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Commerce chronicles: Apr 29, 2024

Apr 29, 2024 - Alyssa Wolfe
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Apr 29 Commerce Chronicles | Amazon, Saks, Wayfair, JD Sports & more

Amazon Live introduces shoppable channel, JD Sports to buy Hibbett Inc., Wayfair’s large-format store will open in May and Jason Wu Beauty heading to 3000+ CVS stores.

In this week’s news, U.S. ports see a strong month and big brands utilize retail media networks. Plus, Wayfair is opening a new store and restaurant and customers can now shop via Freevee and Prime Video. Visit our blog every Monday for a roundup of the latest commerce news.

Amazon Live introduces shoppable channel on Amazon Freevee and Prime Video

The new FAST (free ad-supported) Channel on Prime Video and Freevee streamlines the TV shopping experience, allowing U.S. customers to seamlessly shop alongside their favorite brands, creators and celebrities like Lala Kent and Kandi Burruss.1 “We are excited to bring customers more ways to shop with their favorite Amazon Live creators and brands on our premium streaming services,” said Wayne Purboo, vice president of Amazon Shopping Videos. "With the new ‘Amazon Live’ FAST Channel on Prime Video and Freevee, we’re making shoppable entertainment more accessible, interactive and engaging than ever before.”

Amazon Live's “shop the show” technology brings the convenience of mobile shopping to the TV screen, allowing viewers to add items to their cart while watching and complete their purchases with ease. The channel features popular content from Amazon Live creators, including a new original show with Paige DeSorbo, offering a unique blend of entertainment and shoppable content. “I love Amazon Live because it allows me to connect with my audience in a genuine and authentic way,” said DeSorbo, TV personality, fashion tastemaker and co-host of Giggly Squad. “Watching Amazon Live is like shopping with a friend who is also a personal stylist. I get to share my honest opinions, demonstrate products and help customers discover their next great find.” The channel will provide round-the-clock programming, ushering in a new era of shoppable TV.

JD Sports plans to buy U.S.-based athletic retailer Hibbett Inc. for $1.1 billion

JD Sports brand logoJD Sports Fashion plc has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Hibbett, Inc. for $1.1billion.2 This acquisition combines two customer-centric companies, providing brand partners with an expanded global distribution platform for athletic fashion products. Hibbett's current President and CEO, Mike Longo, will continue in his role, while Jared Briskin will become the COO. The transaction is praised for creating immediate and substantial value for Hibbett shareholders while ensuring continued service to customers and communities. “Today is a significant milestone for JD Sports as we take this transformative step as a global leader in the sports fashion industry through this transaction with Hibbett,” said Régis Schultz, Chief Executive Officer of JD Sports. “We’re thrilled to acquire Hibbett | City Gear, combining two of the most respected athletic retail brands in the United States, as we continue to strategically expand our global multi-brand platform. With Hibbett’s highly complementary footprint, this transaction represents a logical next step in our strategic growth plans, further enabling us to meet the dynamic demands of consumers globally.”

U.S. Ports had a strong month, highlighting economic activity

According to noted analyst John McCown, the top US ports experienced significant growth in March, with imports at the country's ten largest gateways increasing by nearly 20% year on year.3 While this growth was slightly lower than February's figures, it reflects the robustness of the U.S. economy. McCown attributes this strength to underlying economic activity rather than pandemic-related factors. Total import volumes reached just under 1.82 million TEU, with ports on the East and Gulf coasts outperforming their Pacific coast counterparts. Los Angeles remained the top import gateway, followed by New York & New Jersey and Long Beach. Oakland emerged as the fastest-growing port, with a year-on-year volume increase of 38.4%. Additionally, US exports grew by 7.6%, with Los Angeles surpassing Houston as the leading export port.


Wayfair to open large-format store with restaurant in May

new Wayfair Illinois location large format storeWayfair Inc. has announced the grand opening of its first large-format store on May 23, 2024, at 10 a.m.4 The 150,000 square feet store, located in Edens Plaza, Wilmette, Illinois, offers a wide range of home products, including furniture, decor and housewares, catering to various styles and budgets. The store will also feature an onsite restaurant, The Porch. The grand opening event will include exclusive deals and family-friendly activities, inviting shoppers to explore the store's offerings. The new location offers a dream center, market square and design studio. Wayfair, known for its quality home goods and convenient shopping experience, generated $12.0 billion in net revenue in 2023 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with global operations.

Jason Wu Beauty to bring products to 3,000+ CVS stores

Jason Wu beauty cosmetics products banner for CVS pharmacyJason Wu Beauty is partnering with CVS to offer a special assortment of its products in over 3,000 stores nationwide, making premium beauty accessible to a wider audience.5 Created by renowned fashion designer Jason Wu, the collection aims to redefine beauty standards with essential products inspired by Wu's fashion expertise and multicultural background. The curated assortment at CVS includes iconic favorites like the Flora 9 Mini Palette, Opal Stick Highlighter, and Kindness For Your Lips Lip Oil, catering to various beauty needs. “We created Jason Wu Beauty to inspire others and show that everyday beauty can be effortlessly chic,” says Jason Wu, fashion designer and the brand’s namesake. “I am so excited to continue to bring products to the marketplace for customers who enhance their natural beauty and allow their confidence to shine. This expansion with CVS allows us to reach even more of our audience and provide them with the opportunity to make picking up their favorite Jason Wu Beauty products easier than ever.” The expansion into CVS stores aligns with Jason Wu Beauty's goal of reaching a broader audience while maintaining affordability and luxury. Customers can expect products priced between $12.00 and $19.00 USD, with online and in-store purchasing options available.

Like Nordstrom and Macy’s, launches retail media network is joining the ranks if notable brands like Nordstrom and Macy’s, launching its own retail media network. The company introduced the Saks Media Network, a sophisticated digital advertising program aimed at helping brands connect with luxury customers throughout their shopping journey on Leveraging its iconic brand, rich first-party customer data and robust site traffic, Saks offers sponsored product ads and on-site display banners to boost brand revenue. The initiative marks Saks’ entry into the rapidly growing retail media network space, enhancing its capabilities to deliver product inspiration and discovery aligned with customer interests.

Through customized strategies and comprehensive reporting, Saks assists brand partners in driving business goals, fostering deeper engagement with luxury consumers. “With the launch of our Saks Media Network, we are expanding our offerings for brand partners by helping their products reach the right luxury customers when and where they are actively looking to purchase,” said Kristin Maa, Senior Vice President, Growth, Saks. “Our view of the full shopping journey across the Saks Fifth Avenue digital and physical ecosystem enables meaningful, personalized customer engagement and product discovery, and the Saks Media Network is the next step in leveraging our data-driven insights and industry expertise to enhance the customer experience.”

Retail media networks are increasingly vital for today's retailers due to their ability to monetize digital shelf space, driving additional revenue streams beyond product sales. These networks leverage first-party data and insights to deliver targeted advertising, enhancing brand visibility and customer engagement. By offering sponsored product ads and on-site display banners, retailers can create a more personalized shopping experience, improving customer loyalty and satisfaction.

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