UK-based suppliers to the fashion industry are warning they face being wiped out as retailers extend payment terms and cancel orders. “The majority of major retailers are extending payment terms and there are widespread cancellations even of orders in progress,” said Nigel Lugg, chairman of the UK Fashion and Textile Association. “Terms are routinely being taken from 60 days to 120 or even 150 days . . . it could take out a lot of suppliers.”
International furniture and homewares retailer Ikea’s investment arm Ingka has bought US-based AI innovator Geomagical Labs, known for its hi-tech solutions that inspire consumers shopping for furnishings.
Brick-and-mortar retailers selling online saw a 15% boost in advertising spending last week based on COVID-19, according to data from MediaRadar, while big-box chains like Target, Costco and Walmart are dialing it back as demand for essentials like cleansers and groceries has been overwhelming.
Kohl’s is adding trunk and backseat pickup to its buy-online-pickup-in-store services, part of the growing movement of retailers offering contactless transactions to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Although the retailer has temporarily closed all of its stores until further notice and furloughed store and distribution center associates, it will now provide the free curbside service at most locations between 11am and 7pm.
eBay is waiving seller fees and providing other initiatives to help shuttered retailers move online, as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to wipe out Main Street. The e-commerce giant on Thursday announced the launch of its Up & Running accelerator program, designed specifically to help the 70 percent of small businesses that lack any online presence to make the transition to e-commerce. eBay is pledging up to $100 million in support of the program. In the coming weeks, the company plans to highlight small business sellers on its site.
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PetCare is booming. The number of US households with pets has exceeded those with children by some 30 million. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), some $72 billion was expected to be spent on pets in 2018, compared with $43 billion 10 years earlier. From nutrition-specific foods to doggy DNA tests and app-connected food bowls, pet-related products are feeding industry with sales 3X that of children’s toys!