TRAUB Weekly News Update // Week of February 25, 2019

Here's our roundup of this week's top retail news.


  • Lyft files for IPO, beating Uber to the punch CNN
  • Adore Me eyes sales bump with Belabumbum acquisition Retail Dive
  • Walmart acquires Israel's Aspectiva, which analyses UGC to recommend products to shoppers TechCrunch
  • Foot Locker takes minority stake in kids clothing subscription service Rockets of Awesome TechCrunch


Amazon to Launch New Grocery-Store Business
Amazon is planning to open dozens of grocery stores in several major U.S. cities, according to people familiar with the matter, as the retail giant looks to broaden its reach in the food business. The company plans to open its first grocery store in Los Angeles as early as the end of the year, one person said. Amazon has already signed leases for at least two other grocery locations with openings planned for early next year, this person said. The new stores would be distinct from the company’s upscale Whole Foods Market brand, though it is unclear whether the new grocery chain would carry the Amazon name. WSJ 


Gap to split into 2, with Old Navy gaining independence
Gap Inc. is splitting into two. The retailer said Thursday that it’s creating two independent publicly traded companies — low-priced juggernaut Old Navy and a yet-to-be-named company, which will consist of the iconic Gap brand, Banana Republic and the lesser-known names Athleta, Intermix and Hill City. The San Francisco-based company said the spinoff will enable each company to focus on flexibility and pare costs. The company also said it will be shuttering 230 Gap brand stores over the next two years. NY Post


Sizing Up Hudson Yards: Will Its Retail Thrive?hy

On the surface, the last thing over-stored New York City needs is another 750,000 square feet of retail space. Then again, it could work at Hudson Yards. With the March 15 opening of The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, WWD contacted industry experts to weigh in on whether they think New Yorkers and tourists will frequent the center’s mix of stores anchored by the city’s first Neiman Marcus and lineup of restaurants by star chefs. WWD


Foot Locker records strongest sales in company history

Foot Locker soared past expectations for the fourth quarter, with strong numbers across the board. Executives on a conference call Friday morning said the men's and women's categories were both up double digits, while kids was up high-single digits. Apparel at the company rose in the mid-single digits, with growth in the children's apparel category being particularly strong. Retail Dive 


Harrods partners with Farfetch to support e-commerce

U.K.-based department store Harrods will create a new e-commerce platform using an enterprise white-label offering from online marketplace enabler Farfetch. The retailer will leverage Farfetch Black & White Solutions for e-commerce management, operations support, international logistics support and technical support, while Harrods will continue to manage marketing, brand relationship and product strategy, creative and editorial content, and customer services for the site. Retail Dive


L Brands to shutter 53 Victoria's Secret stores

With its sexy image falling out of favor and too many locations in sub-par malls, Victoria's Secret is shuttering a total of 53 stores, after closing 30 last year, to help right-size its operations, L Brands executives said in prepared remarks ahead of their conference call on Wednesday. That could help, in light of some observers' belief that the brand's footprint is too large. But, while executives on the conference call said that they are focused "on the customer and on the merchandise," they didn't say all that much about how they're responding to their vulnerability in the market, according to UBS analysts. Retail Dive


Skin Laundry branches into telemedicine

Laser treatment company Skin Laundry is charting its next phase of growth, which includes opening more locations, expanding its skin-care line and moving into customized skin-care prescriptions. The company, which was founded in 2013, offers skin-care and facial laser treatments at an affordable price (between $75 and $250). It has 22 locations in Los Angeles, New York, London and Hong Kong. In March, Skin Laundry will open two locations in Florida — its first presence in the state — with a third door opening in the summer. Glossy


5G Will Give Some Retailers an Edge. Others Will Fall Behind.

The first-generation cellular network let us walk and talk, 2G let us send texts, 3G made the iPhone possible, and 4G let us stream videos. 5G, which has begun limited launches in several markets, promises to usher in a new era of constant, omnipresent connection. US telecommunications industry group CTIA says it will slash latency by five times, send data up to 100 times faster and support up to 100 times as many devices as 4G, all while consuming less energy. BoF


Macy's to cut roughly 100 executive jobs

Macy's fared better for the year than many expected after a dismal holiday report came out last month. That's in part due to two main events that had a combined impact of as much as 70 basis points, CEO Jeff Gennette said during a conference call Tuesday morning. The first was a Nov. 24 fire in a West Virginia megacenter, which caused a portion of merchandise inventory not to be available during cyber week. Secondly, Gennette acknowledged that the company's decision last year to only open its pre-Christmas sale to loyalty members alienated new customers. Executives will reverse that decision this coming year, he added. Retail Dive 


Kim Kardashian West Is Debuting a New Collection of Sunglasses—and They’re All Less Than $100

Does the name Carolina Lemke ring a bell? How about Kim Kardashian West? The former is an eyewear brand based in Israel with little in the way of name recognition in the U.S.; the latter needs no explanation and has fans in quite literally every corner of the world. Next month, they’re joining forces to debut a new sunglasses collaboration, dubbed the Kim Kardashian West Collection for Carolina Lemke. It will mark the brand’s official expansion into the U.S. market and should practically make Carolina Lemke a household name overnight. Vogue 


Walmart launches baby line with Kristen Bell, Dax Shepardhello bello

Walmart on Monday launched "Hello Bello," an exclusive line of plant-derived baby products developed by husband-and-wife duo Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell, who are parents themselves. The 10 products — diapers, wipes, shampoo and body wash, bubble bath, baby lotion, diaper rash cream, hand sanitizer, mineral sunscreen, bug spray and laundry detergent — are "formulated with safe and effective ingredients, including organic botanicals when possible," according to a company press release. They are priced from $1.88 to $23.94, with most under $8 each, and will only be sold in Walmart stores, and online at and, the company said. Retail Dive




  • Levi Strauss appoints an artificial intelligence officer Retail Dive
  • Apple taps former Microsoft exec to lead smart home development Retail Dive
  • Stephane Jaspar exits Stella McCartney as CMO WWD
  • Tod’s Taps Carlo Alberta Beretta as GM WWD
  • Giorgio Presca to Take Up CEO Role at Clarks After Consulting for Pucci WWD
  • Adidas Names Martin Shankland as Head of Global Operations WWD