Today in retail, Goodyear overcomes supply chain disruptions to record its best first-quarter results in a decade, while Unilever teams with Robomart on hail-able ice cream trucks in Los Angeles. Plus, hiring in retail and hospitality sectors boosted April U.S. job growth, Amazon enters unprecedented territory with a 30% market capitalization drop in 30 days and Adidas and Foot Locker focus on improved customer experience and connectivity through their expanded partnership.
Robomart, a company that creates mobile stores that can be hailed in the style of Uber or Lyft, has announced a partnership with consumer packaged goods giant Unilever to create The Ice Cream Shop, a mobile store offering Unilever ice cream brands, including Ben & Jerry’s, Talenti, Breyers and others.
The shop, available in Los Angeles, functions somewhat like an ice cream truck if consumers could hail an ice cream truck and could only purchase packaged products therein. Consumers order swipe in the app to open the vehicle and retrieve their items, and Robomart’s technology tracks which products consumers take and will automatically charge their card and deliver a receipt.
For Unilever, this model offers a way to meet consumers’ desire for items on demand without the cost of running a brick-and-mortar store. Still, the labor savings may not amount to much, given that, contrary to the store-hailing company’s name, the vehicles are operated by a human driver.
With its stock cut in half over the past six months, Baltimore-based apparel and footwear retailer Under Armour said Friday (May 6) that investors need to be patient while the company works through a mix of headwinds it said were surprising but temporary.
“The price of freight, supply chain challenges and COVID-19 are not as powerful as the global passion for sport,” Under Armour CEO Patrik Frisk told analysts on the company’s earnings call for the three months ending March 31, before expressing his confidence that the embattled brand that is now worth just $6 billion would still deliver on its promise of growth.
Under Armour is counting on a rebound in footwear sales, which fell 4% last quarter, and to outpace growth at its much larger apparel business, which accounts for nearly 70% of its sales. The company is also looking to boost its direct-to-consumer (D2C) business, which was up just 1%, as well as its eCommerce sales, which account for 45% of D2C sales and rose 2% in the latest results.
The U.S. economy added 428,000 jobs last month thanks in part to hiring in the hospitality and retail sectors, the Department of Labor said Friday (May 6). The department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show that April was the 12th month in a row where job growth surpassed 400,000, while the unemployment rate stayed at 3.6%.
According to the bureau, the leisure and hospitality industries added 78,000 jobs in April, while factories added 55,000 new positions, warehousing/transportation hired 52,000 new workers, and the retail sector increased by 29,000. The bureau noted that retail employment is 284,000 workers higher than it was in February 2020.
The figures also showed that gains in sectors such as food and beverage establishments, which added 24,000 jobs, and general merchandise stores, which added 12,000 new jobs, were offset somewhat by losses in building material and garden supply stores (down 16,000) and a 9,000-job decrease in health and personal care stores.
About 300 Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com will offer a new collection of the latest in skincare technology, featuring Foreo, Vanity Planet and PMD Beauty, among other brands. It also includes the latest products from Therabody, which recently launched TheraFace PRO, a portable device that provides percussive therapy, microcurrent, LED and cleansing for your face.
Best Buy has also added heaters, fire pits, speakers, TVs, grills and Yardbird outdoor furniture. Yardbird recently introduced its Ludlow collection, featuring all-weather, hand-woven wicker on oversized, rust-proof, aluminum-framed loveseats, sofas and custom sectionals.
The tech-based retailer is also adding charging devices for its e-transportation suite of products in several stores, while bringing some of the 750 related products and accessories into stores in the next 18 months rather than just selling them online. More immediately, though, Best Buy will pilot a service and repair offering for eTransportation products in some stores this spring.
Sports apparel and footwear brand Adidas has expanded its partnership with athletic retailer Foot Locker, with a focus on product innovation, elevated experiences and deeper consumer connectivity.
As part of the broadened collaboration, Foot Locker will become Adidas’ lead partner in basketball, accelerate so-called “energy” and “hype” launches, and develop and expand the brand in the women’s, kids’ and apparel sectors of the business, according to a press release.
The partnership aims to achieve more than $2 billion in retail sales by 2025 in North America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific (APAC), a number that’s nearly triple 2021 retail sales levels. In 2022, Adidas is targeting up to 100 million euros (about $106 million) in new revenue because of its expanded partnership with Foot Locker, the release stated.
Goodyear overcame ongoing supply chain disruptions related to the Russian attacks on Ukraine and the continuing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the surge in cases across China, to grow its sales by 40% from the same time in 2021, in part because more people are keeping their vehicles.
The international tire-and-rubber retailer reported $4.9 billion in Q1 sales Friday (May 6), up 40% year-over-year, including 20% growth before the addition of Cooper Tire to the mix.
Goodyear also saw “continued global market share growth” in the quarter, thanks to steady consumer replacement of their tires on their existing vehicles at a time when it’s harder than ever for shoppers to buy new and used cars, thanks to limited vehicle supply and higher prices.
Not only are Amazon shares underperforming the broader market indexes — as well as rival Walmart — in the past week, month, quarter and year, but they are now shackled with the awkward descriptive of having lost 30% in 30 days, translating into $500 billion in lost market value in that time.
Said another way, Amazon’s one-month decline is worth the entire value of Walmart plus another $80 billion, which works out to a mind-boggling $17 billion worth of daily valuation evaporation over the past month.
Amazon is not alone in the ongoing beatdown of eCommerce marketplaces and platforms. After more than doubling during the COVID-19 era, what remains to be seen, however, is how much of the digital shift will be retained once things stabilize and normalize and how much will be lost to consumers who prefer to do their shopping and errands the old-fashioned way.