Morning Brew - ☕ We’ll see ourselves out

Retailers pull back from self-checkout.
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May 30, 2024

Retail Brew


Hey there, it’s Thursday. If you’re one of the few people who are still weighing the pros and cons of an Amazon Prime membership, the retailer is now offering a permanent Grubhub subscription along with its membership program, aka free delivery for orders over $12. You can add that to the list of reasons to not cook dinner tonight.

In today’s edition:

—Natasha Piñon, Alex Vuocolo, Jasmine Sheena


Checkout with the old

Self checkout withdrawal Francis Scialabba

This story is part of our collaboration with CFO Brew on investing in changing consumer habits.

In a distant, forgotten epoch called the early 2000s, self-checkout machines, those infuriating devices in seemingly every grocery store waiting to inform you there’s “an unexpected item in the bagging area,” seemed like a good, even great, idea.

They’d bring retail stores into the modern age: Customers would whiz through lines, companies would save on labor costs, and everything would be new and shiny and good and perfect. Lately, though, they’ve started to look like a vestige of the boom years.

Dollar General, Target, Walmart, and Costco, among others, have all either pulled back on or tweaked their self-checkout process recently. And in California, there’s a newly proposed bill on the table that could force some stores to close self-checkout lanes without adequate staffing.

There’s just one issue: Retailers spent the start of the 2000s convincing people this was a worthy and effective technology.

Keep reading here.—NP



Planning with confidence


Business decisions often come down to the numbers. And having those numbers and insights easily available can make a huge difference in the planning process…and its outcomes.

That’s where GROW with SAP can help. Their cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution helps SMBs:

  • Anticipate demand and get the right products to stores, warehouses, distribution centers, and customers at the right time.
  • Make proactive decisions about where to spend, save, profit, and pivot.
  • Speed up daily activities and know when to make decisions with embedded AI capabilities.

Every SMB has different goals. But no matter what your biz is, we’d wager it could benefit from simplified daily work and stronger support.

Learn how GROW with SAP can help you get your goals on track.


Weight-loss scales

Generic injector of GLP-1 drug Iuliia Burmistrova/Getty Images

The controversial weight-loss drugs known as GLP-1s are now available from Hims & Hers, and the direct-to-consumer wellness brand is touting the fact that its compound version is cheaper than name brands such as Ozempic and Wegovy and will help alleviate a nationwide shortage.

“We are leveraging our size and scale to secure access to one of the highest-quality supplies of compounded GLP-1s available today in order to be a part of easing the strain this shortage is placing on the millions of Americans who have obesity and are looking for help,” CEO Andrew Dudum wrote in a blog post.

But making compounded GLP-1s available to a larger customer base could come with some risks, according to Michael Grosberg, VP of product management at Model N, a software company that helps life sciences and high-tech companies manage their finances.

Keep reading here.—AV



Hold for a pause

Hand turning on and off tv with Amazon logo on screen Francis Scialabba

If you’re addicted to retail therapy, maybe stay off of Amazon. Prime Video will soon start showing shoppable ads when viewers press pause on the shows they are watching, Amazon announced ahead of its upfront event this week.

The new ad formats, called interactive pause ads, will look similar to the pause ads that have become ubiquitous across the streaming landscape for the past five years. When viewers press pause on their remotes when watching Prime Video programming, ad creative will appear, and in Amazon’s case, there will also be “Add to Cart” and “Learn More” options.

Keep reading here on Marketing Brew.—JS




Talk about influence. 48% of consumers follow mega influencers and celebs, and 25% say celebrity endorsements influence their purchase decisions. Not surprisingly, retail trends are similarly influenced (literally and figuratively). Suzy’s got the scoop in this complimentary report on how influencer marketing is transforming retail. Read all about it.


Today’s top retail reads.

Down under: Inside Glossier’s next global beauty frontier: Australia. (Business of Fashion)

Cheap thrills: Why Dollar Tree is buying up 99 Cent Only stores across the western US. (CNN)

Life in plastic: One big manufacturer is calling on the winners of the UK’s upcoming elections to crack down on plastic packaging. (The Guardian)

Grow big: And do it fast. GROW with SAP is a fast, cost-effective start into Cloud ERP and can help SMBs introduce game-changing breakthroughs in record time. Learn more.*

*A message from our sponsor.


Forget generic job searches. CollabWORK leverages the power of community to connect you with relevant opportunities in Slack channels, Discord servers, and newsletters like Retail Brew. Land your dream job through the power of your network with CollabWORK.


The numbers you need to know.

Retail trends seem to change on a dime, and as with practically everything, social media and the internet in general seem to be the best way to work out what consumers are thinking about. Now, thanks to Brand Watch’s latest Retail Trends report, we have an idea of the top trends dominating the industry.

According to the report, cash-strapped consumers have had it with companies raising prices or skimping on quantity.

  • Between October 15, 2023 and April 15, 2024, online mentions of the word “shrinkflation” were up 112% compared to the previous six months with lots of consumers citing examples of how shrinkflation affected their lives.

Convenience is huge for most shoppers, and AI-driven convenience is gaining more prominence.

  • Mentions of the terms “AI and retail” were up 27% from the previous six months. To be exact, Brand Watch noted 262,000 mentions in total.

You know all those pesky shelves of products across stores that seem to be locked?

  • Yeah, shoppers weren’t too crazy about in-store surveillance either, as the topic of AI and retail theft generated 56,000 negative mentions online.

Meanwhile, new security measures intended to prevent theft also led to some complaints.


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