Which brands are changing for 2021?
Peak retail season has come and gone with the holidays, but that doesn’t mean things are necessarily cooling off in the retail industry.
Andrew Cox says 2021 has started with a bang in the retail space, which is good for keeping the freight markets booming as well.
In the “you care or nah?” segment, Cox and Seth Holm start out debating the impact of Amazon canceling its pantry program (home grocery delivery for a flat fee). Both think it doesn’t necessarily matter because the other home grocery delivery services are thriving; the program has been moved to the general Amazon website.
Next up, Bed Bath and Beyond has disappointed in earnings for the last quarter of 2020 and is placing some of the blame for its shortcomings on freight market difficulties. Holm cares but thinks there are more factors at play than just the state of freight.
Several retailers are implementing a new return policy; the “keep it policy” will refund a consumer’s money but doesn’t put the reverse logistics strain on the company as it has to pay for shipping to return the item.
Both Cox and Holm think this is a great idea to ease capacity constraints that returns can put on freight.
Staples has put in a third attempt to buy Office Depot in an effort to merge the competing office supply stores. Holm doesn’t care, thinking there should have been a large hit to the office supply industry due to people working from home.
Lastly, Holm and Cox debate the near future of the retail space with lots of goods still stuck at port and inventories still way behind when compared to sales.
Cox quotes FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller saying “watch the fireworks fly” as retail inventory catches up to demand. Holm thinks there is still pent-up demand for consumers as people save money, and newly gained certainty in the White House coupled with vaccine rollouts means the economy will continue to surge and catch up.
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