What's New and Noteworthy: Industry Roundup
Here’s our periodic industry roundup of interesting news in the retail and shipping world.
Walmart ups the ante in the war against Amazon
After days of speculation, Wal-mart Stores, Inc. announced on Monday that they had entered an agreement to acquire Jet.com, Inc. for approximately $3 billion in cash and $300 million in shares. Jet.com is known for its unique software, designed to offer customers lower prices as they add items to their shopping cart. This deal is the latest of Walmart’s many efforts to up their eCommerce game and give power player Amazon a real run for their money.
eCommerce growth is good for the freight industry
One of the largest freight companies, XPO Logistics, Inc. reported its first profit in four years. According to FactSet, this number surpassed expectations of Wall Street analysts by more than 1000%. XPO has acquired multiple transportation providers in the US and Europe, managing to demonstrate its profitability despite doubts from investors and the weakening demand for freight transportation.
Same-Day Delivery is putting a squeeze on warehouse space
According to Cushman & Wakefield, businesses leased 70.1 million square feet of industrial space in the U.S. during the second quarter, the highest amount in over 30 years and a 6% increase from the same period last year. Warehouse space continues to disappear at a rapid pace as retailers race to fulfill online orders in a speedy fashion, and rent continues to rise with this increased demand. Scarce space and soaring rents could present a serious challenge for the emerging same-day delivery trend.
Is Prime Day the next Black Friday?
Amazon hosted its second annual Prime Day sale on July 12th. The company has since announced that it was their biggest sales day ever, surpassing even Black Friday, with orders rising by over 50% in the U.S. from the previous year. Several other retailers, including Walmart and Best Buy, attempted to get a piece of the profit by offering their own discounts and special promotions.
Shopify continues its meteoric rise
Shopify, Inc. announced its financial results from the second quarter on August 3rd, reporting a 93% growth in revenue year-over-year. This growth is likely due to increased presence across online channels, including partnerships with Facebook Messenger and Amazon, in addition to planned integrations with Apple Pay and Android Pay. With over 275,000 merchants, key partnerships, and demonstrated growth, the platform is positioning itself as the go-to for retailers looking to break into the eCommerce market.
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