Melissa Campanelli

Melissa Campanelli

Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.

U.S. Retail Sales Jump 1.9% in September

U.S. retail sales in September increased 1.9 percent month-over-month and 5.4 percent year-over-year, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday. That's more than double what was economists forecasted, more than triple the 0.6 percent month-over-month increase in August, and almost double the 2.8 percent year-over-year increase in August. Sales have been up both month-over-month and year-over-year each month since…

Retailers Starting Holiday Promotions Alongside Amazon Prime Day

Several major retailers have signaled that they're using Amazon Prime Day 2020, which runs today and tomorrow, as the starting point to begin their holiday sales — even though they're not mentioning Amazon.com directly. On Monday, for example, J.C. Penney launched an event that runs through Wednesday that allows "shoppers to get a jump start on…

NRF Cautiously Optimistic in Holiday Retail Sales Forecast

Consumer spending has recovered from the coronavirus pandemic more quickly than expected, but forecasting 2020 holiday sales is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle without all the pieces, National Retail Federation (NRF) Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a press release from the trade association. “I'm cautiously optimistic about the fourth quarter in terms of the…

Walmart, Target to Hold Sales Events Opposite Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day won't be the only big sales event in October. Walmart and Target have both announced plans to host their own online sales events that just happen to coincide with Amazon's annual shopping fest. On Monday, Walmart said it will be holding a "Big Save" online event that runs Oct. 11 through Oct. 15. Walmart will offer Black…

Walmart Launches New Private Label Men’s and Women’s Clothing Brand

Walmart today announced the launch of Free Assembly, a private label men’s and women’s clothing brand. The brand will debut this week online and in 250 stores, hoping to appeal to shoppers who want style and value. Free Assembly was built with an in-house fashion design team, "with decades of experience designing for modern American brands…

Target Pledges to Increase Number of Black Employees by 20% Over 3 Years

In conjunction with the release of a racial and gender breakdown of its team across all levels of the company, Target last week announced plans to increase representation of Black team members by 20 percent over the next three years by sharpening its focus on advancement, retention and hiring. Target said it has had diversity and inclusion…

Neiman Marcus Group to Emerge From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy by Sept. 30

Neiman Marcus Group announced last week that it expects to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy by Sept. 30 under a restructuring plan that's likely to eliminate more than $4 billion of its debt and more than $200 million of interest expense. The upscale retail chain said certain institutional investors will fund a $750 million exit financing package. The…

RTW Retailwinds' E-Commerce Business, Intellectual Property Sold to Investment Group for $40M

The e-commerce business and intellectual property of omnichannel specialty retailer RTW Retailwinds were sold at bankruptcy auction last week to investment firm Saadia Group for $40 million plus assumption of certain liabilities, including honoring gift cards. Assets include websites run by the apparel company, which was previously known as New York & Co. Those sites include www.nyandcompany.com,…

Amazon's Consumer Business Chief to Retire Early Next Year

Jeff Wilke, the chief executive of Amazon.com's consumer business, said on Friday he planned to retire early next year after more than two decades with the company. The news was announced via an internal memo posted to the company’s corporate blog. WIlke was one of two chiefs of specific businesses at Amazon who report directly to Jeff…

Report: Amazon to Turn Mall Department Stores Into Fulfillment Centers

Amazon.com is in discussions with mall owner Simon Property Group about using some closed J.C. Penney and Sears stores in its malls for fulfillment centers, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. The talks have been ongoing for months, the sources said. “For Amazon, more fulfillment centers near residential areas would speed up the crucial last mile of delivery,”…

Lord + Taylor, Tailored Brands File for Bankruptcy Protection

Lord + Taylor, one of America's oldest department stores, has filed for bankruptcy, joining a growing list of stores slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Tailored Brands, the parent company of Men's Wearhouse and JoS. A. Bank, also filed for bankruptcy. Lord + Taylor, which was sold to rental clothing company Le Tote last…

Mall Owner Simon and Authentic Brands Make $305M Bid for Bankrupt Brooks Brothers

SPARC LLC, a full-service retail operator comprised of the U.S. mall owner Simon Property Group and the apparel licensing firm Authentic Brands Group (ABG), has made a $305 million bid for bankrupt Brooks Brothers, according to a court filing published last week. The offer, still subject to better and higher bids and court approval, will keep at least 125…

New Feature Lets Consumers Shop for Groceries From Yahoo Mail

Verizon Media today announced the launch of Groceries from Walmart, a Yahoo Mail feature that enables users to browse, add to cart, and purchase essential groceries from Walmart within Yahoo Mail. According to Verizon Media, this is the first time that email users can fill a shopping cart from their inbox, streamlining their shopping experience from…

Walmart to Launch Membership Program to Compete With Amazon Prime

Walmart is launching a new subscription service later this month called Walmart+ that closely resembles Amazon Prime, multiple sources told Recode last week. According to the sources, Walmart+ will cost $98 a year, and will include perks such as same-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise, discounts on fuel at Walmart gas stations, and early…

I'm Excited to Be Speaking at the CommerceNext Virtual Summit!

I'm so excited to announce that I will be moderating a session at the CommerceNext Virtual Summit, taking place July 28-29! Based on the theme “Path to Recovery,” the CommerceNext Virtual Summit is designed to help retailers rebuild after extended store closures and a rapid transformation of e-commerce shaped by COVID-19. During the event, you’ll hear from brands…