Image: J. Crew

1. A secretive corner of the equity market: As the U.S. comes out of the pandemic, J.Crew’s shares have nearly doubled in value over the last three months. The company is now part of a shadowy group of retailers — including Neiman Marcus, JCPenney and Belk — that have gone through bankruptcy and now sit in a kind of ownership purgatory, with their equity held by a disparate group of former creditors. – Read More on Axios

2. Retail forecast raised with 2021 sales now expected to top $4.44 trillion: The National Retail Federation is now forecasting that retail sales will grow between 10.5 percent and 13.5 percent to reach more than $4.44 trillion. The NRF previously forecast growth of 6.5 percent to 8.2 percent. – Read More on MarketWatch

3. As retail prices rise, companies employ jargon to disguise it: Retailers sometimes absorb some of the price increases manufacturers demand, and the rest is passed on to shoppers. When prices do inevitably rise, as they’re doing now, manufacturers and retailers both take cover behind neologisms that Wall Street understands but Main Street sometimes doesn’t. – Read More on LA Times

4. Online wholesale marketplace Faire raises $260 million, valued at $7 billion: There are an increasing number of tech companies that are helping small and medium-sized businesses grow online, offering shipping, payment, e-commerce platforms and marketing services, and making it possible to sell outside of the Amazon marketplace. – Read More on Reuters

5. Jessica Simpson Fashion Brand Owner Preparing to Sell Assets in Bankruptcy: Sequential Brands is nearing a deal to sell its majority stake in the fashion line back to the singer and offload other assets as part of a potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. – Read More on Bloomberg