It’s been another week with far more retail news than there is time in the day. Below, we’ll break down some of the things you may have missed during the week and what we’re still thinking about.
From guitar lessons at Guitar Center to increased holiday hiring, here’s our closing for the week.
Something you may have missed
Nordstrom Rack continues to grow
September was a busy month for Nordstrom’s affordable Rack banner. The retailer announced this week that California will get three new Rack stores next year in Anaheim Hills, Clovis and San Clemente; earlier this month the company said that three will open in the Pacific Northwest (in Union Gap and Olympia, Washington, and Salem, Oregon) next fall, and one will open in Delray BeachFlorida, next spring.
With the addition of the three locations in California, Nordstrom will operate 57 Rack stores, 23 full-line stores, five Nordstrom Locals and one Asos | Nordstrom in California, the company said in a press release. This move came despite the difficulty Rack has faltering compared to rivalsin a wider segment unusual challenge these days.
Nike launches mini shoe recycling program on Alipay
Nike announced on Monday that it partnered with Ant Group’s Green Energy Initiative to launch a program on Alipay to encourage consumers to recycle shoes.
Chinese consumers can search the “Recycle-A-Shoe” mini-program on the Alipay app and collect worn-out Nike shoes for recycling. The shoes will then be dismantled and recycled to create sustainable sports surfaces.
“In China, Nike continues to pursue its goal of ‘Moving to Zero’ and encourages the public to participate in environmental protection. The innovative collaboration with Ant Group allows the Nike Recycle-A-Shoe program to reach more consumers through digital solutions on the Alipay platform and integrates Nike’s sustainability efforts into everyday life, which is our long-term commitment,” said Stanley Chang, VP president of operations. and Nike Greater China logistics, the statement said.
Home Depot workers petition to form a union
Home Depot workers in Philadelphia filed a union petition this week, according to a Document to the National Council on Labor Relations. The petition, which includes 274 merchandising, specialty and operations employees, lists the union as “Home Depot Workers United.”
The move comes as more retail workers look to unionize. Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island in April voted for the mergerand earlier this month an NLRB officer it is recommended that the objection be rejected made Amazon in opposition to the union. And workers at outdoor retailer REI successfully voted earlier this year to unionize its stores in Berkeley, California, and New York.
Sixty Home Depot Delivery Drivers in 2019 voted to join the unionwho the Teamsters said at the time were the first workers at a home goods retailer to join a union.
Guitar Center has partnered with Southwest Airlines to create a new version of Hell on Earth
Giving customers the opposite of peace and quiet, Guitar Center announced Saturday that it has partnered with Southwest Airlines to “wow” customers ukulele class in flightsays the press release.
We have teamed up with @guitarcenter to surprise a flight full of customers flying in from Long Beach with a ukulele and a lesson. By the time they arrived in Honolulu, they were professionals. pic.twitter.com/XsEx10sRJK
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) September 20, 2022
Yes, that’s right—Guitar Center and Southwest Airlines have brought the nightmare scenario to real life. Customers on a flight from Long Beach to Honolulu last Friday received a Mitchell MU40 Soprano, a Road Runner carrying case and a lesson in how to play the song “Hello, Aloha. How are you?” during the flight, according to the release.
To celebrate this joyous occasion, which we all hope our flight customers have agreed to, the companies are holding a raffle for a chance to win a round-trip flight on Southwest for the winner and a guest, as well as two Hawaiian guitars.
Athleta creates a new image
Gap Inc. brand. introduced a “unique style formula” with an eight-piece capsule collection that promises to transition throughout the day “without compromising function or style.” The goal is to have a rational way to assemble clothing by layering pieces.
Clothing in The Athleta Look consists of three parts:
- Starting with a “morning yoga flow” performance layer.
- Adding to this base an active product throughout the day “for those post-workout things”.
- Adding a layer of outerwear for a ‘chic way to keep warm’.
The capsule collection is a way for shoppers to shop and create a look, and includes 20 different outfits. Prices range from $54 to $229, and items come in sizes XXS to 3X, as well as petite and tall.
Which we are still thinking about
That’s how many corporate employees of Gap Inc. lets go. It’s been a particularly tough year at Gap: Both the Old Navy Chief and then CEO of the company left suddenly, and last week his loud Yeezy Gap a collaboration that is reportedly set to last ten years, exploded as Ye (aka Kanye West) lobbied accusations at its corporate partner.
According to GlobalData CEO Neil Saunders, the job cuts make financial sense but are not enough to save the company.
“What Gap desperately needs is a coherent and clear plan to get Old Navy back on track and revitalize the ailing Gap brand,” he said in emailed comments. “Unfortunately, neither one nor the other is in place. With no permanent CEO, the Yeezy partnership going south, and various supply chain obstacles, Gap has a whole basket of problems and very few solutions.”
That’s how much active Stitch Fix customers are lost in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year. That’s about 9% of the company’s active customer base, which it defines as anyone who’s received a box or item from the Freestyle website in the last 52 weeks, including all women’s, men’s and children’s accounts, regardless of whether they’re in one household.
The drop in customer numbers comes after the apparel company reported fourth-quarter net income fell 16% year-over-year to $481.9 million. Stitch Fix’s net loss also came in at $96.3 million from a net profit of $21.5 million last year.
What we observe
How to shake up hiring during the holidays
As they do every year as summer turns to fall, retailers have begun gearing up for seasonal work. Just this week, both Target and Walmart — two retailers that often set the tone for the industry as a whole — released holiday hiring forecasts. Target’s plan is very similar to the retailer’s plan last year: the campaign wants to hire up to 100,000 employees again both in the store and in the supply chain.
But Walmart was a different story. The chain said it would hire only 40,000 associates for the holiday season, a drop of more than 100,000 from the previous year. The nearly 75% reduction includes hiring store employees, truck drivers and customer service employees. While the number is significantly lower than last year, it is more than double the number of employees Walmart hired during the pandemic-related 2020 holiday season to work at service centers.
As more retailers make hiring decisions, we’ll be watching how retailers manage staff, especially amid a wave of corporate layoffs and continued consumer concerns about inflation.
https://www.retaildive.com/news/home-depot-employees-unionize-nike-shoe-recycling-alipay/632513/ Weekly shutdown: Home Depot workers unionize, Nike launches Alipay recycling program