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Today in Retail: FedEx Raises Prices as Package Volume Slows; Car Buyers Need to Be Engaged

Today in Retail: FedEx Raises Prices as Package Volume Slows; Car Buyers Need to Be Engaged

Today in retail, Sycamore Partners is considering buying U.K. fashion retailer Ted Baker, while GameStop is adding rewards club members at brisk pace as it works on NFT marketplace. Plus, PYMNTS presents five ways to fight inflation.

Sycamore Partners, the New York private equity firm specializing in retail investments, is considering a cash offer for United Kingdom fashion retailer Ted Baker, Reuters reported Friday (March 18).

Sycamore has until April 15 to make an offer for the publicly traded company. Sycamore said it is unclear whether an offer will be made and declined to disclose any terms.

Ted Baker said it has yet to receive an offer but will evaluate any proposal, the report said.

FedEx’s stock slid about 5% in early trading Friday (March 18), after the company reported a weaker-than-expected Q3 growth, from $21.5 billion to $23.6 billion, in its quarterly earnings call Thursday (March 17), as the pandemic led to workers calling in sick and customers cutting demand early in 2021.

JP Morgan analysts said they were surprised that FedEx’s fuel surcharge had not given the delivery giant bigger earnings. FedEx had said the surcharge provided a “significant benefit” to its operating income.

With rising gasoline prices on every street corner, endless packaging tricks and bundling strategies to conceal rising product costs and a raft of surcharges and fees being rolled out to offset expenses, inflation is unavoidable right now.

Consumers not only see it firsthand in their everyday lives, but even when they’re not shopping or out running errands, they read about it, post about it and talk about it with each other in a manner normally reserved for small talk about the weather.

In that spirit, PYMNTS presents “The Frugal Five”: dollar stores, buy-in-bulk warehouse, cheap(er) eats, reCommerce and home entertainment.

Ninety-eight percent of the people who go to an auto dealer’s website leave without doing anything. If dealers want to make the most of the marketing dollars they’ve spent to bring people to their site, they need to add something that will encourage them to stay, not stock images and videos of cars.

The auto industry has moved dramatically because of COVID-19, the shortage of chips and the shortage of cars. Automakers used to manufacture a lot of cars that were configured based on their understanding of what customers want, dealers would sell from what they had in stock at a discount and customers would point to a car on the lot and buy it if given a deal.

Today, automakers are now building what the customer wants, dealers are selling it with a healthy profit margin and customers realize they will have to wait to get the car they want.

GameStop’s fiscal 2021 fourth-quarter and full-year earnings were highlighted by a 32% year-over-year growth in its subscription-based membership program, PowerUp Rewards Pro, in Q4.

Also as part of its FY21 quarterly and full-year earnings call, GameStop announced that it will launch a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by the end of July to close out the first half of fiscal 2022.

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