May 24, 2022 11:00:00 AM | 6 Min Read

New & Notable in Retail: May Update

Posted By Bay Cities
New & Notable in Retail: May Update

What’s going on in the retail world, and what can we learn from it? These are the questions we ask — and answer! — every month in our roundup of the latest news from the retail sector.

Read on for what’s “New and Notable” this month:


Amazon had an active April, including introducing a $1 billion investment in the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund (AIIF). Designed to fund global solutions for supply chain, customer fulfillment operations, and logistics issues, the AIIF keeps the customer and employee experience front and center in an increasingly online marketplace where consumers crave super-fast delivery.

In line with April’s Earth Month, the retail giant also reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability, highlighting its progress through initiatives like its Climate Pledge Friendly, Amazon Aware, and Amazon Launchpad. It also announced the addition of 37 new renewable energy products totaling 3.5 GW of clean energy capacity.

Also, in April, Austin, TX, became the first city outside of Seattle to get an Amazon One device, which allows customers to buy groceries just by swiping their palms.

Brand Takeaways

These developments underscore Amazon’s commitment to the environment, corporate social responsibility, and the customer experience. As a retail leader, Amazon’s example sets the tone for businesses across all industries, including packaging and display, ripe with opportunities to embrace these priorities.


As with Amazon, April was a busy month for Walmart, including sustainability. The company focused on four major sustainability initiatives this month: the launch of the Circular Connector, an online tool to help connect companies with sustainable packaging ideas; new approaches to pollination; progress with Gigaton toward accelerating climate action; and a shift to becoming regenerative for Sam’s Club’s private brand, Member’s Mark.

Walmart’s other April happenings included everything from news of a GOBankingRates survey revealing that American consumers strongly favor Walmart for their online shopping to having officially donated more than 7 billion pounds of food (and counting) to local Feeding America® member food banks.

Brand Takeaways

Walmart’s progress toward its priorities doesn’t just showcase the importance of establishing and living your corporate values, but also getting the word out about them. Today’s consumers WANT to support companies with values that align with theirs. Whether donating to toy drives or another charity, marketing is the key to bridging the gap between them and you.


While Kohl’s had less news to share in April, it was meaningful nonetheless. The retailer announced a partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) to stand Together for Mental Illness to fight stigma, raise awareness, and provide better support for people with mental illness.

Kohl’s also announced plans to continue investing in an amplified customer experience by providing access to more emerging brands, including a “give-back” component. One brand is Colors for Good, a Mexican bracelet-making company with a business model that empowers women in underprivileged communities.

Brand Takeaways

Another example of a brand leading with its corporate values, Together for Mental Illness is part of Kohl’s ongoing commitment to supporting healthy family health, wellness, and community partnerships.

Meanwhile, its emerging brand program keeps the customer experience at the forefront while simultaneously demonstrating its commitment to social responsibility.


Target shared two significant pieces of news in April. First, it showcased its biannual Car Seat Trade-In program, through which customers can bring in their old car seats to be recycled in exchange for discounts on select baby gear.

Target also shared news about a multi-year partnership with Essence, a historic media, tech, and commerce company known for empowering Black women. This summer, programming will include sponsoring the Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans.

Brand Takeaways

It’s no coincidence that Target, like every other retailer in this roundup, chose to continue focusing on sustainability this month.

While Earth month was a factor, this theme is consistently seen year-round with clear takeaways for other businesses: eco-friendly initiatives have moved from “nice to have” to a necessity.

The same goes for embodying and communicating your brand values through everything from the community programs you support with your philanthropy to the sustainability of the packaging you choose for your products.

June’s update is just around the corner. Subscribe to our blog today for the following New and Notable in Retail entries, and other news on the packaging and display industry and retail.

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Topics: Retail Updates

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