The New York Times
Millennials apparently eschew the mundane task of visiting a big box store for paint swatches and samples. In response, Clare and Backdrop are selling paint through their websites. “Convenience and a friction-free life, ideally one in which any desire can be fulfilled through clicking and swiping, is the millennial consumer’s utopia, and now that utopia has colors of its own, with generationally appropriate names like Clare’s ‘No Filter’ (a light beige with warm undertones),” according to the New York Times.
Eater New York
Whole Foods Market has opened a small convenience store in Chelsea, complete with an açaí bowl station and kombucha on tap. Whole Foods Market Daily Shop is located near a full-size WFM on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 25th Street. “The name of the game here is convenience, with self-checkout kiosks added to get people in and out faster than the full-service grocery store next door,” according to Eater New York.
Chain Store Age
An urban-focused Ikea will open its first U.S. city-center location on April 15 on New York’s Upper East Side, close to Bloomingdales. The Ikea Planning Studio will focus on small space/city-living solutions and provide personalized design and planning services. The Swedish furniture retailer plans to open 30 similar locations in city centers during the next three years. “We conducted extensive research about city living, and we believe New Yorkers will see their needs reflected this new concept,” Leontyne Green Sykes, COO, Ikea retail U.S. tells Chain Store Age.
An Oklahoma Arby’s manager clearly didn’t subscribe to the “customer is always right” theory of customer service. She was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after an altercation in which the customer spit in her face. Desean Tallent, 25 was shot and killed by Deionna Young, also 25, after the two exchanged words. Besides the spitting, the customer also made threats against the manager. Arby’s is investigating the incident.
The expansion of milk alternatives is cutting into sales of the real deal. Dairy Farmers of America announced sales took a $1.1 billion nosedive in 2018, to $13.6 billion. The market for plant-based foods and beverages has grown at a dizzying pace, reports Fast Company. Returns on soy, rice, and almond milk are roughly 6% higher than those on traditional milk products.
Michael Avenatti was arrested on charges of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to reveal damaging claims about the sneaker giant, including that company employees authorized payments to the families of top high school basketball players. Nike stock prices were down following the news.
New data from the General Social Survey shows more than half of Americans ages 18-34 don't have a romantic partner. There are several other trends that go along with the increase in young single Americans. “Women are having fewer children, and they're having them later in life,” according to The Washington Post. “The median age of first marriage is increasing.”
More older women are returning to the workforce, typically after raising kids for nearly 20 years. There are also more women staying in the workforce at more advanced ages. “It’s a demographic that has gotten less attention than other groups reaping the benefits of worker shortages that are forcing employers to hire Americans on the margins, such as the disabled and less educated,” according to USA Today.
"Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman is one of fewer than 20 women at the helm of a private U.S. company valued at more than $1 billion," begins this Fortune piece, which notes "she’s likely the only one to reach that milestone while nine months pregnant." Still,"I don’t think that being pregnant affected the process at all," says Hyman, noting that while she raised funds, investors "never brought [the pregnancy] up." Her conclusion:"I hope it will inspire thousands of other women around the world that they can do this, too. Perhaps there’s more fear of building a business …
"Transferring the online meal kit operating model to the brick-and-mortar merchandising format requires a different approach to the meal kit business," according to a consultant cited in Supermarket News. "As a result, meal kit companies have reduced the variety they offer at retail, and for the most part have reduced the frequency of new menu introductions. In addition, meal kit operators also need to to adjust to creating meal kits that have some degree of shelf life."