If you are anything like me, you spend an obscene amount of time on-line (or on your phone) trying to keep up with what’s happing in the retail world. And because I follow so many influencers, brands, magazines, and news outlets, my algorithm filter is most likely on overdrive. So when I realized how many noteworthy headlines I missed this week in particular, I wanted to recap some of them for you. Let’s get started…
Ralph Lauren’s CEO Stefan Larsson is exiting his position in May, after less than two years with the company. Mr. Lauren, the brands founder, stated that although him and Mr. Larsson share the same love and appreciation for the company’s DNA, the go forward strategy and execution of it did not align. For those of you that don’t know, Stefan Larsson’s professional success came from fast fashion brands such as Old Navy and H&M, prior to joining RL. My fingers are crossed that the team can find a new CEO, prior to his exit in May. One who has the experience and actionable vision to get them back on track, while staying true to the Americana heritage and quality we all love them for.
Fran Horowitz is now the CEO at Abercrombie & Fitch, after the retailer has gone two years without one. Prior to this role, she was A&F’s president and chief merchandising officer. I mention this headline in particular- because if you haven’t been to Abercrombie’s website or stores in a while, you need to check it out. It’s not the college store you once remember. The brands aesthetic has evolved and become much more relevant- across all age segments. And Horowitz, as the chief merchandising officer, definitely had a lot to do with that.
Walmart is making a very smart decision… It is removing the ShippingPass subscription (where customers pay a fee for two-day shipping), providing all current members with a refund, and offering it for free on over 2 million items. The only requirement is to spend $35, which on a personal note would be very easy to hit for a family of four. The strategy shift is obviously due to their main competition- Amazon Prime (that has over 50 million members). I don’t know when my Prime membership is up, but at least Walmart now has me thinking about them for online delivery.
Nordstrom has dropped the Ivanka Trump line, as of now, due to a significant sales decline. As you may have heard there are a ton of retailer’s, including Nordstrom, that have been boycotted by the “Grab Your Wallet” campaign- until all Trump product lines are removed. Nordstrom said in a statement that their decision was purely based on poor sales performance and that they typically cut 10% of their brands per year due to consumer trends. I obviously can’t speak to the decision above- all I know is that I am a huge fan of this retailer, their customer service, and the assortments they provide. Nordstrom has seen declining same-store sales for the past three quarters, so they too are trying to increase traffic, loyalty, and profitability as best they can.
The retail world is buzzing that Macy’s may get sold. Terry Lundgren, who is retiring as CEO in March after 13 years, is apparently open to hear offers from potential buyers. The department store chain already announced 68 store closings and approximately 10,000 jobs cuts last month, so to say Mr. Lundgren has a lot on his plate prior to exiting is an understatement. Macy’s, however, is not commenting on the rumors, so more to come on this.
Okay, so those are my top five headlines for the week- and if I missed something else definitely let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts on the above, or anything retail related. Sending you nothing but the best, today and always. Happy Friday everyone!