IKEA is known, among other things, for the Swedish meatballs sold in its stores. Now, the retail furniture giant is looking to build on that appeal by including a new candle, scented to smell like its popular food dish, as part of a sweepstakes that will run from Aug. 6 through Aug. 22.
Amazon.com will begin charging Prime members $9.95 to deliver groceries from Whole Foods in Boston, Chicago and three other markets in New England. The fees will be imposed on orders beginning on Aug. 30. “This service fee helps to cover operating costs, so we can continue to offer the same competitive everyday prices in-store and online at Whole Foods Market,” the company said in an email to subscribers. A Whole Foods spokesperson described the fees as part of a pilot program.
Retailers, including Home Depot, are requiring associates to wear masks in stores in response to news of rising transmission rates of the Delta variant. Local governments in some states have brought back mask mandates in indoor spaces.
Massive flooding this summer in China’s Henan province and in Western Europe have damaged factories and rail lines that transport the goods they produce. The net result, according to supply chain experts, will be that shipping delays and out-of-stocks are on the horizon. “Consumer electronics, dorm room furniture, clothing and appliances will all continue to be in short supply as back-to-school shopping starts up, and will trickle into the peak holiday shopping season,” said Pawan Joshi, executive vice president of E2open.
A hearing officer at the National Labor Relations Board has recommended that the agency set aside a vote at an Amazon.com warehouse in Bessemer, AL, that saw workers reject representation by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union by a more than a two-to-one margin. The officer concluded that a new election should be held after determining that Amazon engaged in unfair practices in the run up to the vote. Amazon maintains that it acted within the law and that the vote should stand.
Bloomingdale’s has added a Sexual Wellness Shop to its website, which features 41 “self-love essentials” such as body lotions, creams, lubricants and vibrators. Prices on the selections range from $11 to $200.
J. Crew, Brooks Brothers and other retailers and brands selling preppy clothing may have lost some of their shine in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that the fashion trend they exemplified is gone forever. “The ‘new prep’ is really more about growing up and understanding that you can keep culture and sophistication all together,” said Marlon Muller, co-founder of Recreational Habits, a newly launched luxury label.
Ralph Lauren’s fiscal first quarter sales were up nearly three times the same period in 2020 as consumers in the U.S. and abroad have returned to the luxury goods market. The fashion brand is now forecasting annual sales growth of between 25 percent and 30 percent, up from its previous guidance of 20 percent to 25 percent growth.
PepsiCo announced that it wills sell its North American juice brands under the Tropicana, Naked and other labels to PAI Partners, a private equity firm, for $3.3 billion. PepsiCo will retain distribution rights for the brands as part of the deal.
Walmart has decided that its corporate staff and management-level employees must get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 4. The company has also begun a phased-in approach to bringing employees back to the office who have been working remotely during the pandemic.