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Welcome to a new week. Summer is still officially with us for 10 more days, but the ecommerce events calendar has already fully transitioned to fall mode. Leaders will be gathering at events around the world this week, and we expect news to be one of the byproducts. Plus, the latest inflation and retail sales data is set to arrive from the federal government. Here's a look at The Current's calendar for the week:
- Chicago Ecommerce Summit: The one-day gathering brings together brands, retailers and solution providers. The event features panel discussions and presentations from leaders of #paid, Xena Workwear, Adobe and more. (September 13)
- eTail Connect West 2022: The invite-only forum for ecommerce and digital marketing leaders is going live in La Jolla, California. (September 14-16)
- MakeUp in New York:The beauty industry meets in New York, as skincare and makeup brands connect with suppliers during this two day event. Alongside an exhibition, the event includes educational programming featuring speakers from Olaplex, Coppertone, Goop and more. (September 14-15)
- Shopify Unite: The annual developers conference for Shopify is getting underway in London with the first of three planned international events to take place this fall. Be on the lookout for headlines from the event. (September 12-13)
- Amazon Accelerate: The conference for Amazon third party sellers features a keynote from Amazon's new CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores, Doug Herrington, tennis legend Venus Williams and educational programming. The conference is in-person at the Seattle Convention Center, and virtual. (September 14-15)
- Consumer Price Index: August data on inflation from the federal government will offer a snapshot at whether prices are continuing the gradual fall they began in July, or whether they will continue to stubbornly remain at 40-year-highs. In July, the inflation rate fell to 8.5% from the 9.1% year-over-year increase reported in June. (September 13, 8:30 a.m.)
- Producer Price Index: Also known as the wholesale price index, this measure of the prices paid for goods in the phases before they reach retail shelves is another key inflation measure. It showed a 9.8% year-over-year increase in July, down from 11.3% in June. (September 14, 8:30 a.m.)
- Retail sales: The overall measure of consumer spending on goods provides a snapshot of demand. With steady year-over-year increases, numbers so far this year have shown that willingness to buy hasn’t been dented by elevated inflation. (September 15, 8:30 a.m.)
- Consumer sentiment: The University of Michigan will provide its first reading on consumer sentiment for the month. This metric showed some improvement in August as the inflation rate dipped. (September 15, 10 a.m.)
Stories we’re following
- Is inflation continuing to cool off? Inflation continues to be the focal point of both businesses that set prices and the central bankers that seek to keep the economy on track. After a decline in the overall inflation rate in July, there is some optimism that the worst might be in the rearview mirror. The Consumer Price Index data for August will offer a look at whether those sentiments are warranted, and offer hints at whether and how much the Federal Reserve may seek to hike interest rates later this month.
- What did earnings season tell us? With second quarter earnings reports mostly completed, what overall lessons can we take from the data and analysis reported by retail, CPG and ecommerce companies? Many reported seeing a tough environment that will continue through the end of year. How will they adjust for the times, and what are the bright spots in the clouds?
- Will there be a fall Amazon sales event? All summer, there was talk that Amazon sellers were moving inventory and deals into place for a fall sales event after they were contacted by the company. But September is nearly half over, and a date has yet to be announced. The Current is working to learn more about if and when the event is happening.
Trending in Economy
On the Move has the latest from Amazon, Lovesac and more.
This week, leadership is changing at GameStop, Sorel and Beautycounter. Meanwhile, key executives are departing at Amazon, Wayfair and Lovesac.
Here’s a look at the latest shuffles:
GameStop CEO fired
GameStop announced the termination of Matthew Furlong as CEO on Wednesday. A brief statement did not provide a reason for the firing.
With the move, Chewy founder and activist investor Ryan Cohen was named executive chairman of the video game retailer. Cohen will be responsible for capital allocation and overseeing management.
It came as the company reported a 10% year-over-year decline in net sales for the first quarter. Meanwhile, the company’s net loss improved by 62%.
In an SEC filing, GameStop further added this “We believe the combination of these efforts to stabilize and optimize our core business and achieve sustained profitability while also focusing on capital allocation under Mr. Cohen’s leadership will further unlock long-term value creation for our stockholders.”
Cohen was revealed as GameStop's largest shareholder when he disclosed a 10% stake in the retailer in 2020. GameStop went on to become a leading name in the meme stock rise of 2021.
Sorel president steps down
Mark Nenow is stepping down as president of the Sorel brand in order to focus on his health.
After rising to the role in 2015, Nenow spearheaded a transformation of Columbia Sportswear-owned Sorel from a men’s workwear brand to a fashion-focused brand that led with a women’s offering of boots, sandals and sneakers.
“Mark led the brand to sales of $347 million in net sales in 2022,” said Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle, in a statement. “His leadership has been invaluable to this company, and we wish him the very best.”
Columbia will conduct a search for Nenow’s replacement. Craig Zanon, the company’s SVP of emerging brands, will lead Sorel in the interim.
Beautycounter appoints interim CEO
Beautycounter appointed board member Mindy Mackenzie as interim CEO, succeeding Marc Rey. According to the brand, Rey and the board “mutually decided to transition to a new phase of leadership for Beautycounter.”
McKenzie, a former executive at Carlyle, McKinsey and Jim Beam, will lead the company as it conducts a search for a permanent CEO. Additionally, former Natura & Co CEO Roberto Marques will join Beautycounter’s board as chair.
As part of the transition, Nicole Malozi is also joining the company as chief financial officer. She brings experience from Tatcha, Nike, and DFS Group Limited.
Amazon’s North America fulfillment chief departs
Melissa Nick, a VP of customer fulfillment for North America at Amazon, will leave the company, effective June 16, CNBC reported. Nick joined the company in 2014, and oversaw a region that included nearly 300 fulfillment centers. After doubling its supply chain footprint during the pandemic, Amazon recently reorganized its fulfillment operations to take a regional approach, as opposed to a national model that often resulted in items shipping across the country.
Wayfair’s chief commercial officer to retire
Jon Blotner (Courtesy photo)
Steve Oblak will retire from the role of chief commercial officer at home goods marketplace Wayfair. With the move, Jon Blotner will be promoted to chief commercial officer.
"Steve has served as a critical part of our leadership team and played a pivotal role in Wayfair's growth, helping us grow from a $250 million business when he joined to $12 billion in net revenue today,” said Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah, in a statement. “He oversaw countless milestones, from helping to launch the Wayfair brand as we brought together hundreds of sites into a single platform, to launching new categories, business lines, and geographies while overseeing our North American and European businesses, to leading our debut into physical retail.”
Blotner previously oversaw exclusive and specialty retail brands, as well as digital media at Wayfair. Before joining the company, he served as president of Gemvara.com prior to its 2016 acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway.
Lovesac announces CFO transition
Furniture retailer Lovesac said Donna Dellomo will retire as EVP and CFO, and move to an advisory role, effective June 30. Dellomo was with Lovesac for six years.
Keith Siegner was appointed as the next EVP and CFO. He brings experience as CFO of esports company Vindex, as well as executive roles at Yum! Brands, UBS Securities and Credit Suisse.
Additionally, Jack Krause will retire from the role of chief strategy officer, effective June 30. His responsibilities will be divided between CEO Shawn Nelson and president Mary Fox.
“Since joining Lovesac, Jack has played an instrumental role in transforming the Company into a true omni channel retailer by helping expand our physical touchpoints and digital platform as we continue to disrupt the industry,” said Nelson, in a statement.
NRF adds board members
The National Retail Federation announced the addition of five new board members. They include:
- Marguerite Adzick, founder and CEO, Addison Bay
- Harley Finkelstein, president, Shopify
- Ian Kahn, partner, PwC
- Sharon Leite, CEO, Ideal Image
- Carrie Tharp, VP, strategic industries, Google Cloud