Weekly News Update // Week of April 12, 2021

Here's TRAUB's roundup of recent consumer and retail news. Beautycounter looks to accelerate growth as The Carlyle Group acquires majority stake, Nike to launch a second hand footwear program, and more. 


  • Coinbase opens at $381 per share, valuing the crypto exchange at nearly $100B TechCrunch
  • Courtin-Clarins Family Invests in Clean Skin Care Brand Pai BoF
  • Indonesian E-Commerce Firm Bukalapak Raises $234 Million BoF
  • Home gym startup Tempo raises $220M to meet surge in demand for its workout device TechCrunch
  • Hazel Technologies raises $70M for packets to prevent food waste Food Dive
  • Connected Cannabis Co. raises $30 million to bring its designer weed strains to more states TechCrunch
  • Sunday raises $24 million seed round to build a fast restaurant checkout flow TechCrunch
  • MIT startup Pickle raises $5.75M for its package-picking robot TechCrunch
  • Creatively raises $5M to help creative professionals showcase and find work TechCrunch


Gucci Teaming up with Balenciaga for Next Collection: Market Reports

According to Italian market reports, creative director Alessandro Michele collaborated with Balenciaga (which is also owned by Kering) and its creative director, Demna Gvasalia on Gucci’s newest collection. The Kering-owned Italian luxury brand is set to reveal the collection, called Aria, through a series of short films on Thursday, April 15. The collection will be Gucci’s first in 2021, its centennial year. BoF

Amazon unveils Aplenty, its newest private label food brand

Amazon has unveiled Aplenty, a new private label food brand set to eventually include hundreds of products across a variety of center store categories, the retailer said in an email Monday morning. The brand, which is available online and at Amazon's Fresh grocery stores, launched with items including twice-baked parmesan, garlic and herbs pita chips; slow-baked cornbread crackers; and salted caramel chip mini cookies. Amazon is expanding its lineup of house brands amid a deepening focus by food retailers on private label products, which promise larger profit margins than items carrying name brands. Food Dive

Vera Wang Signs 10-Year Deal With Pronovias for Vera Wang Bride

The deal values Counter Brands at $1 Vera Wang and Pronovias are getting hitched.The designer has struck a 10-year licensing deal with Barcelona-based Pronovias Group to manufacture, distribute and market Vera Wang Bride in its global fleet of stores and wholesale accounts, beginning in October. Vera Wang Bride is priced about 60 percent lower than Wang’s couture wedding gowns and is intended to reach a broader and international customer base.Known for her cutting-edge designs for both the red carpet and weddings for such celebrities as Hailey Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Victoria Beckham, Wang has been one of the most influential bridal designers in the industry over the past 32 years. “It’s very exciting. We’ve always done upper-end bridal and that’s obviously a limited audience. You’re never going to get any sizable volume when you’re doing dresses that start at $4,500 or $4,000, and go up to about $12,000,” said Wang in a telephone interview. WWD

Beautycounter Looks To Accelerate Growth As The Carlyle Group Acquires Majority Stake

Beautycounter, considered a leader in the clean beauty movement, is on the fast-track for growth, following the acquisition by The Carlyle Group CG +1.5%. The global investment firm announced Tuesday it has acquired a majority stake in Beautycounter, founded in 2013, positioning the beauty brand for accelerated growth, including boosting brand awareness and building upon the company’s state-of-the-art, omni-channel business. The transaction reflects a market valuation of $1 billion. “In 2013, I launched Beautycounter with the simple mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone,” said Gregg Renfrew, Beautycounter founder and chief executive officer, in a prepared release. Forbes

Nike Is Launching a Secondhand Footwear Programme

The sportswear giant is the latest company to expand into the circular economy with its products. Nike announced Monday that with Nike Refurbished, it would take back shoes that are “like-new, gently worn and slightly imperfect.” The company will fix them up and then sell them at a discounted rate to new shoppers. The program will be available in 15 stores in the US, with plans for expansion later this year. Nike footwear has long been a powerful commodity in resale. Bringing a refurbish program in-house will help Nike see some of the profits that have gone to marketplaces like Fight Club. But the company isn’t offering a reward to shoppers for participating in the program the way brands like Madewell give shoppers $20 credit for bringing in old pairs of denim. BoF

Guangzhou Builds ‘Beauty Park’ to Boost Chinese Cosmetics Industry

Guangzhou, one of southern China’s premier metropolises, is building a 10-square-kilometre “Beauty and Healthcare Industrial Park” to boost production for China’s booming beauty market, according to a report in The South China Morning Post. The park is expected to generate 8.6 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) worth of cosmetics and skincare products annually and will set up more local brands to compete with international giants in a beauty market valued at $52 billion last year.Strengthening the “beauty economy” has become a key goal in recent years for Guangzhou, where the sector is expected to generate 50 billion yuan ($7.6 billion) by 2023 and 100 billion yuan ($15.2 billion) by 2025, according to the Baiyun District Science, Industry, Commerce and Information Technology Bureau. BoF

Tiffany’s ‘Colors of Nature’ Blue Book Collection Lands in Shanghai

For its 2021 Blue Book collection, Tiffany & Co. unveiled its annual high-jewelry line in China for the first time.The brand took up a large former wharf space along the North Bund to display more than 500 items, spanning pieces from its high-jewelry collection — this year it is themed “Colors of Nature” — alongside creations by Jean Schlumberger, who created many of the signatures the house is known for, and the more than 80-carat “Empire Diamond.” Touted as the brand’s most expensive item ever to go on sale, the latter, an oval-shaped, D-color and internally flawless diamond, is expected to fetch in the eight-figure range. Named after Tiffany’s New York City roots, it is set in a design inspired by the 1939 World’s Fair necklace. WWD

Luxury Sales on Tmall Rise 159% in Q1

Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion, an app-within-an-app currently home to more than 200 luxury brand flagships, saw sales jump 159 percent year-on-year the January to March 2021 period, according to statistics provided by Tmall to local Chinese media. Last year, as international luxury brands were faced by closures and economic headwinds in markets around the world, many turned to Chinese e-commerce as a potential bright spot in an otherwise dismal 2020. An average of one new flagship store per week opened on the Luxury Pavilion last year, which is now home to brands including Cartier, Gucci, Prada, Armani and Hermès. BoF




  • Stitch Fix’s Founder Katrina Lake Is Leaving the Chief Executive Post BoF
  • Anthropologie Names Tricia Smith Global CEO BoF
  • Estée Lauder’s Global Communications EVP Alexandra Trower Is Retiring BoF
  • Chiara Ferragni To Join Tod’s Board of Directors BoF


  • Food is Gen Z's top spending priority, survey finds Food Dive