• Retail Sales Expected To Slow, But Continue To Grow
    U.S. retail sales will grow at a slower pace this year but will remain positive, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual forecast. "NRF expects that retail sales will grow between 4% and 6% in 2023, to total between $5.13 trillion and $5.23 trillion (excluding motor vehicles, gasoline, and restaurants)," per Chain Store Age."By comparison, retail sales grew 7% last year, to $4.9 trillion.  NRF said its 2023 forecast is above the pre-pandemic average annual retail sales growth rate of 3.6%."  
  • This Year's Hottest Fashion Trend: Serifs
    Several fashion brands, including Burberry, have daringly tweaked their logos recently to add serifs to the typeface. "Burberry joined two recently debuted serif logos from Ferragamo and Phoebe Philo, leading online followers to proclaim the era of serif typefaces in, and the era of 'blanding sans-serifs decidedly out," per The New York Times
  • Macy's CEO Announces Plans To Retire
    Mac'y's top executive unexpectedly announced his retirement Wednesday. Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette, 61, will retire in February 2024, after nearly seven years in the role and 40 years with the company. "Gennette’s upcoming retirement generated two management changes, including the appointment of Tony Spring, 58, chairman and CEO of the company’s Bloomingdale’s division, as president of Macy’s Inc. and CEO-elect," per Chain Store Age.
  • Joann Faces Loss, Implements Cost Reduction Plan
    Despite reporting sales that topped Wall Street estimates, fabric and craft store Joann incurred profit losses in the fourth quarter (and full year) and has begun implementing a $200 million annual cost reduction plan. "Earlier this month, Joann announced a new credit facility that adds a series of $100 million first-in last-out loans, adding to its existing $500 million asset-based revolving credit loan," per Chain Store Age.
  • Shoppers Buying More Groceries On Credit
    Economic turbulence is prompting more shoppers to delay payment for essentials like groceries. "The percentage of online buy now, pay later (BNPL) transactions involving groceries grew 40% during the first two months of 2023, the fastest pace among the retail categories Adobe studied," per Retail Dive. "By comparison, the home furnishings sector’s share of BNPL orders rose 38% during the same period, while the apparel category’s share moved ahead by 8%."
  • Crocs Pandemic-Era Popularity Surge Continues
    While the popularity of other popular pandemic-era brands like Peloton, Etsy and Zoom has slipped, Crocs are still all the rage. "The stock prices and sales of Peloton, Etsy and Zoom have dropped since their sharp rises in the pandemic, but Crocs’ stock has soared 167% since January 2020," per The New York Times. "The company’s annual sales have increased 200 percent since 2019."
  • Army Pauses Campaign After Actor's Arrest
    The U.S. Army is pausing two new recruitment ads after the star of them, actor Jonathan Majors, was arrested Saturday for assault in a domestic dispute. "The two ads, "Overcoming Obstacles" and "Pushing Tomorrow," “were the centerpiece of the Army’s revived “Be All You Can Be” campaign," per Task & Purpose. "The Army confirmed the pause on those ads today but said that the wider 'Be All You Can Be' campaign is continuing."
  • Adidas, Beyonce Opt To Part Ways
    Adidas and Beyonce have mutually agreed to end their relationship, a source close to the situation tells The Hollywood Reporter. "In 2018, Beyoncé entered a creative partnership with Adidas, where she relaunched her Ivy Park activewear line and also developed new footwear and apparel for the brand.But there has apparently been major creative differences between Ivy Park and Adidas, and Beyoncé is excitedly looking to reclaim her brand, chart her own path and maintain creative freedom."
  • Dickies, Ford Partner For Workwear Aimed At Gen Z
    Dickies and Ford are partnering for a line of workwear with input from “The White Lotus” actress Sydney Sweeney, who stars in the automaker's latest branding effort, "Build Ford Proud." The collection includes a corduroy baseball cap and a “Ford blue” bandana that says, “Syd’s Garage,” a reference to the actress’s TikTok account @syds_garage, which is dedicated to working on her vintage Ford Bronco. 
  • Foot Locker Revamps Relationship With Nike
    Foot Locker execs sent the message during a recent investor day that the retailer is back on track with Nike. The two companies "are focusing on key strategic areas such as basketball, kids and sneaker culture, and are sharing data and insights to plan their strategies together," per Footwear News.
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