On the Rise: Total retail sales are expected to increase roughly 3.8% to 4.4% this year, according to new figures from the National Retail Federation (NRF). Meanwhile, digital and other nonstore sales (which were included in the overall forecast) will grow between 10% and 12%.
Quick Delivery: Amazon has started delivering Whole Foods groceries via its 2-hour Prime Now delivery service to Prime customers in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach. The ecommerce giant is planning to expand the service across the US this year. "We have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers’ lives even easier," said John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market.
A Good Deal: In a move to make a higher profit, Walmart is asking vendors to "supply it with more merchandise priced at $10 or up," four people close to the conversation told Reuters. According to the source, the retailer is realizing it can't make money by offering low prices online for most items and then spending a lot of money shipping those very products.