The end of 2019 and kick off to 2020 in retail followed the typical industry fashion (pun intended). We had a busy holiday shopping season highlighted by Black Friday and Cyber Monday; the National Retail Federation also held its annual “Big Show” Conference and Expo, followed by a series of not-so-ideal retail earnings announcements; and we saw new shopper trends around experiential retail, sustainable fashion, mobility and more grow in popularity.
While retail news typically tends to slow down in February as retailers begin to plan for the next holiday season, that did not happen this year. The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken over nearly every aspect of the news cycle.
And while the overhaul of the news cycle is evident, the retail supply chains working behind the scenes are also experiencing massive disruption. Not only are they seeing high demand for items needed to combat the virus, such as medical equipment and supplies, but they are also experiencing shortages due to suppliers being in affected areas and consumers impulsively stockpiling everything from canned goods to toilet paper.
We’re increasingly hearing from reporters that they are dedicated to covering the rapidly evolving situation for the foreseeable future to inform audiences about the overall economic impact of the pandemic. In the last few days alone, we’ve seen announcements of temporary store closures from the likes of Nike, Lululemon, Apple, Urban Outfitters, Under Armour and others.
Against that backdrop, here is a snapshot of several retail media moves during the past few months:
- Jordan Speer started a new role as a global supply chain research analyst at IDC in October 2019. As part of her departure, Apparel Magazine also announced it would join forces with its sister publication, RIS News.
- Leticia Miranda leaves her role as retail reporter at BuzzFeed in September 2019 and starts new role as business reporter at NBC News.
- Melissa Repko joins CNBC as a retail reporter focused on big-box retailers like Walmart and Target. She will help cover to the retail beat alongside Lauren Thomas who will shift to deeper coverage of department stores and apparel brands.
- After a 13-year run, John Brandon has stopped writing his tech column for Inc.com and will pivot to a new role with Entrepreneur as well as write a new business column for TheLadders.com. John still writes weekly columns for FoxNews.com (writing about consumer tech news) and TechRadar.com (covering connected, autonomous cars).
- Mike Murphy started a new role as Protocol’s Transformation Editor, focused on the industries being rapidly upended by technology, and the companies that are disrupting their incumbents. Previously, Murphy was technology editor at Quartz, where he frequently wrote on robotics, artificial intelligence and consumer electronics.
- Joe Skorupa announced his retirement from EnsembleIQ where he was editor at large for RIS News for nearly 20 years. Joe will now serve as an independent consultant and strategic advisor and Tim Denman will step in as editor in chief for RIS News and Consumer Goods Technology.
- Nicole Nguyen left her role as technology reporter at BuzzFeed in January 2020 and will now write personal tech column for The Wall Street Journal focused on consumer products and services. She will be working with personal tech editor Wilson Rothman and personal tech columnist Joanna Stern.