Consumer and retail news: 10 things you need to know today

Freshii 4

Hollis Johnson

1. Macy’s announced the end of department stores as we know them

CEO Terry Lundgren said that the brand is planning to put some of the “Backstage” stores in its existing retail locations this year, according to CNBC. The stores will sell brands typically found at Macy’s for up to 80% off.

2. This healthy fast food chain is trying to cash in on Chipotle’s day off

Freshii will offer 50% off of all of its Mexican-inspired items on February 8, the day that Chipotle is closing all of its locations until 3 p.m.

3. Sales of Mast Brothers chocolate are plunging after scandal

A scandal hit chocolate company Mast Brothers in December, alleging that its chocolate was not nearly as artisanal as the company claimed it to be. Now, shop owners selling the chocolate are saying that sales have plunged up to 66%. Grub Street first reported this story.

4. McDonald’s is launching gourmet sliders

McDonald’s is introducing two new sliders in Canada. The “McTasters” are Greek and Italian sandwich sliders. They are selling for $2.99 each.

McDonald's CanadaMcDonald’s CanadaMcDonald’s new McTasters.

5. Athleta announces launch of kids clothing line

Athleta Girl will launch in Athleta stores this summer, according to a release. The line will target young girls ages 6-14.

6. Hershey is relaunching the ‘most undervalued brand in the world’

Hershey is relaunching the Take 5 Bar, with a new wrapper and marketing campaign created by a panel of millennial marketing students.

7. Pizza Hut is testing out new concepts

Pizza Hut is receiving a makeover in effort to keep up with the fast-casual pizza industry, according to Bloomberg. The company is testing hotter ovens and renovated units at its restaurants in Texas.

8. IKEA has identified a huge shift in how people shop

We’ve hit “peak stuff,” according to one IKEA executive (via Quartz). Now, the retailer is looking for to appeal to a wider, more global consumer base. It’s also looking to zero in on sustainable products.

9. Brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling

Many retailers reported poor results for the holiday season, including luxury jewellery retailer Tiffany & Co, Wolf Street has reported.

10. The cheapest chain to get gas in every state found the cheapest chains. Costco came out on top. Find out where other chains fall on the list.

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