Retail Roundup | February 2024
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.

February began with a leadership transition at Macy's, and The New York Times provided an in-depth analysis of the retailer's challenges during this shift. Among these will be investor interest in the retailer’s real estate holdings. In addition to rejecting an unwanted acquisition offer, a public fight with activist investors continues for Macy’s. The retailer closed this month with sub-par Q4 earnings and then announced their plans to close 150 stores over the next 3 years. They plan to use the proceeds to invest in their remaining 350 stores and expand their Bloomingdale’s, Blue Mercury and smaller store Macy’s formats.

On the tech front, February brought a lot of news. Retail Touch Points offered an interesting recap of Brick & Mortar tech advancements from the NRF Big show while Shopify made news rolling out more than 100 new enhancements including; semantic search, improved fulfillment from stores and increased financing options. Not to be outdone, Amazon is jumping into the generative AI world with Rufus, an updated search tool being piloted by select users now.

Deckers continues to invest in their two main brands and is achieving both scale and growth along the way. Expanding their revenue stream, Wal-Mart is buying Vizio while at the same time investing in leadership, increasing pay and offering stock to store managers.  Meanwhile, Hasboro is taking decisive steps to improve 2024 in light of a tough Q4 2023, and Carhartt is focusing on women’s workwear as a growth vehicle in what seems like a can’t miss strategy.

2024 will undoubtedly hold some challenges for business and Retail Dive offered some predictions for challenges faced by a number of DTC retailers as they head into the new year. Two companies collaborating to get ahead of the curve are Stanley and Starbucks, who’s winner collaboration shows that there is value in the exclusivity that comes from a limited edition offering.

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