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Why store membership costs could rise.
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March 27, 2024

Retail Brew

T-Mobile for Business

Hello, hello. Liquid Death and E.l.f. announced this week they’ve partnered on a heavy metal-inspired makeup line with products like Dead Set setting spray and the Dead Line eyeliner that’s packaged, of course, in a coffin-shaped box. Some brand collabs can be a little questionable, but this one really hit the nail on the head.

In today’s edition:

—Alex Vuocolo, Andrew Adam Newman, Erin Cabrey

STORES

Cards on the table

Costco membership Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Costco members can rest easy—for now. The wholesaler earlier this month did not increase its $60 annual membership fee during its earnings call, but that doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. Indeed, former CFO Richard Galenti told analysts that it’s a matter of “when, not if.”

But, he clarified, Costco won’t just raise the price if sales start falling off: “I don’t think it would be done simply because, hey, things have slowed down a little bit.” He said the company would also look at other factors such as membership renewal rates and new sign-ups.

At the same time, he added, “it’s not some big analytical formula,” but rather something Costco simply plans to do “at some point.”

That explanation might leave some wondering how exactly the company prices its membership program and what exactly would inform any future increase. However, some experts say that’s a difficult question to answer, in part because membership and loyalty programs are often supplementary revenue streams.

Keep reading here.—AV

     

PRESENTED BY T-MOBILE FOR BUSINESS

This is driving customer loyalty

T-Mobile for Business

In today’s world of retail, having a reliable network is an absolute must. So ditch the complexity of multiple providers across locations and connect all your retail operations with a single nationwide provider.

With T-Mobile for Business, your employees across corporate, field, distribution centers, and in-store can stay connected on T-Mobile’s unmatched 5G network.

  • Simplify connectivity and in-store experiences across retail touchpoints with T-Mobile’s 5G Business Internet.
  • Deliver immersive customer and employee experiences with AR/VR fueled by 5G Advanced Network Solutions.
  • Fortify point-of-sale systems and safeguard e-commerce infrastructure with T-Mobile SASE, helping to prevent theft and secure IoT data.

From store layout and end-to-end operations to customer engagement, T-Mobile’s network and purpose-built solutions cover your entire retail footprint so you can:

  • Drive increased omnichannel performance.
  • Create a connected shopping journey.
  • Streamline your supply chain.

Get started today.

OPERATIONS

Pay checked

A help wanted sign in a Target store window promoting jobs that start at $16.75 an hour. Robyn Beck/Getty Images

When it comes to retaining entry-level workers, employers know that the burger flippers and shirt folders, just like workers at any level, wonder if they could earn more doing the same thing elsewhere. A new study from online lender CashNetUSA takes that context into account. It compares pay from companies, including retailers, based not on the wages alone, but also on whether those wages are above the local median wage.

The study gathered salaries from job listings posted on Indeed in December, and determined what percentage was above what the Bureau of Labor Statistics determines as the local median wage.

The clear winner among retailers was Target, which exceeded the local median pay for entry-level jobs in 79.74% of US job listings, followed by two telecom companies the study classified as retail—AT&T (76.03%) and Verizon (74.9%), then Amazon (66.8%), and Walgreens Boot Alliance (38.84).

In a state-by-state analysis, two retail-related businesses advertised above the median wage in every single job they advertised: Chewy, based in Tennessee, and Shipt, headquartered in Minnesota.

Keep reading here.—AAN

     

COMMUNITY

Coworking with Wilson Griffin

Wilson Griffin headshot Wilson Griffin

On Wednesdays, we wear pink spotlight Retail Brew’s readers. Want to be featured in an upcoming edition? Click here to introduce yourself.

Wilson Griffin is CEO and co-founder of Recurate, a resale platform that helps brands and retailers integrate recommerce into their own online stores, working with brands like Michael Kors and Mara Hoffman.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in retail? Recurate helps brands sell “used” or vintage items in their online store, right alongside brand new items.

One thing we can’t guess about your job from your LinkedIn profile? It’s probably hard to tell that we’re a fully 100% remote company. We gather a few times a year, which is incredibly important, but our team works entirely from home.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on? Starting a company is far and away my favorite project. Having the opportunity to work every day on a business that aligns with my values, with amazing people, and see an idea become reality makes me feel incredibly fortunate.

Which emerging retail trend are you most excited about right now, and why? Easy! I’m excited about customers demanding that brands demonstrate more sustainable practices, from garment quality, to sourcing, to offering secondhand.

Keep reading here.—EC

     

TOGETHER WITH THREDUP

ThredUp

Raise the stakes with resale. Did you know resale grew 15x faster than the broader retail clothing sector in 2023? Yep—and ThredUp’s got all those deets + more in their 2024 Resale Report. For a deeper dive into the latest trends in branded resale, register for their webinar on April 10.

PODCAST

Introducing ‘After Earnings’

A graphic with purple, blue, white, and green geometric shapes features a portrait of Katie Perry and another of Austin Hankwitz. A white logo reads "After Earnings," and two smaller logos underneath read "Morning Brew" and "Stakeholder Labs." Morning Brew

After Earnings connects modern investors with decision-makers shaping the markets. Join Austin Hankwitz and Katie Perry as they bring conversations that used to be available only to hedge fund managers to the rest of us. Listen now to their interview with Celsius CEO John Fieldly about the beverage company’s rapid growth.

SWAPPING SKUS

Today’s top retail reads.

Gassed up: Amid the Chapter 7 bankruptcy of convenience store owner Mountain Express Oil Company last fall, InCommercial Property Group sought to turn the locations leased by the company into something new. It debuted a new group, InConvenience Inc., and new stores Goods Spot and Gas Spot, known as “G-Spot.” (C-Store Dive)

In the bag: Hermès’s often sold-out Birkin bag has become incredibly hard to purchase, so much so that a new legal challenge is questioning the legality of it. (Business of Fashion)

Jarring experience: A look at a new (and potentially unnecessary) consumer practice that’s emerged on social media—“decanting” groceries. (Eater)

Retail reliable 5G networks: Give your network an upgrade with T-Mobile for Business. With T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G supporting your locations, you can optimize your operations and omnichannel experience simultaneously with purpose-built retail solutions.*

*A message from our sponsor.

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