retail news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Acosta is out with a new "Mobile-ization of Grocery" report saying that "eighty-nine percent of U.S. grocery shoppers are using a smartphone, 22% more than in 2015 … Fifty-eight percent of U.S. shoppers agreed they are comfortable using digital/online tools to assist with grocery shopping, up significantly from 35% of shoppers in 2015 … In 2020, 34% of shoppers viewed the grocery circular online, and 26% of shoppers viewed the grocery circular via a retailer app."

•  Axios reports that "The Justice Department has cleared Uber’s acquisition of food delivery company Postmates, a source familiar with the deal told Axios Monday … The DOJ was scrutinizing the $2.65 billion all-stock deal over antitrust concerns as the food delivery sector undergoes consolidation."

Uber reportedly has agreed to certain conditions for the deal to be allowed, including

"removing exclusivity provisions — which require restaurants to use only Postmates as their third-party food delivery service — in several markets, including Los Angeles, Miami and El Paso," and "not entering into any agreement with those restaurants that contains an exclusivity provision for six months following closing."

Uber recently conceded that it is generating more revenue from its food-related businesses than its original ride sharing business.  So it needed to get this deal done.

•  In Southern California, Gelson's Market "has partnered with GetUpside to make their cash back offers available to shoppers."

The announcement explains:  "The GetUpside mobile app that delivers these cashback offers is easy-to-use and consistently ranked in the top-10 on both the App Store and GooglePlay. Though the user interface is simple, the backend is anything but. GetUpside’s machine learning algorithms quickly comb through the anonymized transaction data grocers already have to understand how customers behave and identify the minimum offer that will motivate them to take additional action. GetUpside specifically targets infrequent, occasional, and lapsed customers to improve return rates and increase basket sizes."

•  The Washington Post notes that Alibaba's Single Day promotion is underway in China, with "brisk sales" being reported, though it is noted that e-commerce companies there "took extra pains this year to ensure they could declare a successful Singles Day. Alibaba began Singles Day sales early on Nov. 1, stretching out the occasion into a week and a half of promotions, and making it difficult to compare directly with last year’s performance."