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1. From Taylor Swift to Joe Biden, the power of fan merchandise shows no sign of ebbing: Fan merchandise, once the purview of post-concert stalls selling shirts and posters, now touches every industry – from high fashion to politics. “Music and entertainment franchises are the obvious core backdrop, but there is more interest in political or activist merch now as well, and that political [aspect] is more cross-territory and -age-demographic than we have seen before, which is interesting.” – Read More on SCMP

2. CEOs Increasingly See Sustainability as Path to Profitability: Still, there appears a gap between talk and action when it comes to hiring CEOs and executives based on their sustainability experience. “Businesses are doing a great job embedding talk of sustainability into descriptions about their company, but are falling short in driving decisions about which leaders to hire based on it.” – Read More on the WSJ

3. As retailers focus on diversity, executive representation is stagnant: Since 2010, the percent of executives of color in retail has hardly changed. In 2018, 86 percent of all retail executives and senior-level officials and managers were white. Women, too, remain underrepresented in executive ranks – with retail having 29% women in upper ranks. – Read More on Retail Dive

4. RETRO READ: Has Fashion Given Business Women a Fighting Chance? In the 250-billion-euro space, 85% of personal luxury goods consumers are women, according to a 2015 Bain report. These figures are wildly disproportionate to the statistics that detail the supply side of the equation, where the industry’s most highly-ranking positions are by and large dominated by men. – Read More on TFL

5. Most U.S. Shoppers Say They Won’t Set Foot in a Mall This Year: Just 45% of U.S. consumers plan to go to a shopping mall this season, down from 64% who visited last November and December. The forecast is a fresh blow to American malls already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, which has upended the economy, shifted spending habits and made people wary of crowded places. – Read More on Bloomberg

Yet … Two Retail Giants Are Busy Buying Distressed Mall Brands Out of Bankruptcy

6. Chinese shoppers spend big during the Golden Week holidays — a sign consumption is on the mend: China’s Ministry of Commerce said average daily sales for retail and food and beverages was 4.9% higher this year than during last year’s Golden Week holidays, for total sales of 1.6 trillion yuan from Oct. 1 to 8. – Read More on CNBC