WFH Expectations; Lowe’s Supply Chain Improvements; Kroger Looks to Expand
Consumer expectations for returning to the office have worsened according to our latest consumer study results, with 51% of workers expecting to go in for work in the month of October compared to ~70% in our July study. This aligns with recent announcements that Google has extended its remote work policy until June 31, 2021 and REI is looking to sell its corporate headquarters. As consumers continue to stay home, their shopping behavior is expected to remain fairly consistent through the balance of the year, suggesting elevated eCommerce growth rates will likely continue through the second half of the year.
Lowe’s Supply Chain Improvements:
Following Home Depot’s digital supply chain announcements last week, Lowe’s unveiled plans to expand its supply chain capabilities. The company indicated its plans to open 50 cross-dock delivery terminals, seven bulk distribution centers, and four eCommerce fulfillment centers (FC), starting in the second half of 2020. Lowe’s indicated it’s progressively moving toward same-day and next day delivery. In addition, the opening of its California eCommerce FC in October of this year will enable it to cover 100% of the US with two-day delivery. Manufacturers in the home improvement category should look to Lowe’s, and Home Depot’s recent supply chain investments, as clear signals that both retailers expect the recent increase in digital buying to be a lasting effect of the pandemic.
Source: Chad Livengood via Crain’s Detroit Business
Kroger Looks to Expand Assortment:
Kroger announced a partnership with Mirakl, a software platform that enables marketplaces for B2C and B2B brands, to help progress towards its goal of delivering “anything, anytime, anywhere.” The partnership is set to launch in the fall and is anticipated to add 50,000 additional items to the Kroger’s Ship offering immediately. The additional sellers on the platform will also add to the number of brands that Kroger’s KPM unit can target with effective advertising offerings
Source: Company Reports, Cleveland Research Estimates
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