Morning Brew - ☕ Rug of choice

Jaipur Living’s CEO on empowering underprivileged women in India.
March 22, 2024

Retail Brew

Impact.com

Hello, it’s Friday. It seems attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea are now impacting…Build-A-Bear. Shipping costs and the time the company spends gathering parts are both up, and there’s a chance your favorite stuffed animal may soon cost more. Don’t be surprised if you see a bunch of adults lining up soon for a stuffed bear.

In today’s edition:

—Jeena Sharma, Erin Cabrey

STORES

Voices of tomorrow

Asha Chaudhary profile image Jaipur Living

Let’s take a quick journey back to 1978 in India, where a young man named Nand Kishore Chaudhary decided to revitalize the textiles and furnishing industry with two looms and nine artisans. The result: Jaipur Living, a rug and furnishings company where artisans had full autonomy as the business involved no middleman.

More than forty-five years later, Asha Chaudhary, the founder’s daughter and now the company’s CEO, is at the center of it all the way over in Acworth, Georgia, where she oversees its US operations. Chaudhary moved to the US in 2007 after learning the ins and outs of the business in India and currently works with ~10,000 retail partners and interior designers in the US alone.

While Jaipur Living continues to thrive overseas, at the heart of it all are still the artisans (85% of whom are women) who, per Chaudhary, are ensured a living wage, and receive health and education benefits.

How does she do it? In an exclusive chat with Retail Brew, the executive told all.

Keep reading here.—JS

     

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That’s where impact.com comes in. Check out their uber-practical infographic: How influencers and affiliates can help you boost your business. You’ll get the scoop on building a top-notch framework for influencer and affiliate success.

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GROCERY

Chain reaction

Grocery shopper with cart in Walmart Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday released a report on grocery supply chain disruptions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, finding larger industry players had a disproportionate influence on these issues’ negative impacts.

The report follows an FTC inquiry in November 2021, when it requested information from retailers and CPG companies including Walmart, Amazon, Kroger, Procter & Gamble, Tyson Foods, and Kraft Heinz, as well as wholesalers including C&S Wholesale Grocers, to detail supply chain issues they had faced, how they adapted, and potential impact to consumers and competition. This included review of internal documents from senior executives.

Larger companies with more power over wholesalers and producers fared better than smaller retailers during the pandemic, which presents future risks to competition, the commission said.

“Dominant firms used this moment to come out ahead at the expense of their competitors and the communities they serve,” FTC Chair Lina M. Khan said in a statement.

The FTC report identified four notable findings.

Keep reading here.—EC

     

MARKETING

Hot off the press

Kylie Kardashian says she has Gucci plates Keeping Up with the Kardashians/NBCUniversal via Giphy

Welcome to another week of fashion news you probably didn’t miss—but just in case you did, we got you.

This week, a prominent luxury retailer is at the center of a new lawsuit, and another luxury brand continues to slump despite efforts to turn things around.

Hermès faces a lawsuit

Have you ever tried purchasing a Birkin at Hermès? Yeah, neither have we, but you probably know it’s pretty hard, even if you’ve got the $$. Recently, two California women sued Hermès for allegedly violating antitrust law by tying the sales of the Birkin bag to “sufficient purchase history.”

“Typically, only those consumers who are deemed worthy of purchasing a Birkin handbag will be shown a Birkin handbag (in a private room),” the lawsuit claims.

Why this matters: Social media is full of accounts of people complaining that salespeople won’t let them buy a Birkin. Hermès has denied the allegations.

The case will be interesting to watch, as other retailers have faced similar accusations. “Dealers of watchmaker Rolex have been accused of requiring shoppers to buy from sister brand Tudor before being allowed to buy Rolex products,” BoF reported.

Keep reading here.—JS

     

TOGETHER WITH SAGE

Sage

Walk away with inventory intelligence. Learn how the biggest names in e-commerce and retail overcome inventory challenges in Sage’s masterclass series. Each month covers a new topic with expert tips and insights to help you avoid risk, boost profit, and build strategies for success. Register here.

SWAPPING SKUS

Today’s top retail reads.

Survival of the fittest: Amazon is finding ways to compete against its e-commerce rivals—no, not Walmart or Target, but Temu and Shein. (the Wall Street Journal)

Below and beyond: Five Below is the latest retailer to rethink its self-checkout. (Retail Dive)

A rare opportunity: Rumors around the potential sale of Selena Gomez-founded Rare Beauty are swirling, as are questions about prospective buyers who could afford the hefty price tag. (Business of Fashion)

Number boost: Influencers and affiliates can help you take your biz to the next level. Fortunately, impact.com just put together an infographic that can help you crush it. Peep it.*

*A message from our sponsor.

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