Morning Brew - ☕️ Work it, make it

The challenges that come with domestic production, supplier relationships, and global supply-chain constraints.
Morning Brew September 19, 2022

Retail Brew

Bolt

Welcome to Monday. Do you feel special when you walk into a Sam’s Club? Do you know why Harry’s, Inc. acquired a cat food brand? Of course, we all want a chance to learn what the magicians at TikTok have to say about brand affinity and brand growth.

You can learn all this and much more at The SKU: A Retail Brew Summit, presented by Bolt, on October 25. Get your ticket here and now before the price goes up (yeah, that’s right, there’s a discount), and come see us in NYC!

In today’s edition:

—Katishi Maake, Drew Adamek

MADE IN AMERICA

A fitting pair

New Balance shoe boxes stacked on top of each other Francis Scialabba

This summer, Retail Brew had the opportunity to tour New Balance’s new facility in Methuen, Massachusetts. The company detailed what it means to be “Made in America” and how the facility fits into that vision.

CEO Joe Preston and COO Dave Wheeler discussed the challenges that come with domestic production, supplier relationships, and how New Balance clears hurdles associated with global supply-chain constraints.

Wheeler made it clear that Made in America is the “heartbeat” of the company, even though most of New Balance’s production takes place overseas. But, about a third of the company’s global inventory is in transit, so making shoes locally allows New Balance to skirt those supply-chain issues.

Morning Brew had the opportunity to film operations at the Methuen factory, and also chat with Teresa Fort, associate professor at Dartmouth College, who contextualized the history and status of domestic manufacturing.

Click here to watch.KM

TOGETHER WITH BOLT

It’s time to deck out the checkout

Bolt

The cat’s out of the (online shopping) bag, folks. More and more people turn to digital channels for all their various needs and wants—and those consumers have high expectations. 

Merchants need to prioritize conversions, and pronto. So start optimizing the customer experience with 3 executive insights for bettering the checkout process, brought to you by a CEO who has perfected the art of conversions. All the executive-level intel you need lives in Bolt’s handy ebook.

Read the deets on the trillion-dollar conversion problem (aka shopping cart abandonment), see how you can improve conversions without gutting your tech stack, and peep the unexpected space a CMO’s next focus should be.

Download your free copy right here.

        

SUPPLY CHAIN

Better, faster, stronger

Better, faster, stronger Digitalstorm/Getty Images

Flexibility, speed, and transparency in supply-chain management has “taken on a new urgency post-pandemic for organizations of all types,” writes Drew Adamek for CFO Brew:

In a report released earlier this year, market-research company Pitchbook found that supply-chain startups raised $10.9 billion in venture-capital investments across 256 deals in Q4 2021, an increase of 8% from the year prior.
Technology that provides companies a clear picture of all parts of their supply chains is in particular demand. An August survey from McKinsey found supply-chain visibility was a top priority for companies. Some 67% of those surveyed said they had implemented dashboards for end-to-end visibility in their supply chains, and according to McKinsey, those companies were twice as likely as others to have successfully weathered the supply-chain disruptions that were acute earlier this year.

CFO Brew has reported about retail logistics throughout the summer—read the full series here.

        

SWAPPING SKUS

Today’s top retail reads.

Garden variety: Consumer demand for products like fertilizer and lawn seed skyrocketed during the pandemic. And then demand fell, leaving casualties like Scotts Miracle-Gro, which is struggling to dig itself out from under an immense load of overstock. (the Wall Street Journal)

Need for speed: Nike is all in on “connected commerce,” which means adding retail stores and warehouses in an effort to catch up with Amazon’s delivery timelines. (Business Insider)

A step ahead: Inside luxury conglomerate LVMH’s attempts to cut back on energy consumption: turning down the thermostat in stores, turning lights off overnight, and asking employees to take the stairs. (Fortune)

No cookies this holiday szn: Third-party cookies, that is. Join executives from Lands’ End, FTD, and Rokt on Sept. 29 as they discuss first-party data and how it can help deliver holiday happiness amid tightening data privacy laws, inflation, and supply-chain issues. Sign up here.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

EVENTS

Calling all retail leaders

Calling all retail leaders

The SKU: A Retail Brew Summit is coming to NYC this fall. In just one day away from your desk, you can expand your professional network, gain perspective from leaders at top retail brands such as Crocs and Kroger, and head home with strategic insights that could help reduce your brand’s carbon footprint, increase brand awareness and affinity, and much more. Tickets are only $599 for a limited time!

Register now

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Delivery companies will face crackdowns over potential “unfair contracts, pay, and hours” for gig workers, the Federal Trade Commission said.
  • FedEx shares plummeted after it announced office closures and a hiring freeze in response to declining shipping volume.
  • British retail sales underperformed in August, dropping 1.6% and highlighting the risk of recession.

HOT TOPIC

At the mall, it’s where band tees are the only tees. In Retail Brew, it’s where we invite readers to weigh in on a trending retail topic.

Major credit card companies in the US recently took the step of establishing a new merchant code for stores that sell guns and ammunition, which may make it easier to trace gun purchases after mass shootings and other crimes.

You tell us: Do you think credit card companies are making the right call in creating a new category code for retail outlets that sell guns?

Circling back: Last week, we asked about a law California Governor Gavin Newsom signed on Labor Day, which will establish industry-wide standards on working hours and safety for fast-food restaurant workers and will set a fast-food worker minimum wage as high as $22 next year.

  • The bill faced opposition from industry groups and some restaurants, including McDonald’s USA.
  • Two days after it became California law, a coalition of opponents—including the International Franchise Association and the National Restaurant Association—announced their intent to put a referendum before voters to overturn the law in 2024.

So we asked (whether you’re a resident of California or not) what you would do if your favorite fast-food restaurant publicly supported the ballot effort to overturn the new law aimed at improving standards for fast-food employees:

  • 27% of you said if that happened, you’d go to the restaurant more frequently; 5% said you’d go to that restaurant less frequently, and 41% said it wouldn’t have any impact on how often you went. Another 25% said you’d stop going to that restaurant altogether.

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Written by Katishi Maake and Drew Adamek

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