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Teens more hot for food than clothing

BY Marianne Wilson

Teenagers are really into food.

In a trend that’s been growing in recent years, teens are spending more money on food than clothing, according to Piper Jaffray 35th semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey, which highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences among 6,000 teens across 40 U.S. states. The survey showed that overall teen spending is up 6% from fall, and up 2% from a year ago.

“Our spring survey has shown an uptick in teen spending, which we believe mirrors the economic expansion we are experiencing broadly,” said Erinn Murphy, senior research analyst, Piper Jaffray. “Within a teen’s wallet, food is the top priority but video games (for males) and beauty (for females) are gaining share.”

Top restaurants with teens include Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Chipotle and McDonalds.

Beauty spending hit a new high for female teens at $368 per year. It was up 4% over last year and 22% from last fall, with the increase driven by the skincare category.

On the apparel front, streetwear saw the largest incremental gains, led by Vans and Supreme. The survey also found that a 1990s revival is underway with Champion and Tommy Hilfiger. But Ralph Lauren moved out of the top-10 brand list for males. It had been top-10 brand since 2002.

In other teen preferences:

• Nike is the top (23%) clothing brand, followed by American Eagle Outfitters (10%) and Adidas (6%). However, Nike’s mindshare declined while Adidas’ climbed.

• Refined classic brands hit an all-time low of 5%, with weakness from Ralph Lauren, Sperry and Vineyard Vines.

• Sephora ranked as teens’ favorite beauty destination (44%), followed by Ulta (28%) and Target (11%).

• Top footwear brands included Nike (42%), Vans (16%) and Adidas (14%).

• Amazon ranked as the top online shopping site (44%), with Nike a distant (6%) second.

• Snapchat and Instagram are teens’ fave social media channels.

• Intent to buy iPhone reached a new high – 84% of Gen-Z will choose the iPhone next (compared to 82% last fall).

• eBay mindshare declined to its lowest level recorded at 1.8%, compared to 3% in fall 2017.

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Study finds brands must show loyalty to get loyalty

BY Marianne Wilson

The loyalty landscaping is shifting as younger consumers play be their own set of rules.

Gen Z and Millennials have been empowered by unique experiences, technology, and the power of choice to engage brands and experience loyalty in new ways, according to a study by Alliance Data’s card services business.

“This study really unpacks the shopping and loyalty preferences of today’s youngest consumer segment,” said Shannon Andrick, VP of marketing advancement for Alliance Data’s card services business. “One-to-one conversations with real people supported by in-depth research has provided a unique view into the mindset of today’s youngest generations and what they expect from brand relationships. The loyalty landscape has truly shifted from brands driving loyalty to brands earning loyalty.”

Conducted by Alliance Data’s Analytics & Insights Institute, “The Rules of NextGen Loyalty” study took a close look at what brand loyalty means to each of three segments: older millennials (born 1982-1989); younger millennials (born 1990-1997) and Gen Z (born 1998-2010).
Among the report’s highlights:

Loyalty is earned. Sixty-three percent of younger consumers agree they have many choices of where to shop, so a brand must show them loyalty to earn their business. Once brands recognize the unique motivations of Gen Z and Millennials, they have taken the critical first step in building deep brand connectivity and earning lasting loyalty.

Loyalty is complex. Traditionally, loyalty has been viewed as one-dimensional. Yet, loyalty is anything but simple. Research shows when it comes to life loyalty and brand loyalty, a continuum emerges spanning a range from functional to emotional. Different types of loyalty span the continuum from traditional, mostly functional loyalty, to brand love, emotional loyalty. Re-thinking a brand’s approach to loyalty means understanding that true loyalty requires a combination of function and emotion.

Loyalty is fragile. Today’s younger consumers are increasingly unforgiving, empowered by instant access and greater choice to want more and “put up” with less. In fact, 76% of younger consumers only give brands two to three chances before they stop shopping them. One in three consumers said nothing could be done when asked what a brand could do to win them back.

Loyalty is multifaceted. Brands have typically viewed loyalty through a transactional lens. But NextGen loyalty is a combination of transaction (function) and emotion – traditional brand loyalty and brand love loyalty. Transactions aren’t the only indicators of loyalty. Brands must understand customers’ unique needs and think differently about measuring loyalty. Some consumers want the basics while others need more.

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Regulatory Wrap-up: Insider’s guide to retail-related legislative developments – April 9

BY CSA Staff

Wages

Maine: An effort to scale back the 2016 voter-approved initiative that increased the minimum wage to $12/hr. by 2020 failed in the house by a 75-72 vote. The bill passed the senate earlier this week and would have reduced the planned increases to $11/hr. by 2021 and established a training wage.

Vermont: The house held their first hearing on the senate-passed bill to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr. and further action is expected. The governor has registered concerns related to the economic impacts of the increase but at this juncture, it’s unclear if he would veto the bill.

Paid Leave

Connecticut: Legislation creating a family and medical leave insurance program that would allow for up to 12 weeks of paid leave funded through employee contributions has begun moving through the house. A second bill which mandates that employers with more than twenty employees provide one week of paid leave is also moving. The bills passed their first joint committee hearing in March and while they may be advanced by the house, they face a more difficult path in the senate which is evenly divided.

Hawaii: A house-passed bill requiring employers to provide paid sick leave passed its second committee in the senate. The bill would mandate that employers with fewer than fifty workers provide paid sick leave, but exempts those who offer leave policies at or above the proposed benefit levels. It is unclear whether or not this bill will be conferenced with another senate-passed bill as the deadline for conference assignments was April 5.

Maine: An amended version of a paid leave bill passed the house. The original version required companies to provide medical leave. The amended version commissions an actuarial study to determine the cost and feasibility of the proposed program. The bill is currently filed as “unfinished business” in the senate and faces a short timeline with the legislature set to adjourn April 18. It could reemerge as part of an end-of-session negotiation on labor policies.

Maryland: The labor department issued official compliance guidance for the new paid leave law that took effect Feb. 11. The administration stated that it would not enforce the law until after the adjournment of the legislative session, scheduled for April 9. An effort to delay implementation failed earlier in the session.

Massachusetts: Following similar litigation brought in Washington state, several U.S.-based airlines have initiated another lawsuit in Massachusetts citing the applicability of a patchwork of state and local laws governing sick leave accrual and other related policies. The potential impacts to brick and mortar operations will be unclear until the litigation makes its way through the courts.

New Hampshire: The house-passed family and medical leave bill faces opposition in the senate. The bill would offer up to six weeks of leave insurance for all employees and would be funded by employee contributions. Unlikely to pass in its current form, the bill could see amendments similar to those offered in the house to replace the state-run program with a mandate that employers offer a paid leave plan. It could also be deferred to a study committee as some in senate leadership have suggested.

Vermont: Senate leadership is publicly endorsing passage of the house-passed paid leave program and listed action on the issue as a top priority. The governor’s office has expressed opposition to the bill as written citing concerns about raising taxes and fees. The bill would allow for up to six weeks of paid leave and would be funded by an income tax surcharge on all workers.

Duluth, MN: The city council amended the proposed ordinance that would mandate employers provide paid family and medical leave programs. Among other changes, the ordinance was amended to apply to businesses with five or more employees, down from fifteen in the previous version. Multiple businesses along with the city chamber have registered their opposition. The full ordinance is on the agenda for the city council’s next meeting April 9.

Wage Theft

New York: The Cuomo Administration announced the recovery of more than $35 million in stolen wages in 2017, an increase of just over $1 million from the previous year. The Governor has long positioned wage theft as a pillar of his efforts to defend workers. The New York Attorney General also had strong words this week for “predatory” employers and attacked the federal Labor Department’s new voluntary compliance program as a “Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card.”

Milpitas, CA: The city council passed an ordinance that empowers the city to revoke the business license of any employer that is found in violation of federal state or local wage laws.

Houlihan’s: A Houlihan’s franchisee in the New York and New Jersey area agreed to pay a $5 million settlement to over 1,000 workers who sued for overtime and tip pooling violations.

Labor Policy

New York City: A bill was introduced in the city council that would prohibit employers with ten or more employees from requiring workers to “access work-related electronic communications” outside of employees’ usual work hours. The bill is currently in the council’s Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Committee with no scheduled hearing or vote at this time.

Burgerville: The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), or the “Wobblies”, followed through on their ultimatum and filed an election petition with the NLRB. Under current “ambush election” rules, employers must file many of their objections at the beginning of the process and Burgerville reportedly waived that right, meaning an election will be held in the coming weeks.

Scheduling

Seattle: The city auditor’s office this week released a baseline study of scheduling practices prior to the enactment of the “secure scheduling” law that went into effect July 2017. The data consisted of Facebook surveys of self-identified retail and restaurant workers and represents the first of a three-stage study required by the ordinance. The initial findings show that a majority of workers participating in the study expressed concern about their employer’s scheduling practices in addition to seeking more hours.

Soda Tax

Washington: A coalition of retailers, unions and manufacturers, “Yes to Affordable Groceries”, has launched a petition gathering effort to preempt local sugar taxes following the passage of Seattle’s 1.75 cents per ounce tax on sugary beverages. The initiative would cap Seattle’s existing tax and prevent other localities from passing similar ordinances. The coalition must collect the required amount of signatures by July 7 in order to be certified for the November ballot.

Taxes

Connecticut: A bill that would expand sales tax collection obligations to sellers with more than $250,000 in sales or more than 200 sales into the state passed the joint committee and will be calendared for hearings in both chambers.

Georgia: A bill that would expand sales tax collection obligations to sellers with more than $250,000 in sales or more than 200 sales into the state passed both chambers and heads to the Governor’s desk for his expected signature.

Hawaii: A senate-passed bill that would subject retailers with more than $100,000 in annual sales to sales tax collection requirements passed its first committee in the house. The bill would also clarify that internet marketplace providers are the seller of the property for tax collection purposes for all applicable third-party sales.

Kentucky: Language that expands the definition of a retailer in the state for sales tax collection purposes was included in a larger tax package which passed both chambers and heads to the governor for an expected signature. The bill resembles a requirement first passed by New York in 2009 and applies to sellers who generate more than $10,000 in sales into the state through an “affiliated” Kentucky-based agent.

Transportation

U.S. House: Republican house members introduced legislation that would allow truck drivers over the age of 18 to cross state lines provided they complete a two-step training program. Currently most states allow drivers to obtain commercial driver’s license at 18 but don’t allow them to cross state lines until the age of 21. The bill comes in response to industry concerns regarding the lack of new drivers in an already aging workforce.

Key Takeaways

• The blue state reaction to the federal tax bill has begun. The budget passed in New York last weekend includes changes to how employers can collect payroll taxes. Expect other blue states to explore similar options. When there is significant political momentum around omnibus spending or tax bills, many important things can get added to the mix with very little notice or vetting – changes to the depreciation language in the federal tax bill are a primary example. Since it is likely that large companies will eventually be the targets of much of this tax activity, brands need to be extremely vigilant and stay close to this process to protect themselves – both in New York and elsewhere.

• The pending union election at a Burgerville location could provide the labor movement a big win and a significant talking point – the unionization of the first QSR in America. If the union wins the election and is certified, it could earn significant national media attention, accolades from pro-labor elected officials across the country and embolden activists and traditional unions to target other brands. Brands and operators should pay close attention to the outcome and subsequent discussion.

Legislature Status for Week of 4/9/18

• The United States Senate is in session this week
• The United States House is in session this week
• Twenty-nine state legislatures are meeting actively this week:
o AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, KY, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, ME, MN, MO, NE, NH, NJ, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, WI

Podcast

Check out our Working Lunch podcast each week that includes further analysis into these legislative issues, policy, politics and much more. You can find Working Lunch on the Nation’s Restaurant News website, or by clicking here, and when you download the podcast and subscribe on iTunes here.

The Regulatory Wrap-Up is presented by Align Public Strategies. Click here to learn how Align can provide your brand with the counsel and insight you need to navigate the policy and political issues impacting retail.

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