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May Monthly News Roundup

By TRAUB

We are pleased to share with you our TRAUB news roundup from May 2019. Harry’s was acquired for $1.4B, Rihanna launched a new line with LVMH, Urban Outfitters began clothing rental and more!

 

In May we saw continued activity across capital raises and M&A. DoorDash and Impossible Foods, both companies in the food space, raised large rounds at $600M and $300M respectively. Digital native darling Away became a unicorn after raising its $100M series D and announced an expected 50 new store openings in the next three years. Investments in the health and wellness space included Jawbone ($65M), rowing startup Hydrow ($20M), Urban, a one-stop shop for on-demand wellness services ($10M), and Daye, tampons built to fight cramps ($5.5M). Other investments included digital interior design service Modsy ($37M), Feather, a furniture subscription service ($12M) and Hatch, modern day maternity wear ($5M).

As it relates to M&A activity, the most notable was Edgewell Personal Care’s acquisition of Harry’s for $1.4B. Edgewell owns razor brands such as Schick and Wilkinson. While the deal appeared a great success for Harry’s, we found this analysis interesting as it presents a different point of view. Another high profile exit was Resy, which American Express acquired for an undisclosed amount. In addition, Authentic Brands acquired Sports Illustrated for $110M. Other potential exits could be Sycamore’s $400M bid for Chico’s or Unilever considering a $1B price for Drunk Elephant. Reformation is also on the market as is Lord & Taylor which HBC is looking to divest from. In the public markets, Revolve announced plans to go public, estimating a raise of $200M at a market cap of $1.2B.

This month we saw several celebrities and/or influencers make waves in the consumer space. Rihanna joined forces with LVMH, announcing the launch of Fenty Maison, a new fashion brand. This is noteworthy as it marks the first fashion house LVMH has created from the ground up since Christian Lacroix in 1987. This is also the first original brand to be launched within the company by a woman. Another female star turned entrepreneur, Whoopi Goldberg launched a size-inclusive apparel brand Dubgee with graphic t-shirts, sweaters and dresses. Finally, Amazon introduced “The Drop” which will feature limited edition collections designed by influencers and available for purchase for 30 hours. Some additional new products launched this month include: Loreal’s latest incubated brand “Color & Co” which offers at-home hair coloring kits, Edge Beauty launched by former Coty c-suite executives, and The Chillery, Europe’s first luxury CBD e-commerce site.

We also noticed companies experimenting with new channels of distribution. For example, Urban Outfitters announced a rental program called Nuuly to launch this summer. For $88 per month a customer can rent six items of clothing. Highsnobiety also announced a new e-commerce platform that will combine content with exclusive collections, weekly product drops and luxury streetwear collaborations. The site will launch this June with a Prada exclusive.

Finally, there was continued movement around retail store openings and closings. Nordstrom announced the date for its first women’s location in NYC for this October 24. Rent the Runway opened a San Francisco flagship store, Bandier opened a store in Los Angeles and Dr. Barbara Strum opened her first location in NYC. Dressbarn announced it will be closing 650 stores nationwide, Fred’s will close 2014 stores and J. Crew plans to shutter 20 flagship locations. In addition, Topshop operator Arcadia group filed for bankruptcy in the US and will exit all operations.

 


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