Weekly News Update // Week of August 19, 2019

Here's TRAUB's roundup of recent retail news. Quest Nutrition is sold for $1 Billion, Target launches its own grocery brand, Nordstrom introduces "sustainable style" category to e-commerce and more!


  • Alibaba Buys NetEase's Kaola In $2 Billion Deal Forbes
  • The Simply Good Food Co.M acquires Quest Nutrition for $1 Billion in cash Market Watch
  • Workspace provider Knotel secures $400M, landing unicorn status Tech Crunch
  • Tala, a Company That Offers Loans for as Little as $10, Just Raised $110M Fortune
  • ThredUp, whose second-hand goods will start appearing at Macy’s and JCPenney, just raised $100M Tech Crunch
  • Coworking firm Industrious raises $80M from Brookfield, Equinox and Canada Pension Plan Reuters
  • Drop raises $44M to reward loyal shoppers with gift cards Venture Beat



Nordstrom introduces "Sustainable Style" category to e-commerce site

Nordstrom is making sustainable shopping more accessible for its consumers. The luxury department store has launched a new online shopping category to help shoppers discover sustainably made products. This news comes alongside Nordstrom's commitment to the G7 Fashion Pact. Called "Sustainable Style," Nordstrom's new category features more than 2,000 items from 90 brands, including Treasure & Bond, Patagonia, Reformation, Eileen Fisher, S’well, Toms, Veja and Caudalie. Nordstrom has seen an increasing level of customer interest in consciously made products. Every product featured in the Sustainable Style must meet at least one defined standard of sustainability that the retailer has outlined. These criteria include being produced with at least 50 percent sustainably sourced materials or having been manufactured in a facility that meets high environmental or social standards. Fashion United



Target is launching grocery brand Good & Gather in bid to boost its food business

After years of rolling out private-label brands in apparel and home goods, Target is starting a new grocery brand. Products from the new line Good & Gather will hit Target stores beginning Sept. 15. The retailer said that by the end of 2020, the brand will have more than 2,000 items — everything from organic pizza crusts, milk and eggs, hazelnut and peanut butter spreads, frozen veggies, salad mixes and pastas. Target said it expects Good & Gather will be a multibillion-dollar brand — and the largest of its private labels. CNBC


China To Impose New Tariffs On $75B U.S. Goods

China said Friday that it will impose new tariffs on some $75 billion in goods imported from the U.S., the latest in a series of retaliatory responses in the ongoing trade wars between the two nations. China’s Customs Tariff Commission said it is imposing the tariffs in response to the U.S. government’s additional 10 percent tariffs on approximately $300 billion in goods imported from China. The U.S. government’s tariffs, which will impact footwear and apparel, are set to be implemented in September and in December. WWD



Uniqlo to Bow First Print Magazine With Fall Collection

Add Uniqlo to the growing list of companies that see print magazines as a “new” way to get in touch with consumers. Airbnb has one, so does Bumble and even Facebook, all of which are essentially extended marketing campaigns for their product, be it home-sharing, a dating app or the behemoth of social media. And Uniqlo’s foray into the realm of print publishing, accompanied by a digital version (available to download only on an Amazon Kindle), doesn’t seem much different. A 120-page magazine that will be available for free in stores next month when the fall/winter collection comes is dubbed LifeWear, also how the company refers to its apparel, and shows off only Uniqlo product, its paid ambassadors and its customers. WWD


Banana Republic Debuts Style Passport

Add Banana Republic to the growing list of retailers getting into the rental business. Starting in September, the online subscription service, named Style Passport, lets U.S. shoppers rent up to three pieces of women’s apparel a month for $85. The subscription includes free shipping, unlimited exchanges and laundering services. Shoppers also have the option to buy later if they like. WWD


Tatcha launches personalization as a customer service tool

Tatcha is the latest beauty brand to bet on personalization. In July, the Japanese-inspired company quietly rolled out on Tatcha.com its Ritual Finder tool, which is meant to boost e-commerce conversion and retention. The feature prompts users to choose whether they are a Minimalist, meaning they may not be heavily embedded in skin care and want the fewest amount of products; a Ritualist, if they have an existing skin-care routine; or an Enthusiast, if they’re a beauty junkie who’s spent hundreds of dollars on skin care. Tatcha’s full assortment of 30 products are featured in the quiz, and more than 500 iterations of routines can result, said Andrea Carver, Tatcha vp of digital product of development. Glossy


Hudson’s Bay Soars After Private Equity Firm Catalyst Buys Stake

Canadian private equity firm Catalyst Capital Group Inc. bought a 10 percent stake in Hudson’s Bay Co. through a previously announced tender offer as part of its efforts to block a proposed takeover by the retailer’s chairman. The Toronto-based firm said in a statement it had received and accepted about 18.5 million shares in Hudson’s Bay for roughly C$187 million ($141 million) in cash at C$10.11 per share. That’s a premium to a C$9.45 a share offer from Chairman Richard Baker and his partners. The stock jumped 9 percent to C$10.22 in Toronto, the biggest gain in more than two months. BoF


American Dream Mall Developers Put Up Other Mega Malls as Collateral

The developer of American Dream, a mall and entertainment complex outside New York City, is so confident this much-delayed project will succeed it is putting ownership of its two most high-profile holdings at risk. Triple Five Group, which owns the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., and West Edmonton Mall in Canada, has pledged 49% interest in these two properties as collateral to secure a $1.67 billion construction loan for the East Rutherford, N.J., project, loan documents show. That means if American Dream fails and the developer defaults on the loan, Triple Five would have to give up nearly half its ownership in these malls, which the firm has owned for decades. WSJ



  • Nordstrom Names Teri Bariquit Chief Merchandising Officer WWD


  • Apple and Goldman Sachs launch their credit card The Economist
  • Mined vs. Lab-Grown: Diamond Debate Heats Up WWD
  • Snapchat Is Back in Fashion BoF
  • A New Weight Watchers App for Kids Raises Concerns NY Times