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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 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