Truck driver shortages, widespread port congestion, and skyrocketing container costs are among the biggest challenges facing the book industry supply chain for the rest of the year and into 2022, panelists on a July 6 BISG webinar looking at freight and shipping issues agreed. Book International’s v-p of global business development David Hetherington said that, in all his time in the book business, he has never seen such pressure building in the supply chain as is happening now. He predicted that things could get worse as more buying shifts online and more packages need to go directly to consumers’ homes. Hetherington, along with Ryan Forbes of Readerlink and Susie Scally of the international logistics firm Meadows Wye, also agreed that now is not the time for publishers to negotiate with trucking companies or the major delivery services. The lack of freight capacity is a real issue, Forbes said, and companies don’t need to yield on price.
Athleta (NYSE: GPS) announced the expansion of a wholesale partnership with REI Co-op, bringing a curated selection of its product to 135 REI stores nationwide and online. As part of its growth plan to reach $2 billion in net sales by 2023, Athleta has committed to investing in new touchpoints to increase awareness and drive new customer acquisition.
The collection will include select styles of Athleta premium performance and lifestyle apparel and accessories, designed by women for women. Customers will be able to shop Athleta core lifestyle, hike and yoga bottoms, along with key tops and accessories. Additionally, REI will carry select extended sizing options from size 0-26 in hiking and fitness apparel designs in one-quarter of all stores and on REI.com, bringing women even more inclusive sizing options and ways to shop.
“We’re constantly looking at new ways to bring Athleta to more customers and meet her where she is, which is an important component of our growth strategy,” said Mary Beth Laughton, President and CEO, Athleta. “This expanded partnership with REI is an example of how we can extend our reach through a like-minded brand and empower a new community of active women consumers.”
“We are thrilled to offer a wider selection of Athleta options, in more locations, to our customers,” said Krista Hildebrand, REI senior merchandising manager. “Athleta is an amazing brand offering many versatile apparel choices so customers can focus on enjoying the outdoors.”
Athleta is a purpose-driven brand with a mission to ignite a community of healthy, confident, active women and girls to reach their limitless potential. This partnership brings together two purpose-driven brands who share a belief in sustainable business practices and empowering women to enjoy active lifestyles.