Every week we summarize the top news and stories, here are our picks from last week including links to the stories.
First off, a quick nod in celebration of International Women’s Day which is being celebrated around the world today. We love the call to action of #ChooseToChallenge, no matter who you are or where you are this is a great message to live by. Here at RetailWit we want to thank all the incredible women in our lives, they have made us who we are today and we are grateful for their strength, impact and support.
“That’s great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, and aeroplanes”….
It’s the end of COOs as we know them, and boardrooms feel fine…
After a busy week of organizational changes we offer our apologies to R.E.M. for bastardizing their song, and to you if you are singing aloud right now.
It seemed every few hours there was news of changes; companies adding key experience, restructuring roles and often just eliminating positions. As Q4 results kept rolling in last week, we have officially hit “retooling season”.
This is the pivot point in the fiscal year where companies can reflect on the year that was, and evaluate “who” helps them move forward. We knew this year was going to be M.A.D. (Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures) heavy for organizations everywhere, and it seems clear that many organizations find they don’t have the right personnel to execute. They are retooling who is in their boardroom, their C-Suite and the structure of their organization – which is potentially the most telling trend we are seeing.
A few examples from last week that really raised an eyebrow at RetailWit HQ:
- Macy’s made the decision to eliminate the COO role, they name a new CIO and still have an opening at CEO. This retailer has a LOT to figure out in the next year as they keep shuttering locations as shopping trends move away from the mall and busy city centers.
- Kroger EVP/COO Mike Donnelly announces his retirement, which takes effect this Spring, with no successor named in the press release. In fact, the Q4 earnings call was two days after his announcement and there was not one mention of Donnelly’s departure or the open role on the call from Rodney or Gary.
Is the COO role being eliminated or just evolving? With the focus of merchandising / supply chain rapidly changing, are many companies finding they don’t have the right expertise in the right role? Or do they realize the role and job description doesn’t fit what they need going forward? Maybe “Operations” is too vague for the myriad of topics that are popping up everyday; eComm, BOPIS, delivery, dark stores & kitchens, same day delivery, etc?
Companies are evolving, it only makes sense that the C-Suite needs to follow. The retooling continues for organizations everywhere; what will be telling is who they put in these roles, what they call the position and what experience they are adding to their bench.
What do you think? What other roles do you think need to evolve? What will the next major shift be?
As for the rest of the big news from the week that was…
Retailer earnings made some huge headlines:
- Target’s Q4 Comp Sales were up 19.3%
- And they backed that up with an announcement to Invest $4 Billion Annually in New Stores, Remodels and Supply Chain Improvements
- Kroger saw Q4 Comp Sales up 10.6%
- And they announced that their first Ocado shed is up and running, meaning it’s officially go time for Kroger to become a heavyweight in this space.
- Other key retailer highlights:
- Costco posts 14.7% sales gain in Q2
- Big Lots saw a 130% increase in online sales in Q4
- BJ’s Comp sales up 15.9%
- Publix up 14.8% in Q4
And finally, here are a few more top stories we think people will be talking about:
- Saks Fifth Avenue decides to split their business into two pieces; an online business and an in-person side. Not sure what the opposite of omnichannel is, but pretty sure it looks like this.
- The medical profession has the Hippocratic Oath with the famous line “First do no harm”. Maybe business executives should have a similar pledge? Good for Chipotle for leading the way, I hope others follow in their footsteps.
- The malls take yet another hit, as Disney is closing 60 stores. This was one of the few stores left that you felt drawn to walk in when you passed, especially if you were with young kids. The ultimate in impulse purchases, at Disney prices.
- Speaking of retooling season, Instacart goes back to the well for more funding.
- Kohl’s says it added 2 million new customers in 2020. And they may have just proven a lot of critics wrong regarding the Amazon partnership. Interested to see how this continues to play out.
- Walmart removes another hurdle for adoption of their Express Delivery service, the arms race continues…