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 Tupperware needing a new accounting firm to Target’s merch being lost at sea, here’s our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Simon shows the turkey some respect
Simon announced this week that most of its domestic properties will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. They will reopen Nov. 24 for Black Friday.
While in the past many retailers saw the holiday as an opportunity to start Black Friday early, the last few years have seen a changing attitude toward the day. In 2021, for example, Target said that it would keep stores on Thanksgiving closed for good.
Christy Sports taps new CEO in leadership overhaul
Christy Sports overhauled its C-suite this week, naming a new CEO, chief merchandising officer and chief marketing officer, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive. Pete LaBore, who is taking over the top spot at Christy Sports after former chief Matt Gold left in April, has more than a decade of experience with outdoor retailer Backcountry, including as chief operating officer. The company touted his role in driving “explosive growth” at Backcountry and navigating operational and ownership changes.
“When we were searching for a new CEO, we were looking for a service-driven leader who can continue to enhance the Christy Sports vision and customer experience focus,” Dan Galpern, partner at Christy Sports investor TZP Group, said in a statement. “Pete is a highly effective leader of people and culture who also loves the outdoors. He’s got the strong industry experience we were looking for and has demonstrated success in strategic planning and execution for the outdoor consumer landscape.”
Like LaBore, incoming Chief Merchandising Officer Mimi Nuelle also has 10 years of experience at Backcountry, where she most recently served as vice president of merchandising, overseeing hard goods, soft goods and the bike business. Nuelle’s 20 years of merchant experience also includes stints at Nordstrom and Overstock.com.
Danielle Quatrochi, who is taking on the chief marketing role, has served in various leadership positions at Nike, Finish Line and Outside, and has more than 20 years of total experience in the marketing and DTC spaces. In the past, she’s focused on customer loyalty and creating memorable brand experiences.
PwC declines to continue serving as Tupperware’s accounting firm
Adding to Tupperware’s struggles, the company last week disclosed that its accounting firm, PwC, has declined to stand for re-appointment, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. PwC had a 28-year audit engagement with Tupperware, per a Bloomberg Tax report.
Tupperware has experienced months of operational and financial distress. The company in April received a notice from the New York Stock Exchange saying that it was no longer in compliance with the exchange’s continued listing requirements for failing to timely file its annual report with the SEC. After months of delays, Tupperware last month filed its 10-K, which revealed its net sales fell 19% year over year to about $1.3 billion. The company’s gross profit was $834 million, down from about $1.1 billion in 2021.
The company last month also named a new CEO in Laurie Ann Goldman, replacing Miguel Fernandez, who had been with the company since March 2020. Tupperware at the same time shuffled its board of directors.
Vacation collabs with AriZona for iced tea lip balms
Sunscreen brand Vacation – known for its vintage branding – launched a lip balm collaboration with beverage company AriZona, according to an advertisement on Vacation’s YouTube Thursday.
The pack of three lip balms comes in classic AriZona flavors Mucho Mango, Iced Tea with Lemon and Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey. The formula has an SPF of 30 and costs $11.99 — or for a limited time, only $0.99 with the purchase of a Vacation and AriZona shirt or hat.
It’s "Mario time!" at Pottery Barn Teen
Pottery Barn Teen on Wednesday debuted a home collection inspired by Super Mario, according to a press release. The collection consists of bedding, backpacks, lunch accessories, home decor and clothing.
“For nearly 40 years, the Super Mario franchise has inspired creativity in fans of all ages. Our brands share the core value of encouraging imagination and playfulness,” Allison Spampanato, senior vice president of product development and design for Pottery Barn Teen, said in a statement. “We are proud to bring the world of Super Mario into the home space through an exclusive collaboration with icons fans love and the quality and craftmanship Pottery Barn Teen is known for.”
Some of the collection designs feature power-up icons from the games such as the super mushroom, block and super star. There’s a super star light-up pillow, a glow-in-the-dark power up pajama set and a super mushroom bean bag chair.
What we’re still thinking about
That’s how much money Walmart says it invested to upgrade 117 stores in 30 states. The retailer plans to celebrate what it’s describing as the “largest single-day rollout” of store grand re-openings in the company’s history on Friday. Walmart plans to celebrate the occasion with ribbon cuttings and family-friendly activities.
In-store improvements include QR codes and digital screens with information for shoppers, larger pharmacies, updated restrooms and a Dollar Shop at store entrances with seasonal products. Over two years, Walmart said it plans to spend more than $9 billion to update over 1,400 U.S. stores.
That’s the value of damages Target sustained from merchandise that was lost at sea in early 2021, according to a lawsuit filed by the retailer’s insurer, Starr Indemnity & Liability Co.
The insurer is suing shipping company Maersk for an incident involving the Maersk Eindhoven, which lost 57 containers of Target’s consumer goods on a trip to Los Angeles. The lawsuit alleges negligence and further claims that the merchandise was not delivered in good order, nor has Target been compensated for lost products. Maritime shipping containers regularly fall overboard, with 661 boxes lost in 2022. But that figure represents just a fraction of the approximately 250 million containers shipped annually, according to the World Shipping Council.
What we’re watching
Retailers brace for tepid holiday spending as consumers remain cautious
The early October sales events have come and gone, but ads touting major discounts have continued on. While consumers did pry open their wallets in September — sending sales in the segments covered by Retail Dive up 3.4% — they also continue to demonstrate a frugality that will likely keep seasonal markdowns top of mind. This is especially true for lower- and middle-income shoppers, especially those contending with student loan payments and other financial challenges. David Simon, CEO of mall REIT Simon Property Group, told analysts this week that many of its tenants’ customers are “definitely being more cautious.”
“A more cautious and considered consumer mindset continues to set in,” GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders said in emailed comments. “This holiday will not be a terrible one for most retailers, but it will be much more challenging than the past few years.”