Welcome to The Week in Retail, a weekly round-up for marketers from Quad Insights that covers the latest must-know news surrounding the retail space.

Academy Sports + Outdoors announces partnerships with L.L.Bean and Fanatics

Academy Sports + Outdoors announced this week that it is teaming up with L.L.Bean and Fanatics to sell select merchandise from the brands both in-store and online, according to separate statements from the national sporting goods chain. The latter partnership allows Academy to “leverage Fanatics’ licensed sports inventory … from brands such as Fanatics, Nike, Adidas, Mitchell & Ness, New Era and WinCraft,” notes Dan Berthiaume of Chain Store Age. “In addition, Academy customers now have access to L.L.Bean products including polos, backpacks, and men’s and women’s apparel.”

Macy’s and Gap team up

Macy’s has teamed up with Gap to launch an exclusive collection of sleepwear and intimates this week to build upon the department store giant’s offering, per a company statement. Through this first-of-its-kind partnership, Macy’s will sell Gap and GapBody items for both men and women, at price points ranging from $12.50 up to nearly $80.

“This is Gap’s second merchandising partnership,” Chain Store Age’s Marianne Wilson notes. “In 2021, it teamed up with Walmart to launch a line of home goods that are sold exclusively by the discount giant.”

Related coverage:

“Gap and Macy’s to Work Together as Competition in Apparel Heats Up” (Barron’s)

“Macy’s Partners With Gap on Exclusive Line” (WWD)

Celebrity stylist Jason Bolden and JCPenney partner for exclusive collections

JCPenney has launched a partnership with celebrity stylist Jason Bolden to reimagine collections for two of its private brands — J. Ferrar and Worthington — the retailer announced on its website this week. Available in-store and online beginning Sept. 7, with additional styles to be released in October, the limited-time J. Ferrar x Jason Bolden and Worthington x Jason Bolden collections, as they are dubbed, are designed with inclusivity and affordability in mind. The collabs combine “everyday luxury with affordability,” Jeroslyn JoVonn of Black Enterprise writes, adding that the collections feature “tailored pieces made for every size, shape, and body” and allow for “a seamless transition from daytime leisure to evening chic.”

Related coverage:

“JCPenney to spend $1B+ in bid to revive its business” (Yanoo Finance)

Best Buy sees boost from vendors’ support of product price discounts

In a move that is helping counter slowing consumer demand, Best Buy suppliers have been financing an increasing number of price discounts on products, an action that has been aiding the retailer’s product margins year over year, as executives noted on the company’s Q2 earnings call this week. The increase in vendor-funded promotions has spanned all categories, reflecting suppliers’ willingness to innovate and engage with retailers to drive sales, Best Buy CFO Matt Bilunas noted on the call.

Like many retailers, Best Buy has faced mounting pressure as both sales and merchandise inventories continue to decline, with a 6.5% decrease in the latter in Q2, according to the company’s most recent earnings report. As Ben Unglesbee of Retail Dive notes, promotion levels in the market are higher than in previous years, effectively dragging down retail profits. “That’s where Best Buy’s suppliers have come in,” he writes. “Where most retailers have been funding price promotions out of their margins, Best Buy’s vendors have been funding more of them on their own to stimulate demand.”

Related coverage:

“Best Buy scales back sales outlook as results top expectations” (CNBC)

“How Best Buy is winning the war against retail theft” (Business Insider)

Further reading:

“The Fresh Market set to scale up stores by 14% over next two years” (Supermarket News)

“Avon owner Natura & Co considers sale of The Body Shop as revenue declines” (CNBC)

“Ann Taylor, Loft, Talbots form new KnitWell group” (Retail Dive)

“Walmart now accounts for one-third of all online grocery sales” (Winsight Grocery Business)

“Nordstrom Doubles Down on Rack Business Following 8.3% Revenue Drop” (Retail TouchPoints)