Weekly News Update // Week of June 7, 2021

Here's TRAUB's roundup of recent consumer and retail news. Mytheresa partners with Vestaire Collective, Ro's big bet on women's health, and more.


  • Lightspeed Acquires Nuorder and Ecwid in E-Commerce Tie-Up BoF
  • Ro’s $225 million Modern Fertility acquisition is a big bet on women’s health Fast Company
  • Lanvin’s Chinese Parent Is the New Owner of Sergio Rossi WWD
  • Fintech giant Klarna raises $639M at a $45.6B valuation amid ‘massive momentum’ in the US TechCrunch
  • PepsiCo to invest $200M in plant expansion as snack consumption surges FoodDive
  • Pattern Raises Capital to Acquire DTC Homeware Brands, Announces Acquisition of GIR BoF
  • Liteboxer, the Peloton of boxing, raises $20 million Series A TechCrunch
  • Seven Seven Six-Backed SIMULATE Gobbles Up $50M Series B To Expand Food Products Crunchbase News
  • Food allergy prevention startup Ready, Set, Food raises $3.5M FoodDive


Ssense Raises Money from Sequoia at $4.1 Billion Valuation, Eyes Chinese Market
Ssense said Tuesday that Sequoia Capital China has taken a minority investment in the company, valuing it at over 5 billion Canadian dollars ($4.1 billion), to fund a global expansion. It marks the first-ever external investment for the Montreal-based company, founded by chief executive officer Rami Atallah with his brothers, chief financial officer Firas Atallah and chief operating officer Bassel Atallah, in 2003. As part of the investment, former Vogue China editor Angelica Cheung will join the board of directors. She joined Sequoia Capital China as a Venture Partner in February. Ssense is known for its curated selection of brands and ambitious editorial strategy and younger audience, of which 80 percent are under 40 years old. The company, which declined to share revenue, in 2018 told BoF it aimed to cross the $1 billion revenue mark in 2020, buoyed by the rise of the streetwear-meets-luxury market it has targeted as its core aesthetic. “Sequoia is excited to support Ssense in its continued global expansion and China acceleration,” said Neil Shen, founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China in a statement. In recent years, its competitors Farfetch and Mytheresa went public to raise additional funding to battle for the luxury e-commerce market, where online retailers compete for brand partners and customers through speedy shipping, high-level customer service and editorial-style content. BoF


Mytheresa Partners With Vestiaire Collective
Munich-based e-tailer is the latest luxury player to seek to tap into the fast-growing resale market, with a new service to help its top clients sell pre-loved items on Vestiaire in exchange for store credit launching Wednesday. The initial service will apply to handbags from a list of 20 luxury designers and will only be available in Europe, but the companies said they were committed to roll out the service to a wider array of customers, product categories and brands by the end of the year. The partnership will establish a dedicated interface for eligible MyTheresa customers. They will benefit from direct price quotes and will receive store credit as soon as the item is quality checked and authenticated, rather than waiting for it to be sold. A dedicated team is being established to support customers. The move comes after Alexander McQueen launched a similar service with the Paris-based resale platform earlier this year. In March, the brand’s parent company, Kering acquired a 5 percent stake in the company. BoF

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Inside the Illuminarium, the $30 million spectacle that’s like walking into a film
A $30 million spectacle is opening in Atlanta next month that proposes a new kind of post-pandemic experience. Blurring elements of film, immersive environments, and theatrical design, the space, called Illuminarium, hopes to bring visitors together indoors in a room that can be transformed through video projection, lidar-based interactive digital elements, sound, and special effects to replicate any place in the world—or beyond. The concept is something like walking into a high-definition documentary film, which is being projected on walls 350 feet wide and 22 feet tall and also on the ground, creating an immersive space not just to watch but to move through and interact with. The first experience produced for Illuminarium is a safari across Africa, taking visitors into the bush and savanna to see lions and leopards up close. A second experience, now in production, will put visitors on the surface of the moon, where their footsteps across the venue will appear to kick up moon dust. Fast Company

Inside photo-sharing app Dispo’s second shot at being an Instagram killer
Just four months ago, Dispo, the photo-sharing app that allows users to take retro-style pictures that they can’t see until 9 a.m. the next morning—much like a disposable camera—looked unbeatable. It had a fresh take on the single-most-popular digital activity for a generation stressed out by the pressures of Instagram perfection. It had the funding to grow and a buzzy valuation of $200 million for an app still in beta. It scored a splashy New York Times profile. Most of all, it had David Dobrik, perhaps the most successful digital creator of the last decade, whose stardom emerged first on Vine, blossomed on YouTube, and then exploded further on TikTok. The likable 24-year-old star who was once dubbed “Gen Z’s Jimmy Fallon” was a multimillionaire with a golden touch, and now he was going to build a new social network. Then the calendar turned to March, and Dobrik went from one of the most beloved and successful social media stars on the planet to one of its most disgraced. Fast Company

Rent the Runway, ahead of rumored IPO, ditches subscription requirement for clothing resale
Limiting resale to subscribers may have seemed like a nice perk of Rent the Runway's service a few years ago. After all, locking consumers into recurring payments has proven to be fruitful for many e-commerce players, perhaps even more so during the pandemic. At the moment, however, it seems unwise to limit opportunities in the rocketing secondhand apparel market. Early concerns that fear of germs could undermine sales of used clothing during a pandemic quickly dissipated last year as growth continued apace. In fact, in a blog post, Rent the Runway Co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman noted that, in March last year, subscribers began buying used items at twice their usual rate, which she said demonstrated "an acceleration in consumer comfortability with and demand for shopping secondhand." Retail Dive

Dior to Open Restaurant in Paris With Chef Jean Imbert
When Dior reopens its historic headquarters at 30 Avenue Montaigne after two years of renovations, the six-story building will have a new attraction: a restaurant designed by architect Peter Marino and run by French chef Jean Imbert. Dior declined to give a date for the reopening of the building, which has been shuttered since July 2019, but said the headquarters would be “reinvented.” The name and exact location of the restaurant also remain under wraps.“ Jean Imbert, the chef of this new address celebrating the art of living dear to Monsieur Dior, was inspired by the archives of the house — in which he has been immersed for two years — to imagine exceptional creations reflecting the history of Dior, from its founding to today. Gastronomy reflecting the values of the maison, at the crossroads of heritage and the future,” the house told WWD exclusively. WWD

Stitch Fix the latest apparel retailer to contemplate resale
Stitch Fix beat most expectations for this period, including its own, and raised its near-term outlook. But as it works to expand its market through a more traditional e-commerce model, many analysts see it heading into a murky future. "All told, this was a vast improvement from 3 months [ago] (when SFIX missed and lowered), but we expect the story to remain controversial," Wells Fargo analysts led by Ike Boruchow said in emailed comments, adding, "While we admit that [Stitch Fix] is clearly on better footing relative to 3 months ago, we still don't believe the story is necessarily compelling." Retail Dive

Outdoor Poised to Lead Resale, New Data on Microplastic Emissions: Short Takes

Outdoor Industry Poised ‘Leader’ of Resale: The resale space to watch is still outdoor, with Patagonia, REI, Arc’Teryx as early adopters. On Tuesday, outdoor retailer REI announced a new trade-in program ushering outdoor gear vendors Cotopaxi and Nemo into the re-commerce space on its platform (online only at the start). The trade-in works across brands and retailer websites. While REI still maintains pricing for the items, the brands benefit from online take-back and customer loyalty opportunities like gift cards. Over the last year, REI’s Used Gear’s online shop has seen remarkable success — growing more than 100 percent. “We’ve seen our Used Gear business serve as an entry point to the outdoors,” said Ken Voeller, director of circular commerce at REI, who also noted an uptick in physical resale. BoF



  • Snap Names New Head of Fashion and Beauty BoF
  • Moose Knuckles Welcomes Victor Luis as Investor, Executive Chairman WWD
  • Glossier Names Ali Weiss Chief Marketing Officer BoF
  • Stella Bugbee Named Editor of New York Times Styles Section BoF


  • Ian Schrager Talks Public Relaunch, Work-Life Boundaries and Broadway Show WWD
  • Bain and Alibaba: The Future of Chinese Retail Is Hyperlocal BoF