Aldi continues US expansion
Germany-based grocer Aldi plans to open 150 new stores in the US this year. The retailer’s continued push into the Gulf Coast region will see Aldi expanding into its 38th state: Louisiana. This year’s new stores will cap off a five-year $5 billion expansion plan that the discount grocer first unveiled in 2017. With more than 2,100 locations currently operating in the US, Aldi says it is on track to become the nation’s third-largest grocer by the end of next year.
Lowe’s pilots Petco store-within-store
Lowe’s has partnered with the pet-supply chain, Petco, to pilot Petco products and services in some of the home improvement retailer’s locations. While Lowe’s already has pet-friendly practices in place and also offers select pet products, Lowe’s + Petco will feature additional health & wellness supplies, Petco’s owned brands, and popular national brands. At high-traffic times, “locations will also staff knowledgeable Petco employees.” The brands aim to have 15 Lowe’s + Petco pilot locations up and running by March 31.
Snapchat adds shopping via AR lenses
As the social shopping trend continues to explode, Snapchat is leveraging its technology to get a leg up in this new wave of e-commerce. In recent tests with Ulta Beauty and MAC Cosmetics, users could “try on” cosmetics virtually using the app’s augmented reality technology. During a two-week trial period, Ulta saw sales of $6 million, and MAC experienced “a 17-time lift in purchases among women” — with lens try-ons tracked at 1.3 million.