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Inside Retail

Inside Retail (Aug 23rd, 2019)

Hi Readers!

If you have 5 minutes, check out Dennis Rodman in a fashion film for Moose Knuckles deeper down in this newsletter. It reminds me of something that could have been in "Zoolander," except I don't think Moose Knuckles is kidding. I think Rodman looks pretty great though. Do you?

Also, I'm editing the Twitter100 top retail list on a daily basis. Please send me your favorites so we can turn this into something we all use. Here are our Twitter links:

Thanks!

Cassidy

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1. Gap Inc. reported second quarter revenue of $4.01 billion compared to the $4.02 billion expected and comp sales were down 4 percent compared to 3.1 percent forecast. CEO Art Peck said the company is "operating in a challenging environment." Gap same store sales were down 7 percent for the quarter ending Aug. Old Navy same store sales were down 5 percent and Banana Republic dropped 3 percent. The company adjusted its earnings expectations down for the rest of the year and will "remain highly focused on inventory and expense discipline" as well as "exceptional product supported by powerful marketing." Gap Inc. owns Athleta, the athleisure company that just signed former Nike athlete Allyson Felix as its first pro athlete. Gap Inc. is also in the process of spinning off Old Navy into its own business and expects that transaction to be completed next year. CNBC reports Gap shares are down 30 percent this year. - CNBC

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2. Ross Stores reported second quarter earnings with sales up 6 percent and comp store sales up 3 percent over the same period ending August 3 last year. CEO Barbara Rentler called the results "respectable gains in both sales and earnings," although she did point out the ladies business across categories has trailed the chain. Rentler said trends are showing improvement for ladies in the third quarter and that "given the recent announcement of 10 percent tariffs on goods sourced from China, including apparel and footwear, we have updated our earnings guidance for the balance of the year.” Rentler said there would be a "slight impact" from tariffs and shared the adjusted guidance for Q3 of $0.92 to $0.96, compared to $0.91 from last year for the period ending Nov. 2. - FOOTWEAR NEWS

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3. Pumpkin Spice of the Week: Starbucks released the PSL to a national audience in fall 2004. The drink has become like a Groundhog Day for retail and rings in fall seasonal shopping. Starbucks launches its PSL next week on Aug. 27, the earliest "official" date it has ever been released. Here's a roundup of Pumpkin Spice products popping up this week:

More thoughts on #Dunkinpumpkin here:

  • "Let them call you basic while you smile and enjoy your pumpkin flavored treats" tweeted this user
  • But this traumatic challenge: " Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin flavor gives everyone i know immediate diarrhea. Please try & report back."

Ummm... no thanks. Is it too early for pumpkin spice or are you on board with PSL in August?

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4. Hormel Foods stock prices were trading higher after reporting better than expected results for the company's third quarter ending July 28. President, CEO and Chairman of the Board Jim Snee said pricing, promotions and advertising "played a positive role in our performance." Snee called rising avocado prices and African swine fever "volatile input costs." Although sales were down 2.88 percent from the same quarter last year, the company reported $2.291 billion in sales compared to analyst estimates of $2.29 billion. Organic net sales were flat. — BENZINGA

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5. The political protests in Hong Kong are infiltrating bubble tea as companies outside of mainland China replace lighthearted tea art like Pikachu with messages showing support of law enforcement. Bubble tea is popular in China and orginally came from Taiwan. CoCo Bubble Tea and Yifang Fruit Tea are two Taiwanese companies that found themselves on the wrong side of the One China policy of sovereignty. Taiwan is a rogue province that is technically part of Beijing's governmental reach. - FORTUNE

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6. IKEA changed its custom font for a Google-designed typeface that can be easily translated into 800 languages and will create consistency in the print catalog. Noto is the name of the font which is the most universal font, short for "no tofu." Tofu is the term used for the character a computer will sub into a typeface if it doesn't recognize it in its native language. A spokesperson said the company "needed to complement and update our visual identity to enable many more people to meet Ikea in a consistent and inspiring way." Fast Company pointed out the choice to use a commercial font is unique when many brands spend time creating custom fonts. - FAST COMPANY

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7. Outdoor Retailer trade show canceled its November outdoor apparel, accessories and gear show and will refocus on the January Snow Show. SVP and show director Marisa Nicholson said, "Through ongoing feedback, it has become clear that one combined winter show in January will best support brands, retailers and reps, leading to greater value for all in attendance." When the show relocated from Utah to Denver, three shows a year were promised as a way to give retailers the most opportunitiy to get their new products in front of buyers. - KCNC-TV

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8. Walmart has been called one of the largest retailers that sells firearms in the country and its gun sales policy has been challenged in a recent petition that garnered over 130,000 signatures. Its CEO said it contributed to only 2 percent of gun sales and 20 percent of ammunition sales in the country. Business Insider reporter Hayley Peterson found it was harder to buy a gun at Walmart than she thought it would be. She spent two hours calling around to find a store that sold guns before getting in her car to go to a store. Her conclusion was that Walmart “takes gun sales and security pretty seriously.” This Redditor said the process to buy a gun at Walmart is "pretty straight forward as any other gun shop." - BUSINESS INSIDER

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9. Target is having its best year since 2005 and department stores are suffering as a result. "We're obviously taking share from other retailers that have been closing stores or haven't had the ability to invest in the needs of today's consumer " said CEO Brian Cornell. Target's private label apparel brands contributed to a 5 percent increase in clothing sales last quarter. Cornell said earlier this week there are "clear winners and unfortunately losers in retail today. As Kohl's, JCPenney, and Macy's all struggle with the mall scene, the company's main main brick-and-mortar competitor seems to be Walmart. Neither store's operating model depends on traditional malls which are seeing lower foot traffic. - CNN

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10. Dennis Rodman is the face of Canadian athleisure brand Moose Knuckles' FW19 campagin and his over-the-top aesthetic has a strangely unifying effect on the streetwear-side of the campaign. Rodman leads the campaign that is called "Real Life Awaits." He also stars in a five-minute-long fashion film where he plays something like a mystic shaman in Canada's arctic wilderness. The film's directors said it "is about ridding yourselves from the trappings of everyday life that consume us in all the wrong ways and how it is life’s purpose for us to break out of these cages and find our true calling." Pieces start at $32 and can be bought at department stores including Saks Fifth Avenue and Selfridges as well as online. - ESSENCE

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Written and curated by Cassidy Mantor, a brand storyteller with a decade of retail marketing experience including in-house at Nike and Oakley. Occasionally she writes a “think piece” about fashion law for the American Bar Association. She is happy to be based in coastal Virginia except when there’s a hurricane. She can be found on LinkedIn.

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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