Weekly News Update // Week of October 19th, 2020

Here's TRAUB's roundup of recent retail news. ThredUp confidentially files to go public, Allbirds moves into apparel, Unilever looks to sell some small beauty brands as it looks to focus on faster-growth areas and more. 



ThredUp Confidentially Files to Go Public

ThredUp on Wednesday said it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its stock. How many shares to be offered and at what price range have yet to be determined, according to a press release from the apparel resale site. The IPO remains unscheduled and "is expected to commence after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions," the company said. Retail Dive 



With Fresh Capital in Hand, Allbirds Moves Into Apparel

Allbirds is planting its flag firmly in the apparel space, after launching its first foray outside of footwear with a sock line in 2019. The DTC brand's introductory collection includes a T-shirt, wool cardigan, wool jumper and a puffer jacket, according to details emailed to Retail Dive. The clothing line was developed with Allbirds' "core tenets" in mind, the company said, including simple design, natural materials and a commitment to sustainability. Each piece is labeled with its carbon footprint. All four products come in multiple colors and range in price from just under $50 to $250. The TrinoXO Tee sells for $48, the Wool Cardi for $145, the Wool Jumper for $135 and the Trino Puffer for $250. Retail Dive 


Unilever Could Tidy Portfolio With Disposals in Beauty and Personal Care

Unilever could sell some small beauty and personal care brands as it looks to pivot its portfolio toward faster-growth areas, its chief financial officer said on Thursday. The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group has completed about 36 acquisitions and a dozen disposals since 2015, CFO Graeme Pitkethly told analysts, with many of the disposals on the food side of the business. Looking forward, however, the balance could shift towards disposals, including in its beauty and personal care business, Pitkethly said after the company reported a stronger than expected return to sales growth in the third quarter. "We've got a number of smaller brands there that we may look to divest, just to tidy up the portfolio and allow us to be more focused," he said. The process Unilever is undergoing to unify its dual-headed corporate structure, which should complete next month, has led to speculation that big acquisitions could be on the agenda. The company has said unification would give it more flexibility, including with the use of equity in deals. BoF


Walmart Has a Grand Plan to Help Suppliers Club Together to Buy Green Energy

Walmart plans to become a “regenerative” company and is targeting zero carbon emissions by 2040. Walmart has now made plans to become a “regenerative” company, an announcement it also made at the climate conference. Its environmental goals focus on decarbonization — where it is aiming to emit zero carbon by 2040 — and regenerating the natural world, with a pledge to “protect, manage or restore” a million square miles of ocean and 50 million acres of land by 2030. It also plans to achieve zero waste in its own operations in the U.S., Canada, Japan and the U.K. by 2025. But as with other companies, much of Walmart’s impact on the environment comes via its suppliers and how shoppers use its products, its Chief Sustainability Officer Kathleen McLaughlin explained. “For sustainability, we are trying to essentially transform the way that consumer supply chains function right from source through to consumer and end of life,” she told CNBC by phone. CNBC


Quibi Is Shutting Down After Raising $1.75B In Funding

After much speculation throughout the day, media outlets are now reporting that media company Quibi is shutting down.The Wall Street Journal reported sources saying founder Jeffrey Katzenberg “called investors to tell them he is shutting the service down.” That follows The Information’s report of Katzenberg unsuccessfully pitching Quibi as an acquisition to Apple, Facebook and Warner Media. Crunchbase News 


Gap Inc. To Double Down On Athleta While Trimming The Fat At Gap And Banana Republic

Gap Inc., the retail giant behind Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, laid out its growth strategy Thursday with a pitch to investors that tiny activewear chain Athleta is the brand to watch. The three-year plan will see the company open 100 new stores and start selling Athleta apparel at other retailers with the goal of doubling sales to $2 billion. The move comes as Gap and Banana Republic plan to close 350 locations by the end of 2023.Gap shares rose 13% Thursday and are up 5% for the year.The shift, an embrace of the momentum seen during the pandemic and an effort to close the gap with athleisure leader Lululemon, was laid out at an investor day. Athleta accounts for less than a tenth of Gap Inc.’s revenue of $16 billion but has been a bright spot in recent months as consumer preference shifts to comfortable clothing. It is Gap Inc.’s most profitable brand and the only one to record sales growth during the quarter ending August 1. Forbes


Galeries Lafayette Expands in China With Plans for Third Store

Pushing further into China, Galeries Lafayette said Thursday it has signed a lease for a third store in the country, due to open in 2022, adding to the clamor of fashion industry players pursuing Chinese consumers on their home turf. The store is slated for the Nanming neighborhood of the inland city of Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province. While Galeries Lafayette embarked on a strategy of international expansion several years ago, the coronavirus crisis has added urgency to its quest to bulk up sales outside of its home market. Consumption continues to suffer in Europe amid coronavirus restrictions, but Chinese shoppers are springing back into action, prompting a rush of apparel brands across the spectrum to serve them domestically. WWD



  • Barbara Lavernos Appointed President Research, Innovation and Technologies of L'Oréal  L'Oréal
  • The Prada Group taps LVMH executive to lead diversity initiatives in North America BoF
  • The Lane Crawford Joyce Group president exits BoF
  • Estée Lauder Companies announces shakeup in online division BoF
  • Amazon Fashion Europe names new director BoF


  • Co-living In The Time of COVID: Why Shared Housing Startups Say The Sector is Rebounding Crunchbase News