COVID-19, Data Security, Shelved Madewell IPO Top This Week’s News

The Weekender

It’s the end of the workweek, and the PYMNTS Weekender is here to make sure you didn’t miss anything with the latest in payments and commerce news. We have deep dives into the outlook of consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic, data privacy and a shelved Madewell initial public offering (IPO).

Top News 

J.Crew Shelves Madewell IPO After Deal Crumbles

J.Crew Group will not reportedly have the IPO of its Madewell brand following creditor negotiations that fell apart. The retailer had previously postponed the scheduled early March IPO until the conclusion of April.

The $2T Stimulus Phase 3: Everything You Need To Know 

The $2 trillion Phase 3 coronavirus relief package comes as the final of three bills passed by Congress in the past two weeks to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the American economy and healthcare system. What does it include, and who will benefit?

Goldman, Morgan Stanley Predict COVID-19 Will Trigger Economic Devastation 

Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley economists are cautioning that COVID-19 will have greater negative economic impacts than predicted at first. Morgan Stanley Economist Ellen Zentner told clients to expect U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to fall more than 30 percent from April to June.

COVID-19 And The (Legal) Ripple Effects Of ‘Force Majeure’

The COVID-19 proliferation has had a worldwide impact on business. And, when it comes to business relationships based on contracts, the legal (and financial liabilities) tied to disruption may be uncertain. The contracts may detail things, but in regards to the coronavirus pandemic, they might not.

The 11 Days That Changed The Consumer’s COVID-19 Mindset 

The number of American consumers who reported being very worried about coming down with COVID-19 increased from March 6 to March 16, with 32 percent of the population registering that level of worry compared to 20 percent 11 days before.

Trackers and Reports

Life Inside America On Lockdown (Navigating The COVID-19 Pandemic II)

PYMNTS rolled out a survey of 1,923 U.S. consumers on March 17 to discover that their outlook of the coronavirus crisis had changed drastically since we issued our first survey on March 6. The proportion who said reported feeling very or extremely worried jumped from 36.9 percent to 57 percent as of March 6.

US Retailers Confront Data Privacy Shifts (Merchants Guide To Navigating Global Payment Regulations)

It can be challenging to make new rules that can safeguard large amounts of online data accurately while still enabling competition. Many states are seeking ways to provide fair access to data, but, at times, these regulations don’t quite overlap with those designed by neighboring states.

In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Nicholas Ahrens, vice president of innovation for retailer trade group the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), said this can leave retailers, as well as merchants, operating online platforms in different states caught in the middle.

Banking Bots: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (Digital Fraud Tracker)

Automated bots can overwhelm the cybersecurity groups of banks, but many bots are, in fact, beneficial. The challenge is setting the good bots apart from the bad and countering fraud attempts of the latter.

In a feature story, PYMNTS talked with Raghu Valipireddy, senior vice president and chief information security officer for Axos Bank about the firm’s multi-tiered approach to singling out bad bots and why financial institutions (FIs) are many times overzealous with their anti-bot firewalls.

Fun, Cool and Otherwise Interesting

Unemployment Figures Set The Wrong Type Of Record 

The newest release of jobless-claims numbers once again broke records, but not in a way that anyone is going to like. Initial jobless claims skyrocketed up to a seasonally adjusted 3.28 million for the week concluding on March 21.

The Only Certainty Is Uncertainty As Retailers Halt Earnings Guidance

Target has suspended its guidance for the quarter and complete year, while Macy’s said earlier in March it will stop its dividend and not update guidance. Herman Miller, the furniture company, took back its forward-looking estimates this week.

Olympics Delay to Spark Marathon To Recoup Sunk Costs

While a delay is not a cancellation, the bills tied to getting and keeping everything ready for the Olympics will have amassed. There will be many sunk costs and no guarantees that the coffers of different businesses, as well as sponsors, will be filled as much as they might have been if everything had gone according to schedule.

How 5G Rollouts May Get a Boost from COVID-19

The ways we work, learn, unwind and transact have changed over the past several weeks. And the rollout of 5G may speed up in the maelstrom of daily life contending with the coronavirus even as economic headwinds gather.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.