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 Lacoste naming a new CEO of North and Central America to a large drop in retail hires over the holiday season, here’s our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Home Depot updates pay policy for hourly workers
The Home Depot is changing its policy around pay for hourly associates. Beginning Monday, hourly workers will be paid to the nearest minute based on exact time punches “as laws, technology and workplace practices continue to evolve,” according to a statement emailed to Retail Dive. The company’s policy currently is to round the total shift time down or up to the nearest 15 minutes.
The news follows several lawsuits in recent years accusing the company of rounding down hours, according to an Insider report.
Jamie Givens is Lacoste’s new CEO of North and Central America
In his new position, Givens will lead the brand’s vision and strategy across B2B and B2C channels. He will also lead North America’s next-generation sneaker strategy and focus on bringing more innovative and sustainable products to market.
Givens served as CEO of Lacoste UK since 2018. Before joining Lacoste, Givens was digital director of Europe for Levi Strauss. Givens’ new position is effective immediately, according to a Jan. 11 announcement.
Also this month, Louise Trotter, Lacoste’s creative director, reportedly left the company. Trotter had held the position for nearly four years since 2018. She was the first woman to hold the position in the company’s history.
Lancôme partners with Emma Chamberlain
Lancôme on Thursday announced entrepreneur and content creator Emma Chamberlain as its new global ambassador. As the face of the brand Chamberlain, who has a social media following of nearly 30 million, will “spread the brand’s values of positive and powerful beauty to invite a whole generation to shine inside out,” according to a company release.
With Chamberlain, the beauty company this week launched a four episode web series dubbed “How do you say beauty in French.”
Chamberlain was formerly the creative director and global ambassador of Forma Brand’s Bad Habit. Forma filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week.
Justice x Jelly Belly launches at Walmart
Remember tween store Justice? Well it sorta disappeared in 2020 because parent company Ascena sold it for $35 million. Then in 2021 the brand formed a partnership with Walmart. Now, in what can only be described as a Mad Libs game of retail proportions, Jelly Belly is getting into the mix.
That’s because Justice and Jelly Belly announced a collaboration that will be available exclusively via Walmart and Walmart.com.
"We are thrilled to join forces with Jelly Belly to bring the collection to life in a brand-new way. We hope to bring a little whimsy to our customer and continues to cement Walmart as the tween fashion destination!" Elizabeth McCusker, VP of marketing at Justice, said in a statement.
Pink Sauce is coming to a Walmart near you
With the help of Dave’s Gourmet, a uniquely-colored sauce is set to be more commercially accessible than ever. In a long and highly-documented road to shelves, Pink Sauce will be sold at over 4,000 Walmart stores and on its website starting mid-January.
Gaining virality on TikTok, Chef Pii, the creator of Pink Sauce, first developed and sold the sauce from her home kitchen. The onset of the sauce’s introduction came with obstacles in production and questionable safety concerns. From bottles reportedly being sold at different shades of pink to a lack of refrigeration in packaging, many questioned the legitimacy of Pink Sauce at first.
Trying the sauce was a viral TikTok trend many users participated in, only helping Chef Pii and her sauce gain popularity. Her creation made buzz with over half a billion views under #pinksauce.
Shoppers can now purchase a vegan and gluten-free version of the sauce, which is manufactured under FDA guidelines and is shelf-stable.
What we’re still thinking about
That’s the amount Crocs expects to make in revenue in 2022. Or, more precisely, $3.55 billion. The number represents approximately 53% growth and is a record for the footwear retailer, which expanded when it acquired Heydude last year. For 2023, the retailer is still expecting double-digit growth in the range of 10% to 13%, which would correlate to revenue of $3.9 billion to $4 billion.
That’s how much seasonal hires in retail declined this season. Retailers added 519,400 jobs in the fourth quarter, compared to over 700,000 in 2021, according to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. It’s the lowest total since 2009. Despite the low hiring, the number of Americans employed in the retail sector is at its highest level since 2018. It’s possible retailers did not need to hire as many employees as in years past, but it’s also possible they couldn’t find talent, Senior Vice President Andrew Challenger said.
What we’re watching
Will ESG initiatives disappear in 2023?
With retailers “getting squeezed from both sides of the value chain” for the foreseeable future, it comes as no surprise that leaders may be more focused on cost savings than anything else.
Over half of the 50 retail executives surveyed by Deloitte in a new report said they have minimal to no ESG (environmental, social and governance) plans for 2023. Even though 60% of those repsondents said they expect greater scrutiny for ESG practices during the year, margin enhancement opportunities are a greater focus for them.
That sets up the potential for a major fallback in progress, given that the retail industry isn’t exactly known for its beneficial contributions to the environment.
And consumers – particularly a generation which is gaining purchase power – are watching. Three-quarters of Gen Z say sustainability is more important than brand loyalty when making purchases, according to 2021 data from First Insight cited by Deloitte.
Some retailers might beg to differ that financial success has to always come before making more eco-friendly business decisions. Outdoor apparel brand Patagonia transferred ownership of the company to climate-friendly entities last year, and plenty of other businesses have continued to invest in making their products more circular.