It’s been another week with far more retail news than there is time in the day. Below, we break down some things you may have missed during the week, and what we’re still thinking about.
From Macy’s hosting AR try-on tech of Disney princess gowns to Pokémon Tiffany & Co. jewelry, here’s our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Serta Simmons Bedding opens a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant
Serta Simmons Bedding, one of the largest bedding manufacturers and retailers in the U.S., opened a state-of-the-art, 500,000-square foot manufacturing plant in Wisconsin this week. It will produce mattresses and other bedding products under its Serta, Beautyrest and Simmons brands.
The new plant consolidates two others within Rock County.
“This new manufacturing plant will enable us to enhance the quality of products and service excellence we offer to retail partners and consumers, all thanks to our experienced, talented and dedicated team of plant associates,” Mark Genender, Interim CEO at Serta Simmons Bedding, said in a statement.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the start of the year and is in the middle of a turnaround. The company’s CEO, Charlie Eitel, resigned three months after being appointed to the roll and Genender, who also serves as the company’s chairman of the board, was named interim CEO.
RH says let them eat caviar
Home retailer RH this week announced the opening of its Champagne & Caviar Bar. The 32-seat lounge is located at the RH Guesthouse New York, a boutique hotel which opened last year that holds six guest rooms, three guest suites and RH CEO Gary Friedman’s private residence.
“The Champagne & Caviar Bar at the RH Guesthouse New York reflects our vision to imagine an alluring space and immersive experience that transports you to both the glamour of secretive and sensual speakeasies of the past, and the most luxurious private lounges and clubs of the present,” Friedman said in a statement.
Macy’s expands Disney Collection for 100th anniversary
Macy’s announced this week it is expanding its Disney collection across all categories to commemorate the company’s 100th anniversary, according to a company press release. The assortment includes fine jewelry, apparel, home and toys. The collection is available online, in stores and on the retailer’s app.
Macy’s also added a Disney Princess collection with role play costumes, accessories, character dolls and more. The company’s Herald Square flagship store in New York will feature an augmented reality mirror experience where customers can virtually try-on dresses worn by Disney Princess characters. The department store is the only place outside of Disney Parks in North America that offers the experience, the company said.
“We are excited to expand our relationship with Disney as together we bring to life Disney Princess experiences in-store and online with exclusive Disney products, just in time for the Holiday Season,” Macy’s Chief Merchandising Officer Nata Dvir said in a statement. “Our iconic brands are synonymous with special experiences, and we can't wait to captivate a new generation of fans with the wonder of Disney at Macy's."
A 7-Eleven themed holiday season
For the 7-Eleven lover in your life, the convenience store chain released holiday themed apparel and merch, according to a Tuesday press release.
The festive goods from 7Collection – the company’s online merchandise shop – include 7-Eleven and Slurpee drink-inspired holiday sweaters, hats, gift wrap, pajamas and more.
"After some epic 7Collection drops in 2023, we're closing out the year with new holiday apparel and accessories that will be on every 7-Eleven superfan's wish list," 7-Eleven EVP and Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer Marissa Jarratt said in a statement. "This collection captures the spirit of the season, blending our brand's iconic style with a touch of holiday magic."
I choose you, Tiffany!
With shoppers in full gift-finding mode, Tiffany & Co. is hoping to turn the heads of rich gamers everywhere with a new Pokémon collection, dropping in December.
The collection, which includes nine different designs, is a collaboration with artist Daniel Arsham and The Pokémon Company. Arsham last year held a Pokémon-focused exhibition in Japan, “A Ripple in Time,” which inspired the collaboration.
Tiffany’s new line, which will be available online and at two Tiffany stores in New York City and Tokyo, will feature six oxidized sterling silver pendants with diamond accents, displaying the shopper’s choice of Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle, Jigglypuff, Cubone or Mew. There are also two different sizes of a yellow gold Pikachu pendant with diamond accents, which come in a Tiffany Blue Poké Ball that is arguably cooler than the necklace itself.
Also soon to be for sale is an oxidized sterling silver necklace featuring all of the Pokémon on it — so yes, you can catch ‘em all.
What we’re still thinking about
That’s how much October’s retail sales rose year over year for the categories tracked by Retail Dive. The increase was driven by growth in categories like e-commerce (up 10.4% year over year), electronics (up 1.4%) and general merchandise (up 0.8%).
But other categories saw sharp declines. Home furnishings saw sales fall nearly 12% from the same period last year, while sporting goods sales fell 3.8%. Apparel saw declines of 0.2% and department store sales fell 6.2%.
October’s “retail sales report reflects moderating inflation, though prices remain high and affordability is a concern for shoppers going into the holiday season,” Claire Tassin, retail and e-commerce analyst at Morning Consult, said in emailed comments. “We’ve recently seen upticks in the shares of U.S. consumers who are delaying major purchases, shopping less overall, and shifting to generic products or discount stores in order to make their household expenses more manageable.”
That’s how much consumers are expected to spend during Thanksgiving weekend, representing a 4% year-over-year increase, according to a recent ICSC survey. The report found that 90% of consumers plan to shop between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.
Deals are top of mind for consumers: 71% of survey respondents said they’ll be researching items in advance to find the best discounts, while 64% said price and value are critical when it comes to deciding where to shop during the holiday weekend.
What we’re watching
Two stepping into new leadership at Dr. Martens
Shoe retailer Dr. Martens said this week two people will take on new corporate leadership roles.
Giles Wilson has been appointed chief financial officer. Wilson comes to the footwear company from U.K.-based spirits company William Grant & Sons Limited, which owns brands that include Hendrick's Gin. Wilson will succeed Jon Mortimore next year on a date to be announced. Mortimore is retiring from the company but will stay on until the end of the financial year.
Also this week, the company said Ije Nwokorie will serve as Dr. Martens’ first-ever chief brand officer. Starting Feb. 1, Nwokorie will report to CEO Kenny Wilson and oversee global marketing, product, and strategy. Nwokorie comes to Dr. Martens from Apple, where he has been senior director of Apple Retail since 2018.