shoppers on retail queue covid-19

May Retail, Food Sales Up a Record 17.7%; Ecommerce Jumps 30%

| Mike O'Brien

Retail and food sales jumped a record 17.7% in May compared to April, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, a hopeful sign of a recovery from the ongoing effects of the pandemic, after tanking an adjusted 16.4% in the March-to-April period. Ecommerce posted strong gains, increasing 30% in May from the previous month.

Nordstrom Sales Fall but Ecommerce Inches Up, Diversification Continues

| Mike O'Brien

Luxury retail bellwether Nordstrom saw ecommerce growth of 5% to more than $1 billion in the first quarter of 2020, while overall sales dropped nearly 40% as COVID-19 locked down its retail side, the company reported. Nordstrom is also evolving its model to focus more on off price locations and ecommerce than mall stores.

6 Ways Fashion Retailers Can Connect with Customers with Stores on Pause

| Jake Chatt

For fashion retailers, the COVID-19 situation presents an assortment of challenges as not only have people’s priorities and needs changed but, for many, shopping for clothing is an inherently in-person activity. Here are 6 ways fashion retailers can connect with customers online while physical shopping is on pause to drive sales.

Target Sees Ecommerce Soar, But COVID-19 Costs Dampen Earnings

| Mike O'Brien

Target found the COVID-19 outbreak to be a two-edged sword in the first quarter, driving stratospheric ecommerce sales growth of 141%, while impacting profits due to about $500 million in associated costs, the company reported. It also saw over 5 million customers shop on Target.com for the first time in Q1.

Amazon Reportedly Weighing J.C. Penney Acquisition Out of Chapter 11

| Mike O'Brien

Shortly after J.C. Penney filed Chapter 11, Amazon reportedly was in talks about possibly picking up the troubled store chain on the cheap. The plan calls closing 242 of 846 stores by 2021, setting up a real estate investment trust (REIT) to handle the balance of its physical assets and receiving $900 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

MCM CommerceChat Podcast

Breaking Down the Retail Bankruptcy and Restructuring Process

| Mike O'Brien

What should the growing number of retailers weighing bankruptcy be considering, and what kinds of restructuring plans should they set up? Attorney Thomas Wolford, a partner with Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, gives us an insider’s look at what goes on from filing through re-emergence in this MCM CommerceChat podcast.

Neiman Marcus Files Bankruptcy, First Major Retail Chain in COVID-19 Crisis

| Mike O'Brien

Neiman Marcus Group, owner of the 43-store chain of the same name as well as two Bergdorf Goodman locations and Last Call discount shops, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as expected, in the process securing $675 million in loans from creditors. The filing also calls for a long-term plan to eliminate $4 billion of debt.

J. Crew

Degraded Loyalty a Leading Indicator of J. Crew’s Chapter 11 Filing

| Robert Passikoff

Twenty first century loyalty – the degree to which a brand meets customer expectations for their Ideal in a product category – is a KPI that changes before the brand’s economic structure begins to improve or decline. It’s an early warning signal that your brand may be in trouble. And J. Crew’s recent Chapter 11 filing is a prime example.

J. Crew, Madewell Parent Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

| Mike O'Brien

Chinos Holdings, parent of preppy clothing retailer J. Crew and women’s apparel and accessories seller Madewell, filed Chapter 11 as part of a restructuring plan that calls for converting $1.65 billion of its debt to equity and securing $400 million in loans. This is the first major retailer to file for bankruptcy during the coronavirus crisis.

Roundup: Retail, Malls Reopen Slowly, Midsize Players Get Fed Relief

| Mike O'Brien

Retail was a mixed bag this week, as over a dozen states have begun to slowly reopen, working to come out the other side of the COVID-19 shutdown. Some retailers and malls are doing the same, hoping that enough returning shoppers and their pent-up demand for goods will help with massive cash flow and viability challenges.