Today in retail, Planet Fitness reports a boom in members, and there is a mix of good and bad news for Bath & Body Works, while American Express and Resy are encouraging people to visit independent restaurants.
Plus, ailing Allbirds will partner with wholesalers, and Amazon opens its first Just Walk Out Whole Foods store in D.C., while Rent-A-Center struggles as economic stimulus checks dry up for the “financially underserved,” and Sleep Number says a chip shortage in December cost it $125 million in sales last year.
Planet Fitness saw a membership boom at its fitness centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, led by teenagers and preteens signing up for their first gym memberships. People born between 1997 and 2012 — also known as Generation Z — were the fastest-growing demographic group for Planet Fitness memberships last year, according to a CNBC report Thursday (Feb. 24).
Planet Fitness charges $10 for monthly memberships, but more than three-fifths (about 62.5%) of members have upgraded to Black Card, the $22.99 monthly option that lets customers access any Planet Fitness location as well as perks such as tanning beds and guest passes. Planet Fitness has 15.6 million members, higher than its prepandemic peak.
American Express and Resy have launched the Every Resy Counts reservation drive, an effort to encourage millions of U.S. consumers to eat at independent restaurants through the end of March, according to a Thursday press release.
It’s part of the company’s Let’s Grab a Table marketing campaign, which is targeted at bringing attention and support to independent restaurants across the U.S.
The first million reservations made on Resy will unlock a $500,000 charitable donation to Southern Smoke, a crisis relief organization supporting the food and beverage industry. AmEx and Resy will cover up to $99 per diner for up to six people at select restaurants across the country for every subsequent million reservations.
Nearly five months after Amazon announced its intention to bring its Just Walk Out cashier-less checkout technology to its Whole Foods Market grocery brand, the first such location opened Wednesday (Feb. 23) in Washington, D.C., according to a company press release.
The first Just Walk Out Whole Foods Market store will be joined later this year by one in Sherman Oaks, California. Amazon is also planning to employ its frictionless checkout technology in suburban markets through its Amazon Go convenience store brand.
Just Walk Out consumers scan an in-app code or their credit card at the entrance to the store, bag their items and scan out as they leave with their purchases automatically charged to their accounts.
Eco-friendly footwear and apparel maker Allbirds is hoping third-party sellers will give its brand and bottom line a much-needed boost after an 80% drop in its stock price in its first three months as a public company.
Allbirds leadership team said it will partner with multibrand environments as it adds wholesale distribution, especially those that focus on educating runners. Allbirds’ wholesale push follows two pop-up pilot programs it ran with Nordstrom.
Mattress and bedding manufacturer Sleep Number Corp. says it missed its fourth-quarter earnings expectations because of the late arrival of semiconductor parts.
Sleep Number didn’t say which supplier’s delinquency cost the company millions of dollars in sales for the three-month period that ended Jan. 1, but noted it led to its striking dip in December. The late arrival of the chips slashed the company’s net sales by more than $125 million, equal to about 2.5 weeks of deliveries, and sales for the quarter fell 13% compared to the previous year, down to $492 million.
Full-year net sales jumped to a record $2.18 billion.
Bath & Body Works Inc. CEO and board member Andrew Meslow will leave the company May 12 due to health issues, the company announced Wednesday as part of its quarterly update to investors and analysts.
Board of Directors Chairwoman Sarah Nash will serve as executive chair until Meslow’s departure and take on the role of interim CEO when he steps away, the company announcement said. The company will hire a national search firm to find a permanent CEO.
Bath & Body Works reported net sales of $3.027 billion for the fourth quarter ending Jan. 29, up 11% from the same three-month period last year. Fourth-quarter operating income from continuing operations at Bath & Body Works was $879.2 million, up from $869.2 million last year, and net income from continuing operations was $592.6 million compared to $556.9 million last year.
Rent-A-Center blamed macroeconomic headwinds for lower-than-expected earnings results in the fourth quarter of 2021, saying the rise in inflation and the end of government stimulus checks crushed the group known colloquially as “the financially underserved.”
Rent-A-Center’s market value has fallen from about $5 billion in August to about $1.5 billion.