3 new things in retail: Shortages, sportswear, and super-fast delivery

1. Retailers face an omicron-induced worker shortage

The news: Retailers across the US are being forced to adjust their brick-and-mortar strategies as the spread of the omicron variant exacerbates the pressure on already-stretched staff.

How we got here: Pandemic-induced burnout has hit many industries hard, as the number of people quitting reaches record highs. This, coupled with omicron’s highly contagious nature, has wreaked havoc on retailers’ ability to maintain business as usual.

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2. Oiselle is running into the new year

Insider Intelligence spoke with Sally Bergesen, founder and CEO of Oiselle, a women’s running apparel brand that was started to create better performing athleticwear for professional and everyday runners.

Insider Intelligence: Why did you start a women’s running apparel company?

Sally Bergesen: I came to the realization that most running apparel was poor quality. It was made by running shoe companies that make their money on running shoes, and apparel items are an afterthought that they stick a logo on.

Looking at the history of running apparel, you notice that when women entered into sports in a meaningful way in the ’70s and ’80s, the clothing looked terrible. It was baggy and not designed for the sports that women were playing. Fast forward 20 to 30 years and you find that because athletic apparel and athleisure are so popular, the market designs the clothing to accentuate and objectify female bodies.

Read the full interview.

3. Is 15-minute grocery delivery too fast?

The news: The grocery delivery boom brought on by the pandemic only heated up in 2021, creating a congested field of competitors looking to outdo one another with faster and faster delivery times, resulting in the widespread promise of 15-minute delivery. But now, startups bearing the high cost of running rapid grocery delivery services in the US are rolling back that 15-minute dream and looking for ways to stave off losses, per The Information.

More on this: An increasing number of grocery delivery services are pivoting away from the 15-minute standard, citing high operating costs in US urban areas, issues finding adequate space for dark stores (urban warehouses where delivery services store items), and large competitors like Instacart.

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