The weekly close: Big Lots fills C-suite and At Home faces demotion

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It’s been another week with a lot more retail news than there is time in the day. Below, we outline some things you may have missed during the week, and what we’re still thinking about.

From Target’s new store format to Swiss Miss’s scented sweater, here’s our weekly clearance sale.

What you may have missed

Hasbro’s CFO retires

Hasbro announced Wednesday that Chief Financial Officer Deborah Thomas will be retiring. She has been with the company for 24 years.

“Deb has been a wonderful leader and colleague, including being an invaluable resource and advisor to me as I transitioned into the role of CEO. The entire Hasbro team and I wish him and his family the best of retirements,” CEO Chris Cocks said in a statement.

The company is looking for internal and external candidates to succeed him. Thomas will remain as Chief Financial Officer until this person is appointed and as an advisor to the company for a period thereafter.

At Home downgraded by Moody’s

Moody’s this week downgraded Texas-based At Home’s credit rating from B3 to Caa1. Moody’s also lowered the retailer’s probability of default and its first senior secured term loan, as well as senior secured and unsecured notes.

The company maintained At Home’s stable outlook.

“The downgrade reflects the challenging operating environment the company faces, including high costs and demand volatility that increase the risk that an operational performance recovery will take longer than expected,” the managers said. Moody’s analysts, adding that the downgrade also reflects the retailer’s high leverage. with debt. While the company believes At Home has sufficient cash to deal with cost pressures, it said “absent a meaningful recovery in earnings, this level of leverage is unsustainable. While Moody’s We expect lower freight costs to contribute to a recovery in earnings in 2023, inflationary pressures will continue to impact demand and credit metrics are expected to remain weak in 2023.”

Karen Katz reportedly stepped down as CEO at Intermix after five months

Karen Katz, the former head of Neiman Marcus who took over as interim CEO at Intermix in June, left this post, amid growing financial difficulties, reports Women’s Wear Daily. Chief Financial Officer James Rushing has returned to his role, according to a previous WWD report. Gap Inc., which continues to deal with the turmoil on its own, sold the specialty retailer to a private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners last year for an undisclosed amount.

Intermix did not immediately comment on the CEO transition. But a company spokesperson said by email that “INTERMIX is exploring several options to navigate the challenging business and economic environments with the aim of strengthening the company’s long-term position. The company is confident in its path. to be continued.”

Big Lots Appoints CMO and CMO

Large lots Wednesday named Margarita Giannantonio as Director of Merchandising and John Alpaugh as Director of Marketing.

Giannantonio joins the company from TJX, where she most recently served as General Merchandise Manager for TJX Canada. She has experience with the Hudson’s Bay Company and Hugo Boss Canada, among others.

Alpaugh joins the company from CyberMark, where he was CEO. He also spent 16 years at PetSmart in various management roles and worked with Procter and Gamble and IBM.

retail therapy

A sweater so good you could eat it from Swiss Miss

As it starts to get colder, bring out the hot drinks and sweaters. Famous hot chocolate brand Swiss Miss seeks to combine the feel of both with its last sweater of the season.

The seasonal sweater has an insulated pocket.

Courtesy of Conagra Brands

Conagra Brands released a blue and white winter sweater that smells like hot cocoa and an insulated pouch with a zipper for a thermos, according to a press release last week.

The limited-edition sweater, which sells for around $60, even features reversible sequins allowing shoppers to change its message from “I’m hot” to “I’m sweet.”

Get Cozy This Thanksgiving With Southern Comfort Sweatpants

Nothing like the taste of turkey, cranberry sauce and… whiskey?

Southern Comfort released a limited edition “drinking pantsfor the upcoming holidays, according to a company press release this week. And good news: they are unisex!

“With pants, I feel like you always have to make choices – are they chic enough to pass Grandma’s strict dress code, are they comfortable, can they easily fit and carry your SoCo? It’s like pants makers never thought we wanted it all. Drinking Pants gets me,” Brad B., a semi-professional pants wearer, said in a statement to the company.

The black sweatpants are just $11.23, with a shot glass pocket (aka pocket) and the ability to be reversed so the big yellow words “Drinking pants” are where you prefer them. be.

What we still think about

150,000 square feet

It’s about the size of Target’s new large-format stores, which it is focusing on over the next few years of development. On average, they’re 20,000 square feet larger than the retailer’s other big-box stores, with more space for backroom fulfillment, omnichannel services and an expanded merchandise offering, including in food. and drinks. The retailer recently launched the concept in a store outside of Houston.

Exterior of the new large format Target store with Drive Up service

Courtesy of Target

The company tied the size of the format to the growth of omnichannel services like in-store and curbside pickup. It represents a pivotal focus for Target, which had previously focused on opening smaller-format stores to reach urban and college markets.

16%

This was the shoe brand’s growth rate Allbirds Third Quarter Revenue. For many brands, especially in today’s market, that would be a robust number. But for Allbirds, it represents a slowdown in momentum and comes as the company has rapidly expanded its store base as a path to growth. The company’s net loss also doubled in the quarter. To cushion its bottom line, Allbirds laid off 8% of its workforce and worked to reduce operating costs by liquidating inventory and automating distribution centers.

what we watch

Amazon’s aggressive cost-cutting comes with risks

Is it the economy, the earnings pressurethe natural evolution of a quarter-century-old company or new general manager leading to Amazon’s scrutiny of its underperforming divisions? Amazon says it’s something he does every falland that current macroeconomic conditions are influencing its approach this year.

The planned downsizing follows earlier moves by Amazon to freeze hiring, first in its retail businessthen company wide. Andy Jassy, ​​who took over from founder Jeff Bezos to lead the e-commerce giant last year, is focused on profitability, according to a Wall Street Journal report. But it must be careful not to overdo it, lest it undermine the culture of innovation, or even loss-making units like Alexa, part of the company’s secret sauce, analysts told Retail Dive.

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