The Week Ahead: JCPenney, Macy’s Kick Off Department Store Earnings + FN Platform Opens in Vegas

FN’s new column goes inside the burning issues that will dominate the shoe conversation in the week ahead. 

Waking Up in Vegas

FN Platform kicks off Monday in Sin City. For the first time, the show will be integrated into the larger Magic event — with the goal of creating a more convenient setup for buyers scoping out styles at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

On Monday, Brooke Burke makes an appearance at Skechers’ booth, and The NPD Group’s Beth Goldstein sits down with show head Leslie Gallin to talk about the health of the shoe industry.

Check out FN’s two panels on Tuesday, which will be held in the women’s lounge in the North Hall. The first, set for noon, will feature an interview with social influencer and designer Nicky Hilton. The second event, which starts at 1 p.m., tackles the critical issue of diversity. Pensole founder D’Wayne Edwards will talk about how African American talent can break through, and what companies should do to help rising stars rise through the ranks. Aldo’s Valerie Martin, meanwhile, will discuss how the Canadian footwear giant is empowering its female leaders — and what other shoe players can do to strengthen gender diversity.

Another highlight? Two Ten’s WIFI Group will hold its annual awards on Tuesday afternoon on the show floor.

Weaving a Tapestry

After Michael Kors reported mixed results last week, its biggest American competitor — Tapestry Inc. — is on deck.

All eyes will be on Kate Spade, which is in the midst of an overhaul under creative director Nicola Glass and longtime industry leader Anna Bakst.

Stuart Weitzman, which saw comps rise 4% last quarter, has been focused on reigniting growth, with a focus on proven sellers. International is a big priority for both Weitzman and Kate Spade, as well as Coach, which continues to contribute about 70% of Tapestry’s overall revenues.

The State of the Department Store

As Barneys begins a new chapter in bankruptcy, and races to find a buyer, another big retailer also faces an uncertain future. JCPenney will report earnings on Thursday, and multiple reports suggest that its stock could be delisted in the coming days.

The department store’s struggles have been well documented, and the firm could be the next to file bankruptcy papers.

Macy’s, meanwhile, emerged as a winner during the first half. The retailer, which will unveil its earnings on Wednesday, has seen early success with its new brick-and-mortar strategy — supported by its Growth50 stores and Backstage.

Outlined last February, the Growth50 project was Macy’s’ experiment to revamp 50 locations across the United States by modernizing interiors, expending offerings and increasing staffing levels, among other improvements. Its Backstage stores, on the other hand, were introduced in 2015 and serve as the firm’s off-price concept, offering top brands at a discount. Macy’s also rolled out its experiential bet, Story, in April.

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