PopMuse: Retail Sector http://popmu.se Musings of stuff en-us Copyright 2007-2019 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Evictions declined before new rent laws debuted, study finds http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/_60G81UzZ0o/evictions-declined-new-rent-laws-debuted-study-finds http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/_60G81UzZ0o/evictions-declined-new-rent-laws-debuted-study-finds Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:35:42 UTC Will Bredderman at Section Page News - Crain's New York Business Fewer landlords—and courts—are showing tenants the door, a new study by New York University's found. Drawing on state Office of Court Administration records, the school discovered that the number... To view the full story, click the title link. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Small deal in Gowanus paints a bigger picture of rezoning push http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/T40noMFvC9o/small-deal-gowanus-paints-bigger-picture-rezoning-push http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/T40noMFvC9o/small-deal-gowanus-paints-bigger-picture-rezoning-push Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:23:08 UTC Tom Acitelli at Section Page News - Crain's New York Business The lease for a 5,000-square-foot office space at 267 Douglass St. in Gowanus� that has been on the market for at least a year and a half is finally moving closer to deal. The trick to getting it... To view the full story, click the title link. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ When is de Blasio going to stop spending so much http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/0kSOWJDKrQc/when-de-blasio-going-stop-spending-so-much http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/0kSOWJDKrQc/when-de-blasio-going-stop-spending-so-much Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:59:56 UTC Greg David at Section Page News - Crain's New York Business When and the signed off on the fiscal 2020 budget last June, they agreed to an increase of about 4.5% for fiscal year 2020, higher than inflation and what many fiscal experts wanted�but not so... To view the full story, click the title link. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Gett shutting down Juno, announces Lyft partnership http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/q9xsGkMAiyc/gett-shutting-down-juno-announces-lyft-partnership http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/q9xsGkMAiyc/gett-shutting-down-juno-announces-lyft-partnership Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:48:31 UTC Matthew Flamm at Section Page News - Crain's New York Business The three-year old ride-hail app Juno�will shut down Monday evening, parent company Gett announced today, citing "misguided" city regulations and a strategic shift toward the corporate transportation... To view the full story, click the title link. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Lululemon is offering more discounts than usual, and Wall Street says it's a concerning trend https://www.businessinsider.com/lululemon-offers-more-discounts-grabs-wall-streets-attention-2019-11 https://www.businessinsider.com/lululemon-offers-more-discounts-grabs-wall-streets-attention-2019-11 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:48:22 UTC Mary Hanbury at Retail Lululemon has traditionally kept discounting to a minimum, but new data shows that in the past year the level and depth of its discounting has crept up. Analysts say this is a concerning trend that could impact the company's margins down the line, which could knock its share price. While the discounting hasn't impacted margins yet, "promotional intensity bears watching," a group of Bernstein analysts wrote in a note to clients on Monday. Sign up for Business Insider's retail newsletter, The Drive-Thru, to get more stories like this in your inbox. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Lululemon has famously been discount-light, and analysts say it's a key reason behind its success.� "Lululemon's price integrity is another reason for its outperformance," Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, wrote in a note to clients in June 2018, after the company reported strong quarterly earnings results. "Promotional periods notwithstanding, products are not discounted, and customers know they must pay the full price if they want the product." By avoiding heavy discounting, Lululemon is able to keep its margins high, hitting nearly 20% on average over the past five years. That makes it more similar to a luxury brand than a traditional apparel retailer, according to a note from a group of Bernstein analysts sent to clients on Monday.�� But according to these analysts, who cited data from WSGN, Lululemon has shifted away from this pricing strategy in recent months and ramped up the level and depth of its discounting, which they see as a concerning trend. According to WSGN, the number of discounted products at Lululemon has crept up steadily since 2016, hitting 50% in July, August, and September of this year. In 2018, an average of 39% of Lululemon's products were on sale; in 2019 so far, 47% of products have been on sale on average. The average percent markdown year-to-date in 2019 is 22%, compared to 20% in the same period of 2018, according to Bernstein. While the analysts said that this discounting hasn't had a material impact on Lululemon's margins yet, as it's been able to offset them with supply-chain improvements, it could impact its share price in the longer term. "If the brand becomes more promotional, we believe it will be difficult for Lululemon to sustain its margin profile, which in turn may put the stock at risk of derating," the analysts wrote, cautioning that its "promotional intensity bears watching." A spokesperson for Lululemon was not available to comment but directed Business Insider to a recent CNBC interview with CEO Calvin McDonald where he denied that the level of promotions had increased. "We have never used pricing or promotional activity to drive our topline business," he told CNBC's Courtney Reagan. "We always remain focused on product innovation as a way to delight the guest and to grow our topline business; there has been no change to that approach this quarter or from a year-to-date basis." Heavy discounting is one of the biggest issues to have plagued the retail industry in recent times. Stores are increasingly leaning on promotions as a way to bring customers in the door, and while this might work in the short term, it ultimately makes it harder to convince customers to pay full price again. Gap is one of the biggest offenders here. Markdowns can also destroy a brand's image and make its products seem less desirable. Several luxury brands have publicly announced that they are pulling inventory out of some department stores where their items can end up in the clearance racks. Bernstein offered one possible explanation for why Lululemon might have changed its discounting strategy and that is that it could be increasing discounting as it expands into new categories and rolls out new products. According to Bernstein's research, there was an average of 690 products listed on its website in 2018 versus 920 year-to-date in 2019.SEE ALSO:�Lululemon is growing beyond the women's yoga pants that made it famous as competition heats up Join the conversation about this story � NOW WATCH: We talked to Kevin Plank right before he stepped down as CEO of Under Armour, and he hinted at why the company may be ready for the change http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ I've been playing games on Google's ambitious new Netflix-like game service for the last week, and it's clear the service isn't ready for primetime (GOOG, GOOGL) https://www.businessinsider.com/google-stadia-video-game-streaming-service-review-2019-11 https://www.businessinsider.com/google-stadia-video-game-streaming-service-review-2019-11 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:37:43 UTC Ben Gilbert at Retail Google is making a huge new push into the world of video games with Google Stadia, which goes live on November 19. Stadia is a new type of video game platform: Like Netflix, Stadia streams games to whatever device you're on. When it launches this week, Stadia will run on any computer with Google Chrome, Google's Pixel line of smartphones, and on TVs through Google's Chromecast Ultra streaming device. After using Stadia for the last week, I'm not sure that it's ready for consumers. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Watch out, Nintendo — the 800-pound gorilla that is Google is coming for video games. On Tuesday, November 19, the tech giant is launching its first ever dedicated video game platform in Google Stadia. But there's one huge difference from the likes of Nintendo's Switch and Sony's PlayStation 4: Stadia doesn't require you to buy a new game console. Instead, games are streamed directly to you — Netflix-style — on whatever device you're using, from a PC or Mac to your smartphone to your TV.� If this all sounds too good to be true, the unfortunate truth is that it is too good to be true. I've spent the last week with Google's ambitious new game platform, and I'm convinced that it's not ready for the spotlight just yet.�SEE ALSO:�Google’s ambitious new video game service is starting to look like a giant mess — and it isn't even live yet Let's start with the basics: What is Stadia? Unlike Microsoft's Xbox, Sony's PlayStation, and Nintendo's Switch, Google promised no additional hardware is required with Stadia. "At launch, we'll support being able to play games across desktops, laptops, TV, tablets, and phones. This new generation of gaming is not a box," Phil Harrison, a Google vice president, said in March. Instead, processing is handled "in the cloud" — by Google's hardware in a data center — and streamed to you instantly. Your inputs are then instantly beamed back to the computer elsewhere. This is an oversimplification of what is assuredly a deeply complicated process, but it's similar to how Netflix works: instead of having to run physical media, it's simply streamed to wherever you're watching it. Pretty fresh! But the reality at launch is far more complex than Harrison promised back in March. Stadia is indeed available "across desktops, laptops, TV, tablets, and phones" — but the only way to actually use the service at launch is through a $130 hardware bundle that includes Google's gamepad and a Chromecast Ultra stick. Moreover, the only phones supported are Google's Pixel line (starting with the Pixel 2) — support for Apple's iPhone, or any other Android smartphone, isn't live yet.� Worse, there's no indication of when that support is coming. "Oh man, I wish I knew," Stadia product lead Andrey Doronichev said in a recent Reddit AMA. "Truth of the matter is that we want Stadia to run on every screen eventually. Android and iOS and whatnot. We're starting with Pixel this year. Hope to learn a bunch, make it great and start expanding to more devices next year." But what is it like actually using Stadia? It works! I've used Stadia on my home internet through a Chromecast Ultra, with games running on my TV, and I've used Stadia on my Pixel 3a smartphone.� The big question is: Does it work?�The short answer is yes, Stadia totally works. This is a crucially important question at the heart of Stadia and any other attempt at Netflix-style video game streaming services. For decades, game consoles have relied on physical or digital media to run games. That tradition continues with the latest generation of consoles: The Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. All three consoles rely on either physical or digital media to run games. Not so with Google Stadia — games are run remotely from Google's data centers, and then streamed to your device. You press a button, and the input is registered and sent back to Google's data centers.� This difference begs the question: Does it work?� The vast majority of my experience with Stadia — especially at home, on stable wireless that only I'm using — has been seamless and positive. Games run as if they were running locally, and it's quite impressive. That experience changed pretty dramatically at Business Insider's main office, which has outrageously fast internet. Though the connection is fast, there are far more people using it. Moreover, our newsroom is filled with computers and smartphones that are all using wireless signals. In that environment, Stadia was a messy experience. Games were choppy and inconsistent, which is especially jarring when a game is being streamed — whole sections got skipped over as the service attempted to keep me current with whatever the game was showing. This is hugely problematic if you're playing a game that depends on reactionary input like, say, "Mortal Kombat 11" or "Destiny 2." Outside of the core functionality of Stadia — streaming games — almost nothing else is ready for the spotlight. Google has been testing Stadia functionality for several years now, and even held a public beta test when the service was known as "Project Stream."� Even then, when it was just a test, the service was impressive — I was easily able to attach a gamepad to my MacBook and stream "Assassin's Creed Odyssey." The big remaining question, then, was focused on Google's ability to create a bigger video game platform: An operating system, a storefront, and all the functionality that people expect from such a platform.� In short: If you're buying a game console in 2019, there are certain expectations that come with the purchase. Stuff like a unified friends list across games, the ability to party up with friends, achievements, and screen capture are all included on that list of expectations. The vast majority of those expectations aren't met with Stadia — at least at launch. A friends list exists, but there's no way to party up with friends playing on smartphones. Achievements are tracked, but there's no way to see them. Google says this stuff is coming, but neither is ready for launch. The most foundational functionality of Google's Stadia app isn't even ready: When you spin your phone into landscape mode to play games, the app's UI stays in portrait mode. Even though games know to display in landscape mode, Stadia's UI does not. It's the kind of little missed detail that feels like no one actually tested Stadia before launch. How's the controller? It's pretty good! One aspect of Stadia that requires no caveats: the gamepad. Google's Stadia gamepad is just as good as those found on Nintendo's Switch, Sony's PlayStation 4, and Microsoft's Xbox One. It's not doing anything particularly innovative or different — it's just a perfectly good, traditional gamepad. The only issue I've run into with the Stadia controller isn't the controller's fault: If you're using the controller with Stadia on a smartphone, it's unable to navigate any of the system level UI. Here's one incredibly weird example: If I'm in a game, and I want to exit the game to play another, I hold down the Stadia button which brings up the "Exit Game" option. But I'm unable to select "Exit Game" from the menu with the gamepad — I can only select it by tapping on my phone screen. After doing that, the phone exits to the Stadia desktop ... which I'm unable to navigate with the gamepad in any way, even to select another game to play. It's one of a million little details that Google hasn't worked out just yet with Stadia. From the paltry list of just 22 launch games to the lack of device support to the overall under-baked feeling of using the service, nothing about Google Stadia feels ready for primetime just yet. Of the 22 games launching with Stadia on March 19, three of them are "Tomb Raider" games. A single game, "Gylt," is both new and exclusive to Stadia. The flagship game, "Destiny 2," is years old. Games sell game consoles and, based on the launch lineup, there are few reasons to get Stadia right now. The much, much bigger problem though is Google's approach to Stadia. It's a classic Google move to release an unfinished project and then polish it over time — look at everything from Gmail to YouTube for evidence of that approach. "We always start with nailing the key user-journey and then proceed with releasing extra features," Stadia product lead Andrey Doronichev said in the Reddit AMA last week. "YouTube started with 'watch video.' For Stadia it's 'Play the Game on your biggest screen.' New features will start popping as soon as one week after launch." It's an approach that might work with a free service like YouTube, but it's less palatable when you're shelling out over $100 at the launch of a new product — to say nothing of the cost of each game. Though it's entirely possible that Google will iron out Stadia's issues over the coming months, it's clear that now — at launch — the service isn't ready for primetime. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Teens love Apple's AirPods, and they're putting them on their holiday wish lists more than ever before (AAPL) https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-airpods-top-teens-holiday-wish-lists-2019-11 https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-airpods-top-teens-holiday-wish-lists-2019-11 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:35:50 UTC Lisa Eadicicco at Retail Apple emerged as one of the top brands among teens when surveyed by Piper Jaffray about the items that topped their holiday wish lists. Of the Apple products mentioned by those who fall into the Generation Z age group, AirPods were among the most common.� The iPhone was still the most-requested Apple product, but mentions of AirPods grew in 2019 while references to the iPhone declined. The findings are indicative of the broader trends impacting Apple's business; revenue from its wearables, home, and accessories division has soared in recent quarters while iPhone revenue has declined. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Apple's AirPods are becoming an increasingly common item on the holiday wish lists of� those who fall into the Generation Z age group, according to a new survey from investment bank and asset management firm Piper Jaffray. In other words, they're a hit with today's teens. The firm surveyed about 1,000 consumers in the United States between the ages of� 18 and 65 about how they plan to spend their money during the holiday-shopping season. As part of the survey, Piper Jaffray also asked GenZ participants about the items that topped their holiday wish lists. Apple emerged as being the most-mentioned consumer brand among the upper-income GenZ population with just below 10% of the vote. Mentions of AirPods grew year-over year to 2.3% in Piper Jaffray's 2019 survey, which is up from 1.9% in 2018 and 0.1% in 2017. Otherwise, Nike was the second most-mentioned brand among teens, and fashion house Louis Vuitton was third. The iPhone was still the most-requested Apple product, but fewer teens are mentioning Apple's smartphone as a top holiday wish list item in 2019 compared to years past. Mentions of the iPhone were at 3.4% in the firm's 2019 survey, marking a decrease from 4.5% in 2018 and 6.3% in 2017. The takeaways from Piper Jaffray's report echo ongoing trends found within Apple's broader business. Revenue from the iPhone has been declining in recent quarters, while other product areas like services and wearables have been booming. In its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings at the end of October, Apple revealed that its wearables, home, and accessories division grew more than 50% year-over-year to $6.5 billion. That makes it larger than Apple's iPad business and almost as big as its Mac product division, the latter of which earned the company $6.9 billion in revenue during that quarter. Apple's revenue from the iPhone fell by 9% year-over-year in its fiscal fourth quarter, although that still marked an improvement from the larger declines Apple has seen in iPhone revenue in recent quarters. On the company's fourth-quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook attributed the growth in its wearables division to the success of products like its AirPods and the Apple Watch. Apple doesn't break out specific unit sales or revenue figures for individual wearables products, but Cook did say in a response to an analyst question on the call that AirPods "just keep hitting new highs."SEE ALSO:�There's a strong case being made for why Apple should buy Sonos, and it highlights a major area where Apple is falling behind Join the conversation about this story � NOW WATCH: 8 weird robots NASA wants to send to space http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Bloomberg wins key SC endorsement ahead of possible 2020 bid http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/kRSNnE5YvF8/bloomberg-wins-key-sc-endorsement-ahead-possible-2020-bid http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/kRSNnE5YvF8/bloomberg-wins-key-sc-endorsement-ahead-possible-2020-bid Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:33:44 UTC Section Page News - Crain's New York Business Before he’s officially a presidential candidate, former�New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg�is picking up a key endorsement in South Carolina. Steve Benjamin, the mayor of Columbia, told The Associated... To view the full story, click the title link. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ THE ONLINE GROCERY REPORT: The market, drivers, key players, and opportunities in a rising segment of e-commerce (AMZN, TGT, WMT, KR) https://www.businessinsider.com/the-online-grocery-report-2019-1 https://www.businessinsider.com/the-online-grocery-report-2019-1 Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:27:00 UTC Gregory Magana at Retail This is a preview of a research report from�Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report�here. Online grocery growing rapidly from its small base. Its market value has doubled from 2016 to 2018, suggesting that consumers are starting to get more comfortable ordering essentials and certain foods online — a major barrier to adoption. Meanwhile, one type of product that's popular in online grocery, consumer packaged goods (CPGs), has seen the majority of its growth come from online. Although consumers may not be entirely comfortable buying items like produce online yet, that will likely come as their familiarity and trust in online grocery grows. Grocers are rushing to take advantage of this potential, resulting in a highly competitive market.�Both established grocery players and newcomers to the space are expanding their curbside pickup and delivery offerings — the two basic components of online grocery — in an attempt to grab market share. They're each employing different strategies to find success: Amazon is leaning on its e-commerce and fulfillment capabilities to offer a variety of online grocery services, for example, while Walmart is using its strong brick-and-mortar footprint to its advantage. Still, others, like Kroger and Aldi, are working with third parties such as Instacart to provide their services. In the first�Online Grocery Report, Business Insider Intelligence�looks at a variety of grocers' curbside pickup and grocery delivery options, analyzing how they compare with competitors' strategies, how profitable they are for the grocer, and what their future may be. While companies like Instacart exist that offer online grocery services for other grocers, we focus specifically on companies that sell their own products. Finally, we examine different strategies companies can use to optimize the profitability of their online grocery offerings.� The companies mentioned in this report are: Aldi, Amazon, Ford, Instacart, Kroger, Ocado, Postmates, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods Here are some of the key takeaways from the report: Online grocery currently comprises a small portion of grocery overall but is on a rapid rise. Adoption is still fairly low, with about 10% of US consumers saying that they regularly shop online for groceries, according to NPD. However, the value of the US online grocery market has grown from $12 billion in 2016 to $26 billion in 2018 and it has plenty of room to grow, given that the size of the overall grocery market was $632 billion in 2018 according to�IBISWorld. Both established grocers like Walmart and Kroger and players new to the space like Amazon are rushing to improve their curbside pickup and delivery options and all of them are employing differing strategies suited to their size and strengths. Regardless of grocers' individual strategies, they will all need to find a way to run their online grocery offerings in a profitable way and to address consumers' barriers to adoption. In full, the report: Sizes the current online grocery market and provides a market forecast through 2023. Examines top grocers' approaches to online grocery. Considers future strategies that those major grocers can use for success in online grocery. Discusses how grocers can tackle the issues of profitability. Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it: Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >>Purchase & Download Now Subscribe to a�Premium�pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you've given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of E-Commerce.SEE ALSO:� Join the conversation about this story � http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Brooklyn man sentenced in landmark cryptocurrency fraud case http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/lUOUcUGT8JU/brooklyn-man-sentenced-landmark-cryptocurrency-fraud-case http://feeds.crainsnewyork.com/~r/crainsnewyork/retail/~3/lUOUcUGT8JU/brooklyn-man-sentenced-landmark-cryptocurrency-fraud-case Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:26:52 UTC Aaron Elstein at Section Page News - Crain's New York Business A Brooklyn cryptocurrency promoter was sentenced to 18 months in prison Monday, becoming the first person to serve time for running an ICO scam. ICOs, or initial coin offerings, were a hot market... To view the full story, click the title link. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/