This season has been a difficult one for retailers in many ways, with everything from supply chain interruptions to inflation, all amongst the busy (and extended) holiday shopping season. We look at the bigger retailers and how they’re handling it all.
Costco has prevailed for consumers this fall, with sales up nearly 16% in September, partly because the company has been exceptionally proactive. When shipping delays threatened inventory stock, the company chartered its own container ships. As the holidays approach, they’ve prioritized seasonal campaigns.
Costco is focused on reducing the friction of the supply chain, especially as concerns rise for 2021 and memories come up of last year’s holiday transit woes. Every retailer and brand is working to keep products available, but Costco is showing true customer commitment through charting its own container ships to help push through the busy holiday season. When it comes to working with this retailer, your supply chain management and ability to keep products in stock and moving through to customers is important.
Walmart has been busy developing relationships this season. From employees to brand partnerships, there’s been a conscientious push to improve the quality and consistency of its goods and services:
- Walmart is hiring new supply chain workers and drivers to fight the supply chain shortage. The company is also rerouting shipments to ensure faster arrival times.
- Walmart and Gap launch a new furniture collection.
- Walmart and Netflix create a new retail hub exclusively for Walmart customers.
- Walmart and Home Depot improve delivery capabilities with a new GoLocal program.
In addition to these lucrative partnerships with big brands, Walmart is also taking advantage of emerging opportunities in the marketplace. When Amazon announced its nearly $10 fee for Whole Foods deliveries, Walmart quickly came out with a better deal. From early Black Friday deals to new shopping technology, the company is strategically looking for better ways to meet consumer demands.
Walmart is on the lookout for the best ways to offer their customers more value, and they’ve demonstrated that they find value in the right partnerships. If you’re looking to grow or establish your relationship with Walmart, demonstrating the value of your brand and products with their customers will be key.
Walmart has been known as a center for consumer deals for some time, but their partnership with Gap shows an interest in offering high-end style and quality at a more affordable price range. Demonstrating your brand’s ability to keep up with trends and retain quality without breaking the bank for customers will be important factors if you’re seeking a partnership with Walmart.
In addition to seasonal campaigns and their successful Deal Days, Target is taking a variety of steps to reach out to both customers and the community this winter season:
- The LEGO x Target collection is a fun way for families to represent their favorite holiday memories.
- Campbell Soup Co, an official partner of the Pac-12 football championship, features its new campaign in Target.
- Target invests $100 million in black communities and expands its discounts for military families.
- The company is extending extra pay for workers during the busiest days of the season.
- Danon North America sent influencers lemon trees as part of its campaign to promote the launch of their Two Good yogurt line with Target. The product uses “surplus and ugly produce” that would otherwise be thrown out.
- Target is ‘rescuing’ produce and using it for its new yogurt line. The company has sent lemon trees to influencers to drum up support.
- Target is teaming up with women-owned businesses to design better beauty and personal care products.
These steps toward sustainability are helping customers see the brand in a new light. While shipping delays continue to plague most retailers this season, the company is working to ensure consistent stocking for the holidays.
Target has been focused on initiatives towards community service, sustainability, and wellness for some time. Building a relationship with this retailer will require demonstrating your brand’s commitment to one or more of these areas. Based on Target’s recent partnership with Danon, demonstrating how your brand minimizes waste or embraces imperfect goods (such as “ugly” produce) may be an important factor in building relationships with the brand.
In October, Kohl’s announced that it would be organizing inventory to fulfill orders as close to the customer as possible. It’s just one more example of tactics to lessen the burden of snags in the supply chain.
Like our other examples, the brand has focused on providing new incentives for customers to choose the chain:
- A fashion show featured the company’s adaptive collection.
- Kohl’s announces a new partnership with a nonprofit for ongoing mental health awareness.
- The company introduces its new limited-time collection: Sonoma Goods for Life.
- Eddie Bauer products are now available at Kohl’s for outdoor enthusiasts.
Like all the other major retailers, Kohl’s is also stepping up its seasonal hiring. As the company debuts discounts, it encourages customers to give this year to the charities they hold near and dear to their hearts. The new partnerships are a sign of continued financial health for the retailer.
Kohl’s is truly embracing the season of giving by focusing on charitable donations and inclusion. Your brand’s charitable actions and commitment to causes surrounding inclusion will be important assets to building your relationship with this retailer. Internal company commitments to accessibility, mental health, and other inclusion initiatives may be helpful as well.
Kohl’s is committed to staying in the game, as shown with their new round of partnerships. Demonstrating the demand for your brand and product category among their target consumers and how you can help Kohl’s compete is critical to becoming a Kohl’s partner.
The Trends of Retailers This Fall
While immediate supply chain issues are a major priority for these retailers, more prominent issues, like mental health, sustainability, and community diversity are also tackled. Considering each retailer’s neighborhood stores have a significant impact on the people who live there, it’s an admirable push for inclusion. We expect to see the same trajectory as 2022 gets started and beyond.
Most retailers are committing to a charitable cause this holiday season, and where each retailer is sending energy and donations can give brands good insight into the retailer’s values. Understanding these values is critical to finding a retail partner who aligns well with your brand, which helps foster success for both parties.
Learn more about finding a retail partner that aligns with your brand.