Retail Roundup | July 2023
As a retail technology company obsessed with data, we at Tillerman are constantly looking at the trends and forecasts shaping the retail industry broadly. The start of 2022 continued to bring challenges with supply chain issues, inflation and of course Omicron having an impact, but there were bright spots as well. Heres a roundup of some of the retail stories that caught our eye this month.

Kicking off July with a bang, retailers offered heavy markdowns to help clear their inventories over the Fourth of July weekend. Despite some concerns about the potential impact of the resumption of student loan payments in the latter half of 2023, the increased promotions were designed to make room for new back-to-school merchandise amid growing optimism for brighter days ahead. Overall the industry has much to celebrate, with June's sales reflecting a promising uptick. Though department stores experienced a slight decline, the broader retail landscape is showing signs of resilience.

On the stores strategy side, Steve Madden seems to have cracked the code for successful Retail Stores and is fully embracing it. Meanwhile, Kohls continues to add Sephora shops to their smaller store formats as part of their turnaround efforts.

Prime Day was a huge hit, driving record traffic for Amazon and benefiting other retailers like Target and Wal-Mart as well. Amazon is setting the pace on order minimums for free delivery causing retailers like Macy's, Saks, and Neiman Marcus to follow suit and raise their minimum ordercosts to qualify for free shipping.

Unfortunately, 2023 has been a challenging year so far for some retailers, as predicted, and Retail Dive reports some retailers, among them Belk and Rite Aid, are positioned for difficulty if the predicted soft second half of 2023 proves to be accurate. On a positive note, WWD reports that Kohl's is implementing a simplified pricing strategy and emphasizing versatility to ensure a successful 2023 back-to-school season.

2023 has already seen high profile bankruptcies, but it looks like Davids Bridal will live on thanks to an approved sale to Cion securing jobs for about 7000 of their 10,000 employees. Unfortunately there was no savior for Bed Bath and Beyond, though the name will live again after the IP, web site and customer loyalty data were purchased by Overstock in what is generally seen as a strong deal for the retailer.

On the social media side, Wal-mart is tapping influencer marketing with shoppable carts and a livestream shopping event, and there is some new competition for the retail dollar as Tik Tok is launching its own in-app shopping experience.

July also saw the Lead Summit and Retail Dive had an interesting article on DTC strategy at the Lead summit conference. Sticking with news from the digital space, Shopify launched the Collab network which is a free service that matches brands interested in working with creators and vice versa.

Lastly, we wanted to share a great piece on Robert Stock in MR Magazine, celebrating his wonderful and interesting career!

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