Retailers see staffing challenges as omicron rages, gross sales taking a success

A sign saying “Now Hiring” is posted in an Urban Outfitters store in San Francisco.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Retail executives presenting at the ICR virtual conference this week explain how the highly contagious Omicron variant drives sales and leaves stores and distribution centers understaffed.

But investors seem to be shrugging the bad news as they see it as a short-term challenge. For many retailers, the silver lining is that consumer demand appears to be well intact.

Lululemon said sales will be in the November-January quarter are at the lower end of their previous expectations because working hours had to be reduced at some locations due to a lack of labor. Lands’ End said it had been a difficult time hiring. Abercrombie & Fitch lowers its sales estimate for the fourth quarter because it didn’t have enough goods in stock to meet consumer demand. While Urban Outfitters said shoppers’ visits to its stores had not increased as planned in December, and were instead purchased on its websites.

Still, Abercrombie shares rose nearly 8% on Tuesday lunchtime, while its rival American Eagle Outfitter increased by about 3%. Urban Outfitters ‘stock rose nearly 2% and Lands’ End rose a little over 2%.

And these are just a few examples of how the recent surge in Covid cases in the US is sure to continue to rock the retail sector in the coming weeks. On Monday, around 1.5 million new cases of Covid-19 have been reported, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, bringing the seven-day average of new cases to 754,000 daily. While many vaccinated people infected with the virus say symptoms are mild, hospital admissions are on the rise, especially for those who get sick and are not fully vaccinated.

While these retailers may be weeks away from releasing full Christmas quarter results, the revised forecasts and comments provide analysts and investors with a preview of what’s to come. Companies from Lululemon to American Eagle are also shedding light on how to deal with the effects of omicron.

Work overtime

Lands’ End chief financial officer Jim Gooch said Tuesday that some employees had been working overtime in the past few weeks.

“We know that the work will be a big problem. … We hope this will normalize in the future, but this year has been a challenge,” he said during an ICR presentation. “And that’s why the teams are doing what they can to try to come out on top this year.”

Abercrombie & Fitch said Tuesday it was able to drag workers from one of its brands into stores of another brand in order to keep the doors open when workers call in sick. The company also owns Hollister and Gilly Hicks.

“In a mall where we have multiple brands and we have a staffing problem because we have a store that might come into contact with Covid, we can borrow staff from the other stores and that has helped us tremendously,” said Abercrombie Chief Executive Fran Horowitz, during an ICR presentation.

As a result, Horowitz said, Abercrombie has not had to close any stores entirely due to Covid outbreaks. However, it has temporarily reduced opening hours in some locations, she said. That’s an approach that companies take off Macys to gap to Nike also recently took.

“A little déjà vu”

“The first day of ICR 2022 was a little déjà-vu where we all sat in front of our computers and went from meeting to meeting with one click,” said Dana Telsey, CEO and Chief Research Officer at Telsey Advisory Group.

“Unfortunately, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 appears to have the negative impact we all feared on sales and staffing levels in January,” she said in a statement to customers.

Urban Outfitters reported Tuesday that sales for the two-month period ended December 31st were up 14.6% compared to 2019. Digital sales grew double-digit during this period, while in-store sales declined a low double-digit percentage on a two-year basis, the company said.

“We believe omicron affects our store sales … It’s hard to say how much,” said CFO Melanie Marein-Efron during an ICR presentation. “As soon as your stores start restricting their hours of operation, you are clearly limiting the ability of consumers to get into your store.”

American Eagle, which also owns lingerie brand Aerie, predicts fourth-quarter sales will increase a medium-to-high percentage of teenagers year over year. According to refinitive data, this is less than the 21.5% increase forecast by analysts.

However, American Eagle raised its expectations for sales in 2023 from $ 5.5 billion to $ 5.8 billion, suggesting the effects of Covid will be temporary.

“We think it will be short-term if there is any impact, and more isolated in January … maybe into February,” said Mike Mathias, CFO of American Eagle, when asked about omicron. “We share resources as needed between tips in specific stores.”

Singapore e-commerce gamers face challenges in logistics and supply

Consumers are flocking to shop online as people want to avoid crowds due to the pandemic, but getting the goods into the buyer’s hands can be a challenge.

To capitalize on future opportunities, companies selling online must build on an infrastructure to support their business, said James Root, senior partner and chairman of Bain Futures, a global think tank at consulting firm Bain & Company.

“Ecommerce platforms need two infrastructures: They need a great digital payment. Second, they need a great supply chain, ”he told CNBC. “And both to manage cross-border products that come into a market like Singapore, to have fast customs clearance and easy paper processing for them.”

Ultimately, convenience is king … It’s the convenience of shopping when I want, where I want. And it’s 24/7.

“Adequate market skills” are also required, said Root.

“For example, parcel delivery locations near the large apartment blocks and very good transport on the last mile to get products into the hands of consumers at the speed we are teaching our consumers to expect now,” he says elaborated.

When Singapore imposed a “breaker” or partial lockdown at the height of the Covid-19 crisis last year, it exposed the delivery and logistics challenges e-commerce companies are facing.

On November 1, 2016, an employee picks up orders from the shelves of a warehouse in the newly opened SingPost Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub in Singapore.

ROSLAN RAHMAN | AFP | Getty Images

“Ultimately, convenience is king,” said Vaughan Ryan, managing director of E-Commerce Asia Pacific at NielsenIQ. “It’s the convenience of shopping when I want, where I want. And it’s available 24/7. This allows consumers to shop more often, especially in Singapore because we’re so digital.”

Still, he said, “Nobody moved fast enough.”

“The consumer has been ahead of the pace manufacturers and retailers can do – and is fast catching up.”

“There is still a lot of room for improvement in the logistical control of the whole thing. Even with the immediate movement control orders in the circuit breaker, the time windows for the actual online order were not available. That has improved a lot … There is a lot to be done in this area, “emphasized Ryan.

Closing the gap

Ninja Van, based in Singapore, is one of the fastest growing last mile logistics companies in Southeast Asia.

We connect the virtual world and the physical world – you buy something online and we make sure it is delivered to your doorstep, in a locker or in a nearby supermarket, “said Lai Chang Wen, CEO and Co-Founder of Ninja Van, a courier company in Southeast Asia.

He said Ninja Van turned to social media to help customers track their goods and improve the delivery process to cope with the changing times.

Ninja Van’s fleet of delivery trucks.

Ninja Van

“What we think is more important today is… the ability for us to interact with you through your favorite chat messenger. Whether Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, you choose it, you subscribe – and we give you real-time updates on where your driver is. “

“We think this is a new form of tracking that fits in with the way we use our phones, how we interact these days, where it’s not too intrusive and no one is necessarily calling you,” he said.

Ninja Van is currently working with ecommerce sellers in the city-state to bring out some of the supply-related disorders.

“What we see as an opportunity over the next few years is, we’re dealing with a lot of these e-commerce sellers, and they import a lot of their goods from overseas – we help them deliver (properly) to their customers,” said Lai .

“Could we help them with their supply chains too? We’re pretty much working on how to bridge the supply chains of all these ecommerce sellers, ”he added.

– Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect that Vaughan is Ryan from NielsenIQ.

Jefferies on the carbon challenges in electrical car manufacturing

According to Jefferies’ Simon Powell, electric vehicle manufacturing is currently facing the “embedded carbon” challenge.

“To get the environmental dividend that governments are seeking, users will need to store it longer and drive it further than a traditional combustion-energy vehicle,” said Powell, director of global thematic research for the company. said CNBC’s “Road signs Asia” On Wednesday.

He explained that a “large amount” of carbon is released when materials like steel, aluminum and glass are made and put together to make vehicles. He said the problem is exacerbated with electric vehicles, which are currently heavier on average than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

“When they leave the factory, these (electric vehicles) are at a disadvantage,” he said. “They contain more steel. The brakes are bigger. The batteries are certainly heavier.”

The relatively higher weight of electric vehicles today is the result of manufacturers’ focus on the range of these cars, Powell said. In contrast to cars, which have been powered by combustion engines for decades, the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is much less developed worldwide.

Meaning of “green steel”

However, Powell predicted that the “embedded carbon” in electric vehicles is expected to decrease to levels comparable to conventional vehicles.

“The way this whole thing is being resolved is green steel,” he said. “The use of hydrogen in the steel manufacturing process must also be examined.”

“I don’t think many people are talking about greening the steel industry,” the analyst said, admitting that decarbonising the sector around the world will be “very challenging.”

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

Most of the metal today is made from coking coal, while making low-carbon steel is both more resource-intensive and more expensive.

“I think it’s going to take a long time. We’re talking about big investments with … long paybacks, long time horizons,” said Powell.

In the meantime, investors should also monitor battery technology development as more energy dense cells will help reduce the weight and potentially embedded carbon of electric vehicles, Powell said.

Singapore faces ‘twin challenges’ from local weather change, says minister

SINGAPORE – Singapore faces two challenges from climate change and is pursuing a new coastal protection plan to preserve the island’s most vulnerable coastlines, the country’s environment minister said.

“Our dual challenges are coastal flooding … (and) extreme rainstorms, which can lead to more intense inland flooding. So we need a system that will help us address both issues,” said Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the environment.

The project, launched Tuesday by Singapore’s national water agency PUB, will collect science and data on how best to mitigate and adjust coastal damage before creating a road map, Fu told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday .

Singapore, a small Southeast Asian city-state smaller than New York City, has worked for years to protect its coastline from sea level rise and other environmental damage.

Much of the land is fair 15 meters above mean sea levelwith about 30% of the land less than 5 meters above mean sea level. This has prompted authorities to introduce a minimum land reclamation of 4 meters – a number that would likely soon increase to 5 meters, Fu said.

“We want to understand the effects of all of these climate scenarios on our environment, sea water levels and also the tidal differences that are coming our way,” she said.

The first region to fall under the plan will be 57.8 km of coastline stretching across Singapore’s Greater South Waterfront. These include the city’s central business district, the east coast and Changi, which is where Singapore’s Changi Airport is located.

The skyline of the financial and business center can be seen in the background as people paddle along the beach at East Coast Park in Singapore on July 17, 2020.

Facebook Facebook Logo Log in to Facebook to connect with Roslan Rahman AFP | Getty Images

Singapore’s new coastal defense strategy gives private developers an opportunity to help shape their future, Fu said.

The study starts with a $ 5 billion fund and will be carried out over the next four years by a privately owned consortium of Singaporean and Dutch consulting firms. This process will in turn open the door for other private companies to offer green solutions, Fu said.

“For the investments that the government is making, I am sure that the private sector can benefit from building and delivering the tech solutions,” she said.

“Developers along the way will have an idea of ​​the plan we are pursuing,” she said. “So if you build infrastructure, if you build buildings, if you build offices, or if you build recreational facilities, you have to build with this science, this data and these assumptions.”

The project takes place amid increasing efforts to reduce the effects of climate change around the world.

UK dangers Italy-style decline as financial challenges mount – think-tank

Skyscrapers in the financial district of the City of London can be seen from City Hall in London, Britain, on May 8, 2021. REUTERS / Henry Nicholls

Britain faces a decade of major political challenges that could bring economic performance closer to that of Italy than Germany, Europe’s powerhouse, a think tank said Tuesday.

The Resolution Foundation said the UK needs to address Brexit-related issues on top of those of other countries, including the impact of COVID-19, the transition to a net carbon-free economy, an aging population and technological change.

Without proper planning, Britain risked the slowest productivity growth in over 120 years in the past decade and higher inequality than any other country in the European Union except Bulgaria.

“The UK’s recent record of poor productivity, stagnant living standards and high inequality makes a new economic approach desirable,” said Clive Cowdrey, founder of the Resolution Foundation.

“What makes a new approach essential is the extent of the changes to come.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to “level” the UK economy by targeting investment and jobs in areas lagging behind London and in areas around the capital. He also speaks of a “global Great Britain” after leaving the European Union.

However, the Resolution Foundation said the UK has no plan to meet these goals over the next decade and the country is risking wasting economic strengths such as high employment levels that are now being jeopardized by increasing automation.

When the Resolution Foundation launched an investigation with the London School of Economics’ Center for Economic Performance, it said Italy had seen no growth in GDP per capita in the past two decades, while Britain had recently fallen further behind Germany.

“If the UK’s pace of underperformance against Germany continues at the same pace in the 2020s, it will end this decade with a GDP per capita much closer to Italy than Germany,” the think tank said.

The research is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, a charity that funds social policy research.

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Starvation Heroes! Foodbank challenges Hampton Roads organizations in meals, cash assortment competitors

For the fourth time, the Foodbank is holding its Hunger Heroes competition in southeast Virginia and the east coast. The demand for food is increasing in the region.

NORFOLK, VA. The Southeast Virginia Foodbank continues to confuse the question of how people can donate food and money to feed Hampton Roads neighbors struggling with food insecurity.

Hunger heroes is a food and fundraising contest open to local businesses, sports teams, clubs, youth groups, and families, starting on May 17th and culminating on June 11th.

Participants earn points for every pound of food donated or dollars raised, as well as other activities – such as volunteering, coordinating a food drive, posting on social media, and helping other teams register.

These points are added at the end of the competition and the organization with the most points wins.

Emma Inman, vice president of programs and development at the food bank, said Hampton Roads is no stranger to food security.

Foodbank expects food insecurity to increase by 17% for individuals and by 18% for children in southeast Virginia and the east coast in 2021 compared to 2019.

“We distributed about 17 million pounds of food at Hampton Roads during the pandemic. The average amount of food we distributed in the pre-pandemic years was typically 15 million,” Inman said. “This number only shows the great need in our region.”

Inman said it was a way to stir up excitement in a helpful effort, saying, “We want a little edge. This competition picks up on that spirit and puts everyone in a really friendly competition in order to be able to help our neighbors.”

At the end of the competition, the Foodbank will count donations and distribute them to families and individuals in Hampton Roads.

Inman said you still have time to check in before Monday. If you want to involve your organization, Click here.

French-door-style Fridges Market | Firm Challenges And Important Success Components- Haier, Whirlpool, Electrolux, Midea, Samsung, and so forth – KSU

The global market for French door style refrigerators is growing many times over High CAGR in the forecast period 2021-2026. The increasing interest of individuals in this industry is that the main reason this market is expanding and this has resulted in several changes in this report Effects of COVID-19 on the world market.

French Door Style Fridge Industry Overview 2021-2026:

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Main Type of French Door Style Refrigerators Market:
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Offline
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Market segment by region / country. This report includes:
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History year: 2015-2019
Base year: 2019
Estimated year: 2021
Forecast year: 2021-2026

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  • Economic impact on industry
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Chapter 2: Economic impact on industry
Chapter 3: Market competition from manufacturers
Chapter 4: Production, sales (value) by region
Chapter 5: Supply (production), consumption, export, import by region
Chapter 6: Production, sales (value), price development by type
Chapter 7: Market analysis by application
Chapter 8: Manufacturing cost analysis
Chapter 9: Industry chain, sourcing strategy and downstream buyers
Chapter 10: Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributor / Dealer
Chapter 11: Analysis of the market effect factors
Chapter 12: Market forecast for French door style refrigerators
Continuation ……

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Evaluation: ‘Nomadland’ energy in Fern’s every day challenges | Leisure



This picture, published by Searchlight Pictures, shows writer and director Chloé Zhao from left, cameraman Joshua James Richards and actress Frances McDormand on the set of Nomadland. Zhao made cinema rugged authenticity and often relied on non-professional actors and moments of chance when filming. She is nominated for a Golden Globe for best director.


Searchlight Pictures, with permission

Rick Brown, Yard Light Media

KEARNEY – For anyone wondering about the lure of the open road, someone like Fern is answering that call.

After her husband dies and the gypsum factory in Empire, Nevada closes, Fern loads her van with what she needs and sets off to find something elusive, something she can’t get to. With the closure of the plant, the village of Empire ceases to exist and even the post office sets the city’s zip code.

The setting for “Nomadland” feels as bleak as the snow-covered lockers in which Fern, played by Frances McDormand (“Fargo”, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), sorts her belongings. Directed by Chloe Zhao (“Songs My Brothers Taught Me”), “Nomadland” follows Fern as she takes on a number of temporary jobs and lives in her van off the road.

In one scene she meets a friend in a big shop. Her friend’s daughter says to Fern: “My mother said you are homeless. Is that true? “To which Fern replies:” No, just without a house. Not the same, right? “

For many viewers, the film may seem pointless, without conflict. The real tension comes from Fern’s search for a sense of community and belonging. When given these very things, she refuses them in order to ensure the comfort and safety of her touring vehicle. As the story progresses, Fern builds a community of other outsiders. She makes deep and meaningful friendships with the other nomads – but always keeps them at a distance.

Cannizzaro challenges jail director on inmate cash seizures

NDOC’s seizure of funds given to family members of inmates has put the division on the hot seat. (Photo: Nevada Department of Corrections)NDOC’s seizure of funds given to family members of inmates has put the division on the hot seat. (Photo: Nevada Department of Corrections)

Senate majority leader Nicole Cannizzaro, a prosecutor by profession, knows a thing or two about Marsy’s Law, the constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2018.

“For me, the Marsy Act is not the reason why the percentages change,” Cannizzaro said Thursday of an unannounced decision by Corrections Director Charles Daniels last year that up to 80 percent of the funds held in inmate accounts were held to seize. “I wish there was a better answer than this Marsy’s Law because the language in Marsy’s Law doesn’t say that.”

“In my opinion, the process seemed to be working pretty well,” Daniels said during the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Daniel’s noted that the Board of Prison Commissioners later reduced the attachment to 50 percent.

“At no point did the director do what the governor asked – sit with the families,” said Ayanna Simmons, whose loved one is behind bars.

NDOC stands behind a invoice This would realign the priorities for the distribution of the money seized from inmates’ accounts, including wages and cash deposits from friends and family.

Cannizzaro said the focus on prioritizing the distribution of funds seized from prisoners “glosses over some of the issues that have brought this to the fore”.

“The real problem is how much is being withdrawn from the perpetrators’ accounts,” she said.

Cannizzaro made a distinction between the perpetrators’ confiscated wages because “a refund was imposed on them. This is a little different than with family members who send money for food or postage.

“Where does this reasonable amount come from?” she asked NDOC officials.

“There’s nothing in Marsy’s law that prevents the law from entering a percentage, is there?”

Nevada law gives the NDOC director the power to make “reasonable” deductions from outside inmates’ income and deposits.

Inmates’ relatives, who have been banned from correctional facilities for a year, testified that the seizures, which began on September 1, were far from sensible and added to fear during the pandemic. It has also changed the dynamics of the prison, they said, and some inmates muscled others for money.

“Regardless of how we put it, our money will be garnished,” said Denise Villanos against the measure. The $ 100 she can send her husband to jail every month allows him to buy soap, detergent, and other toiletries, she says.

“Regardless of who they are or what they did … they are still human,” she told lawmakers. “The person responsible for the crime should pay for it. They are actually taking it away from us. “

In a letter scanned on a testimonial, one inmate said about the prints that his mother had to “send $ 17.50 so I can buy a $ 2.50 deodorant.”

The Nevada Association of Criminal Justice filed an “unkind amendment” that:

  • Cap wage deductions at 50 percent
  • Limit family bail deductions to 25 percent
  • Allow a deposit of up to $ 300 once per quarter with no deduction
  • NDOC would make statements to inmates so that the prints are transparent.

“Without legal protection, the imprisoned families are in an extremely stressful situation where they are not sure whether they can provide for their loved ones from the inside,” said Will Pregman of Battle Born Progress in support of the change.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and the Progressive Alliance of Nevada have also spoken out in favor of the change.

Senator Dallas Harris asked the Corrections Department why inmates are paying reimbursements to their individual victims, as well as into a victim compensation fund that provides assistance to victims who file a claim. She compared the practice to “double-dipping” and promised to do more research.

ESPN, Echo Leisure Energy By Pandemic Challenges To Ship 20th Winter X Video games

Despite the reduced schedule and less presence, ESPN will produce 17.5 hours of content

What should have been a historic X Games 20th anniversary celebration in Aspen this weekend is a toned-down affair with no spectators. Due to the pandemic, local ESPN and Echo Entertainment production has been scaled back, and the normally harsh X Games atmosphere with live concerts and festivals will instead be a largely virtual experience for fans. The mere fact that the X Games are even taking place in Aspen this weekend is a testament to the will and perseverance of ESPN’s dedicated X Games team.

ESPN and Echo deployed 24 manned cameras that will be repositioned to 55 camera positions throughout the competition.

“I couldn’t be more proud and grateful that we are here [in Aspen]and that pays homage to all of the teamwork, ”says Tim Reed, Vice President, X Games, ESPN. “The amount of work the operations and events teams put into developing our plan is just incredible. You have almost two events at the same time: one is the actual competition that we have been running for many years, but then you also have that health and safety component that has created a significant amount of work on a completely different layer. I am so proud of the team and the work they have done and we are all excited to be here. “

Despite a reduced schedule of events and a reduced on-site presence, ESPN will produce a lot of content: 17.5 hours of live content over three days on ESPN, ABC and ESPN2 (ESPN’s Facebook and Twitter will host live-stream competitions on Friday). as well as exclusive streaming content via @XGames social and XGames.com. ESPN created one too virtual X Fest experience for fans and has teamed up with Psyonix on one Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) X Regional Event.

Smaller footprint with the same big show mentality

This year ESPN has again signed mobile units from Dome Production for X Games

ESPN and Echo have rolled out an A-Unit and a B-Unit – Dome Productions Silver and Unite Trucks – for all three X Games venues at Buttermilk Mountain. A third dome truck has been brought in to transport equipment, and long-term partner BSI has a mobile unit to manage RF operations.

The X Games team also decided to forego a host set this year after switching to a mobile host set in 2020.

“We don’t have a set this year, partly because of the security protocol and partly because the benefit of having a host set was having hosts Jack [Mitrani] Sit down with the athletes and get to know them and spend time with them. We felt that it would be difficult to deal with social distance, ”he says Echo Entertainment President Hugh Arian. “From a production point of view, we’re just delighted that the event is taking place this year. This is the world’s leading action sports event. The fact that we actually do it is the most important thing. “

In the ESPN production office tent on Buttermilk Mountain

In total, the ESPN and Echo deployed 24 manned cameras – including 11 Sony HDC-4300 and nine HDC-2400 – which were repositioned under 55 camera positions throughout the competition. ESPN has also brought back the CondorCam point-to-point antenna system and will deploy it on both the SlopeStyle and Big Air venues. In addition, BSI has four RF POV cameras: three FollowCams and one camera attached to a snowmobile, which brings the athletes to the top of the course after each run. BSI also distributed 18 RF microphones to the three venues.

Echo and its partners have laid 450,000 feet of ST single mode fiber and 20,000 feet of SMPTE fiber over the Buttermilk Mountain.

“The biggest change this year is obviously the COVID logs, which while slowing us down a bit, keep everyone safe, which is most important,” he says Pierce Williams, Echo Entertainment’s technical director. “Everything else is pretty much on par, just with a smaller footprint. We still have big numbers when it comes to technology and equipment. “

As with all ESPN shows, Aspen crew members must wear masks at all times.

ESPN has a detailed health and safety plan in Aspen and has requested all employees to take a negative COVID test both before traveling to Aspen and upon arrival on site. Frequent tests are performed on-site on a variable basis depending on a person’s role and the segmented group to which they are assigned. All offices and production facilities in Buttermilk Mountain have been equipped with suitable filter systems, and the on-site staff must distance themselves socially at all times, wear masks and maintain hand hygiene.

“We have all the critical components for our health and safety protocols,” says Reed. “A lot of details went into this topic and we worked on it for a long time with the best health and safety experts. It got us to this point and I think we are all fine with the protocols we have here. “

Jam session format, active viewing strategy Keep the show moving

All of the ESPN crew were positioned at least two meters apart in the truck, and numerous fiberglass separators were also installed.

ESPN brought back the popular “jam session” format this year, which allows for more live competition with less downtime between runs. In this format, multiple riders compete for a period of time, and the judges officially rate each competitor based on their overall impression (rather than waiting for the judges’ scores to be given for each athlete individually).

“We’re doing a lot of things again that we implemented last year in terms of production approach and competitive format,” says Arian. “The jam format is back, and every athlete gets a timer. So we don’t wait for results between runs. We implemented that here last winter. We thought it would make the event faster. We were all pretty happy with it. “

Despite a smaller footprint in Aspen, X Games production from ESPN and Echo Entertainment is still sizeable this year

Also back is the “Active Viewing” strategy from ESPN / Echo, which aims to accelerate the cadence of the broadcast by increasing the camera movement and using mobile cameras such as FollowCams and CondorCam as much as possible. The front bench will also cut cameras faster within the show, and the production team has been working on shortening athlete profiles and sponsorship spots so that they can be more easily incorporated into the show instead of crowd shots.

“As part of the active viewing last year, we not only made a lot of camera movement. We also cut a little faster, ”says Arian. “We’re going to try to make more of it this year because we don’t have a crowd to adjust to. You will see that we are also reducing more to short form content. “

Though operations in Aspen look very different on site, viewers can expect the same style and quality from X Games – a boon for action sports fans starving for content during the pandemic.

“Of course the sports world has been hit hard,” says Arian, “but I think action sports.” [have been hit] even harder than other sports because we don’t have the deep pockets that they do [major leagues] to have. It’s amazing to be here and get everyone back to work. “

X Games Aspen kicks off today at 2 p.m. ET with streaming on @XGames social and XGames.com, followed by coverage of ESPN2 starting tonight at 10:30 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, reporting on ABC starts at 1 p.m.