Friday Five, July 31: A Quick Summary Of The Top 5 Articles From This Week

07.31.2020 Articles

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress across America and beyond, the wants and needs of modern shoppers are evolving, and brands and retailers are taking notice. From supporting small, independent companies to adopting better e-commerce business strategies and breaking away from traditional holiday shopping experiences, the “New Normal” society looks different every day. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with all the updates you need.

In this week’s “Friday Five” blog, we explore topics such as changing priorities for online shoppers, the rise of Walmart’s third-party seller partnerships, the optimistic future of open-air shopping malls, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday store plans, and the increasing demand for traffic counting technologies to keep consumers socially distance and safe. Read below for a quick summary of five top articles from Retail Dive, Forbes, Glossy, CNBC, and TechCrunch! 1) What Online Shoppers Want Right Now

1) What Online Shoppers Want Right Now

Retail Dive – July 28, 2020

According to Wells Fargo analysts, many large retailers are reporting triple-digital e-commerce growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, inevitable one-day delivery delays and limited product supplies are inspiring some people to re-think Amazon’s popular business model and turn towards more sustainable, independent retailers that focus on things like slow fashion, upcycling, and sustainability. While unmatched speed and unlimited assortment used to be Amazon’s main selling points, consumer priorities are shifting, especially amongst millennial shoppers. According to Retail Dive, “retailers can break through the demand for free high-speed delivery and an endless aisle by telling good stories, making a sustainability case for their delivery options, touting the advantage of their limited — or ‘curated’ – assortment, and otherwise fostering good relationships with customers.”

2) Walmart Is Raising An Army Of Retailers To Beat Amazon

Forbes – July 29, 2020

Walmart and Amazon are in a close race to become America’s #1 e-commerce retailer. According to Forbes, Walmart’s online sales almost doubled as COVID-19 forced half of America to order groceries online. However, grocery deliveries are just the beginning. But despite Walmart’s free 2-day shipping and Walmart+ membership program, Amazon is still beating Walmart with its assortment of over a billion products from third-party sellers. To compete with Amazon’s colossal catalog, Walmart has been quietly raising its own army of online third-party sellers; in the past four years, more than 35,000 retailers have started selling products through And with its recent deal with Shopify, Walmart will continue to diversify its online store and speed up its retailer recruitment process.

3) Are Open-Air Malls The Future Of Physical Retail?

Glossy – July 29, 2020

According to Glossy, consumers have been experimenting with ways to safely return to some semblance of normalcy, which will expedite the transition from indoor malls to outdoor shopping centers. Pre-pandemic, malls were already experiencing a decline in traffic; one 2017 report predicted that 25% of U.S. malls would close by 2022. That forecast spurred many malls to convert space vacancies into fulfillment centers, offices, entertainment destinations, and open-air offerings – a forward-thinking move that will pay off in a big way. In speaking about the future of outdoor malls, Stenn Parton, chief retail officer at developer DJM, says “after quarantine, people are desperate for community, which is one of the beauties of these outdoor malls where people are able to socially distance.”

4) Best Buy Joins Walmart, Target In Closing Thanksgiving Day

CNBC – July 28, 2020

Best Buy has joined a list of prominent retailers including Target, Kohl’s, Dick’s, and Walmart in announcing that it will not open on Thanksgiving Day this year. According to CNBC, “the closures on Thanksgiving are yet another way retailers are adjusting operations as the coronavirus pandemic changes shopping habits and heightens safety concerns.” Thanksgiving Day typically draws large crowds of shoppers who are looking to jump-start holiday shopping, but that frenzy could present safety risks in the current COVID-19 climate. In addition to closing on Thanksgiving Day, Best Buy said it will promote holiday deals earlier this year in comparison to previous seasons, and it will also improve the online shopping experience to satisfy socially distance consumers.

5) Thanks To COVID-19, Everybody Wants Density’s Technology Tracking Building Occupancy And Use

TechCrunch – July 28, 2020

Although traffic counting systems like Density have been on the market for years, their popularity has never been so high as during the COVID-19 pandemic when everyone wants to track building entry and room occupancy limits. According to Density chief executive Andrew Farah, “while the company started out as a service for data-loving tech companies, retail stores and, coffee chains, it’s now become a ubiquitous technology for every business with shared space.” That means fulfillment centers, grocery stores, warehouses, meat processing plants, and office buildings. Thanks to COVID-19, the need for safe, socially distance public spaces is greater than ever, and traffic counting systems like Density help to pacify worried individuals and keep indoor spaces accountable for supporting public health.

We hope you enjoyed the last “Friday Five” of July! Did we miss any big news developments? Let us know in the comments below, or on any of the BDS social media channels such as Instagram or Twitter @BDSmktg. We love to hear feedback from our community of industry professionals. Until next week!