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  • 5/10/2024

    Target to limit Pride Month collection to ‘select’ stores in wake of 2023 backlash

    Pride Month Target

    Target Corp. is dialing it back a bit.

    The discounter is not rolling out Pride Month merchandise chainwide as it did last year. Instead, Target will offer a collection of Pride products that includes adult apparel, home, food and beverage items in select stores, based on historical sales performance. The collection, curated based on consumer feedback, will also be available on Target’s web site. 

    The move comes after Target, which has celebrated Pride Month for over a decade, was targeted last May with a social media-fueled boycott by some shoppers angry over the retailer’s collection of LGBTQ+ merchandise. Customers in certain areas knocked down Pride displays at some Target locations, angrily approached store employees and posted threatening videos on social media from inside the stores. The chain was also the subject of misinformation by prominent conservative groups and media outlets that falsely accused it of selling “tuck-friendly” bathing suits designed for kids or in kids sizes.  

    Target said it will continue to support and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month and year-round. It will join local Pride events in its Minneapolis hometown of Minneapolis and around the country. Its Pride+ Business Council will host internal events and experiences where interested team members “can learn, reflect, celebrate and connect. It’s complemented by the year-round resources and benefits we provide to our LGBTQIA+ team members,”

    In addition, the company said it will continue to support LGBTQIA+ organizations year-round, including Human Rights Campaign, Family Equality and more.

  • 5/10/2024

    Costco strong in April as sales rise 7.1%

    Costco operates 855 warehouses around the world.

     Costco Wholesale Corp. kept up its momentum in April — in-store and online. 

    The membership warehouse club retailer reported net sales of $19.80 billion for the retail month of April (ended May 5), up 7.1% from $18.48 billion in the year-ago period. (Costco noted that April 2024 was impacted by the shift in timing of Easter, which negatively impacted total and comparable sales by a little more than 0.5%.)

    Total company comparable-store sales rose 5.6% in April, with a 5.8% increase in U.S. clubs. E-commerce comps rose 14.6%. Total comps excluding the impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange rose 5.5%. 

    For the first 35 weeks, Costco’s net sales rose 7% to $166.44 billion. Total comparable sales rose 5.2%, with e-commerce up 14.7%.

    Costco currently operates 876 warehouses, including 604 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 108 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 33 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 18 in Korea, 15 in Australia, 14 in Taiwan, six in China, four in Spain, two in France, and one each in Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden.

    The company also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

  • 5/10/2024

    Consumer sentiment falls to six-month low amid inflation, unemployment worries


    The mood of U.S. consumers turned negative in May as their expectations for inflation moved upward.

    The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment posted a preliminary reading of 67.4 for May, down from 77.2 in April and its lowest reading in six months. The move represented a one-month decline of 12.7% but a year-over-year gain of 14.2%.

    Consumers’ view of current economic conditions fell 12.9% to 68.8 in May, down from 79.0 in April.  The expectations index decreased 12.5% to 66.5, down from 69.4 the previous month.

    “While consumers had been reserving judgment for the past few months, they now perceive negative developments on a number of dimensions,” stated Joanne Hsu, surveys of consumers director. “They expressed worries that inflation, unemployment and interest rates may all be moving in an unfavorable direction in the year ahead.”

    The trend in sentiment is characterized by a broad consensus across consumers, with decreases across age, income, and education groups, she added. Consumers in Western states exhibited a particularly steep drop.


    Year-ahead inflation expectations rose from 3.2% last month to 3.5% this month, remaining above the 2.3-3.0% range seen in the two years prior to the pandemic. Long-run inflation expectations inched up, from 3.0% last month to 3.1% this month. 

    Although they have been within the narrow 2.9-3.1% range for 30 of the last 34 months, long-run inflation expectations remain elevated relative to the 2.2-2.6% range seen in the two years pre-pandemic.

  • 5/9/2024

    Y.Chroma, Rothmans NY collaborate for pop-up experience


    Men’s apparel brand Y.Chroma is making its pop-up debut in one of New York City's most legendary menswear stores. 

    The Lisbon-based brand will open its first-ever in-store shopping experience at Rothmans' NY, which is located in Manhattan's Union Square and is the largest independently-owned menswear store in the country.  Launched in 2022, Y.Chroma describes its apparel as “styles rooted in the skate and surf-aesthetic,” and designed with Generation X (the cohort following baby-boomers) in mind. 

    Open from Friday May 10 through Tuesday, June 25, the Y.Chroma pop-up will feature the brand's most in-demand looks, with a selection that includes tops, bottoms and accessories

    "We're pleased to partner with Rothmans, a force in the menswear industry, for Y.Chroma's first in-store pop-up experience," said Max Israel, founder and creative director of Y.Chroma. "Choosing Rothmans as our venue for our first New York brick-and-mortar presence was an easy choice. They're iconic, and generations of New York men have trusted them to bring the best of the best."

    Y.Chroma says it is projected to surpass its 2023 sales 700% by the end of the year. The brand was highlighted as one of the eight emerging menswear brand's at this year's New York Fashion Week. 

     "Y.Chroma will make a great addition to Rothmans' brand portfolio," said Ken Giddon, co-owner of Rothmans, which operates stores in New York City, Scarsdale and Bronxville. "We take pride in discovering rising brands to offer a unique selection for our customers and Y.Chroma fits right into that approach. We're confident that our customers will be drawn to this new addition, given the style and quality of Y.Chroma's products."

  • 5/9/2024

    PayMore signs 13 franchise deals to expand across U.S., enter Canada


    Electronics retailer PayMore Stores is planning to greatly expand its footprint.

    The trade-in retailer specializing in smartphones, gaming systems, tablets and tech gadgets signed 13 franchise agreements in the first quarter of the year. The agreements will open nearly 70 new stores in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, New Jersey, New York, Missouri, Utah, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida.

    PayMore also reached a new milestone with its first international deal. One of the 13 agreements was a five-unit deal to bring the chain to Canada.

    In collaboration with Fransmart, a leader in franchise development for emerging brands, PayMore experienced substantial growth in 2023, seeing a 600% increase in units. PayMore currently has 31 locations and nearly 270 units in development. The brand says it is on track to exceed 500 units in development by the end of 2024.

    Highlights of the new deals include the following:

    • Eight units in Utah
    • Nine units in Kansas City
    • Five units in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina
    • Three units to Sacramento
    • Three units in San Francisco, five units to California’s East Bay region
    • Seven units in the Raleigh-Durham area
    • 20 units in New England and New Jersey
    • Four units in Pennsylvania
    • Two units in Virginia and Maryland

    Since its founding in 2011, PayMore says it is close to 1.5 million devices traded in.

  • 5/8/2024

    Grocery-anchored center breaks ground in Delaware

    Weis Markets

    Construction has begun for Bayberry Town Center, a 280,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use center developed by Blenhiem Group.

    Located just north of Middletown, Del., Bayberry Town Center will be anchored by a flagship, 64,000 sq.-ft. Weis Markets and fuel facility. Blenheim Group has signed leases with other retail tenants, including a bank, pet store, spa, and nail salon, which will be announced soon.

    When complete, Bayberry Town Center will also feature professional office space, two green spaces for community programming, 145 townhomes on the property, and internal street and trail connectivity with over 3,000 homes.

    The new development will be located within The Village of Bayberry, also developed by Blenheim Group, which includes almost 2,700 homes (1,900 sold) in a location featuring 600 acres of open space that offers miles of walking paths, parks, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, lakes, and several luxury clubhouses.

    Building construction on Weis Markets is expected to begin in the fall of 2024. Weis and several other stores are anticipated to open in 2025.

    "As we enter the next phase of development at the Town Center, we are focused on delivering essential services and dining concepts to our community,” said Jay Sonecha, president of Blenheim Group. “With a large grocery store as our anchor, we are building a hub that reflects our commitment to enhancing daily life not only for residents in The Village of Bayberry but the larger community around us as well. The start of site development marks yet another milestone in our mission to create an outstanding lifestyle and retail experience for everyone to enjoy."

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