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The weekly dispatch: Stores power impulse purchases, California unveils port infrastructure upgrades

Illustration of a person standing at a desk gesturing to a large monitor that shows a person shopping.

The post-pandemic era has revealed one thing, the power of human (and economic) resiliency. The world is facing challenging times in this recovery period, but the best innovations are bred out of necessity. Brands are adjusting to technological advancements, while consumers expect retailers to meet them at every stage of the journey. 

In this week’s dispatch, a new survey dives into impulse shopping, a brand pivots through financial loss, and another uses innovative technology to answer the convenience call. Read on for more.

Survey results are in: Brick and mortar is the premier medium for impulse buys

A person holding shopping bags.

Retailers, whether online or in-store, are clamoring for ways to entice customers to add that “plus one” item to their shopping carts. Additional items are not just beneficial to boost margins, but a great way to set customers up for repeat purchases later on.

Data collected from Kantar’s Retail Shopper & Category survey revealed 8 out of 10 in-store shoppers would make an impulse purchase, while 67% were documented as buying more than one item on impulse.1

Despite the stereotypes about online shopping binges, the survey found that impulse shopping in e-commerce was a lot less frequent at 58%, while in-store impulse buys held steady at 79%.  The digitally led shopping preferences of current consumers were touted as the reasons for the decline of impulse purchases, often due to missed opportunities by online retailers.

The study hopes that the data collected will lend to new and creative ideas for the digital space, optimizing the customer experience and boosting the retailer’s bottom line.

Stitch Fix lets go of size-inclusive label

Stitch Fix collage of clothing.

E-retailer Stitch Fix has reportedly discontinued its private label Mohnton Made and closed its affiliate cut-and-sew / knitting factory, in an effort to recover from recent financial losses.

Mohnton Made, a environmentally conscious apparel brand inclusive to all sizes and genders, has been struggling for some time.  The company had to eliminate 330 positions this past June and their last fiscal year saw a loss of $207.1 million. The last quarter saw a loss of 370,000 customers, equating to 9% of their active customer base.2

A spokesperson for the Stitch Fix brand said in a statement, “As we focus on the strategies that support our return to profitable growth, notably increasing our number of active clients and optimizing our cost base, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to close our operations at Mohnton Mills. While this is the right decision for our business, it is a hard day for our team.”

The move enables Stitch Fix to refocus its e-commerce efforts and better position themselves for the future as they move forward with their most recent launch of active and lounge wear.

As Upkeep launches new med-spa app, they receive financial support for expansion

Upkeep’s mobile app features.

Upkeep, a nation-wide medical spa and beauty app, announces the successful fundraising initiative led by financial firms Anthemis Female Innovators Lab Fund and 1517 Fund.3 The $2 million in seed money raised will assist expansion efforts into six additional markets by the end of 2022.

The newly established virtual marketplace is a one-stop-shop for customers wanting aesthetic medical appointments such as Botox, facials, and hair removal, making it more convenient and accessible to search and book.  The app has seen a 24% growth month-over-month, and a repeat booking rate of 80%.

Upkeep partners with medical providers, charging a booking fee per appointment. The mutually beneficial relationship supports health teams with digitally-led marketing and advertising, which is essential to drive new business to their establishments.

Similar on-demand booking platforms haven’t been successful in the long-term.  Upkeep has taken note, embarking on a different strategy to focus on individual practices that specialize in boutique services. 

California to spend $1.2 billion in upgrades for port and freight infrastructure plan

Evergreen shipping boat carrying shipping containers.

The state of California has announced its commitment of $1.2 billion to improve various port locations and supply chain re-structurization efforts.

Funding for the state’s port and freight infrastructure program was finalized back in June 2022, and the majority of the spend (70%) will go to the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, with the residual to be allocated to the other port locations within the state.4

Details of the project outline a long-term plan to expand conveyance modes for railyards, grade expansions, and a plan for zero-emission project for the movement of goods.

Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, confirmed in a statement, “after decades of neglect, we are finally making the critical investments needed to modernize our ports – helping us to keep up with demand in a way that is environmentally sustainable and brings our distribution process into the 21st century.”

LAO transportation emphasized in their report that this project would not alleviate the current supply chain delays and disruptions initiated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which are now showing signs of recovery.

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