Week in Review: 5 Big Shoe Stories You Need to Read

Retailing isn’t an easy game. Throw in the threat of an in-store shooting, and the intensity of the job becomes even higher.

Walmart found itself in the center of the heated gun control conversation after there were shootings at two of its stores in the span of days. In the aftermath, it said was neither updating its security protocol at stores nor making any changes to its gun sales policy. But other retailers, meanwhile, are stepping up how they train and protect employees.

In other retail news, there were two major moments. Nordstrom said it would had taken the necessary steps to achieve 100% pay equity, meaning that there would be equal pay for its employees across gender and race. Indeed, a retail positive.

Conversely, one of retail’s long-running success stories came to an end. The Boston-based Tannery, founded in 1973, closed its last remaining store this week, marking an end to an independent chain that had truly earned a level of street cred.

Here, FN rounds up five of the week’s most-compelling stories that you need to read.

Women, On Average, Earn 80 Cents to a Man’s Dollar – But Not at Nordstrom

Nordstrom Inc. is living up to its reputation as a pioneer in the department store space. The retailer said it has reached 100% pay equity for its employees of all genders and races — meaning it provides equal pay for comparable work, a feat that has dogged companies since the Equal Pay Act of 1963. In the US, women still earn about 80 cents to a man’s dollar.

The Tannery Boston
The Tannery’s Boston flagship store.
CREDIT: FN Archives

End of an Era: Boston Staple The Tannery Closes After 40 Years

Once an independent retail star, The Tannery, founded in 1973, closed its doors for good this week. Like many smaller players, the chain had struggled in recent years, with executive squabbles, Chapter 7 bankruptcy protections and a discrimination suit in 2018 from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. The Tannery had carried labels ranging from Gucci to New Balance.

Are Retailers Doing Enough to Keep Customers Safe?

Every three months, Walmart employees are trained on in-store active shooter scenarios. This week, workers at two of the retailer’s stores had to confront the situation in real life. Other merchants are also stepping up precautions, with more law enforcement-led drills, installing bullet-resistant doors and, if need be, learning to fight back. Is it enough?

Kasper Rorsted, adidas
Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Is Adidas Right to Be Worried About a US-China Currency War?

On Thursday, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted voiced concerns about a potential US-China currency war, arguing that a monetary standoff between the two nations could be worse for the industry than a trade war. Adidas said it has a diverse manufacturing base but a weak yuan could mean fewer Chinese customers; China is the brand’s biggest driver of revenue growth, with sales up 14% year over year in Q2.

These Key Consumer Trends Are Driving Back to School Business

The rise of online streaming services is changing the way Americans consume content — and advertisers are following suit. Over-the-top advertising on digital viewing services represents 40% of BTS campaigns. Consumers are also seeking new ways to pay. In fact, 35% said they would spend more on BTS items if offered flexible payment options, such as interest-free installments or buy-now, pay later.

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