The Current, delivered daily.
Good morning, we hope you had a great Independence Day. Welcome to a new quarter. Having fully settled into summer, here’s what The Current is tracking in ecommerce and the economy over the next four days, and the coming month.
With the short summer week, there's less activity on the ecommerce calendar over the next few days. So here’s a quick look at what’s coming up in July:
- Prime Day: Amazon’s annual deals extravaganza is set for July 12-13. There are plenty of deals leading up to the day itself, and keep an eye out for events seeking to benefit from the halo effect, like Target’s Deal Days. Check out our full primer for sellers.
- Grow NY: Retail brands are gathering at the Knockdown Center in New York on July 19-20 for two days of talks, workshops and networking.
- Digital Food and Beverage: On the CPG side, Austin is the destination for this ecommerce and digital marketing conference on July 25-26.
It’s the first week of the month, so all eyes are on jobs. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is set to release the results of its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey on Wednesday, July 6. Then, on Friday, the BLS drops the monthly jobs report.
Last month showed a relatively strong jobs report, especially in the face of soothsaying about a recession. But retail was one exception, as stores shed 61,000 jobs amid a shift to consumer spending on experiences over shopping for goods. The data for June will offer a look at whether that shift was temporary, or on the way to being more lasting.
Stories we’re following
- Jassy’s Year One: Protocol’s Source Code newsletter notes this morning that today marks one year since Andy Jassy took over as Amazon CEO from Jeff Bezos. That date arrives amid executive shuffling on the company’s vaunted S-team, and as a pivotal Prime Day approaches. What verdict will emerge on his first year in the top role?
- What’s next for Kohl’s? After a long courtship, Kohl’s announced Friday that it won’t be moving ahead with talks for a sale to Vitamin Shoppe owner Franchise Group. So what’s the path ahead for the retailer? Real estate sales could be in the near future, CNBC notes.
- What's happening with TikTok ecommerce?: When it comes to integrating shopping into short-form videos, change seems to be afoot. A report from the Financial Times on Monday says social media darling TikTok is abandoning plans to expand livestream shopping in the US and UK. However, the ByteDance-owned company may not be abandoning social commerce altogether. Social Media Today reports that the company is testing a shopping feed in Indonesia. At a time when brands are seeing growth on TikTok, will such a feature move West, as well?
Trending in Economy
Here's a look at the week ahead for Jan. 23-27.
Welcome to a new week. We’ve got a quick look back at the NRF Big Show to kick things off. Then, this week brings plenty of opportunities to gain insight into the state of the consumer. Colgate Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark and Levi Strauss will report earnings. Meanwhile, new economic data will offer a look at GDP and inflation.
NRF Big Show takeaways
Industry events are taking a breather this week after the NRF Big Show and Winter Fancy Foods Show kicked off the tradeshow year with high energy. With this week providing a chance to reflect and catch up following all of the activity, we’ll take a moment to share three takeaways from the NRF Big Show:
What does omnichannel mean now? The pandemic brought the spike in ecommerce, and last year featured the return to stores. Technology that connects the two is still called omnichannel, but a lot has changed over the last few years. Think: Googling "In stock near me," Buy Online, Pickup in Store. Building technology for in-person shopping that has digital touchpoints feels more important. Should we still call it omnichannel?
Profitability over growth. With a tougher economic environment expected this year, there's more priority on building loyalty with existing customers, and tightening up operations. We've had three years of swings and adjustment to huge changes. This year, there's an opportunity to pick which of the new approaches stick, and fine-tune to make them work for the long haul.
Composable commerce is everywhere. Retailers used to build custom ecommerce systems. Now, more technology is being built that allows them to choose the best pieces for their needs. Composable commerce is growing not only for customer-facing functions in the shopping experience, but also on the fulfillment and supply chain side. Leaders believe this technology must be built to allow for continuing change as new advances are developed.
The Current will continue to roll out interviews and analysis from the Big Show for the rest of January. Subscribe to The Daily Current newsletter to get the latest in your inbox.
Gross Domestic Product: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis releases the Q4 2022 growth rate of GDP, which is the top measure of economic activity. This includes consumer spending, and any growth or decline is a primary indicator of whether demand for goods is remaining strong. In Q3, GDP grew 3.2%. 8:30 a.m., Jan. 26
Durable Goods Orders: The U.S. Commerce Department releases data for December on manufacturer orders and shipments of goods that are meant to last three years or more. This is an indicator of demand for larger-ticket purchases. 8:30 a.m., Jan. 26
Personal Consumption Expenditures: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis releases data on consumer spending, savings and inflation for December 2022. This is the measure of inflation watched by the Federal Reserve and many economists.
Consumer Sentiment: The University of Michigan releases final data on consumer buying plans and economic expectations in January. In the initial reading, sentiment rose to its highest level since April as more people see inflation beginning to fall.