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Today in Retail: Macy’s Looks for Digital, Physical Balance; Amazon the Hot Spot for Toys

In today’s top retail news, Macy’s is reportedly trying to find the right way to balance its stores with its eCommerce presence as it mulls a breakup of the two businesses, while shoppers are gravitating toward Amazon when shopping for toys. Also, out-of-stock messages are hurting consumers and merchants alike this holiday season, and Instacart is reportedly working on launching 15-minute deliveries.

Macy’s eCommerce Customers’ Use of Physical Stores Pauses Breakup

Advised to separate its eCommerce business from its physical stores, Macy’s is reportedly debating how best to approach the concept without alienating its online shoppers who depend on the retail shops for pickups and returns. The iconic retailer has been in talks with consulting firm AlixPartners following discussions with Jana Partners, who advised Macy’s in October to split its physical retail from its eCommerce operations.

Shoppers Flock to Amazon to Pick up Holiday Toys

According to PYMNTS research, which surveyed over 2,000 U.S. consumers on Friday (Nov. 26) and Saturday (Nov. 27) about how they spent Black Friday, a quarter of consumers purchased toys, hobby equipment or musical instruments online, while 31% did so in-store. Since at least 2014, Amazon has had a greater share of toy, hobby and book sales than Walmart, with the former’s share steadily increasing while the latter slowly loses out.

Three Words Are Starting to Define Online Shopping 2021: ‘Out of Stock’

Supply chains continue groaning under the weight of material shortages and shipping delays leading to historic out-of-stock (OOS) positions, and are steering consumers to substitutions. PYMNTS research shows that inventory stockouts cost retailers up to $4.6 billion in lost Black Friday sales, as 38% of shoppers — 55 million people — could not buy at least one of the purchases on their list because retailers did not have it.

Leaked Info Shows Instacart Eyes 15-Minute Deliveries

Instacart is reportedly exploring 15-minute delivery of grocery and convenience items as the need for speed intensifies in the competitive delivery space, sources with firsthand knowledge of the plan told The Information. Plans to roll out the service in the U.S. could be piloted in a city as soon as February, the sources told the news outlet, positioning the company to compete against super-fast delivery startups Jokr, Getir and Gorillas.

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