At the market
The year for beauty
Some Dollar General stores are expanding their beauty products and that just seems like the right move to me. Supermarket News says the retail giant will add beauty aisles to nearly 300 stores this year. They would include more skin care products, hair care and makeup options under the Beauty Reinvention brand.
“We have been purposeful in our expansion, balancing new, fresh and trendy items with value,” said Amanda Wilson, senior beauty buyer at Dollar General. “Beauty Reinvention creates a beauty destination at Dollar General.”
In February, a few stores began selling these additional products, teeing off the year of beauty at Dollar General. Supermarket News says these stores carry face masks, hair treatments, nail polish, bath bombs and more trendy options that are affordable and accessible. The retail chain will also carry more beauty brands and by the end of 2023, should carry more than 1,000 supplementary items under the Beauty Reinvention brand.
The trading post
A $4 million seed round
A new point-of-sale system on the market just raised $4 million in seed funding. Payments Dive says Pacto, a restaurant-focused POS product out of Mexico City, raised that money thanks to DILA Capital, FEMSA Ventures, 500 Global and a handful of other investors — not to mention Georgetown Angel Investor Network.
Pacto’s system is cloud based and services restaurants and bars in Mexico. Ryan Croft, the co-founder and CEO, says the mission is to make this offering more accessible and efficient for small businesses.
“This funding will allow us to accelerate our growth and continue to develop market-leading products that help our merchants grow their business,” said co-founder Rodrigo Kuri. “With this new funding, we plan to win the Mexican point of sale market for the restaurant industry.”
DILA Capital led this funding round, saying it’s excited for this partnership.
“We believe that Pacto has the potential to transform the way businesses in Mexico and beyond manage their operations and serve their customers. We’re excited to support the team as they continue to innovate and expand their reach,” said the DILA Capital team.
This $4 million in seed funding adds to the $2 million the company raised in a pre-seed round last year.
Gigs and gadgets
Cheers to 50 years, cellphones.
It’s the 50th anniversary of the cellphone. The San Diego Union-Tribune explained the history behind the first call made with the first cellphone. It was on April 3, 1973, and the call was made by Martin Cooper, an engineer, at the time, for Motorola. Cooper helped design this phone, weighing in at more than 2 pounds and resembling a shoe. Cooper made the call outside the New York Midtown Hilton hotel, and when asked to show it off, he decided to call a rival of his who was working on the same technology. The rest is history.
Today we know cellphones to be as thin and light as possible. They fit in our hands, our pockets and our purses. Even in the 10 years that I have owned a cellphone, things have changed. My first cellphone was a flip phone that used T9-Word for texting. It did not have any sort of smart screen and it was just gray in color. It was practically indestructible and if it got wet, you could take the battery out and put it in rice to dry out. I bought ringtones but never imagined I could use it for video calls or to listen to music on.
Where do we go from here? Though I couldn’t see 10 years ahead of my flip phone, I see now there was so much room for improvement. Here I am again, failing to see how much further we can go. But that is why we have engineers like Martin Cooper who can see the technology years ahead of them.
This week we’re checking out the Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) in Baltimore. OTVI shows tender load volumes for the U.S. and users can also look at specific regions and market granularity.
Over the past two weeks, tender volumes out of Baltimore have increased by over 12%, to the highest levels since December 2022.
Rejection rates reversed the positive momentum to close out the month, falling by 233 basis points over the past week to 6.64%.
The FreightWaves TRAC spot rate from Baltimore to Boston has increased by 4 cents per mile over the past week to $3.68 per mile, but the rate from Baltimore to Chicago has fallen by 4 cents per mile to $1.76 per mile. These are trends that are expected in a soft freight market as carriers are willing to take lower rates to move trucks into larger volume freight markets.
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Until next time,
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