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Vivino Triples Customer Service Agents as Sales Surge, Bed Bath & Beyond Online Sales Grow 77% in Q3 and Walmart Loses Ecommerce Chief Marc Lore

Winery

Vivino Triples Customer Service Agents as Sales Surge

When governments forced consumers across the globe to shelter in place due to COVID-19, orders rapidly came in at online wine marketplace Vivino, says LaNae Rueda, vice president of global customer experience. “The sheer number orders we got when countries were shutting down—it was fantastic—but it certainly brought with it a lot of operational challenges,” Rueda says. With no end in sight for COVID-19 and sales tripling, Vivino quickly tripled its customer service headcount to 200 agents in an effort to handle the surge in customer inquiries, says Jeff Gorham, manager of customer experience. “The growth challenges were completely unprecedented,” Rueda says. “There was just no playbook on how to respond to COVID, how long this was going to last and what impact this was going to have long term. We had to throw all of our plans out the window and operate on somewhat of a day-to-day basis.”


What stood out to us? This explains the lack of enthusiasm for a vaccine.


Bedding

Bed Bath & Beyond Online Sales Grow 77% in Q3

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. reported 77% year-over-year digital sales growth for the retailer as a whole and 94% for its core Bed Bath & Beyond chain. Bed Bath & Beyond is among the company’s four core brands, including buybuy BABY, Harmon Face Values and Decorist. Also, sales on mobile devices grew 107% for the quarter, compared with the prior-year period. “Omnichannel is the future of retail and we have embraced it,” Rafeh Masood, executive vice president and chief digital office for Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., said in an interview after the company released its results Thursday. He says the retailer is on track to exceed its digital sales goal of $3 billion by the end of fiscal 2020, which ends Feb. 27. Stores fulfilled 36% of all digital sales in the third quarter, Masood says.


What stood out to us? Wine glasses were a top seller in 2020.


Ecommerce

Walmart Loses Ecommerce Chief Marc Lore

Marc Lore, the CEO of Walmart's ecommerce business, is set to retire from the company at the end of January, according to a securities filing. Lore will continue on in a “consulting role as a strategic advisor” to Walmart through September, Walmart said. Walmart’s ecommerce sales have grown by double digits in each of the past three reported fiscal years (by 37% in fiscal 2020, 40% in fiscal 2019 and 44% in fiscal 2018). Last year, the retail giant merged teams in its Walmart U.S. and ecommerce units in an effort to streamline its omnichannel operations. Following Lore's retirement, all aspects of Walmart's domestic ecommerce business will report to Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner, according to the company.


What stood out to us? Walmart is letting Marc choose any gold Timex or Casio watch in inventory as a retirement gift and will be throwing a Zoom party.


In the headlines

  • Let’s make a deal: Staples seeks $2.1 billion deal for parent of Office Depot.
  • A fleet: Amazon keeps buying pricey jets after promising a drone fleet.
  • Acquisition: Equifax to acquire Kount for $640 million. 

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