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 True Religion’s new pet collection to the holidays seeing a huge bump in buy now, pay later services, here’s our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Petco cuts outlook after missing Q3 estimates
After experiencing a surge in demand during the early days of the pandemic, pet retailers are facing declines.
Petco this week reported Q3 net revenue dropped 0.5% year over year to $1.49 billion. The pet retailer said its consumables was up 1.8% from last year and its services business was up 15%. However, Petco’s supplies and companion animals business was down 8.8%.
"Our third quarter results were below our expectations as we continue to navigate a challenging consumer environment and we are taking swift and decisive action to improve the performance of our business by broadening our appeal with customers and tightly managing costs and capital,” CEO Ron Coughlin said in a statement, pointing to initiatives like introducing the largest cat and dog food value brands. “We're confident these actions, combined with continued growth in services, omni-channel capabilities, an industry-leading premium assortment, and dedicated Petco partners will better position us to capture the long-term growth trends in the category and deepen our connection with all pet parents.”
Petco lowered its full-year guidance “given the results of our fiscal third quarter and the current consumer dynamics,” Brian LaRose, Petco’s chief financial officer, said on a call with analysts Wednesday. The company now expects adjusted EBITDA to be about $400 million, from a previous range of $460 million to $480 million, while adjusted earnings per share is projected to be about $0.08, from a previous range of $0.24 to $0.30.
JDSports, Finish Line eligible for same-day delivery on Instacart
This Tuesday, athletic fashion retailer JD Sports and Instacart announced its partnership launching same-day delivery from over 500 locations and Finish Line stores nationwide, according to a press release.
"In today's digital age, online shopping has become a norm, and customers are increasingly seeking swift delivery solutions," Vice President of Digital at JD Sports Kristin Matter said in a statement. "With this partnership, we are taking our omni-channel strategy to new heights, providing customers with an unparalleled shopping experience, focused on convenience.”
With the Instacart app and website, customers can choose from more than 16,000 items to be delivered to their door in as quick as an hour. The retailer carries brands like Nike, Jordan, Adidas and Puma. JD Sports is one of the first sports fashion retailers to partner in using Instacart’s same-day delivery tech, the company said in the release.
Uoma Beauty at risk of being struck off U.K. register
Makeup brand Uoma Beauty was served a warning notice from the U.K. government that it could potentially be struck off the register and dissolved within two months, per a government filing from Tuesday.
The companies accounts are overdue, per the U.K. government’s website. The brand has not posted on Instagram since August and Uoma Beauty did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.
The inclusive beauty company was founded by Sharon Chuter, who previously worked with companies including Revlon, L'Oréal, PepsiCo and Benefit Cosmetics, per the brand website.
Pet clothes, but make it fashion
At the end of the day, pets want the same things we do: Love, fun and brand-name products.
True Religion is stepping up to answer the call with its first collection for dogs and cats, featuring apparel, toys, beds, leashes, feeders and other accessories. The new line, which will drop two seasonal collections annually, is launching in the spring next year in collaboration with Wiesner Products’ pet division, Paw NYC.
“At True Religion, we love our pets. Now they’ll be dressed as stylishly as our customers,” CEO Michael Buckley said in a statement.
True Religion’s line won’t be available for months. But dog lovers don’t have to wait that long for an opportunity to shower their furry friends with branded gifts that hold a special place in their own heart but mean nothing to their animals. In true holiday spirit, pet retailer Bark is releasing a box of dog toys and treats this season inspired by “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
Why make ham for Christmas when you can have syrupy spaghetti?
Many have laughed at Buddy the Elf’s meal of spaghetti topped with syrup and candy, but few have dared try to recreate it. HelloFresh is no such coward.
The meal kit company is reprising its limited-edition Buddy the Elf spaghetti kit for the holidays this year, which will include ingredients for the iconic meal as well as a handful of themed extras. Starting Monday, shoppers can buy the $30 meal kit to receive two servings and five collectible items, including two Buddy the Elf aprons, two plates with portions for the four elf food groups and one resealable storage bag.
Alongside the spaghetti meal kit, HelloFresh will also release a series of recipes based on the film available from Saturday to Dec. 15.
“Through this partnership, we’re able to bring the wonder and joy that’s become synonymous with the film Elf to our customers’ kitchens, helping them to create truly memorable cooking experiences and new holiday traditions,” Kirsten Walpert, vice president of brand and creative at HelloFresh U.S., said in a statement.
What we’re still thinking about
That’s how many people at VF Corp. will lose their jobs, a spokesperson said this week.
The cuts are part of a larger turnaround plan. They will affect salaried employees internationally at the company, whose portfolio of apparel and footwear brands includes Vans, Timberland, Dickies and The North Face. The company didn’t say if any of its brands were more affected than others by the cuts.
“We’re committed to handling this restructuring with dignity and respect for all involved and want to thank those impacted for their valued contributions to VF,” a spokesperson told Retail Dive. VF Corp. has about 35,000 associates globally.
Overall revenue for the company fell 2% in the most recent quarter to $3 billion.
That’s how much installments loans contributed to online spending on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe Analytics. That was a 42.5% increase over last year. November is expected to be the biggest on record for buy now, pay later services. Around $17 billion is expected to be financed through BNPL this holiday season, according to analysts at Adobe Digital Insights.
What we’re watching
AI just another reason retailers need better data on crime
This week, two stories on retail crime questioned data around retail theft touted by the industry, which is seeking to change crime laws on the federal, state and local levels. The New York Times focused on shoplifting and how trends differ in various parts of the country, while an in-depth analysis from Retail Dive attempted to parse data floating through media reports, white papers and political lobbying efforts.
Both the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, whose statistics turn out to be the basis for pretty much all other estimations of retail crime and trends, this week acknowledged the difficulty of nailing down hard numbers on retail crime. In a post RILA said, “Tracking this data is notoriously difficult. For starters, getting an accurate measure of retail theft depends on both retailers and law enforcement reporting the activity. We know due to myriad factors, this doesn’t always happen.”
In a statement to Retail Dive for its story, the NRF also recognized the scope of the challenge. “We stand behind the widely understood fact that organized retail crime is a serious problem impacting retailers of all sizes and communities across our nation,” Mary McGinty, NRF VP of communications and public affairs, said. “At the same time, we recognize the challenges the retail industry and law enforcement have with gathering and analyzing an accurate and agreed-upon set of data to measure the number of incidents in communities across the country.”
Numbers are “only the beginning of the story,” which, unfortunately for the industry and anyone hoping to address retail crime, will unravel if they can’t stand up to scrutiny, according to Professor Trent Buskirk, who recently arrived at Old Dominion University to help establish a new School of Data Science.
“You have to peel the onion back, and you will eventually start to see that, if every organization asks itself these questions, like a good reporter does, we would have better numbers, better information and a better world, right?” he said by phone. “This is important because generative AI is going to ingest this information, and it's going to continue this pattern ad infinitum. Until we start to get better reporting and more accuracy around these things, we won't solve the generative AI bias.”