Today in retail, Bath & Body Works is adding more environmentally friendly packaging to its continually updated suite of products, while Under Armour’s CEO is leaving the company as its stock price plummets. Plus, Uber is piloting a scheduled grocery delivery program.
Bath & Body Works stores will feature an array of products packaged in a more environmentally friendly way, the company said in reporting its first-quarter earnings.
Interim CEO Sarah Nash told investors and analysts Thursday (May 19) that the company is using increased data analytics in an effort to “transform Bath & Body Works into a true omnichannel business,” capitalizing on fashion trends and newness in its packaging and products.
Bath & Body Works has released new fragrances and products every four to six weeks recently and expects to maintain that pace going forward, she said. The company is exploring expanding into new categories as well as growing the business into new geographies around the world. Shoppers will also start to see changes in how Bath & Body Works makes its products and packaging, including the elimination of carbons, sulfates and dyes, with 35% of its assortment to be reformatted by the end of the year.
After reporting first-quarter earnings results Thursday morning (May 19) that were, in its own words, “below expectations,” Kohl’s was more eager to talk about its growing partnership with makeup giant Sephora than the unexpected 5% decline in sales at its 1,100 stores.
Amidst a backdrop of declining group sales, which saw its core Home and Children’s categories slide by 17% and 12%, respectively, for the three months ended April 30, CEO Michelle Gass pointed out that the Sephora stores experienced a different reality, including positive comps, incremental growth in basket size and spillover buying in other departments by new, younger, more diverse customers.
While Gass and the entire existing 13-member board and management team said they were pleased to have been given shareholder approval last week, an overnight federal filing revealed that the company’s chief marketing officer and chief merchandising officer were leaving the company. Gass assured analysts that she and the board were engaged with multiple parties interested in buying the retailer that were expected to submit fully financed binding proposals in the coming weeks.
Uber announced Thursday (May 19) that it is piloting on-demand and scheduled delivery with Grocery Outlet at 72 of the discount grocer’s locations across the West Coast. The pilot test is live in major cities, including Seattle and San Francisco, and Uber Eats is offering a free delivery promotion to incentivize consumers to try it out.
Throughout 2022, eGrocery players have been making moves to grow their audience to include low-income shoppers. In April, Instacart announced the expansion of its own partnership with Grocery Outlet to include almost 400 stores across seven states. Since the start of the year, many grocers have been announcing that they now accept electronic benefits transfer (EBT) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments for digital orders.
With the push to make the most of every dollar more pronounced than ever amid inflation levels that haven’t been seen since the 1980s, BJ’s Wholesale Club is among the beneficiaries, at least according to its fiscal 2022 first-quarter earnings report on Thursday (May 19).
The company reported a 14.4% year-over-year comparable club sales increase for the 13 weeks ending April 30, although that number drops to 4.1% when gasoline sales are excluded. BJ’s also saw an 11.9% year-over-year increase in membership fee income to $96.6 million. Digitally enabled sales growth was 26%, so BJ’s members are not just making their bulk purchases in person at their local clubs, according to the company press release. Net sales were up 16.3% year over year.
Under Armour, whose stock has been cut in half over the past six months, announced that CEO Patrik Frisk is stepping down after two years in the top job.
As the search for a successor begins, and current COO Colin Browne gets set to assume the interim CEO role June 1, the previously announced sweeping, multi-pronged transformation will continue. Those efforts are aimed at mitigating supply chain disruptions from China, growing the company’s direct-to-consumer and eCommerce sales channel and reversing a slump in footwear sales, which fell 4% last quarter and are dwarfed by the company’s apparel revenues.
The impending C-suite transition also comes on the heels of the company’s previously announced transition to a new fiscal year format, which as of April 1 saw it embarking on the first quarter of fiscal 2023 rather than the second quarter of 2022.