The Current, delivered daily.
Welcome to a new week. As we get ready to celebrate dads, the federal government is gearing up to make key economic announcements. Here’s what we’re watching in ecommerce and consumer goods for the week of June 13-21.
Americans are gearing up to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, June 21. According to the National Retail Federation, consumer spending is expected to total $20 billion for this year's event. It’s increasingly becoming an ecommerce-centered holiday, as 40% of consumers plan to shop online, NRF reports. There’s still time for brands and retailers to roll out deals and campaigns. In fact, 30% of consumers say they look to retailers for gift inspiration, so it’s an opportunity to influence decisions.
On the conference circuit, The Digital Grocery Summit USA is set to bring leading CPG brands and retailers together in Chicago on June 15. Leaders from Coca-Cola, Kroger and Colgate Palmolive will be participating in the interactive vent.
Following Friday’s double data whammy showing that inflation’s rise reached a new 40-year high and consumer sentiment reached an all-time low, a few key metrics will further fill in this month’s economic picture:
- Last week gave us the Consumer Price Index. June 14 brings the latest data for Producer Price Index, showing what those who make goods and services are paying.
- Wednesday, June 15, is the key day for the economy this week. The US Department of Commerce will release the latest US retail sales totals in the morning. This will be allow economists to gauge whether consumer demand is continuing to remain high, even as prices rise due to inflation.
- In the afternoon, the Federal Reserve is expected to announce a decision on whether it plans to hike interest rates following a two-day meeting. The Fed raised its key rate by half a percentage point in May, and another hike is widely expected to follow. The question among economists appears to be by how much.
Key developments we're following
- Return fees: Zara’s recent move to begin charging for returns arrived stateside earlier this month, Total Retail reports. The fast fashion retailer is going against the ecommerce grain of offering free returns as a perk that helps make online shopping easy. The retail world will be watching to see how this is received by consumers, and whether others follow suit.
- Chapter 11 watch: Cosmetics maker Revlon could be nearing a bankruptcy filing as soon as this week, the Wall Street Journal reports. It has for years had issues with debt, and is now facing headwinds from supply chain snags and inflation.
- Resource alert: Ulta Beauty is set to launch a new accelerator to support early-stage BIPOC beauty brands. Through the MUSE Accelerator, eight founders will receive $50,000, take part in a curriculum and receive support from mentors. Applications will be accepted through June 30. Find more info here.
Trending in Economy
On the Move has leadership and promotion news from Pacsun, Calvin Klein and CVS Health.
This week, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies hires a new CEO, while a luxury ecommerce platform taps a successor to its founder. Plus, we’ve got news on top leadership hires and promotions at Pacsun, West Elm and Calvin Klein Americas.
Unilever appoints CEO
Hein Schumacher. (Courtesy photo)
Hein Schumacher will be the next CEO of Unilever, effective July 1. Schumacher comes to the maker of Dove, Hellmann’s and Ben & Jerry’s from Royal FrieslandCampina, where he is credited with leading turnaround efforts at the $11 billion business.
Succeeding the retiring Alan Jope, Schumacher will assume the top job at Unilever as it appears to be on the precipice of change following the appointment of activist investor Nelson Peltz to the board in May.
“The Board looks forward to Hein realising the full potential of Unilever as a winning business which delivers long-term growth and value for all its stakeholders,” said Unilever Chairman Nils Andersen, in a statement.
Brie Olson named co-CEO in Pacsun shakeup
Brie Olson. (Courtesy photo)
Brie Olson was promoted to co-CEO of Pacsun from the role of president. Olson will serve alongside co-CEO Mike Relich. With the move, Alfred Chang will transition to the CEO role at clothing brand Fear of God, which is a Pacsun brand partner. As president, Olson oversaw Pacsun’s AI and metaverse initiative, led a variety of brand partnerships and introduced a gender neutral collection.
The RealReal hires Wainwright's successor
John E. Koryl is joining The RealReal as CEO. Koryl is stepping in to lead the luxury ecommerce platform after founder Julie Wainwright stepped down in June. He comes to the company from the digital arm of Canadian Tire Corporation, and also previously played a key digital transformation leadership role while serving as president of stores and online Neiman Marcus.
West Elm taps Ralph Lauren Home lead as president
Day Korbluth. (Courtesy photo)
Day Kornbluth was named president of West Elm. Kornbluth comes to the Williams Sonoma-owned sustainable home retailer from Ralph Lauren Home, where she served as president. The company credited her track record of growing home furnishing brands with a focus on product and digital innovation. The move follows former West Elm president Alex Bellos' appointment as CEO at Food52 earlier this year.
Vera Bradley shakes up leadership
The travel and accessories retailer Vera Bradley announced a leadership shakeup that resulted in the following:
President Daren Hull, Chief Creative Officer Beatrice Mac Cabe and Chief Revenue Officer Mary Beth Trypus all saw their roles eliminated, and will be leaving the company.
The company will also add the position of SVP of merchandising and design, and is actively conducting a search.
Alison Hiatt joined Vera Bradley as chief marketing officer to oversee digital marketing, customer data and ecommerce. Hiatt brings experience from the food company Salt and Straw.
Pura Vida, which is owned by Vera Bradley, will see co-presidents Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman leave the company. With this, Vera Bradley will acquire a 25% interest in Pura Vida from Thall and Goodman for $10 million, effective January 30.
Vera Bradley said it is making these changes to "drive cost savings, add more focus on marketing and merchandising, and position the Company to deliver steady top- and bottom-line growth."
Master P named chairman of Launch Cart
Percy "Master P" Miller. (Courtesy photo)
Percy “Master P” Miller was appointed chairman of the board at Launch Cart, an ecommerce platform that bills itself as an alternative to Shopify. Alongside a rap career that yielded 90s hits with his label No Limit Records, Miller brings a track record as an entrepreneur in food and entertainment. “With his entrepreneurial spirit and deep understanding of the power of business, our partnership will make it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to realize their dreams of starting an online business, building a brand, and generating income,” said cofounder Bernt Ullmann.
Kohler to lead Calvin Klein Americas
Donald Kohler. (Courtesy photo)
Donald Kohler was named president of Calvin Klein Americas by parent company PVH Corp. Kohler brings experience from a 15-year career in retail from Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo and Diesel. The company said his expertise includes direct-to-consumer, third-party driven business models and ecommerce. The new comes on the heels of the appointment of Inditex executive Eva Serrano as global brand president at Calvin Klein.
Skims appoints chief commercial officer
Robert Norton is joining Skims as chief commercial officer, and will lead international expansion. Norton joins the Kim Kardashian-founded shapewear brand from Moncler, where he served as president of the Americas. Over a two-decade career, he also previously served as CEO of the Americas for Roberto Cavalli and was an executive at Ralph Lauren.
“I have been a fan of Robert’s for several years and believe him to be a rare, creatively minded executive who knows how to build both a brand and a business,” said Jens Grede, cofounder and CEO of Skims, in a statement. “We are excited to have Robert on the team as we continue the evolution of SKIMS into a global retail brand.”
CVS Health creates chief product officer role
CVS Health announced a pair of appointments:
- David Joyner will join the company as EVP and president of pharmacy services, which serves employers, health plans and government. Joyner previously worked with CVS Health, and has 34 years of experience.
- Amy Bricker was named EVP and chief product officer for the consumer. She assumes the newly-created role to head consumer products and innovation after serving as president of Express Scripts.