“Did Target just move Black Friday up to October 7?” by George Anderson plus retail industry experts weigh in on this important question: “Has the beginning of October replaced Thanksgiving week as retail’s start to the holiday season?” via Retail Wire

“Did Target just move Black Friday up to October 7?” by George Anderson plus retail industry experts weigh in on this important question: “Has the beginning of October replaced Thanksgiving week as retail’s start to the holiday season?” via Retail Wire

Christmas creep is dead. Retailers moving their holiday promotions up from Thanksgiving Day week is now just business as usual. It is for Target, which announced it is kicking off its holiday season push with its biggest ever “Deal Days” promotion running from October 6 (Thursday) to October 8. The retailer said it would offer “hundreds of thousands of incredible deals” and that it would extend its holiday price match guarantee from the first day of the Deal Days promotion through December 24. “The holidays are a treasured time when our guests come together with family and friends to celebrate the joy of the season, and we’re here to make that as easy as possible for them to enjoy,” Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer, Target, said in a statement. “That’s why we’re rolling out deals earlier than ever and ensuring our team is ready to help our guests shop when and how they want. Throughout the season, guests will discover new and differentiated items for gifting and gathering, including only-at-Target owned brands and must-have national brands, and they can expect great deals and everyday low prices at every turn for an unmatched holiday shopping experience.” Target is supporting its holiday efforts with plans to add up to 100,000 seasonal workers to its payroll. It hired around 130,000 seasonal employees in 2021, CNBC reports. The retailer, which fulfills more than 95 percent of its online orders, will put its new associates to work in stocking and organizing stores, packing and shipping online purchases, assisting customers in stores and handling pickup duties in-store and curbside (Drive Up). The chain is counting...
“The Surfing World Owes Stephanie Gilmore an Apology” by Ben Mondy via The Inertia

“The Surfing World Owes Stephanie Gilmore an Apology” by Ben Mondy via The Inertia

She earned it. And we forgot about her. Photo: Thiago Diz//World Surf League “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them,” wrote bad boy Billy Shakespeare. Or in Stephanie Gilmore’s case, some quietly achieve GOAT status whilst no one is watching. Perhaps of the most remarkable aspects of Gilmore’s eighth world title was that no one had given her a chance of making history. In a massive fail in surfing groupthink, it’s hard, in hindsight, to justify how most surf fans, and so-called experts, underestimated and ignored the greatest female surfer of all time. How did a seven-time world champion, one of the most stylish humans to ever ride a surfboard, and with a competitive track record only bettered by Kelly Slater, get written off before the WSL Finals? It was an incredible lack of foresight, matched only by a dearth of respect of which I was very much a part of. And yes, I can pathetically list all my reasons for writing off Gilmore. After all, she had to surf six, maybe seven, heats at Trestles, the last two or three against Carissa Moore, by far the best surfer of the last five years. The WSL Finals format was set up to reward performances throughout the calendar year, and Gilmore had been handed a severe handicap based on a largely mundane 2022. Having missed Pipeline due to COVID, in the next five events she managed just a single semifinal. Early on there was talk not of world titles and impending greatness, but of relegation and retirement under the brutal new cut system. After Margaret River, Gilmore...
“NRF Reports Retail Shrink Nearly a $100B Problem” by Daniel Inman via National Retail Federation

“NRF Reports Retail Shrink Nearly a $100B Problem” by Daniel Inman via National Retail Federation

WASHINGTON – Retail shrink, when taken as a percentage of total retail sales in 2021, accounted for $94.5 billion in losses last year, up from $90.8 billion in 2020, according to the 2022 National Retail Security Survey released today by the National Retail Federation. Organized retail crime (ORC), a critical component of that shrink, is a growing challenge both for retailers and the industry at large. “The factors contributing to retail shrink have multiplied in recent years, and ORC is a burgeoning threat within the retail industry,” NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. “These highly sophisticated criminal rings jeopardize employee and customer safety and disrupt store operations. Retailers are bolstering security efforts to counteract these increasingly dangerous and aggressive criminal activities.”    The survey found that the average shrink rate in 2021 was 1.44%, a slight decrease from the last two years but comparable to the five-year average of 1.5%. The majority of retailers report that in-store, ecommerce and omnichannel fraud have risen. Violence is a growing area of concern and retailers are prioritizing addressing guest-on-associate violence, external theft and ORC. The COVID-19 pandemic created more challenges for retailers. A large majority (87.3%) of respondents said the pandemic resulted in an increase in overall risk for their organization. Retailers specifically cited an increase in violence (89.3%), shoplifting (73.2%), ORC and employee theft (tied at 71.4%) as a result of the pandemic. Retailers reported a 26.5% increase in ORC, on average. Even more alarming, the vast majority (81.2%) said the violence and aggression associated with ORC increased in the past year. Research shows that ORC groups...
“Sandia Peak Ski Area to remain closed for second year” – A result of climate change and staffing issues by Scarlett Lisjak via SIA Newsletter shared article

“Sandia Peak Ski Area to remain closed for second year” – A result of climate change and staffing issues by Scarlett Lisjak via SIA Newsletter shared article

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia Peak Ski Area officials recently announced they will be closed this winter, for the second year in a row.  The lack of snow on the mountain for the past five years has created a snowball effect. For the first time in at least the past 25 years, the ski area will not even make an attempt to open this winter.  Push Play “It’s not been snowing in November or really in December, and then it’s ended earlier, so middle of February, early March, and just the total snowfall has been down,” said Ben Abruzzo, Sandia Peak Ski Area general manager.  In 2021, the snow came too late.  “On the last week of January, it snowed a little more and we started to get things ready to go and, just, it wasn’t going to happen, you know, trying to operate a ski area for three weeks is a pretty tough call,” Abruzzo said.  The short ski seasons have made it difficult for management to keep the ski area operational.  “Asking someone to leave their job and come work for us for three to four weeks is a tough ask,” Abruzzo said. “All that leads into – when you have those short seasons – obviously it’s greatly reduced revenue, so then it becomes difficult to maintain your equipment, do new things, pay your staff.” The future for the ski area is unknown.  “We have been working on a mountain coaster that we thought would provide some economic stability for us, and the approval process became extremely cumbersome, very lengthy, and costly, and is on hold for now,...
“Why Microplastic Pollution is Still Fashion’s Concern” by  Catherine Schetting Salfino via The Robin Report

“Why Microplastic Pollution is Still Fashion’s Concern” by  Catherine Schetting Salfino via The Robin Report

Although numerous residents of New Jersey are still openly bemoaning the plastic bag ban that took effect in May, millions of people around the globe are participating in Plastic Free July, an initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation, an organization whose vision is “seeing a world free of plastic waste.” Included in that waste is microplastic ocean pollution, more than a third of which stems from apparel-made synthetic fibers. Critical Microplastic Mass At this point, the majority of all apparel is made from polyester and other petroleum-based fibers. And their microfibers contribute to microplastic pollution as every time consumers launder their clothes, millions of tiny particles wash out with the wastewater and enter rivers, oceans, drinking water, and the food chain. Experts say it’s high time for the fashion industry to start listening to not just environmental authorities, but consumers themselves. The majority of all apparel is made from polyester and other petroleum-based fibers. And their microfibers contribute to microplastic pollution as every time consumers launder their clothes, millions of tiny particles wash out with the wastewater and enter rivers, oceans, drinking water, and the food chain. “The planet cannot afford an industry that’s not making progress,” said McKinsey’s Achim Berg, senior partner, in an episode of The McKinsey Podcast. “Consumers have become more demanding in that respect. A lot of people have been at home throughout the pandemic. They have had more time to think about their consumption patterns. We’ve seen a big change – in particular, in Western Europe and North America – in how consumers think about sustainability and what they demand from brands. Therefore, brands will have to do it all. It’s not going to get any...
“Instead of having just one DRM benefit known as the BRA Shipping Program, PartnerShip is now administering two separate shipping benefits  plus FAQs and link to take advantage of these savings” by Doug Works, Executive Director of Board Retailers Association

“Instead of having just one DRM benefit known as the BRA Shipping Program, PartnerShip is now administering two separate shipping benefits plus FAQs and link to take advantage of these savings” by Doug Works, Executive Director of Board Retailers Association

We asked Harry Centa of PartnerShip (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner) why they are splitting the shipping program into two separate benefits and a few other questions about the special savings program specifically for BRA Distinguished Retail Members. Here is how he responded: To better serve your members and create a clear distinction between the shipping services that areavailable to them, we felt it would be more effective to provide two separate member benefits.The FedEx discounts have always worked differently than the freight savings that were a part of yourshipping program. While PartnerShip acts as a third party for quoting and managing shipments with multiple carriers for freight, we don’t serve the same type of role for FedEx small package shipments. We provide the discounts but then members set up shipments through FedEx and are billed by FedEx.This change to your shipping program not only enables us to clarify the benefit offering, but it also allows us to use the FedEx brand more prominently – a brand that carries a great deal of trust and has wide-spread recognition. Are your discounts changing?No! Your discounts for FedEx small package shipments remain the same. And your members will continue to receive competitive pricing for their freight shipments through PartnerShip. Is the enrollment process changing?We have a brand-new landing page that includes the enrollment form. While the look is different, theenrollment form remains the same and the enrollment process is not changing. Will our members have to re-enroll in the program?No! Any members currently enrolled will continue to see the FedEx discounts on their account and can ship the same way they currently...