Economy

The Week Ahead: Father's Day, Retail sales data, Fed decision

Here's what we're following in ecommerce and consumer goods for the week of June 13-21.

jerome powell testifying

All eyes will be on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday.

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.

Events

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.

Economic indicators

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.

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