Under Armour to debut antimicrobial mask for workouts | Lululemon to pay $500M for workout tech firm Mirror | H&M could raise cash via bond sale
June 30, 2020
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Workout wear brand Under Armour has created a face mask designed to keep the wearer cool and kill bacteria during exercise. The company tried 13 different prototypes to come up with the triple-layer Sportsmask, which features antimicrobial technology the retailer says has been shown in lab tests to kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Full Story: Charged (UK) (6/29) 
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The Generational Impacts of COVID-19 in Retail
Discover how the pandemic is impacting each generation's relationship with shopping, retail, and your stores – from the spending and browsing habits of your customers to the tactics you need to use to recruit, train, and engage your employees. Register now for the July 9 webinar.
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Industry Watch
Lululemon to pay $500M for workout tech firm Mirror
(Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)
Lululemon Athletica will buy fitness tech startup Mirror in deal valued at $500 million. Mirror sells $1,500 camera-and-speaker-enabled mirrors that let users join live workout classes at home, and the deal is expected to boost sales and offer new marketing channels for Lululemon's workout wear.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (6/30) 
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H&M could raise cash via bond sale
(David Rogers/Getty Images)
H&M is preparing for a possible bond issue to raise funds and has established a program to be able to borrow money in multiple currencies. The moves come after the Sweden-based fashion retailer reported quarterly losses related to the pandemic.
Full Story: Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (6/26) 
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Retailers Marks & Spencer and Next are reportedly among the suitors vying to become the new UK franchise partner for Victoria's Secret. Victoria's Secret sought protection from creditors under a so-called "light touch" administration filing.
Full Story: RetailGazette.co.uk (U.K.) (6/27),  Sky News (6/26) 
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Inside The Magecart Threat
Online retailers are on the front lines of cyberattacks, which the FBI reported cost US businesses and consumers $3.5 billion in 2019, including digital skimming, or Magecart attacks—one of the fastest-growing threats. Retailers must be prepared to protect both themselves and their customers from such attacks, but how? Read the report
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Retail Trends
Target CEO on leading through change
Cornell (Brad Barket/Getty Images)
The pandemic and recent civil unrest have shrunk Target's window for long-term planning from years to weeks, Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said during a recent virtual conversation with NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "We don't have all the answers but we felt it was really important to make sure our position is clear -- that we will not tolerate racism and we were going to stand next to Black families as we look to make bold changes across the country," he said.
Full Story: CO— (US Chamber of Commerce) (6/29) 
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Unlimited consumer choice could be a thing of the past
(-/Getty Images)
Many shoppers encountered empty grocery store shelves when the pandemic first set in and panic buying took hold, and product shortages are persisting as manufacturers struggle to adapt to new consumer habits and needs. A reduction in choice could be here to stay, even though most consumers have stopped stocking up on emergency supplies, and many brands say the pandemic forced them to reconsider the value of offering broad selections of products, with some saying they are sticking with their slimmed-down lineups.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (6/26),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (6/27) 
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Retail Technology
Customer-counting technology, which retailers used to use to inform scheduling and figure out how many shoppers were making purchases, is fulfilling new functions in the age of the coronavirus, Joan Verdon writes. Services like ShopperTrak from Sensormatic Solutions are being deployed to make sure stores comply with new occupancy limits and temperature monitoring.
Full Story: Forbes (6/28) 
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NRF News
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and Lowe's President and CEO Marvin Ellison will discuss leadership challenges and opportunities, rapidly changing consumer preferences in home improvement, and workforce skills needed in a time of unprecedented digital acceleration in the next Retail Leadership Series conversation tomorrow, July 1, at 11 a.m. ET. Register now.
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Among those celebrating Independence Day this year, 43% of consumers in the Midwest plan to purchase additional patriotic merchandise. Source: NRF.
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Decreasing tensions requires active listening, explaining protocols and allowing customers to reconsider a policy. Conflict management expert Dave Young shares tips for retailers on communicating with customers during a conflict and what signs to look for to prevent and mitigate disputes. Read more.
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Chain Restaurant News
Burger King shows signs of bouncing back
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Burger King is reporting flat same-store sales in the US, a sign of recovery from declines brought on by the pandemic as patrons return to the drive-thru, while many dining rooms remain closed. The quickserve segment has been the quickest to show recovery, with transactions down just 13% the week of June 7, compared to the same period last year, according to NPD Group.
Full Story: CNBC (6/29) 
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Mirrors should think longer before they reflect.
Jean Cocteau,
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