June brought the end of school and the start of vacation, along with some real fears about growing inflation, the bear stock market and trouble in the job market. While some industries are still desperate to fill open employment, the tech industry is seeing early signs of trouble. According to Fast Company, as of June 14 there have been more than 7,000 tech jobs eliminated, adding to the 16,000 jobs in May. RetailBrew reported on what online inflation looked like for May from Adobe's Digital Price Index and found that online inflation actually fell 0.7% from April, decreasing for the second straight month - but consumers are still paying more for most products compared to last year. Prices for electronics and apparel, which made up a third of online spending in 2021, fell 1.4% and 1.5%, respectively, on a month-over-month basis. Looking at the categories YoY, apparel is up 9%, while electronics, among the outliers, are actually down 6.5%.
Here are some of the other stories that caught our eye in June.
Size-inclusive fashion was expected to be a big draw at Old Navy. But after only one year, the brand is downsizing the program to limit sizes in stores but keep online. Sales began to drop off almost immediately and their data may be to blame. Fast Company writes "The problem was that Old Navy didn't have enough information about how much inventory to buy in each size for each store. According to The Wall Street Journal, stores sold out of middle sizes but were stuck with too many of the very small and very large sizes, which meant it had to heavily discount these items. Many consumers reported being frustrated when they'd show up at a store only to discover that their size wasn't available."
June's Pride Month gives brands a number of opportunities to celebrate allyship of the LGBQT community. Fashion and cosmetic brands are historically leaders in Pride celebrations, but this year's Pride has been seeing participation from a variety of brands. WWD shares a roundup of some of the programs and charitable efforts brands like Ugg, Ralph Lauren, Saks, e.l.f., Peloton and more are undertaking this month.
RetailDive has been doing a deep dive on sustainability in retail. This article focuses on how investors are trying to push retail brands to be more sustainable using their wallets to fund change and demand it. Green debt and bonds, sustainability linked bonds and loans and Involving the corporate finance team from the get-go are all strategies being used to encourage more sustainable efforts in the space.
Morning Consult unveiled its list of most trusted brands with an overall ranking and industry specific lists.In the retail and e-commerce category, the top five included CVS, Home Depot, Walgreens, Lowes and Amazon. RetailBrew reports on what made these brands more trustworthy to consumers.
The Wall Street Journal wrote about retailers' inventories increasing as production cycles stretch out due to supply chain issues. The production cycle - the time from design to hitting shelves - has increased from eight months to a year which makes it harder to match supply with demand.
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