Insider Retail: Logistics startups look to micro-warehouses and the vaccine rollout hits retail stores

Big "ICYMI" energy in the newsletter today. Look, we get it. There was some other big news this week. But Insider's retail team always has you covered when it comes to the biggest retail business stories.

This week's edition covers retailers, like CVS, Kroger, and Walgreens, rolling out vaccines. And we take a look at a startup that's turning vacant retail stores into micro-warehouses for e-commerce orders. 

If you haven't already subscribed to Insider Retail, click here to get me, Gloria Dawson, senior editor of retail, and our associate editor, Danni Santana, in your inbox every week.

How Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, and other retailers plan to leverage tech, convenience, and public trust to get the chaotic mass vaccine rollout back on track

It's no secret that the vaccine rollout has been less-than-smooth. Could retailers help get things back on track? Well, they certainly hope so. It's not the craziest idea. As Alvin Tran, a social epidemiologist at the University of New Haven told our reporters, these brands lend name recognition, trust, and their own technology to the process. 

Drug stores also aren't the only retailers who want a piece of the vaccine story:

  • Amazon's Dave Clark has some advice
  • Washington state recruits Starbucks to help with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Logistics startup Fabric has raised $136 million to build shipping warehouses in unused real estate like retail stores and gyms

Here's a trend for you all: Retail stores close as consumers flock to e-commerce during the pandemic. Logistics startups then use vacant retail space as micro-warehouses to fulfill e-commerce orders. Our Correspondent Madeline Stone wrote about Fabric, a big player in this particular retail life cycle story.

Fascinated by the micro-warehousing trend? You've come to the right newsletter.

  • Meet the 4 startups helping retailers compete with Amazon by tapping into micro-warehouses across the US
  • How a debilitating injury left this founder reliant on on-demand delivery and inspired to create a startup that helps DTC companies expedite shipping speeds by using micro-warehouses

    Elsewhere in retail:

  • New year, new job? Here's how much Postmates pays software engineers, robotics engineers, and data scientists at the last-mile delivery company now owned by Uber
  • The resale market is so hot right now. Used Peloton bikes are selling online through Facebook and Craigslist within hours for the same price as a new machine.
  • Bernie Sanders represented Vermont with his familiar Burton jacket on Inauguration Day. Yes, there is always a retail angle.
  • As Oatly looks to IPO, experts say these 8 brands in the $813 billion packaged food industry could follow suit, from Impossible Foods to Chobani
  • Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl's will drop My Pillow products from stores after its CEO spread election conspiracy theories
  • A McDonald's franchisee said he had 'an EPIC time' in Washington, D.C. amid the Capitol riot. Now his posts are shining a light on the political struggle engulfing corporate America.

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