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 DD’s Discounts naming a new chief merchandising officer to Tractor Supply’s net sales falling in Q4, here’s our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Period care brand Lola acquired by Forum Brands
Lola, the period brand founded in 2014, has been acquired by Amazon aggregator Forum Brands for an undisclosed sum.
“Lola has long been a trailblazer in better-for-you period care, and we can't wait to leverage the success of their DTC platform to build on their incredible legacy together,” Forum Brands announced on its LinkedIn account.
The deal quietly closed in December, according to a Business of Fashion report. CEO Amy Fisher also departed the brand, the report said.
Ross names chief merchandising officer of DD’s Discounts
Ross Stores announced Wednesday the promotion of Karen Fleming as its new chief merchandising officer for DD’s Discounts, effective April 1. Her predecessor, Brian Morrow, who also is DD’s president, will become a company consultant following the move.
Fleming has served as group executive vice president of merchandising at DD’s since 2023. She spent 20 years in merchandise leadership roles at Ross Dress for Less before she joined DD’s in 2022, according to a company press release.
In the new role, Fleming will report directly to Ross Stores CEO Barbara Rentler. She will be responsible for directing all aspects of DD’s merchandising.
“We are excited to have Karen lead the dd’s merchandising team. She is a respected executive who has made significant contributions to the growth of our Company during her tenure,” Rentler said.
The move comes on the heels of the announcement of 51 new store openings including 43 Ross Dress for Less stores and eight DD’s Discounts stores in 22 states.
Fanatics brings on three new executives
Fanatics Commerce this week announced the appointment of three new executives, according to a company press release.
Stephen Dowlings was named to the new role of President of International and will lead growth of the company outside of North America. Dowlings comes to the company from Adidas, where he led digital growth.
Valerie Love, who was previously the senior vice president of human resources at The Coca-Cola Company, was named chief people officer. Justin Tsai is in the newly created role of chief product officer.
All three executives will report to CEO Andrew Low Ah Kee.
This fragrance is Kenough for me
Lacking self-confidence because the Barbie in your life didn’t look your way today? There’s about to be a solution to that, thanks to the DefineMe Creative Studio.
The company, which also sells a Barbie fragrance, is offering a limited pre-order of a Ken Eau de Parfum, which will ship next week. The scent features bergamot, cardamom and cedarwood, among other things, and a 3.4 oz bottle sells for $65.
“This Kensational fragrance is an experience of ocean-side breezes mixed with warm golden sunshine, a celebration of masculinity, and an embodiment of timeless allure,” the product page reads.
Ready for a full day of standing confidently and beaching people off? This is the scent for you.
Just like Ricky Bobby, Abercrombie & Fitch decides “If you ain’t first, you’re last”
Abercrombie & Fitch this week announced a partnership with the McLaren Formula 1 team, which includes releases of licensed apparel, content creation, social media collaborations and events.
The two brands originally partnered last year when the retailer’s McLaren licensed apparel went viral on TikTok, according to the company.
As part of the collab, McLaren’s new Formula 1 car will be featured inside the Fifth Avenue Abercrombie store in New York City through Sunday.
What we’re still thinking about
That’s how many jobs UPS plans to cut in order to save $1 billion in costs.
The delivery giant, which currently employs 495,000 people, is navigating softer demand compared to the early pandemic when many consumers were shopping online instead of in stores.
The job cuts, the majority of which will occur in the first half of the year, will primarily impact management-level employees and contracted positions.
That’s how much Tractor Supply’s net sales fell in Q4. The decline came as comps decreased 4.2% during the all-important holiday period, due to a lower average ticket and transaction count. Operating and net income also took a hit during the quarter, down 7% and 8.5%, respectively. For the full year, however, sales grew 2.5%, reaching $14.6 billion, with comps up 6.3%.
“While our financial performance in 2023 did not meet our initial expectations, our team successfully navigated a highly dynamic environment with agility, operational resiliency and a focus on our strategic investments,” CEO Hal Lawton said in a statement. “As we exit 2023, our business has never been stronger. Our healthy customer engagement, all time high customer satisfaction scores, peak productivity of our supply chain, technology enhancements and the scaled transformation of our store base all serve as proof points of the strength of our business."
What we’re watching
Nordstrom Rack’s store count continues to grow
Nordstrom this week announced that it will open two new Nordstrom Rack stores in North Carolina — one in Raleigh and another in Matthews.
It’s the latest in a series of announcements by the department store to expand its Nordstrom Rack presence. The company is betting on its lower-priced brand, despite declines over the last few quarters.
In December alone the company unveiled plans to open Rack stores in Houston, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; Noblesville, Indiana; and Franklin, Tennessee. In January, Nordstrom announced that it was opening a new location in Fort Myers, Florida.