Weekly News Update // Week of June 14, 2021

Here's TRAUB's roundup of recent consumer and retail news. Ferrari moves into luxury fashion, Boxed to go public in SPAC deal, and more. 


  • Inside Didi’s Massive IPO Filing Crunchbase
  • Unilever Acquires Skincare Brand Paula’s Choice BoF
  • Arezzo&Co Acquires Streetwear Player BAW for $20.5 Million BoF
  • Aritzia Expands to Men’s with Acquisition of Activewear Brand Reigning Champ BoF
  • Neiman Marcus To Acquire Retail Platform Stylyze BoF
  • The Pill Club takes on primary care with $41.9M in fresh funding TechCrunch
  • Messaging social network IRL hits unicorn status with SoftBank-led $170M Series C TechCrunch
  • Andreessen Horowitz goes into publishing with Future TechCrunch
  • Flyhomes Raises $150M To Streamline Homebuying Crunchbase News
  • Cannabis and digital health start-up Sanity Group closes $44.2M Series A led by Redalpine  TechCrunch
  • Baby Food Brand Serenity Kids Expands Product Line With $7M Series A Crunchbase News
  • Upcycled Food Company RIND Snacks Closes $6.1 Million Series A Round Led By Valor Siren Ventures Forbes
  • Nestig Cuddles Up With $1.3M Seed For Nursery Brand Crunchbase News 


Ferrari’s First Runway Show Debuts on Maranello Production Line
Maranello, Italy (AP) -- Ferrari V12 production cars were suspended over the factory floor Sunday night as the 74-year-old luxury carmaker launched a new era as a lifestyles brand, with a runway show unveiling its first ready-to-wear collection targeting a younger generation that might not be aware of its Formula One racing pedigree and coveted performance street cars. Models walked along the halted production line in a symbolic gesture that underlined the creative interplay between Ferrari’s long lineage of sleek, curved automotive bodies and the fashion line by creative director Rocco Iannone, strong on structured outwear contrasting with fluid, bright printed silks in Ferrari red, Scuderia yellow and electric blue. Iannone’s collection could easily have narrowly targeted Ferrari’s already loyal customer base — mostly more mature consumers who fill waiting lists for the nearly 10,000 annual production of luxury cars that start around $200,000 — with more staid driving clothes in quiet luxury fabrics and flat driving shoes. But instead he went bold, starting with trenches, bombers and parkas intricately modeled to give the appearance of a shell, branded with the famed Prancing Pony logo placed discreetly on the nape, and including clever rubberized accents on pockets and sleeves to recall the automotive heritage. “The young generations have the power to express the energy and the power of a brand," Iannone said of the target audience. The 35-year-old designer was previously creative director at Pal Zileri after more than a decade at Giorgio Armani and a stint at Dolce&Gabbana. Bloomberg

The Future of Watches: The Pre-Owned Market Will Be Worth Up To $32 Billion

The pre-owned watch market is coming of age, with a growing number of brands, retailers and digital platforms consolidating the offering into a more secure and professional service than ever before. However, online players have been the real game-changer. Compared with just 5 percent in the new product space, 30 percent of pre-owned watches spanning the premium to ultra-luxury value segments are now sold online, as companies such as Watchfinder, Chrono24 and Chronext saw double-digit growth over recent years. At the same time, consumers are showing increasing willingness to pay for pre-owned, with pre-owned watches now routinely selling at auctions for hundreds of thousands of dollars. McKinsey’s forecast expects the pre-owned market to expand by as much as 8 to 10 percent per year between 2019 and 2025, reaching annual sales of $29 to $32 billion, up from $18 billion in 2019. Comparatively, the new watch market for value segments from premium to ultra-luxury is predicted to grow just 1 to 3 percent annually during the same period. BoF

Dior and Sacai Unite for First Co-Branded Collection
The menswear capsule will include 57 pieces, including ready-to-wear, bags and accessories, with an amalgamated logo showing Sacai written in the “i” of Dior. The designs blend the two brands’ signature styles, as well as the heritages and creative direction of the two designers, reported WWD. Sacai designer Chitose Abe and Dior men’s artistic director Kim Jones have both participated in a number of collaborations — some of Sacai’s partnerships include with Nike, and up-and-coming designer Tomo Koizumi, while Dior has worked with the Jordan Brand on the Dior x Nike Air Jordan, as well as a team-up with artist Daniel Arsham. BoF


Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin auctions off seat on first human spaceflight for $28M
Blue Origin has its winning bidder for its first ever human spaceflight, and the winner will pay $28 million for the privilege of flying aboard the company’s debut private astronaut mission. The winning bid came in today during a live auction, which saw 7,600 registered bidders, from 159 countries compete for the spot. This was the culmination of Blue Origin’s three-part bidding process for the ticket, which included a blind auction first, followed by an open, asynchronous auction with the highest bid posted to the company’s website whenever it changed. This last live auction greatly ramped up the value of the winning bid, which was at just under $5 million prior to the event. TechCrunch


Boxed to go public in SPAC deal valuing online grocer at $900M
Founded in 2013, Boxed has brought the bulk-buying model online for consumers and businesses. With the pandemic accelerating online grocery's growth in the U.S., the company has seen its average order value reach roughly $100, according to Monday's announcement. In addition to groceries, the online retailer offers staple goods like household, personal care and health and wellness items along with office supplies and pet products. Early this year, Boxed partnered with Aeon, one of Asia's largest retailers, to expand overseas with a multi-year software-as-a-service (SaaS) deal that monetizes the online grocer's proprietary end-to-end technology. Aeon invested $111 million in Boxed in 2018. Through the merger with Seven Oaks, Boxed is poised for further growth as a publicly traded firm. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Huang said Boxed is not profitable, but that it sees an opportunity to license its in-house technology to other companies. Its digital advertising, delivery operations and sales to business clients are also opportunities for future growth, he said. Retail Dive 


Hudson's Bay partners with Forever 21
Nearly two years after filing for Chapter 11, Forever 21 is popping up in an unexpected place — department stores in Canada. The retailer, which became synonymous with the fast-fashion apparel movement, attempted to reorganize but then was sold to Simon Property Group, Brookfield Property Partners and Authentic Brands Group for $81 million in February 2020. Now Hudson's Bay is hoping that the brand will be a recognizable draw to its stores and online, as it begins to fill out product offerings for a younger consumer base. Hudson's Bay also recently introduced Mango Men, Sanctuary, Sweaty Betty and Rollas Denim, and has plans to soon launch BDG by Urban Outfitters, Wild Pony and Jack & Jones Premium, along with additional collaborations.  "As we continue to transform our business, Hudson's Bay is creating exciting depth to its fashion matrix, with coveted brands and curated experiences that provide Millennial and Gen Z style-seekers with a destination to find fashion that suits their lifestyle," Wayne Drummond, chief merchant at Hudson's Bay, said in a statement. Retail Dive


LVMH Turns to Google’s AI to Boost Business
The French luxury giant is partnering with Google Cloud to help brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior develop more personalised shopping experiences for their customers. The partnership will also focus on using artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help power LVMH’s back-end operations, like inventory optimisation, the companies said in a press release. The financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed. The partnership comes as the pandemic has accelerated a move online for the fashion industry, a particularly marked shift in the luxury market. Late last year, LVMH appointed its first chief omni-channel officer, a position filled by former Louis Vuitton vice president Michael David. BoF



  • Authentic Brands Group Names New President of EMEA Region BoF
  • Richemont North America CEO Departs to Start Consulting Firm BoF 


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