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News Briefs

  • 4/17/2024

    Fan Outfitters goes national with locally tailored stores

    Fan Outfitters St. Louis store

    A retailer dedicated to selling the products of local sports teams is growing across the U.S.

    Fan Outfitters, a business unit of Lids Sports Group, opened its latest new store in North Tampa, Fla. in January 2024. The retailer describes itself as a "one-stop shop" for sports fans offering an “extensive and varied” product selection catering to local consumers. Stores also offer a comprehensive range of championship products after major sporting milestones and events like the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals, MLS Cup and NCAA Championships. 

    Focusing on localization at scale, Fan Outfitters seeks to provide merchandise of  professional, minor league, collegiate and, in some cases, high school teams popular in the local area. 

    The stores also aim to offer retail experiences that enable engagement between teams and their supporters. According to Fan Outfitters, its stores will host various events, including player meet-and-greets and talent appearances.

    "Fan Outfitters’ mission is to create a space where fans can unite through the excitement and passion of their team's traditions while also finding the newest and most extensive range of products," said Sean McCabe, senior VP, corporate development & strategy, Lids. "We are committed to being the go-to destination for all your favorite team’s gear while providing fans with a tangible way to represent and engage with their local teams."

    [Read More: Lids opens its largest store yet]

  • 4/17/2024

    Report: FTC may block sale of Michael Kors parent to Coach parent Tapestry

    A $8.5 billion acquisition of three luxury brands may be in jeopardy.

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is getting ready to sue to block the proposed merger of Tapestry Inc. and Capri Holdings, reported the New York Times Deal/Book, citing people familiar with the matter. Tapestry, whose portfolio includes Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, entered into an agreement in August 2023 to acquire Capri Holdings, which is made up of Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo in a deal with an enterprise value of  approximately $8.5 billion.

    The deal would create a U.S.-based luxury powerhouse with operations in more than 75 countries. Industry experts said is would also help both companies better compete against their European rivals, particularly LVMH, whose 75 brands include Tiffany, Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Dior.

    The acquisition, which has been approved by regulators in the European Union and Japan, has been under scrutiny from the FTC for months, according to the Times report. FTC.’s commissioners are expected to meet next week to discuss the case, a move that could precede a formal vote on whether to file a lawsuit, the report said, noting it is still possible that the agency could decide not to sue.

  • 4/17/2024

    Done Deal: 7-Eleven completes $1 billion acqusition of Stripes Stores

    7-Eleven logo

    7-Eleven has expanded its footprint in three states.

    The convenience store giant said it has completed its acquisition of 204 stores from Sunoco LP, which includes Stripes convenience stores and Laredo Taco Company restaurants.  Located across West Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, the stores join the more than 13,000 7-Eleven Speedway and Stripes locations that 7-Eleven already operates, franchises and/or licenses across the U.S. and Canada.

    With the closing, 7-Eleven now owns and operates all Stripes and Laredo Taco Company locations across the U.S.

    "Stripes and Laredo Taco Company have been a great addition to our family of brands since they first joined us back in 2018,” said Joe DePinto, CEO of 7-Eleven. “That deal provided us a valuable brand to grow our restaurant offering. We're excited to welcome the remaining Stripes stores and Laredo Taco Company restaurants to the family, and we look forward to serving customers across West Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma."

    Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 13,200 stores in the U.S. and Canada. 

  • 4/12/2024

    Mastercard SpendingPulse: March retail sales rise across channels

    MasterCard SpendingPulse

    New data from Mastercard shows that consumers increased year-over-year (YoY) spending in stores and online during March 2024.

    According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, total U.S. retail sales (excluding automotive) were up YoY in March 2024, showing showing continued growth for both online (+6.1%) and in-store (+2.6%) retail sales.

    Examining individual retail verticals, Mastercard SpendingPulse found that total apparel sales climbed 5.4% year-over-year, led by robust e-commerce growth which was up +16.1% for the month. The top growth vertical for the month was electronics, with overall sales increasing 8.7% from March 2023.

    However, the analysis found that some sectors that are more closely related to the housing market, such as home improvement (-2.9%) and home furniture & furnishings (-8.3%) continue to lag in terms of YoY growth. 

    Michelle Meyer, chief economist at the Mastercard Economics Institute, emailed commentary on the month’s retail sales performance to Chain Store Age. 

    "Consumer spending accelerated in March with gains in apparel as consumers refreshed their spring wardrobe," Meyer said in the email. "We also continued to see e-commerce growth, underscoring how consumers value convenience and are searching across channels for promotions."

    New findings from the CNBC/National Retail Federation (NRF) Retail Monitor align with Mastercard SpendingPulse, indicating that total retail sales, excluding automobiles and gasoline, were up 0.36% seasonally adjusted month-over-month (MoM) and up 2.72% unadjusted YoY in March. 

    Editor’s Note: Mastercard SpendingPulse reflects nominal spending and is not adjusted for inflation.

  • 4/12/2024

    Pet Valu optimizes omnichannel pricing and promotions planning

    Pet Valu logo

    A leading Canadian pet food and supplies retailer is maximizing visibility into pricing and promotions data.

    Pet Valu is deploying Relex specialized technology to optimize the pricing and promotions planning processes the retailer utilizes across its more than 780 retail locations and digital channels. The retailer seeks to better anticipate shifts in customer demand and also integrate and market newly acquired products more efficiently and effectively.

    Relex implementation partner Logic will provide program management, change management and data integration services.

    "As we commence the transformation of our merchandising systems, we believe there is an opportunity to enhance the way we design, execute and measure the effectiveness of pricing and promotions," said Kendalee MacKay, chief merchandising officer at Pet Valu. "We believe Relex’s solutions will enable us to create innovative, insight-driven strategies that continuously improve our projected outcomes."

    "Promotions and price planning is a critical task for any retailer – and the pet supply space is certainly no exception. Consumers’ needs for their four-legged family members are continually changing, and Relex can help Pet Valu understand and plan for those demand shifts," said Keith Adams, senior VP of North America, Relex Solutions. 

    "We are excited to be selected by Pet Valu for this implementation," said Andy Winans, chief client officer, Logic. "We will leverage our deep knowledge of the pet industry, our expertise in pricing and promotions, and experience deploying the solutions that Relex provides."

    [Read more: Lowe’s plans seasonal inventory with Relex AI]

  • 4/11/2024

    Gen Z visits to pet retailers rise, while Millennial visits dip

    Gen Z pet owner

    As Gen Z consumers age, their impact on the pet industry is beginning to be felt.

    According to data from geospatial insights company Pass_by, Gen Z is driving traffic to major brick-and-mortar pet retailers, while Millennials are visiting physical pet stores less frequently than they did in 2019. 

    PetSmart saw a 1.3% increase in Gen Z visits over the last five years, while Petco also benefited, seeing a 1.9% increase in Gen Z traffic since 2019. Another chain, Pet Supermarket, saw a similar increase at 1.6%.

    Meanwhile, Millennial visits to the same three retailers has decreased since 2019. Millennial visits to PetSmart dropped 6.2% since 2019. Visits to Petco fell, 6.8%, and visits to Pet Supermarket saw a 7.6% decrease over the last five years.

    "As Gen Z comes of age and enters their prime pet-owning years, they're bringing a new level of energy and enthusiasm to the pet retail industry," said Pass_by VP of marketing James Ewen. "While Millennials may be drifting away, savvy retailers who cater to Gen Z's unique preferences and shopping habits could be poised for a new era of growth."

    Pass_by noted that retailers should be aware of this growing cohort and their spending power, and cater to their values such as sustainability and ethical practices, digital engagement and experiential retail.

    “The influence of Gen Z on the pet retail industry is a testament to the broader shifts in consumer behavior and market dynamics,” wrote Ewen in an analysis of the data. “As retailers navigate this new landscape, the key to success lies in understanding and aligning with Gen Z’s values and preferences. Embracing this shift is not just strategic, it’s essential for retailers aiming to thrive in the rapidly changing retail ecosystem.”

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