The end of summer 2022 brought a mixed bag of news. With gas prices falling, consumers took those savings to spend in retail. However, inflation continues to be a concern. Big box stores like Walmart and Bed, Bath & Beyond both reported layoffs and retailers like REI, Starbucks, Chipotle and Amazon continue their push to unionize, with US support for unions is at 57 year high, according to NPR.
Here are some of the other stories we've been paying attention to this month.
Back to school spending is in full swing. USA Today reports that back-to-school spending is expected to remain somewhat steady at $36.9 billion, a dip of 0.5% compared to last year, while back-to-college spending will increase an estimated 4% to $73.9 billion. Back-to-school spending per child is expected to increase 8% from 2021 to an average of $661 per child.
Business Insider had two interesting articles. The first looks at the 25 fastest growing DTC brands based on growth and web traffic, with a mix of food, retail, fashion and home goods making the list. The second is a deep dive on Abercrombie & Fitch, following its rise, fall amongst many controversies and recent rise again. The reporter writes "Abercrombie saw a 43% increase in digital net sales in 2020, despite the challenges of the pandemic. The company credited that success to data analytics and learning more about their customers' needs, even during a time when the apparel industry was in a state of upheaval."
A report from TheRealReal examines the trend of Gen Z using luxury resale as a side hustle to supplement their income. RetailBrew reports "the online consignment marketplace noticed a 50% uptick on items, like skirts and watches, resold on its site during the first six months of the year. These goods were purchased by Gen Z customers at a lower price with the purpose of selling them at a higher price."
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