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Today In Retail: Supply Chain Headaches Continue; Klarna Keeps BNPL Excitement Going

In today’s top retail news, retailers and industry watchers are elevating supply chain concerns ahead of the holiday shopping season, while buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm Klarna partners with an online luxury and fashion brand. Also, Walmart and Amazon will be forced to face an antitrust probe in India after the country’s Supreme Court ruled against them, and direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands are seeing opportunity in a fractured swimwear market.

Supply Chain Concerns Rise As Focus Shifts To Holiday Shopping

Despite millions of dollars invested to boost overseas manufacturing and alleviate shipping congestion, the spread of COVID-19 and its variants continue to wreak havoc as retailers prepare for the holiday shopping season. Ben Hackett, the founder of international trade consultancy Hackett Associates, said part of the problem is the strain of the U.S. economic expansion, which is putting “considerable pressure on the logistics supply chain.”

BNPL Firm Klarna Partners With YOOX NET-A-PORTER

Klarna is launching a new partnership with online luxury and fashion brand YOOX NET-A-PORTER, allowing the merchant’s customers to purchase clothing and accessories in three- or four-month installments. Klarna said its services have been rolled out across YOOX’s group, beginning with MR PORTER in the U.S., Austria, Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Finland.

Walmart, Amazon To Face Indian Antitrust Probe

Amazon and Walmart will face antitrust probes in India over their eCommerce practices, the country’s Supreme Court has ruled. The ruling stems from an investigation ordered last year by the Competition Commission of India into whether Amazon and Walmart’s Indian eCommerce arm, Flipkart, promoted select sellers on their platforms and used tactics that hindered competition. The two companies said they will cooperate but have denied wrongdoing and have fought legal battles against the investigation.

Fragmented Swimwear Market Leaves Opening For D2C Brands

The swimwear market is very fragmented, with people shopping more for style than for a specific label, and to Melanie Travis, founder and CEO of D2C brand Andie, that means opportunity. The only major swimwear player is Speedo, she told PYMNTS, which is “quite different than Andie,” founded in 2017 and catering to millennial and Generation Z women. “It’s such a fractured landscape, and what gets me so excited about the future is to build a truly generation-defining swimwear brand,” Travis said.

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