Weekly Roundup: Noncompetes Axed, Retail Reboots, EV Drama and More

This week’s news rundown captures a dynamic mix of controversy and innovation reshaping last mile logistics and beyond. The FTC’s new ban on noncompete agreements has sparked intense debate among wholesalers, affecting 30 million workers and challenging traditional business practices. In the retail sector, heavyweights like Levi Strauss and Canada Goose are pivoting to direct-to-consumer sales to tighten consumer bonds and boost margins, while P.F. Flyers ventures into wholesale with a fresh, desert-inspired collection. Tech takes a leap forward as OV Loop acquires, blending commerce with cutting-edge Web3 technology for enhanced consumer privacy. Meanwhile, UPS and FedEx wrestle with the challenges of fleet electrification, confronting battery shortages and high costs. So, without further ado, let’s kick things off. 

FTC’s Noncompete Ban Stirs Controversy Among Wholesalers

Many are cheering the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent decision to prohibit noncompete agreements. But don’t consider the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) fans. With the new rule impacting an estimated 30 million workers, or about 18% of the U.S. workforce, many are concerned about how it could significantly alter the employment landscape in wholesale distribution.

NAW’s Defense of Noncompete Agreements

NAW has emerged as a vocal opponent of the FTC’s decision because they view noncompete clauses as vital for employee retention and encouraging investments in training. According to NAW, these agreements, typically spanning one to two years, are not just about preventing competition but sustaining business growth and competitiveness amid fluctuating economic conditions. They contend that eliminating such clauses could undermine the ability of businesses to invest confidently in their workforce.

Implications for Wholesale Distributors

The association further warns that the ban could exacerbate existing challenges in the wholesale sector, such as talent retention and operational stability during supply chain disruptions. NAW’s Chief Government Affairs Officer, Brian Wild, criticized the FTC’s move as an overreach of authority, predicting it could lead to workforce shortages and impose unnecessary legal burdens on businesses. As the legal battle looms, the outcome of this rule could set a precedent for how employment contracts are managed across industries, affecting countless wholesalers and distributors reliant on these agreements.

Detailing the Direct-to-Consumer Movement in Logistics

As brands like Levi Strauss and Canada Goose increasingly focus on direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales, the logistics environment for final mile delivery, retailers and wholesalers is evolving. These companies, traditionally reliant on wholesale distribution, are rethinking their supply chains to better connect with consumers directly.

Building Efficient Direct-to-Consumer Logistics

Transitioning from bulk shipments to individual deliveries demands coordination and a newsupply chain strategy. Companies used to sending large pallets to retailer warehouses must now master the art of final mile logistics, tailoring their systems to handle smaller, more frequent deliveries directly to customers’ doorsteps. It’s a change in mindset that involves rethinking transportation—moving from large trucks to more agile delivery vehicles—as well as redesigning warehouse operations. Picking, packing and shipping individual orders demand advanced logistics strategies and inventory management, so popular items are always in stock and new products launch effectively and keep consumers engaged.

The Financial and Strategic Advantages of Going Direct

Direct-to-consumer sales also offer compelling financial incentives for brands. By selling directly, companies like Skechers and Canada Goose bypass intermediaries, capture the full retail margin and potentially double their revenue on each product sold. For instance, if a product sells to retailers for $100 and the retailers sell it for $200, going direct allows the brand to capture the entire $200. Moreover, DTC strategies enhance customer relationships, providing brands with valuable data on purchasing behaviors and preferences, which can drive more personalized marketing and product development. This direct feedback loop also enables quicker responses to market trends and consumer needs and cultivates a more agile and responsive business model.    

P.F. Flyers Expands Reach with Wholesale Distribution Strategy

P.F. Flyers, a heritage sneaker brand established in 1937, is taking an almost opposite approach. By expanding into wholesale markets through a new partnership with, the company aims to venture beyond its traditional direct-to-consumer model to refresh its brand and reach new audiences.

Launching Wholesale with a Desert-Inspired Collection

The debut of the Desert Adventure collection on Revolve signals P.F. Flyers’ entry into the wholesale arena. This collection includes updated classics such as “The Center Hi,” first introduced in 1944, and “The Center Lo,” a modern version of a vintage basketball sneaker. These designs merge nostalgic elements with contemporary style, featuring materials that mimic the natural colors of the desert—sand, clay and gravel—giving each shoe a naturally weathered look from the outset.

Broadening Market Presence in Retail and Festivals

Expanding into wholesale allows P.F. Flyers to tap into broader retail environments and cultural events, such as music festivals, where style meets function. Lisa Lewis, the Chief Marketing Officer, highlights the strategic importance of this expansion, noting it as a gateway to enhancing brand visibility and engagement in significant retail spaces and cultural moments. This move not only introduces P.F. Flyers to new audiences but also strengthens its market presence, promising exciting developments for the brand in the coming year.

OV Loop Welcomes to Revolutionize Commerce Experiences

OV Loop, Inc., known for its comprehensive tap & pay wallet and omnichannel platform, recently made headlines by acquiring, a cutting-edge Web3 rewards platform. While it sounds more techy than commerce-related, it’s a major omnichannel and unified commerce move aiming to connect consumers’ wallets with sellers’ point-of-sale systems to improve transactions for everyone involved—from individual buyers to large brands.

A Boost for Consumer Privacy and Engagement

Beyond its huge implications for omnichannel retail, the merger is a jump toward better privacy and user engagement. OV Loop champions a private self-custody wallet, offering users more security and control over their identities than mainstream solutions like Apple Pay and Google Pay. This setup supports easy tap-and-pay methods while enriching customer loyalty programs that make every transaction smoother and more rewarding.

Broadening the Horizons of Web3 Technology

Integrating with OV Loop will also bring Web3 closer to the everyday user. Andrew Yang, CEO of Cultos, sees this as an opportunity to take their innovative technology to new heights and audiences. Meanwhile, Cultos Global will keep providing specialized services to its dedicated clientele in the Middle East, India and Asia.

The Bumpy Road to Electrifying Fleet Logistics

Major carriers UPS and FedEx are confronting significant challenges in their transition to electric vehicles (EVs), with battery shortages and high costs putting a brake on things. As these giants struggle to electrify their substantial fleets, the broader implications for the supply chain and final mile logistics are becoming increasingly clear.

Challenges in Scaling EV Adoption

UPS and FedEx, known for their massive delivery ecosystems, have ambitious plans to integrate EVs into their operations. However, the reality of battery shortages has escalated costs and slowed the momentum. This shortage has led to a supply bottleneck for EV step vans, making it difficult for these companies to justify the switch from a cost perspective. As demand from these large shippers wanes, the industry faces a classic dilemma: supply needs to meet demand and vice versa. However, aligning the two is proving to be a significant challenge.

The Viability of EV Startups and Traditional Manufacturers

The struggle doesn’t end with supply issues. Several EV startups, such as Arrival, have found the market tough to navigate. Despite securing a large order from UPS in 2020 for 10,000 electric vans, Arrival faced financial difficulties, leading to job cuts and eventually running out of funds. Understandably, companies like UPS are questioning these startups’ longevity and considering the role of established truck makers in their electrification plans. Even though traditional manufacturers like Daimler’s Freightliner are stepping up with models like the MT50e, the high costs associated with these advanced vehicles pose yet another barrier to widespread adoption. 

Embrace the Revolution in Retail, Wholesale and Tech

We’ve seen a whirlwind of changes this week. The business landscape is in flux, from the FTC dismantling noncompete clauses to retail titans like Levi Strauss and Canada Goose doubling down on direct sales. Meanwhile, P.F. Flyers is making waves in wholesale, OV Loop is paving the way for Web3 to transform consumer interactions — and carriers are struggling to adopt electric vehicles. There’s always something going on in the supply chain: it’s full of ups and downs. That’s why a strong partner like OneRail can come through in the clutch with last mile delivery solutions and more:

  • Unparalleled Courier Network: Place your deliveries in trusted hands by tapping into OneRail’s massive national network, boasting over 12 million vetted drivers.
  • OmniPoint™ Platform: Leverage OneRail’s OmniPoint™ Platform for automated rate shopping, smart matching and real-time visibility to guarantee timely and cost-effective deliveries.
  • Exceptions Assist™: Benefit from proactive monitoring, with a dedicated team of logistics experts at the ready 24/7 to tackle any challenges and disruptions, safeguarding your on-time delivery rate.

No matter your industry, OneRail can transform your logistics strategy. Schedule a demo today to find out how.

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