Back to School No More!

With college campuses across the country introducing virtual learning, home goods retailers with a minor in dorm decor are trying to recalibrate—and fast.

  • Bed Bath & Beyond yesterday said it’s launching a dedicated “College From Home” e-comm experience for anyone feeling move-in day FOMO.
  • B3 will silo its dorm decor and lap desks on one page, along with interior design tips for remote learning setups.
  • A loyalty program, College Savings Pass, will try to drive repeat purchases with an unlimited 20% off discount through Sept. 30—aka the end of Bed Bath & Beyond’s typical back to campus season.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond noted that searches for desks and office chairs were up 200% YoY in July.

No Students No Revenues
The pandemic has shown us how disparate industries—retail and higher ed, for example—deeply influence one another. It’s also demonstrated that large retailers have an easier time adapting than small businesses. College commerce isn’t an exception.

  • Some college town businesses generate 70–80% of revenue from student shoppers, per Business Insider; when campuses closed ahead of cap and gown season, sales evaporated.
  • As students start their cram from home sessions, those hyper-local businesses won’t have the same opportunities to rebrand like larger retailers have.

Vaccine updates invite the possibility that students will one day have a reason to buy twin XL sheets again. But some former dorm brands may need to position themselves as general home goods retailers even after campuses reopen: “If the pool of traditional college-goers shrinks.

TikTok or Not

Microsoft: Despite some skepticism, Microsoft still leads the pack as the most likely candidate to buy TikTok. Marketing on the app could theoretically change under Microsoft, but at least it’d still be around.

The White House: There are reports that TikTok will sue President Trump over his executive order requiring the company to be sold off from its Chinese parent company. The grounds? Trump didn’t give TikTok enough time to respond.

  • But TikTok’s recent faux pas won’t help its situation: WSJ analysts discovered that, until November 2019, TikTok tracked Android user data through a tactic banned by Google.

Twitter: Twitter and TikTok are in early talks about combining, though it’s unclear whether Twitter will pursue a deal.

  • This merger could make both companies better able to compete with Facebook, the social media marketing landscape’s MVP.

Creator fund: TikTok recently announced the first recipients of its $1 billion fund created to help major TikTokers earn a livelihood through their creative pursuits.

  • The creator fund gives influencers—and, therefore, marketers—incentive to stay on TikTok during ban purgatory.

Now Instagram Reels is here to leverage the fallout of its banning whenever it comes. Stay on top of your retail data, visit Storecheck for more details.

Credits: Morning Brew

New call-to-action