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Consumer Watch: Big box stores learning from start-ups

The retail revolution is forcing established companies to think more creatively about how they will keep customers. (KOKH).

Tech is revolutionizing retail. On the negatives side, it's threatened jobs, and the way we do business now, but there are plus sides that benefit many consumers. Established companies that have been hit hard by the retail revolution are now taking cues from successful start-ups.

  • The undeniable retail giant Walmart is not letting grocery delivery services step on its toes. After many services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh started taking off, and even Amazon started making some groceries available online, Walmart launched an order online and pick up in store grocery service. It's free, makes it easier to budget, and cuts wait times.
  • Ann Taylor recently launched a service that seems to have taken some notes from Rent the Runway and other clothing rental services. The women's clothing retailer is now selling the product Infinite Style, and for a 95-dollar flat fee a month women can rent clothing from the store.
  • Sephora is listening to consumers who want to shop faster. They now have an app that lets you try on make-up virtually, so you can know what you are getting either in store or online.
  • Sports brands Adidas, Nike, and Reebok also making it easier for people to customize their own shoes.

The big take away here is that many startups have flourished because of their creativity, and reaching the consumers’ need for fast services that feels curated or one of a kind. We may be seeing more of this as big box stores try to thrive in this new consumer climate.

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