The personal consumption expenditures price index (PCE) rose again in March, increasing 2.7% YoY (including food and energy), according to the US Commerce Department. Because rising prices mean consumers are likely to remain cautious with how they’re spending their money, retailers like Michaels and Giant Food are cutting prices across their stores to help maintain or grow sales.

The battle for shoppers’ grocery budgets intensifies: Several grocers, including Albertsons and Giant, are emphasizing value and overhauling their loyalty programs to protect their share from Aldi and others.

Quick commerce’s slow death continues with Getir’s international exit: The formerly dominant rapid delivery startup will cease US and European operations due to lackluster demand.

Amazon and Walmart follow a similar playbook: The retailers use exclusive access to events like Prime Day and Walmart+ Early Access to showcase the value of their membership programs.

Chipotle’s sales soar in Q1: But the company’s intense emphasis on speed comes at the cost of a high burnout rate among employees.

Shoppers are beginning to trade back up to premium CPG brands: While volume growth is recovering at Unilever and Kimberly-Clark, pressure on lower-income consumers is hurting Nestlé and PepsiCo.

PepsiCo’s higher prices led to weakening demand: But robust demand from international markets helped the company beat analysts’ expectations.

Amazon rolls out US grocery subscription as it tries to halt Walmart’s momentum: But the offering’s high cost relative to those of competitors could limit its impact on Amazon’s grocery business.

Albertsons and Kroger try to appease regulators: The companies will sell more stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers to clear the pathway for their merger.

Procter & Gamble delivers mixed results: The company no longer sees many consumers trade down to private labels, but it continues to struggle to win shoppers back.

The lipstick effect may not be fading after all: Despite Ulta’s slowdown warning, L’Oréal’s North American sales rose 12.3% in Q1, and Sephora’s business has been “pretty strong.”

Consumers keep splurging on their pets: That’s why Amazon is hosting a pet sale and other companies are rolling out niche offerings ranging from stress-relief chews to an airline for dogs.

Aldi retrofitted an existing store with checkout-free technology: The retailer wants to see if the frictionless shopping experience clicks with shoppers.

Sales growth for cosmetics and beauty will increase at more than twice the rate online than through physical retail channels this year, according to our February 2024 forecast. While ecommerce is stealing market share, its sales only tell a portion of the buying story. Physical stores are still key to discovering beauty products and brands, finding the right shades, and testing formulations—and Walmart is making use of its omnichannel footprint to take advantage. Here’s how.

Brand loyalty is waning: Half of consumers say deals have become a much more important factor when choosing where to buy retail or grocery items.

Self-reported spending is down 6% among US teens (which includes Gen Alpha and Gen Z consumers), but they are still shelling out on beauty, according to Piper Sandler’s latest Taking Stock with Teens survey.

Rising QSR prices may be driving customers away: The average price was up 4.0% YoY in Q1, while traffic fell 3.5%.

Post-pandemic, China’s economy, including its retail sector, faces a pivotal moment. On one hand, all travel restrictions have been removed. But on the other, consumption has been dragged down by a deflated property sector and high youth unemployment, among other difficulties. For brands and retailers, the conundrum has created nearly unprecedented challenges to growth.

Consumers haven’t quenched their thirst for Modelo Especial and Pacifico: Strong demand for Constellation Brands’ beer labels in Q1 helped it overcome its struggling wine and spirits businesses.

On today's podcast episode, in our "Retail Me This, Retail Me That" segment, we discuss the role of the store for the beauty space, Walmart's involvement in this product category, and how TikTok is changing things. Then, for "Pop-Up Rankings," we rank the top three social media trends that have influenced beauty products and how they're marketed. Join our analyst Sara Lebow as she hosts analysts Sky Canaves and Carina Perkins.