Starbucks has been on quite the run. With operating income up 16% to $4.2 billion this year and 690 new locations opened in the last quarter alone, the coffee titan now operates 25,085 stores in 75 countries. But that doesn’t mean it’s resting on its laurels—far from it: the company recently announced its CEO would step down to focus on a new project, rolling out a new high-end coffeehouse concept called Starbucks Reserve.
Reports have been leaking out for a while, but this week officially brought word that Amazon is indeed branching out into the brick and mortar grocery business, and in a big way. Four years in the making, the 1,800 sq/ft, Seattle store, called Amazon Go, is currently in beta testing, with Amazon employees serving as its only customers, and will publicly launch in early 2017.
Luxury industries have always battled forgers, who produce counterfeit knockoffs of prized items and ultimately debilitate brand perception and value. But what if the manufacturer was unknowingly selling fraudulent products? That’s precisely what happened to David Greenstein’s luxury bedding company, Himatsingka, when he found that Chinese spinners in his supply chain were substituting cheaper cotton strains for the more-prized Pima cotton Greenstein promised his sheets and pillowcases contained.
Do you know how many plastic bags you use every year? Well, for the average American family it’s about 1,500—in California, where voters just upheld a ban on single-use plastic bags, that amounted to about 15 billion plastic bags each year. Supporters of the ban charged that plastic bags were wasteful and polluted cities, waterways, and oceans. Now, with election season over, grocery stores have already started to implement the law, refusing to provide customers with plastic bags and charging them for reusable alternatives. Grocers, manufacturers, and consumers are all adjusting to the change and also looking outside the state to see if this is merely a rare coastal exception or the beginning of a broader trend.
Where did 2016 go? It seems like just yesterday we were talking about Mother’s Day and now, here we are with a stocking stuffed full of Pre-Holiday Insights. For our Pre-Holiday Study, we surveyed nearly 3,000 holiday shoppers between October 16 and November 6, zeroing in on their budget and purchase intentions, their perceptions of online and in-store shopping experiences, and purchase influencers, and the results are in.