Weekly News Update // Week of June 3, 2019

Here's TRAUB's roundup of recent retail news. Allbirds is opening its first store in Los Angeles, Camila Coelho announces eponymous fashion label, Saint Laurent debuts new retail format in former Colette location and more! 


  • Google to acquire analytics startup Looker for $2.6 billion Tech Crunch 
  • Bird is in talks to acquire scooter startup Scoot Tech Crunch 
  • The RealReal files for IPO Retail Dive
  • Connected bike and treadmill-maker Peloton files confidentially for IPO Tech Crunch
  • Fitness startup Mirror nears $300M valuation with fresh funding Tech Crunch
  • Global Fashion Group is expecting to raise €300 million ($336 million) by selling newly issued shares in its IPO Tech Crunch
  • NoBroker raises $51M to help Indians buy and rent without real estate brokers Tech Crunch
  • Step, raises $22.5M led by Stripe to build no-fee banking services for teens Tech Crunch 
  • Pratilipi, a ‘YouTube for writers’ storytelling platform in India, raises $15 million  Tech Crunch 
  • Zyper, the Platform That Finds Super Fans, Secures $6.5 Million in Funding WWD
  • Flexible housing startup Anyplace raises $2.5M Tech Crunch 




Dating App Bumble Is Opening Up a Wine Bar

Bumble, the app that gives women the upper hand in the “swipe right” online dating world, is opening a cafe and wine bar for people to meet up.The five-year-old Austin-based company will open Bumble Brew in fall 2019 in Manhattan’s SoHo. The space will operate through the day, first as a coffee shop, before transitioning into a wine bar with small plates. The company sees this as a way to engage its expanding audience, from the signature dating app to its networking platform Bumble Bizz. Bloomberg


Hearst Magazines launches new ad unit that will send people product samples

Advertisers have long found success in offering consumers a try-before-you-buy strategy. Hearst Magazines is hoping those advertisers will use Hearst’s Instagram and Facebook audiences to drive that sampling. Hearst Magazines will launch Sample Ignition 360, a social media ad product designed to get product samples into consumers’ hands. The ad type, which Hearst is deploying in partnership with a company called SoPost, give people the chance to request free samples of a product in exchange for their email address and shipping information. Rather than hand the leads off to the advertisers, Hearst packages and ships the products to the customers directly and, if the advertiser wants it, checks back in with sample-takers via email, soliciting feedback and encouraging users to write reviews for the brand to use. DIGIDAY



Allbirds Will Open Its First Store in Los Angeles in August

Allbirds known for its environmentally friendly footwear for adults and children, is taking its next retail step — this time with the opening of its first store in Los Angeles.The 2,000-square-foot boutique marks the sixth for the company and will be distinguished by a series of city-specific touch points and also includes a service wall of inventory designed to cut down wait times for busy consumers. In addition, the store features chairs designed by Allbirds’ head of design Jamie McLennan, constructed to be the ideal height to try on shoes and have a slight tilt, making it easier for customers to tie their shoes. Footwear News


Charlotte Russe Reopens 100 Retail Doors

M Inc. has begun opening Charlotte Russe stores again. One of North America’s largest fashion houses, YM’s specialty is catering to the fast fashion segment of the marketplace. The company acquired the Charlotte Russe intellectual property back in March while parent firm Charlotte Russe Holdings Corp. was under Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection. Charlotte Russe Holdings ultimately liquidated and shuttered all doors, then started selling off assets to pay its creditors. Now, according to YM, the plan is to open 100 Charlotte Russe retailoutlets across the U.S. The company has already opened five locations, as well as the brand’s online shop. The five stores are at Southland Center in Michigan; Cumberland Mall in Georgia; Park City Center in Pennsylvania, and two locations in New Jersey, one at the Willowbrook Mall and the other at the Monmouth Mall. Sourcing Journal 


Camila Coelho Collection
Camila Coelho Announces Eponymous Fashion Label

The Camila Coelho Collection debuts at Revolve with a whopping 70 pieces, all of which are inspired by Coelho's Brazilian roots. The fashion influencer, who attended the Met Gala for the first time this year, is readying her own eponymous fashion label. The Camila Coelho Collection is the result of a year’s worth of sketching, designing and redesigning, and leverages valuable feedback and data from Coelho’s following — 7.9 million on Instagram and a cumulative 4.6 million YouTube subscribers across her two channels. WWD


Essie announces inclusivity push during Pride Month
For the first time, nail polish brand Essie is participating in Pride month to show the brand aligns with modern customer values, like inclusivity and diversity. Essie’s Pride activation centers around a digital campaign featuring Jonathan Van Ness, cast member of the Netflix show “Queer Eye.” On June 7, Essie will begin rolling out photo content and video tutorials related to Pride month and starring Van Ness every Friday. Essie will also participate in Pride events throughout June: At The Ali Forney Center’s annual LGBTQ prom event in New York City, it will provide free manicures to attendees. Glossy 



Saint Laurent Debuts New Retail Format in Former Colette Location

Colette has left the building, but its spirit is alive and well: the space that housed the Paris concept store for 20 years will reopen on Saturday as Saint Laurent Rive Droite, a new retail format developed by creative director Anthony Vaccarello that will sell everything from Jean Prouvé chairs to Saint Laurent-branded condoms. Billed as “a creative and cultural destination,” the new boutique and its sister unit on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, opening the same day, represent a departure for Saint Laurent, known for its minimal stores featuring acres of veiny marble and gleaming shelves. In addition to offering a wide range of products — including limited-edition collaborations and rare books and vinyl — alongside women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories, the Paris space will also house a takeaway coffee counter and a club that can be turned into an event space. WWD


Ikea to roll out robotic furniture for tight living spaces

Ikea on Tuesday announced it will roll out robotic furniture through a partnership with US based startup Ori. The product, Rognan, will be able to transform from a bedroom, to walk-in closet, to work space, to living room according to a company press release. Ikea said that two companies had been working together for the past two years. The product will first launch in Hong Kong and Japan in 2020. Retail Dive 



Amid acquisition rumors, Drunk Elephant opens first US pop-up

Clean skin-care brand Drunk Elephant is finally bringing its pop-up experience to the U.S., in New York’s Soho neighborhood. After stints in the London in October 2018 and Singapore in November 2018 — both were tied to launching in the U.K. and Asia, via Space NK and Cult Beauty for the former and Sephora for the latter — Drunk Elephant’s “House of Drunk” opening this month is the brand’s first retail experiment in the U.S. Outside of the “House of Drunk” NY activation, Drunk Elephant can only be found at DrunkElephant.com and exclusively with Sephora. Glossy             



P&G Revives Premium Skin-care Brand Oriental Therapy for China

Procter& Gamble is reviving Oriental Therapy, a premium Chinese herbal medicine-inspired skin-care brand, weeks before the 618 shopping festival, an online event set up by JD.com to rival Tmall’s Singles’ Day.First launched in 2013, Oriental Therapy, or roughly translated into oriental seasonal methods from its Chinese brand name Dongfangjidao, is positioned between Olay and SK-II, and its products are based on skin’s different needs during the four seasons. It’s believed that Oriental Therapy will fill the gap P&G has in its beauty offering in China and help drive its growth. However, the brand disappeared from sale until now, with P&G giving no specific reasons why it was discontinued. WWD


  • Walmart hires Scott Eckert as the new leader for store No.8 Retail Dive
  • Camper Creative Director, Romain Kremer Steps Down WWD
  • Ermenegildo Zegna Restructures P.R., Communication and taps Domenico Galluccio, from Moncler, to head the department WWD
  • Lands’ End has appointed Sarah Rasmusen, current SVP e-commerce, to the newly-created position Chief Customer Officer  WWD


  • The Fashion School Graduates: Where Are They Now? BOF
  • You Can Buy Prescription Drugs Without Seeing a Doctor The Atlantic 
  • Harry’s Made Shaving Cool. Can Its Founders Do the Same for Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat? BOF
  • Disruption Starts with Unhappy Customers, Not Technology HBR