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Corporate Social Responsibility
H&M USA Provides Over Two Million Dollars of Product for Communities Impacted By COVID-19
H&M has announced it is making an in-kind donation of over two million dollars of product to organizations such as Children’s Defense Fun, GLAM4GOOD, Los Angeles LGBT Center, and Nashville Rescue Mission. The brand shared that its product donation will include bedding, sheets, children's and adult clothes, amongst other pieces, to help these communities meet their needs. Also, H&M has partnered with Givz so that for every $60 spent on H&M’s website, it will donate $10 to charities providing support to those on the front lines of the pandemic, up to a total donation of $150,000.
Wegmans Starts Limiting Customer Activity in Stores
Grocery store chain Wegmans has started to limit consumer occupancy by setting a specific number of people that can be in the store at any time to make sure staff and customers are safe. Also, according to a report linked in the article above, Wegmans stores are at 15 percent to 20 percent total occupancy. Wegmans has already taken steps to ensure customer and employee safety by closing in-store market cafes and performing employee wellness checks.
Restaurant Brands Innovate with Family Meal Deals
In 2016, research showed that Americans started spending more at restaurants than grocery stores, but with the COVID-19 outbreak, that behavior has shifted dramatically. Restaurants have found themselves in a difficult position, with the need to adapt quickly. In a quick pivot to reposition themselves, many restaurants have started offering meals intended to feed full families for two or more occasions.
For example, over the last two weeks, Noodles and Company has rolled out its Noodles Family Meals, Chick-fil-A announced family meal bundles, Zaxby’s has Zax Family Packs, and Buffalo Wild Wings, Hardee’s, and Carl’s Jr. are all promoting new meal bundles. While the meal deals certainly relive families from having to cook every night, they also allow restaurants to drive traffic and still serve customers.
Klarna Shows COVID-19 Related Shift in Purchases Toward Health, Beauty
A study from Klarna Bank AB revealed that consumers have shifted their purchases from apparel to health and leisure items amid the Coronavirus outbreak. "For retailers and brands, this week's data may indicate that shoppers are choosing to buy items such as skincare and things like jigsaw puzzles and craft materials, now that they have already purchased the comfortable clothes they need to get through this work at home period," Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said in the release. "Our data also show that consumers are more interested than ever in using payment options that give them more flexibility and control over their finances during these uncertain times."
Retailers Face Another Challenge During COVID-19: Handling Returns
As many retailers are solely operating online, several, like Macy’s and Gap, have started changing return windows to lessen customers’ worries about getting their money back. Not only this, but these brands have started thinking about what they’ll do with returned items and managing re-opening physical locations with reduced staff. “This shift will mean more returns, due to the limitations of shopping online and the way people shop, which often involves ‘bracketing,’ or buy to try, buying multiples of size, color ... with the intention of keeping their favorite and returning the rest,” Happy Returns CEO David Sobie said in the CNBC article linked in the above paragraph. “With an increase in returns, retailers will need to focus on cost-effective solutions that are friction-free for shoppers.”
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