Retail Roundup | December 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.

While we wait for the final Holiday sales tally, it is evident that the retail sector is poised to face challenges. Projections indicate returns will reach $82 billion this holiday season, prompting retailers and brands to revise their policies to offset some of the increased costs. Simultaneously, WWD reported on the anticipated reduction in staffing levels leading into the holidays, with fewer temporary workers hired compared to previous years. Further exacerbating the situation, slow sales have triggered layoffs at Hasboro, and VF kicked off the holidays with the unfortunate news of 500 salaried employees facing job cuts. As the industry grapples with these challenges, there is a looming concern about the financial health of consumers whose holiday overspending could lead to increased debt.

On a more positive note, in the opening days of December, PVH reported strong financials, as the company demonstrates simultaneous growth and operational efficiency. Meanwhile, significant developments unfolded at Neimans, Saks, and Macy’s.

Macy’s received an unsolicited buyout offer, although the likelihood of acceptance remains low. The proposal, however, has drawn attention to the considerable value embedded in Macy’s real estate portfolio, potentially paving the way for future offers. On a parallel track, the decade-long exploration of a merger deal between Neimans and Saks persists, with the latest offer from Saks being rebuffed by Neimans as negotiations continue.

In a surprising turn of events, a December headline challenges the prevailing narrative around organized retail crime, suggesting an overblown perspective rooted in faulty analysis by NRF. Additionally, a compelling piece highlights the trend of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) businesses embracing Multi-Channel distribution throughout 2023, with indications that this trend will persist in the short term.

Turning our attention to the approaching year, a notable mention in our holiday roundup would be remiss without acknowledging "Elf on the Shelf." Retail Touch Points recently featured an interview with one of the founders, offering a festive conclusion to the year. Wishing everyone a prosperous and Happy New Year!

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