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Today in Retail: Connected Fitness Boom Coming to an End; Retailers Struggle With Policy Abuse

In today’s top retail news, increased memberships at Planet Fitness and slowing growth at Peloton suggest in-home fitness may be a pandemic fad for some consumers, while retailers look for ways to combat abuse of their return policies and promotions. Also, Pinterest said it’s fine going on alone just weeks after PayPal denied reports that it was interested in acquiring the social site, and Pacsun is the latest brand to launch a new physical retail concept.

Peloton’s Fall, Planet Fitness’ Rise Suggest Connected Fitness Boom Is Over

Peloton this week told analysts and investors that it has seen a greater-than-anticipated decline in website traffic levels over the past two months and a slower-than-expected pickup in retail showroom traffic. Meanwhile, Planet Fitness — which struggled mightily during the pandemic, as many gyms did — barreled past earnings expectations this week, with memberships up for the third quarter in a row for a total of 15 million.

Retailers Getting Hit With $90B of Bogus Returns, Promo Abuse

PYMNTS research, conducted in collaboration with Forter, found that abuse of customer service policies costs U.S. retailers with more than $100 million in revenue as much as $89 billion per year, with the largest companies most frequently targeted and seeing the highest share of revenue lost to abuse. Of the types of abuse, promotion abuse — or taking undue advantage of rewards, sales or other promotions — is the most prevalent, followed by item not received and return abuse.

Pinterest ‘Well-Positioned’ as Stand-Alone Business, CEO Says

Pinterest is continuing to invest in transitioning the photo-sharing social media site to a center of commerce even as monthly user growth continues to slow, with executives saying they are confident in the company’s plans as a standalone business. Ben Silbermann, president and CEO of Pinterest, told analysts that he’s focused on building a “creator-driven” ecosystem for the future of lifestyle media and social commerce.

Pacsun Introduces First Kids Store at Mall of America

Pacsun is introducing a dedicated store for kids, with the first location opening at the Mall of America in Minnesota. The 1,435-square-foot Pacsun Kids store is connected directly to the Pacsun adult store and will feature gender-free clothing, such as graphic tees, fleece sweats and outerwear, for children ages 4 to 14.

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