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Dan Berthiaume

Senior Editor, Technology


April 2020

woman in isolation wearing mask
There are some inspiring examples of how localized digital commerce can help retailers reach consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 2020

A closer look at the recent Chain Store Age COVID-19 survey reveals some very specific areas where the pandemic is disrupting operations.
There may soon be two types of retailers – the digital and the out-of-business.
coronavirus graphic
Retailers can apply advanced technology to manage customer concerns and supply chain uncertainties related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
box delivery
Brick-and-mortar stores can serve a crucial role in same-day delivery strategies.
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April 2020


A quick-service restaurant retailer is serving up enhanced ordering and loyalty management for its franchise operators.

woman using smartphone at home

Walgreens is adding several new features to its Walgreens Find Care digital health offering.

mcdonalds drive thru

Two more fast-casual chains are entering the grocery arena in response to COVID-19-fueled demand.

amazon box

Amazon is going to temporarily cease direct competition with major shipping providers like FedEx and UPS.


Google Cloud is streamlining setup of its artificial intelligence-based customer service platform.

A Texas-based regional grocery giant is opening its customer base to local food service retailers.

mobile app

An online grocery delivery giant is increasing delivery availability and reducing wait times as demand surges during the COVID-19 crisis.

grocery shopper

Microfulfillment technology can turn brick-and-mortar grocery stores into high-density online distribution hubs.


Amazon is donating laptop computers to the Seattle public schools.

supply chain concept

Retail chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) should combine an effective near-term response to the impact of COVID-19 with a plan for longer-term recovery.

Dunkin' delivery

A leading coffee retailer is adding stores to its on-demand delivery program and temporarily making some deliveries free. 

A Midwestern convenience chain is expanding its partnership with a well-known on-demand delivery platform.

man shopping online

Shopping habits are changing as a result of the continuing COVID-19 outbreak, not necessarily to retailers’ benefit.

coronavirus concept

Consumers under 56 are focusing online purchases on certain categories as the COVID-19 outbreak continues.

Wayfair is delaying its annual online shopping holiday, but will offer another special digital promotion.


Amazon is now accepting federal benefit payments for online grocery orders in the Midwest and South.

The Great American Takeout logo

A coalition of quick-service and fast-casual food chains is once again asking consumers to order meals – with an incentive.

 Container Store

The Container Store (TCS) is minimizing brick-and-mortar shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

lamps plus

A specialty lighting retailer is temporarily shuttering stores as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Prime Day logo

Amazon will reportedly delay its annual Prime Day online shopping extravaganza due to concerns over COVID-19.

Online competitors of Amazon may have an opportunity in the COVID-19 crisis.

zappos screenshot

An online footwear, apparel and accessories retailer will answer literally any question a consumer may have.

Instacart employee

An on-demand grocery delivery giant is adding to its efforts to promote shopper well-being.

eBay wants to help companies without an e-commerce presence to gain one quickly.

Ibotta is partnering with a digital promotion platform to enhance its campaigns with social influencer content.

newegg logo

A tech-focused e-tailer is taking steps to safely fulfill demand for products that support remote workers.

A leading digital commerce platform is running several initiatives aimed at helping retailers adapt to new shopping protocols in the wake of COVID-19.

A regional grocery giant is altering store design and operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

hy-vee store

A regional Midwestern grocer is ensuring at-risk consumers has expanded its reserved shopping times from its physical stores to its online delivery service.

coronavirus concept

Only 2% of retailers expect business to go back to normal in less than one month.

google cloud

A Canadian grocer and German department store retailer are leveraging Google Cloud resources on the front and back ends of the enterprise.


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a specialty furniture retailer is instituting contactless delivery protocols.

ecommerce graphic

Digital shopping and purchasing power were on the rise even before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is applying artificial intelligence to help users discover the root cause of security incidents.

jos a bank

The parent company of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Banks has reopened its e-commerce fulfillment centers and begun shipping online orders.


It has only been a few weeks, but the COVID-19 pandemic is already making many consumers more likely to shop online.

office depot

Office Depot Inc. is partnering with two leading same-day delivery platforms as remote work surges.

March 2020


Pinterest is moving forward with its verified merchant program and making it easier for retailers to promote products.

An upcoming webinar hosted by Chain Store Age will provide practical and actionable insights on how retailers can meet e-commerce, delivery and mobile challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Starbuds is leveraging omnichannel technology and social distancing to ensure customer and employee safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Walgreens storefront

Walgreens is responding to a surge in demand for home delivery.

Consumer demand for key products is rising well into three-digit growth rates compared to 2019.

The Great American Takeout logo

A coalition of quick-service and fast-casual food chains are offering a sequel to “The Great American Takeout.”

Dolly mobile app

Dolly is temporarily changing how its drivers perform deliveries and interact with customers.

CPG shelf

Many CPG companies are still operating e-commerce as a siloed channel.

Instacart shopper

An on-demand grocery delivery giant is increasing its focus on the well-being and income of its shoppers.

Retailers experiencing product shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic need to use patience and strategy.

doordash logo

Hundreds of grocery retailers across the country are partnering with DoorDash to make on-demand delivery more accessible to senior citizens nationwide.

Walgreens storefront

Walgreens has expanded drive-thru shopping in an effort to promote social distancing amid the COVID-19 crisis. 

Amazon is offering a variety of informational and communication services via its Alexa voice assistant and other platforms.


Rent-A-Center is altering how it fulfills online orders and limiting in-store shoppers.

Kroger is responding to increased customer demand for in-store pickup of orders as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Pet Supplies Plus logo

A leading pet retailer is keeping stores open during the COVID-19 outbreak and also expanding omnichannel shopping options.

By automating labor management, retailers can dramatically improve front- and back-end operations.

An e-tail giant is providing a variety of services designed to provide relief from and combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

man grocery shopping

More men than women are stockpiling groceries and cutting back on spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 is having a major impact on every aspect of life, and shopping is not exempt.

Walmart is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to negotiate more valuable supplier contracts at lower cost.

JC Penney exterior

J.C. Penney Co. is making it easier for customers to buy and return items online.

A Texas-based regional grocery giant is providing seniors with personal shoppers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Amazon is adjusting a wide variety of fulfillment, delivery, and in-store practices to ensure it can continue operating safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walmart is taking additional step to ensure the well-being of both workers and customers.

shipt worker

A Target-owned online grocery service continues to add temporary employees in response to elevated consumer demand.

mouse click

Customers are shifting their preferences in which products they buy, and in what quantities, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

An e-commerce platform for independent grocers is integrating wellness-focused product data into its offering.

pizza hut drive thru

A leading pizza retailer is trying to meet customer demand for safe delivery and more pies.

PayPal is promising to aid all members of its ecosystem who may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

tire delivery

Tirescanner is providing direct fulfillment of consumer orders.

coronavirus blood test

A leading e-tailer is reportedly logistically supporting at-home testing for the COVID-19 virus.

Visitors to Starbucks stores will now need to be behind the wheel of a car.

A Chain Store Age survey reveals how COVID-19 is disrupting retail workflows including sales, customer experience, supply chain and workforce management. 

COVID-19 is having a negative impact on sales for some retailers and is a boon for others.

A coalition of quick-service and fast-casual food chains are promoting an event called “The Great American Takeout.”


Amazon reportedly seeks to purchase four New York City-area stores owned by Fairway Market.

shipt worker

A Target-owned online grocery service is hiring thousands of temporary employees in seven major U.S. metro areas.

A handmade and vintage goods e-commerce platform is introducing three new benefits for sellers who may be impacted by COVID-19.

A major drugstore retailer is easing access to its inventory and strengthening store sanitary practices.

Amazon is reportedly requesting that its customers share information with the Department of Justice (DOJ) if asked.

A digitally native specialty retailer is seamlessly connecting brick-and-mortar employees with digital data.

Domino's Pizza is going on a hiring offensive in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

amazon box

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has reportedly affected another Amazon employee.

Fewer than four in 10 organizations who implement digital supply chain technology say customer-centricity is a key driver.

The coronavirus has significant short- and long-term effects on brand affinity and consumer purchases in the U.S.

The nation’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer is digitally connecting boat-owners with service providers.

New data shows how COVID-19 is impacting shipping and fulfillment.

A specialty electronics retailer is keeping stores open – with a new social distance option.

Ocado is temporarily shutting down access to its e-commerce site.

grocery shoppers

Mobile self-checkout is just one of the technologies a majority of grocery store customers would like to use.

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s latest new delivery option is a national partnership with a third-party platform.

Starbucks is ramping up delivery capabilities in the wake of its temporary “to go”-only store operations policy.

Amazon wants to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the Washington, D.C., region.

Rebag store interior

A digitally native designer handbag reseller is offering longer and shorter trial periods for its tryout/rental service. 

coronavirus concept

Retailers aren’t only adjusting their brick-and-mortar operations to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

De Beers store

A global jewelry retailer wants its in-store experience to be as flawlessly personalized as possible.

Books-A-Million is expanding its existing buy-online-pick-up in store (BOPIS) offering with a new, free curbside pick-up option. 

J.C. Penney Co. wants customers to find the perfect item in a single trip to the fitting room. 

Global Partners LP is streamlining its workflows for workforce management.

amazon mobile

Even Amazon is having trouble keeping certain items in stock.

7-Eleven Inc. is providing customers in Latin America with new mobile bill payment and tracking services.

Starbucks Corp. is doing its part to encourage social distancing.

uber eats

A leading on-demand delivery service is attempting to ease the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on smaller food service retailers.


Chipotle Mexican Grill will offer free delivery starting March 15 through March 31 "to make life easier for guests."


An on-demand food delivery platform is attempting to ease the financial impact of coronavirus on partner restaurants and drivers.

Ikea is testing third-party platform waters by opening a virtual store on Tmall.

Walgreens storefront

Walgreens is enacting new digital and online policies to support customers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

A new study from Google indicates consumers have different expectations for video platforms than for TV. 

Lord & Taylor Building in NYC

Amazon is expanding its presence in New York City by buying one of Manhattan's landmark retail buildings.

amazon delivery person

An e-tail giant is reportedly instituting a global work-from-home policy in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

amazon delivery person

An e-tail giant is offering support to employees and contractors who need to miss work due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Two e-commerce retailers are making their products more affordable, without changing prices.

solar and wind energy

Amazon’s latest sustainability venture includes solar and wind installations in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. 


The largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world is committing to a platform that supports POS, inventory and order management, and data analytics.


A Southeastern grocery chain is launching a personalized membership offering called Club Publix. 

A specialty toy retailer is obtaining a complete view of customer interactions, regardless of channel.

GasBuddy mobile app

A fast-food giant is partnering with a travel and navigation app to spread the news about its new national breakfast offering.

Blockchain concept

A leading supply chain standards group aims to enable supply chain visibility in blockchain ecosystems.

workforce management

A mobile rewards and payments platform is providing part-time and remote employees with cloud-based self-scheduling.

Giant Flexible Rewards

Giant is significantly expanding upon an existing gas rewards program.

Airport visitors will soon be able to “just walk out” of select Cibo Express Gourmet Markets stores with their purchases.

woman wearing mask working on laptop

The continuing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting two key U.S. e-commerce metrics.

DoorDash Kitchens

DoorDash Kitchens is adding two new quick-service food retailers looking to expand their operations.

data analysis concept

Retailers are less likely than companies in many other sectors to prioritize the use of enterprise data.


An e-tail giant is launching two charitable efforts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on its home state.

Uber car

A rideshare service with a strong omnichannel commerce presence is testing self-driving cars in several major markets.

Walgreens storefront

Walgreens is rolling out its on-demand delivery service well beyond the borders of New York City.


A specialty westernwear retailer is spurring growth by integrating new electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities with its ERP platform.

Fleet Feet interior

Specialty running chain Fleet Feet has debuted a new retail format that combines personalized in-store fitting with rapid home delivery.

woman leaving Amazon Go store

Amazon is making the technology supporting its Amazon Go checkout-free store format available to other retailers – for a price.

online shoppers

A sharp increase in e-commerce during Q4 2019 led to other positive outcomes for digital retailers.


Ikea customers in Dubai are receiving store credit for time they spend en route.

We shop with her logo

An online discount platform is providing some exclusive offers for International Women’s Day.

Woman with a cold in bed

Amazon’s new health care initiative reportedly seeks a cure for a highly contagious virus that is not COVID-19.

AI concept

A majority of consumers see promise for artificial intelligence (AI), but aren’t ready to remove humans from the retail experience.

Instacart shoppers can now check out purchases without leaving the app, while customers worried about coronavirus have a new option.

Data from Carvana reveals a surprising age group is buying a lot of used vehicles online.

woman with shopping bags

Poor product quality is not the only factor that erodes consumer trust in a brand.


The coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting consumer behavior and creating problems on third-party marketplaces.

j.crew sign

A common hacking technique has exposed personal information of some J. Crew customers.

delivery man at door

Jerry’s Foods is minimizing the costs and downtime associated with its IT infrastructure.

walmart grocery app

Walmart has become a one-app kind of retailer.

metallica record

The latest subscription retailer is a legendary Bay Area thrash metal group.


Sportina Group is segmenting its planning across customer preferences and countries.

An e-tail giant and a luxury fashion brand are curating an online assortment and shopping experience that honor Women’s History Month.

IT spending concept

While coronavirus-related declines in consumer traffic will impact retailers’ IT spending, IHL Group also sees some positive trends.

Constantly connected consumers increasingly seek to communicate with businesses via text.


Despite improved inventory levels, J. Jill still had a difficult Q4 2019.

Arc’teryx store interior

Arc’teryx is automating fraud detection and analysis to ensure smooth global growth.


Online retailers are partially prepared to do business in an Amazon-dominated landscape. 

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters set a record with Q4 sales, but still fell short of Wall Street expectations.

amazon delivery person

Amazon Prime members in four cities can now receive some items in as little as five hours.

women window shopping

A mobile rewards and payments platform seeks to motivate pre-spring shopping.

man online shopping

To win the hearts of customers, e-commerce retailers need to minimize one particular cost.

Zola logo

Another digital wedding registry is freshening up its offerings in preparation for the spring.

workforce management concept

A quick-service conglomerate is bringing leadership development in-house.

delivery man

Dunkin’ is expanding its partnership with a leading online delivery platform in the metro New York area.

criminal at laptop

Attempted online payment fraud increased 73% in 2019, well exceeding the growth of digital payments overall.


Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands must overcome a familiar foe to thrive with consumers.

2d barcode

The era of the universal product code (UPC) may be nearing an end.

JC Penney exterior

J.C. Penney Co. is taking a page out of Walmart’s and Target’s playbooks.

Walmart reportedly plans to offer in-store digital health services based on next-generation mobile connectivity.


A luxury fashion brand is using augmented reality (AR) to provide digital discovery and engagement to shoppers at its Manhattan flagship.

A Michigan-based health insurer is enabling some members to buy select items via Amazon.

Amazon’s upcoming fleet of electric delivery vans will be easy and safe to drive, as well as sustainable.

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