It’s been another week with far more retail news than there is time in the day. Below, we break down some things you may have missed during the week, and what we’re still thinking about.
From Academy Sports and Outdoors naming a new CFO to Neiman Marcus partnering with Schiaparelli, here’s our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Lizzo’s Yitty releases new collection
The “Smooth as Hell” collection by Yitty launched on Thursday according to details emailed to Retail Dive. A partnership between Fabletics and Grammy award-winning artist Lizzo, Yitty is a shapewear brand available on the brand’s website and in Fabletics stores. All pieces in the collection range from sizes XS to 6X. The latest collection features a crossback bralette, lounge dress, wide leg pants and more, all designed with smoothing compression tech and hidden performance features.
More than 65% of Yitty clothing is made with recycled fibers and its packaging is made with 100% recycled materials. Yitty is also a certified Carbon Neutral Company.
Neiman Marcus partners with Schiaparelli
Neiman Marcus on Monday announced that it has partnered with Schiaparelli to open its first West Coast shop.
The Schiaparelli boutique, which is on the second floor of the department store’s Beverly Hills location, references the fashion house’s collaborations with Jean Michel Frank, Alberto Giacometti and Salvador Dali, among others.
"Our presence in Los Angeles has really exploded thanks to the amazing moments we've had working hand in hand with LA based celebrities and stylists," Daniel Roseberry, Schiaparelli’s creative director, said in a statement. "I am thrilled that Schiaparelli's ready-to-wear will now be available to more people who love the brand and want to be a part of what we are building here. Each piece is so special and designed with so much care here at the Place Vendôme in Paris — it is an honor to finally offer the entire collection to the West Coast."
Neiman Marcus and Schiaparelli first partnered in 1940 when the fashion house’s founder, Elsa Schiaparelli, won one of the first Neiman Marcus awards for distinguished service in the field of fashion.
Academy Sports and Outdoors names new CFO
Carl Ford has been promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer at Academy Sports and Outdoors, the retailer announced this week. Ford had served as Academy’s senior vice president of finance since January 2019. He succeeds Michael Mullican, who recently began serving as president.
"I'm humbled and excited for the opportunity to lead our finance organization into the future. Under Michael's leadership, we developed a strong financial team, redefined business processes, and established Academy within the financial community,” Ford said. “The company has a strong balance sheet and solid cash flow to support our growth and create value for our shareholders.”
Mullican lauded Ford for playing a key role in helping the company, which currently has 270 stores in 18 states, navigate the pandemic. Mullican also said Ford supported the company’s IPO, and the development of a new long-range plan. Before joining Academy, Ford worked at Belk for 15 years, rising to vice president of financial planning and analysis.
Home Depot? More like Halloween Depot
Spooky season is right around the corner…sort of. Famous for its large Halloween lawn decor, outdoor retailer Home Depot on Thursday began selling its full assortment for the 2023 holiday, according to an Instagram post.
In this year’s lineup, Home Depot has its iconic 12-foot-tall skeleton, as well as a 13-foot-tall animated Jack Skellington from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
If those options don’t pique your interest, don’t worry: the retailer is also selling a 12-foot towering ghost and a 12.5-feet-wide animated “predator of the night.” The outdoor decor giants all cost between about $300 and $400.
Harleys and heartthrobs
Actor Jason Momoa and Harley-Davidson on Tuesday announced a new lifestyle collection dubbed On The Roam x Harley-Davidson.
The collection contains items including cargo pants, durable outerwear, tank tops and T-shirts. It also nods to the motorcycle company’s past, with designs like the Crescent Harley Hoodie featuring graphics reminiscent of 1930s racing apparel and The Knucklehead Hoodie inspired by the '36 Knucklehead engine, Momoa's favorite Harley engine.
"The On The Roam collection was born out of my love for Harley-Davidson," Momoa said in a statement. "In this collection, we honor 120 years of Harley-Davidson, embracing the adventure, empowering us to write our own story- the freedom to wander in the wild and live in the moments."
What we’re still thinking about
That’s how many employees at The Children’s Place were affected by layoffs on Friday. The New Jersey-based children’s apparel company said the affected employees were located in Secaucus, New Jersey, according to a WARN notice filed by the retailer.
The Children’s Place late last month announced a workforce reduction and early termination of the lease at its headquarters located in Secaucus. The retailer said it would lay off 17% of its salaried workforce, or 181 employees, the majority of which were located at its Secaucus office. At the same time, the retailer terminated its office lease early, which is now set to expire next May, “to capitalize on the prevailing tenant-favorable market conditions,” according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
As a result of the early termination and layoffs, the company expects to incur a non-operating charge between $13 million and $15 million, which consists of $4 million in lease termination payments, employee severance and benefit costs, accelerated depreciation, and professional fees.
That’s how much Dollar General has racked up in safety-related OSHA penalties since 2017. The discount retailer has been repeatedly cited for unsafe working conditions, like blocked aisles and emergency exits, and was named a severe violator this fall. That designation is given to employers that “have demonstrated indifference” to OSHA policies. Of the total Dollar General owes, it has paid just $4 million.
What we’re watching
Inflation cools to 3%, lowest since March 2021
Inflation has bedeviled consumers, and in turn retailers, for more than two years now. Shoppers have been picky about buying anything they don’t need, prioritized services when they do splurge and opted for cheaper options when they buy goods.
That trend may have hit a turning point in June, when the consumer price index rose just 3% year over year, the lowest since March 2021. Price declines in airfare, hospitality and used vehicles all contributed to the result. Wells Fargo economists Sarah House and Michael Pugliese said in a research note that they expect the easing to continue in coming months, though it may be slow-going.
“Goods inflation beyond vehicles also has scope to slow, with supply chain pressures unwinding and the cost of input goods down over the past year,” House and Pugliese said. “More generally, the increasing financial squeeze on consumers as pandemic savings run dry and borrowing costs rise is making consumers more discerning and less willing price-takers when compared to the past two years.”
Given inflation’s drag on discretionary spending, the emerging trend is the best macroeconomic news that retailers have had in a while, just in time for the back-to-school and holiday seasons. In another boon for some consumers, the U.S. Department of Education on Friday announced $39 billion in student loan relief for more than 800,000 borrowers. Analysts have warned that the end of President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, which the Supreme Court nixed in a decision last month, may deal another blow to consumer confidence.