Hi Retail readers!
Today's issue is best read while keeping in mind advice from wellness guru Deepak Chopra. He told Yahoo! Finance that despite the chaos in the market as of late, that he thought investors shouldn't "get caught up in the drama." Easy for someone who has made a living helping people calm down, but his advice seems particularly fitting for today's issue.
1. The National Retail Federation trade group acknowledged a "slowdown" of the U.S. economy and cited the trade war, changing interest rates, and "political rhetoric" as variables contributing to an uncertain holiday forecast. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said "consumers are in good financial shape and retailers expect a strong holiday season [... but] confidence could be eroded by continued deterioration of these and other variables." The NRF predicts holiday retail sales for November and December will increase 3.8 percent to 4.2 percent over last year. Holiday sales for the past five years have risen on average 3.7 percent. A study in September found 79 percent of consumers were worried that tariff hikes would impact their holiday shopping this year. - CNBC
2. Costco's share price fell as the retailer reported quarterly earnings that missed analysts' expectations on Thursday. The company reported quarterly and year-end results for the period ending September 1, 2019. Costco showed sales up 5.1 percent for the quarter and 6.1 percent for the year. Revenue was $47.5 billion for the fourth quarter compared with $47.57 billion analysts expected. The stock price is still up 42 percent year to date. Ecommerce sales were up almost 22 percent for the quarter and over 23 percent for the year. Pepsi, which also reported earnings Thursday, beat analysts' earnings per share and revenue expectations and delivered 4.3 percent growth. - CNBC
3. #FlashBackFriday: Will Smith this week launched his limited-edition "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" clothing line called Bel-Air Athletics, and it is exactly what we needed for a genuine '90s flashback. Smith announced the collection on his Instagram and said, “I don’t know why I ain’t do this when the Fresh Prince was on."
The collection includes graphic tees and traditional athletic wear items like hoodies and duffel bags for kids and adults. It also branches out with cell phone cases, a paisley-print basketball, and a Will-shaped $6 air freshener so everyone can smell ya later.
Smith, of course, starred on the popular NBC sitcom from 1990 to 1996. His style on the show was best described as loud: oversized styles in neon colors and bold prints. It was an evolution of hip-hop silhouettes with a preppy '90s twist. On Reddit, a fan was still looking for where to buy clothes he wore on the show from an episode in 1993. The 26-piece collection from Smith is available until Oct. 14.
4. Nike CEO Mark Parker is allegedly involved in the anti-doping scandal involving track coach Alberto Salazar that was initially exposed earlier this week. The controversy stems from experiments the Nike Oregon Project conducted on how much topical testosterone could be used as a performance enhancer on runners before failing USADA drug tests. Despite emails surfacing to the contrary that suggest Parker was looped into the tests, a Nike spokesperson said, "Mark Parker had no idea that the test was outside any rules, as a medical doctor was involved." Parker, a runner himself, emailed employees saying, "Nike did not participate in any effort to systematically dope any runners ever; the very idea makes me sick.” Nike dropped Lance Armstrong in 2012 after USADA revealed the extent of his PED use. Nike also dropped runner Marion Jones after she lied about her PED use and then admitted it later. - NYT
5. Macy's is laying off 78 warehouse workers at its off-price Backstage warehouse in Connecticut. The layoffs are part of a logistics shift that relocated the Backstage warehouse to Columbus, Ohio. CEO Jeff Gennette told investors on a quarterly earnings call that the new warehouse "operates on the Google cloud platform, getting us improved efficiency, speed and scale" for the off-price business. Macy's is offering the laid-off employees the opportunity to work at other company locations. - SUPPLY CHAIN DIVE
6. Bed Bath & Beyond is closing 20 more stores in addition to the 40 it announced it would close in April. The company's interim CEO cited a "renewed focus on driving traffic and operating efficiency" on a quarterly earnings call this week. Of the 60 store closures, 20 will affect Buy Buy Baby, Cost Plus World Market and Harmon, while the other 40 will be Bed Bath & Beyond stores. The chain has struggled to compete with Target, Walmart, Amazon and TJMaxx. CNN reports stock prices are down 85 percent in the last five years. - CNN
7. J.C. Penney, Pier 1 and Destination Maternity top a list of the 28 retailers likely to go bankrupt this year. J.C. Penney's quarterly sales were down 9 percent, Pier 1 just announced it was closing 70 stores, and Destination Maternity's comp sales fell 10.5 percent. Other struggling retailers include Serta, 99 Cents Only and Tailored Brands. - RETAIL DIVE
8. Airports and hotels may be the future of retail, according to research compiled in an article from Footwear News. GlobalData analytics expects airport retail spending to become a $49 billion industry in two years, up 27 percent from 2016. A chief economist at CCIM Institute expects retailers that align core values and their presence with “services like hospitality, transportation centers, health care and education" to see good results in the next five years. Armani, Bulgari, Fendi, and Versace have hotel properties, Equinox just opened its first luxury hotel, and Marriott and Hilton also are seeing results from retail properties. - FOOTWEAR NEWS
9. Sneaker resale marketplace StockX added a collectibles category that includes items like toys and trading cards. "We're always looking for new 'things' to add to our platform," the site announced. The vertical includes items like skateboard decks and toys from artists like Kaws and Takashi Murakami. It also includes rookie playing cards for athletes like Michael Jordan and Tom Brady. - WWD
10. The Kardashians are getting into resale. Kardashian Kloset launched today and includes pieces like a Balmain dress from Kim's closet, a pair of Kylie Jenner's Off-White boots, and one of Kris' Gucci handbags. Follow @kardashiankloset here. Diane Von Furstenburg is already following them. - FASHIONISTA
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).