|Bid||86.52 x 900|
|Ask||86.56 x 900|
|Day's range||85.15 - 88.21|
|52-week range||77.07 - 105.62|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.84|
|PE ratio (TTM)||30.63|
|Earnings date||23 Mar 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.98 (1.11%)|
|Ex-dividend date||27 Feb 2020|
|1y target est||110.76|
(Bloomberg) -- Americans have so far largely been spared measures taken in China and elsewhere to contain the deadly coronavirus, keeping thousands of healthy people homebound and left to binge-streaming entertainment to ward off boredom. But that could soon change, and home-exercise company Peloton Interactive Inc. may be well-placed to benefit from restless workout fans.This week the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to prepare for a coronavirus outbreak at home that could lead to significant disruptions of daily life, including school closings, cancellations of sporting events, concerts and business meetings.“We believe certain U.S. consumers will be less comfortable over time going to their gym and more likely to order a Peloton bike to stay home,” Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham and Co., wrote in a note to investors Tuesday. “This may drive higher unit sales and subscription revenue in 2020 than are currently in our estimates.”A few Chinese gym companies are seeing a similar reaction. Some analysts say the virus may provoke a moment when people learn to get comfortable doing a lot more at home and keep up the newfound habits after life returns to normal.New York-based Peloton, which makes internet-connected exercise equipment, also has an app that people can buy as a monthly subscription. While its workouts have been available on phones and tablets for some time, the company recently began offering an app for the Apple Watch, as well as the ability to stream classes on Amazon.com Inc.’s Fire TV.In its most recent earnings report, Peloton said it added 149,000 new subscribers during the quarter, bringing its total to 712,000. The company estimated it will have as many as 930,000 connected fitness subscribers this year. Connected fitness subscribers are people who own a piece of Peloton hardware, like the bike or treadmill, and pay a monthly subscription to access digital workouts. It’s a more lucrative category than people who pay for its app alone. If the Covid-19 virus, as it’s officially known, does lead to more in-home workouts, the figures could be on the high end or even above that range.Peloton shares were up about 7% on Wednesday, while the broader markets were generally down, having slid more than 6% over the prior two days. In China, there’s evidence that demand for at-home workouts is increasing. Apps like Fit.me and 7 Minute Workout, which both offer workouts in the home, have been rising in rankings of top health and fitness apps in the region, according to data tracking site SimilarWeb. Meanwhile Nike Inc.’s Run Club, used to track outdoor activity, has fallen. In the U.S., Aaptiv Inc., Mirror, and Nike’s Training Club could stand to benefit as well if U.S. consumers opt to skip the gym and get their sweat on at home instead.To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Verhage in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- When Bob Chapek was growing up in Indiana, the highlight of the year was the family trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.The 60-year-old executive went on to oversee that very park as head of Disney’s resorts business, and now he’s taking charge of the entire $70 billion-a-year empire as the new CEO. It’s a daunting moment for someone whose eyes still light up when he talks about walking through Disney World’s Main Street U.S.A.“At the core of everything, the center of our brand, is creative storytelling,” Chapek said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “If the creative storytelling is right, then everything else is right.”Chapek’s elevation to chief executive officer, taking over for longtime Disney steward Bob Iger, surprised investors and analysts with its suddenness on Tuesday. But Chapek was long seen as a key contender for the job. Over his 27 years at Disney, he helped orchestrate the company’s home-video strategy and then overhauled how its parks operate.“Bob Chapek not only knows the company very well -- having run a few of our important businesses -- he is also someone that we know,” Iger, 69, told Bloomberg Television.The question now is how well Chapek manages businesses he hasn’t run yet, including one of the company’s biggest source of revenue and profit: television. Disney is embracing streaming as a core part of its operations, and Chapek will have to learn as he goes.The succession follows a huge run-up for Disney’s stock, largely due to the successful launch of its new Disney+ video streaming service last year. But the company faces headwinds, including a coronavirus outbreak that has shuttered theme parks and delayed movie releases in China.Disney shares were down 0.5% to $127.61 at 10:14 a.m. Wednesday in volatile New York trading, off their worst levels of the premarket session as investors digested the news.Chapek also will have to fill the Tom Ford loafers of Iger when it comes to making bold bets. Iger transformed Disney with the takeovers of Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel, and, more recently, the $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment operations.“We suspect investors will have a difficult time believing any successor will be able to match Mr. Iger’s results,” Citigroup Inc. analyst Jason Bazinet said in a note Tuesday.But Chapek’s track record shows he’s willing to adapt -- and wring maximum profit out the businesses he’s running. He was one of the architects of the company’s “vault” strategy, where Disney released classic movies like “Dumbo” on DVD every few years, creating a frenzy among parents and collectors.Named to lead Disney’s consumer products, Chapek went about reorganizing the division. He let go dozens of staffers in favor of an approach that focused on the company’s film franchises, rather than on categories of merchandise. He caught lightning in a bottle when the 2013 animated film “Frozen” caused a surge in demand for blue Princess Elsa dresses and Olaf the snowman backpacks.When he took over the theme parks, Chapek began implementing a strategy of tiered pricing at the resorts. Guests who wanted to visit on peak days paid as much as $209 a day for a ticket that allows them to hop between parks. Annual pass prices exceed $1,000. Nighttime events were created to charge extra for folks who wanted to attend.Chapek justified the increases through massive investments in new attractions. Under his watch, Disney opened the $5.5 billion Shanghai theme park. A new Avatar-themed attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando brought new life to that resort. And two Star Wars-themed lands opened last year at a cost of about $1 billion each.Still, Chapek’s appointment came as a surprise to many. Senior executives were told only that morning. Some speculate that Iger wanted to avoid the prolonged succession struggle fought by his predecessor, Michael Eisner. The company’s directors also may have gotten inspiration from the quick transition achieved by Mark Parker, a fellow Disney board member, who stepped down from the CEO position at Nike Inc. in January.The move will likely be a disappointment for Kevin Mayer, Disney’s streaming chief, and other CEO hopefuls at Disney. That could include TV chief Peter Rice, who came over with the Fox acquisition.Instead the board picked a longtime Disney insider, steeped in the company’s unique culture. Disney has typically hired leaders from within, and Chapek will only be the seventh CEO in its nearly 100-year history.“It made perfect sense,” said Iger, who plans to stick around as chairman through 2021 while also overseeing the creative side of the business. “It also creates a really smooth transition.”(Updates with shares in eighth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Keith Gerstein.To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dave McCombsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) plans to release its third quarter fiscal 2020 financial results on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at approximately 1:15 p.m. PT, following the close of regular stock market trading hours. Following the news release, NIKE management will host a conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. PT to review results.
(Bloomberg) -- Before HQ Trivia ran out of money earlier this month and abruptly shut down, the once-promising startup appeared to be on the brink of a dramatic victory. It had an acquisition offer from a media company called Whistle. The deal would have given HQ the cash it desperately needed to keep the lights on. Whistle was still doing its due diligence, but it already knew that HQ Trivia had been declining in popularity in recent months. It was familiar with the company’s history of managerial infighting, and it was aware of the shocking death of its 34-year-old co-founder from a drug overdose.Then, earlier this month, Whistle pulled out unexpectedly. HQ’s board members were blindsided, according to two people close to the company who asked not to be identified discussing private conversations. The company’s chief executive officer, Rus Yusupov, sent an email to its 25 employees on Valentine’s Day, telling them they were losing their jobs.That day, users got a bitter push notification on their phones. “HQ is live,” it read. “Just kidding. We’re off-air indefinitely.”The story of how one of the most promising companies in entertainment got to this point is a singular example of a clever idea derailed by what former employees describe as mismanagement and seething boardroom drama. In 2018, the New Statesman declared that “HQ Trivia—not Netflix—is the real future of television.” This year, by the time it was talking to digital video maker Whistle about a deal, HQ parent Intermedia Labs was on the verge of not being able to pay out promised prize money, people familiar with the company said.In nearly a dozen interviews with former employees, industry experts and others close to the startup, a portrait emerged of a company whose problems ran deeper than has been previously reported. In Silicon Valley, it’s not uncommon for good ideas to be stymied by managerial dysfunction. But HQ displayed a degree of personal animosity between staff and management—and among managers themselves—that’s rare even by tech startup standards. Yusupov, his board members and key employees all declined requests for comment. Most people who agreed to speak requested anonymity in order to protect their relationships, and prospects of getting another job in the industry.Now, the company is fighting for a second chance. On February 18, four days after declaring HQ was over and out of money, Yusupov tweeted that a new buyer had emerged. People familiar with the situation also say that a deal is close, though not finalized, and could become official as soon as early this week. Still, some who worked at the startup remain skeptical that HQ will ever make a comeback.Its most famous former employee, quiz show host Scott Rogowsky, tweeted a post-mortem for the company the day after it shut down. “HQ didn’t die of natural causes,” he wrote. “It was poisoned with a lethal cocktail of incompetence, arrogance, short-sightedness & sociopathic delusion.”On paper, the guys who founded HQ Trivia made a pretty good team. Yusupov and Colin Kroll had previously created Vine, the short looping video company. It became a force on the internet, minting now-famous influencers like viral provocateurs Jake and Logan Paul and musician Shawn Mendes. Vine was acquired by Twitter in 2015 for $30 million.But that integration into Twitter proved to be the first major setback for the promising duo. Kroll and Yusupov were both fired from the company at different times, Recode later reported. And, according to allegations that eventually surfaced in the media, Kroll made some of his female colleagues there uneasy with “creepy” behavior. In a statement to Axios, Kroll would later apologize for “things I said and did that made some feel unappreciated or uncomfortable,” and deny sexually harassing anyone. An investigation conducted by HQ’s board would also find his behavior fell short of harassment. The Twitter tie-up came to an end in October 2016, when the company shut down the service.By that point, though, Kroll and Yusupov had earned a reputation as online video whiz kids, and they found support for their next project, a live video app called Hype. Lightspeed Venture Partners invested $8 million to get the company off the ground, Recode reported. Lightspeed partner Jeremy Liew praised the company in a Medium post partly titled “Founders Matter,” which lauded pioneering social media entrepreneurs. “When these founders move on, they tend to see success again in their next venture,” he wrote. Hype didn’t find an audience. Neither did the company’s other ideas for a DIY game show or a celebrity baby photo-matching game. But before long, Yusupov and Kroll struck internet oil. HQ Trivia launched in August 2017 with a glitchy app, but almost immediately, it was a sensation. The game, an interactive mobile trivia show, was fun to play—and people of all ages found it addictive. When the live broadcast of the show would come on each day thousands of people stopped what they were doing to look at their phones and try to answer the game’s 12 questions correctly for cash prizes. Within months hundreds of thousands of players would tune in for the company’s daily show. But by mid-December of 2017, just months after its launch, trouble was already brewing for the company. HQ was struggling to raise money thanks to a reputation for “womanizing” that Kroll had left behind at Twitter, Liew said in a statement at the time to media outlets including Businessweek. Concerned by investors’ reticence, Liew, who was on the HQ board, launched an investigation into the allegations. He concluded that Kroll hadn’t been popular at Twitter, but that he didn’t harass anyone.As questions percolated about HQ’s management, its trivia app’s growth continued unabated. In February, the company scored a Super Bowl commercial, cementing its position as a staple of popular culture. The month after, the company raised $15 million in a funding round led VC firm Founders Fund. In a statement accompanying the funding announcement, Kroll said he was “let go” by Twitter from his role at Vine for “poor management,” and apologized for past behavior. HQ’s valuation climbed to $100 million.The high point for HQ Trivia came in March 2018, when almost 2.4 million people tuned in to try and win a $250,000 prize sponsored by Warner Bros. to promote its upcoming movie, “Ready Player One.” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made an appearance the next month, reaching a slightly smaller audience, and the game continued to book major sponsors like Nike Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and JPMorgan Chase & Co.Despite the star power, in 2018 HQ Trivia was starting to slip in the App Store rankings. It went from consistently landing in the top five slots in the “games” category in the U.S. App Store at the beginning of the year, to 188th place on July 1, according to App Annie.The key problem was that HQ wasn’t innovating, according to conversations with former employees. As people got bored with the main game, the company had little else to offer them. The stagnation wasn’t necessarily for a lack of ideas. Starting in 2018, the company discussed lots of additional shows including a “Judge Judy”-like program, and one based on “Family Feud,” people familiar with the company said. A dating show idea got far enough along that the company even made a pilot, they said, but it never launched.Yusupov was more interested in building out HQ’s flagship product than launching new ones, former employees said. Several people also said that Yusupov, a talented designer and creative thinker, could be erratic—alternating between bursts of frenetic activity and long periods of inaction. One employee recalled how once, hours before a game was supposed to drop, Yusupov asked to cut the number of winners from 5,000 to 500. Another former staffer remembered Yusupov personally overseeing the details for a game, even as larger issues like cash burn loomed at the company.A representative for Yusupov declined requests for comment. In a conversation with the Wall Street Journal in 2019, he said, “I’ve always welcomed and appreciated candid feedback. I’m evolving as a leader and will continue to do so.”That spring, Kroll contemplated leaving HQ altogether. His relationship with Yusupov had been rocky since the allegations and subsequent fundraising struggles. "I have a lot of ideas left," he said in a text message to a friend reviewed by Bloomberg. "And I don't want to make them w/Rus."At the office, Yusupov and Kroll continued to sit next to each other. But their mutual dislike had become so intense that one person familiar with the dynamic recalled that instead of speaking, they would sometimes Slack employees messages for each other.In August 2018, some members of HQ’s four-person board of directors felt the company needed a change in leadership, Recode reported. Liew and Kroll wanted Kroll to replace Yusupov as CEO. “We’re trying to diversify a bit, and that’s where my skill-set comes in handy,” Kroll would later tell tech site Digiday. Yusupov, however, didn’t want to give up his job, according to people with knowledge of the dynamic at the time.Displacing a CEO, even with another co-founder, is a seismic event for a startup. “Removing the founder more often than not is like ripping out the heart of the company,” Carol Liao, assistant professor of law at the University of British Columbia, wrote in an email. To add to that, investors doing the ousting are also risking becoming known as unfriendly to founders. "If that becomes your reputation, you're in trouble," said Brandy Aven, associate professor of organizational theory, strategy, and entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University.HQ’s board consisted of Liew, Kroll, Yusupov and Founders Fund’s Cyan Banister, who had joined earlier that year in the $15 million funding round. In the standoff between Kroll and Yusupov, Banister didn’t want to pick a side. (Founders Fund boasts on its website that it “has never removed a single founder.”) So she left the board to avoid the decision. That left Yusupov outnumbered 2-to-1. He was demoted. Before Kroll’s ascension to the CEO spot was announced, though, an employee filed a complaint about him to human resources, Recode first reported. The complaint, which accused Kroll of “inappropriate and unprofessional” management, was elevated to the board and leaked to the press. In an indication of the brewing mistrust at the company, Kroll suspected the leak could have come from Yusupov’s camp, according to text messages reviewed by Bloomberg.The complaint did not derail Kroll’s appointment, but the transfer of power solidified the long-gestating enmity between the founders. Yusupov felt betrayed that Kroll and Liew took away his job, people familiar with the situation said. Kroll thought Yusupov had tried to sabotage him in the press. He confided in a friend that he was considering firing his co-founder, and texted, "Feel like I should stop talking to Rus.”Then, just months after Kroll took over, HQ suffered its most shocking setback. In mid-December 2018, the company threw its annual holiday party. Kroll left the event and ordered drugs through an on-demand delivery service in New York City called Mike’s Candyshop, according to reports at the time. After taking the drugs with a girlfriend in his apartment late that night, the next day police found Kroll dead in his bed. The autopsy found heroin, cocaine and fentanyl in his body. Six men were arrested for running the drug service that provided the lethal substances, news reports said.Kroll’s death stunned HQ’s staff—and thrust Yusupov back into the unofficial role of CEO. That unsettled some employees. A few said they feared the company would slip into a state of inaction they believed had characterized Yusupov’s tenure as CEO. So several staffers—including the face of the company, quiz show host Rogowsky—started circulating the idea of drafting a letter demanding that the board replace Yusupov, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. A sizable number of HQ’s employees added their names.Liew was made aware of the letter before he ever received it. A hasty, all-staff meeting was called in February 2019, with Liew and other board members in attendance. At the meeting, the assembled staff was told that the board had hired a search firm to help HQ Trivia find a new leader. In the meantime HQ’s top engineering exec, Ben Sheats, and the company’s head of production, Nick Gallo, would share the CEO role with Yusupov, according to several former employees who were at the meeting. Liew also said that once Yusupov’s replacement was found, he would step down as board member, yielding his seat to his Lightspeed colleague, Merci Grace.But the new CEO never came. HQ spoke to a number of candidates in 2019, and got close on a few, but ultimately failed to hire anyone, according to people familiar with the discussions. Shortly after the February all-hands meeting, Rogowsky, by far HQ’s most visible employee, left for another job.By late summer of last year, it was clear that HQ needed an influx of capital, or new ownership, in order to survive. The number of downloads were down, and the company laid off about 20% of its staff in July, TechCrunch reported. The board hired Watertower Group, a boutique investment and advisory firm, and set out to explore their options, according to two people familiar with the arrangement. Watertower Group did not respond to requests for comment.In November, the company began talks with Whistle, formerly known as Whistle Sports, about an acquisition. Whistle makes digital shows for platforms like YouTube, IGTV, Snapchat Discover and the video section inside Facebook Inc., called Watch. HQ Trivia’s late attempts at new games, including HQ Tunes for music trivia launched in December 2019, had failed to take off. But it wasn’t hard to see how the company's offerings might fit into Whistle’s broader content strategy.HQ’s board expected the deal to close in mid-February, then Whistle pulled the plug, according to people familiar with the startup’s thinking. The botched acquisition meant HQ no longer had the money to sustain operations, Yusupov tweeted. The one-time media darling suddenly, abruptly shuttered.In a statement, a spokeswoman for Whistle confirmed that the company had had conversations with HQ as part of its broader growth strategy. “We will continue to look for the right growth opportunities,” she wrote. HQ’s demise was not exactly surprising. Since the start of this year, HQ Trivia had not cracked the top 1,000 in the rankings of top games in the U.S. App Store, according to App Annie. Still, its closure marked one of the most dramatic tumbles from grace in recent tech history. “With HQ we showed the world the future of TV,” Yusupov tweeted. “Thanks to everyone who helped build this and thanks for playing.”While the game is over for the foreseeable future, the world has likely not heard the last of HQ. The company will be the focus of a new podcast from sports and entertainment outlet, the Ringer. And a group of former employees is currently shopping a documentary-style video series to a number of well-known streaming services, according to people familiar with the discussions. The group includes former host Rogowsky—but not Yusupov—the people said.Meanwhile, HQ is still seeking a reprieve. After the Whistle deal fell through, Yusupov and HQ’s board spent the weekend calling around in search of another buyer, according people familiar with the situation. Now, the people said, a deal is being negotiated and is expected to close in the coming days, but is still not official.The hope is that this new buyer will pay enough for HQ to at least deliver severance for employees and prize money for players, people familiar with the matter said, if not fund a return to glory for the app.Several people with knowledge of the discussions declined to comment on who the new buyer was, citing a fear of upending the deal. But that didn’t stop Yusupov from sharing last week that something is in the works. “We have found a new home for HQ, with a company that wants to keep it running,” he tweeted Tuesday. “Not a done deal yet, but I’m optimistic.”(Updates with context in the 31st paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected the month of the app's first launch.)\--With assistance from Sarah McBride.To contact the author of this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne VanderMey at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark MilianAndrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Readers hoping to buy NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is...
NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) announced a series of senior leadership changes, elevating experienced leaders who will drive growth for the future. Heidi O’Neill, President of Nike Direct, will become President of Consumer and Marketplace on April 1, succeeding Elliott Hill, who is retiring from Nike. Andy Campion, currently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will become Chief Operating Officer, also effective April 1. He will succeed Eric Sprunk, COO, who is retiring from Nike. Matthew Friend, currently CFO of Operating Segments and Vice President of Investor Relations, will become the new CFO for NIKE, Inc. Both Hill and Sprunk will remain with Nike until later this year.*
Yahoo Finance is maintaining a working list companies that have been affected by the outbreak, and are expected to feel the effects through the first half of the year.
NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.245 per share on the company’s outstanding Class A and Class B Common Stock payable on April 1, 2020 to shareholders of record at the close of business March 2, 2020.
Entertainers Stephen “tWitch” Boss and Allison Holker discuss personal finance with Yahoo Finance's "The First Trade."
Under Armour’s struggles in North America showed up in its Q4 earnings results. “I’m not satisfied with where we are today,” said new Under Armour CEO Patrik Frisk, who took over for the company’s first CEO and founder Kevin Plank in January.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Any new chief executive likes to make their own mark. For Patrik Frisk, who took the helm of Under Armour Inc. last month, there’s even more reason than most. While founder Kevin Plank has ceded the role of CEO, he’s staying around as chairman and brand chief at the maker of athletic apparel.At first glance, the surprise sales and profit warning that Frisk, who spent two-and-a-half years as chief operating officer, announced on Tuesday, looks like the last thing he would have wanted to unleash on investors during his first update. And that’s not all: Under Armour is also considering another restructuring,To be fair, some of the cut to revenue guidance is down to the coronavirus – a risk shared with rivals Nike Inc. and Adidas AG. But it is also due to a decline in sales in North America, where efforts to rein in discounting and concentrate on the style, fit and performance of apparel have taken longer to bear fruit. Profit estimates were also lowered: The mid-point of the $105 million to $125 million range would imply a halving of operating earnings from 2019, according analysts at Bernstein.The big downgrade is clearly unwelcome to investors, who may be forgiven for thinking they have been here before. The group has been restructuring, including cutting jobs, for the past three years. However, such a dramatic lowering of guidance does provides more leeway to try to fix the U.S. business, where more work is clearly needed, and potentially scope to outperform later on. There were some bright spots. Under Armour’s gross margin, which expanded by 1.8 percentage points in 2019, is forecast to widen by another 0.3 to 0.5 percentage point this year. Inventories are also falling, and the wholesale market is showing signs of stabilizing.Under Armour’s reduced outlook also paves the way for more cost-cutting. Taking an ax to expenditure could lead to savings of $30 million to $50 million in 2020, even though this could cost as much as $425 million in pre-tax charges. Of this, $225 million to $250 million relates to the possibility of foregoing opening a flagship store in New York. Pausing this project looks wise given the outlook. So Frisk may be erring on the side of caution as he takes the reins.But there’s still considerable uncertainty as to whether Under Armour’s strategy — focused foremost on performance rather than fashion — will pay off. Meanwhile, competition from Nike and Adidas isn’t getting any easier, with the latter pushing ahead with its collaboration with Beyonce. Add in a federal investigation into Under Armour’s accounting practices, and whether Plank will be able to relinquish some control and the outlook remains highly uncertain.After under-promising, Frisk has little choice but to over-deliver.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Nordstrom Inc.’s seven-story New York flagship at Broadway and 57th Street is home to a velvet-lined Nike boutique, a facial massage studio, a martini bar in the heart of the shoe floor and lots of expensive new merchandise. That’s how it’s always been at Nordstrom. But last month brought something new with the opening of See You Tomorrow, a luxury apparel resale boutique inside the flagship. Shoppers will find returned and damaged goods sourced from other Nordstrom stores and — because it’s a resale shop — they’re welcome to sell their own high-end apparel for store credit.Nordstrom isn’t the first department store to try resale. In 2019, Macy’s Inc. and J.C.Penney Co. Inc. preceded Nordstrom into the business, lured by younger shoppers concerned with the environmental footprint of their consumption. But long term, resale’s biggest impact on retailing won’t be the growing sections of department stores devoted to used clothes. The most profound shift will be if manufacturers are compelled to make better quality, more durable clothes that consumers perceive as having value in the secondhand economy.Consumers have complained about the declining quality and durability of clothing for decades. But the complaints became louder and more serious as (primarily) Asian manufacturers became adept at quickly meeting consumer demand for low-cost versions of the latest trends. To do so, the manufacturers skimp on quality. For example, they’ll reduce thread counts, making garments more flimsy and less likely to survive multiple wears and washes. Those low-quality garments have no market in resale shops or on resale apps. And the stuff that can’t be resold or recycled is growing faster than the stuff that can. Between 2003 and 2017, the amount of apparel sold globally nearly doubled, while the number of times a garment was worn dropped by more than a third. All that unworn and ultimately unwanted apparel piles up: In 2017, 14.3 million tons of textiles were landfilled or incinerated in the U.S. — a 623% increase over 1970.These facts are increasingly well-known to American consumers, many of whom say they want to buy purpose-driven, sustainable brands. According to ThredUp Inc., a major online fashion resale platform and the primary source for the resale industry’s data, 59% of consumers expect retailers to create clothes ethically and sustainably. It’s impossible to objectively judge how many retailers meet that expectation. More likely than not, it’s a small number and they charge premium prices. So, in the absence of certainty and a willingness to spend, increasing numbers of consumers are opting for a secondhand retail experience. According to ThredUp’s data, the secondhand apparel market — everything from thrift stores to Nordstrom to ThredUp itself — more than doubled between 2012 and 2018, to $24 billion, and should exceed the fast fashion market by 2028. That expansion is being driven across demographics, but especially among those 18-24, 37% of whom said they would buy secondhand in 2019.However, all of this growth is theoretically constrained by two supply bottlenecks. First, consumers need incentives to sell stuff from their own closets. Second, there needs to be enough decent apparel worth selling to keep the market going. The first problem has largely been solved by online platforms like ThredUp and PoshMark Inc., which enable selling (and buying) through intuitive apps.Historically, the second question has been solved by the market. For example, the resale value of a new car is such a crucial consideration for buyers that automakers advertise how well their models retain it — and manufacture accordingly. Today, 40% of consumers say, according to the ThredUp report, that they incorporate resale value into their purchasing decisions beyond just cars, to include items like furniture to apparel. That’s a major shift in consumer behavior.Last year, Ikea announced a rental program that — among other benefits — is giving the cheap flat-pack furniture maker insights into wear and tear. It’s incorporating that information back into its designs, so items can be sold or rented, over and over again. Similarly, clothing rental juggernaut Rent the Runway Inc. shares its data with designers so that they can learn from it. One fashion label executive summarized the findings as: “How many times do our dresses get dry-cleaned and still come back as new?” The answer won’t only affect Rent the Runway. Last month, Nordstrom announced that it would begin selling garments pulled from Rent the Runway circulation at its discount Nordstrom Rack stores. Presumably, they’ll be able to last a few more dry cleans.Of course, shoppers at Nordstrom’s New York flagship can take resale value for granted. But the mere fact that Nordstrom is offering the option to sell back apparel in the same store from which it was purchased marks a profound shift in how consumers, retailers and manufacturers will perceive shopping and ownership. In coming years, that shift should result in better quality stuff for everyone.To contact the author of this story: Adam Minter at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stacey Shick at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Adam Minter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the author of “Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade” and the forthcoming "Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.