December 2020 Monthly News Roundup

We are pleased to share with you our roundup for December 2020. This month we highlight budding retail concepts and the shifts brands are taking in anticipation of the new year. 

The public and private markets thrived in December with major IPOs from Airbnb and Doordash. Both companies have taken their respective industries by storm over the past couple of years and attracted positive attention and ratings with powerful first-day surges after pricing above their expected price ranges. At the beginning of December, Airbnb listed at $66 and jumped to $146 on its first day of trading. Similarly, the food-delivery platform, DoorDash, priced at $102 and jumped to $182 on its first day of trading. Doordash's successful first day is a reflection of its impressive backing of investors and impressive growth this year due to more consumers having food delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This month, one of the most noteworthy deals in luxury fashion was Moncler's acquisition of cult sportswear brand, Stone Island. This transformative move marks Moncler's first acquisition and a shift from the single-brand strategy that it has focused on for nearly two decades. Exor, the owner of Ferrari and The Economist Group, invested 80 million euros in Hermès International’s China project Shang Xia. Shang Xia will benefit from the support of two family-owned companies, one with French roots and one with Italian roots, both with a common culture of excellence and entrepreneurship. Britain's biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports acquired Shoes Palace for $325M in hopes of expanding its footprint in the US and increase its appeal among a different set of consumers. Throughout the pandemic, the demand for Peloton's at-home fitness equipment has surged and, as a result, placed strains on its supply chain to meet its promised delivery windows.In hopes to speed up production of its equipment, Peloton made a strategic move this week  to acquire one of the largest commercial fitness equipment suppliers, Precor, for $420 million. The deal is expected to close in early 2021 and as part of the deal, Peloton will acquire more than 625,000 square feet of manufacturing space. With this acquisition, Peloton is set to become a commercial fitness powerhouse. Pet subscription box company, Bark, also entered an agreement to be acquired by Northern Star Acquisition Corp. Through this deal, Bark will go public on the New York Stock Exchange by the second quarter of 2022. Notable investments this month included: health care data company, Verily ($700M), resale marketplace, StockX ($275M), virtual care offering company Everlywell ($175), Natalie Massenet's Imaginary Ventures ($160M), meditation app Calm ($75M), and arthritis earbuds Nēsos ($16.5M). 


Budding Retail Concepts and the Shifts Brands Are Taking in Anticipation of the New Year 


As comfort and athleisure remain front-of-mind in a pandemic driven world, Vancouver, British Columbia-based apparel and accessories company, Lululemon, announced impressive results with its revenue rising 22% to $1.1 billion. In recent years, it's steady pipeline of new products, effective inventory management, loyal guests who shop Lululemon's full assortment of products, the brand's ability to translate well internationally, and investments in digital have helped serve their consumers as their needs evolve across both physical and digital experiences. After months of successful results, Lululemon announced its plans to enter the footwear market with products beginning to sell in 2022. This addition to its current assortment of products will undoubtably boost Lululemon to new heights. Similar to Lululemon's approach to investing in digital, many big retailers and legacy brands also focused their resources on digital. In the beauty market, beauty conglomerate, L'Oreal, bought a majority stake in social commerce platform Replika Software to explore social e-commerce models that have gained traction and help scale their social commerce through the ready-to-use platform. Major big-box retailer, Walmart, also experimented with new shopping capabilities by partnering with Tik Tok to host the social media platform's first shoppable live-stream event. Creators featured fashion items sold at Walmart and consumers were able to purchase items directly from Tik Tok or by navigating to Walmart's Tik Tok page. This deal is just the beginning of Tik Tok's lucrative step into e-commerce. California-based tech start-up AiFi debuted its fourth autonomous store in Shanghai. As social distancing measures and covid-19 restrictions persist, AiFi's idea to apply its autonomous computer-vision technologies to pop-ups, supermarkets, and stores of all scales will likely become a mainstay in the future. Across the pond, the UK department store, Selfridges, opened "Rewiring Space", a concept born from open conversations between brands, retailers, and operators looking for ways to reshape aspects of the fashion system. In hopes of providing more opportunities for emerging and independent designers amid the pandemic, Selfridges provided floor space, retail fixtures, and sales personnel to twenty European designers to sell original runway pieces, one-off prototypes, and current and past-season items at 70 percent off the original price. 


If you don't already, follow us on Instagram @theretailsafari as we highlight some of our favorite brands and concepts and take you with us on our retail safaris in NYC and beyond. We wish everyone health and safety during these trying times.