Discounts banners.
Another important number at Ross is zero, which is how much business the retailer does online. That was rough last year, but recovery in the first quarter was swift as stores reopened.
The retail industry is hearing a lot about the bump that e-commerce got from the pandemic. But anyone writing off brick and mortar should look at up-and-comers like upscale convenience store Foxtrot. The chain this week said it's putting some of its latest funding round toward 50 new locations across the U.S. over the next two years, including new markets like New York City, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston and Austin, Texas.
Foxtrot, which also has a robust digital play, operates nine Chicago stores, and two each in Dallas and Washington, D.C., with plans for more stores in Chicago and the Washington area later this year.
One hundred is a nice round number, but it's just the beginning for the partnership between Target and beauty retailer Ulta. This week, those companies said Ulta will open shop-in-shops at more than 100 Target stores starting in August, with plans for 800 over time. Analysts see benefits of this tie-up accruing to both companies, but downsides for the beauty sections at department stores and drugstores.
What we're watching
Everything Dick's Sporting Goods is up to
The sports retailer released two marketing campaigns this week. One is dubbed "Welcome Back," and features 14 teen influencers who are "truly integrated into the full campaign," the company said in details emailed to Retail Dive. The other, "Bust a Move," is specifically focused on Dick's private label DSG, and was made in partnership with celebrity dance duo Stephen 'tWitch' and Allison Boss, who became Dick's brand ambassadors earlier this year. These campaigns themselves might feel small, but with all the strategy being implemented at Dick's lately around brand ambassadors, private labels and store concepts (there are five of them being tested right now) — we're watching it all.