Weekly Consumer News Update // December 13, 2022

Here's our weekly roundup of recent consumer and retail news. This week, Amazon launches TikTok-style feed, RH expands presence in the luxury furnishings market, and more. 


  • Fanatics valuation hits $31 billion after $700 million investment round CNBC
  • Microsoft reaches 10-year deal with Nintendo for Call of Duty The Verge
  • WHP Global Invests $260 Million Into Express WWD
  • Unilever Weighs $3 Billion US Ice Cream Brands Sale Bloomberg
  • Getir acquires grocery app rival Gorillas in $1.2bn deal Financial Times
  • FTC sues to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard CNN
  • Candy maker Ferrero to buy Halo Top owner CNBC
  • Keurig Dr Pepper Acquires Equity Stake In C4 Energy Maker SGB Media
  • Della Valle Family Abandons Project to Delist Tod’s Group WWD
  • Condé Nast Takes Over Architectural Digest and Condé Nast Traveller in the Middle East WWD
  • Prebiotic Soda Brand Poppi Raises $25 Million Seed Round WWD


The Brilliance and Weirdness of ChatGPT

A new chatbot from OpenAI is inspiring awe, fear, stunts and attempts to circumvent its guardrails. NYT

Juul settles more than 5,000 lawsuits over its vaping products

The e-cigarette maker faced thousands of suits brought by individuals and families of Juul users, school districts and Native American tribes. NPR


‘Tis The Season For Retail Tech To Shine

Digital tech isn’t only transforming customer experiences, it’s also enabling a fundamental rethink of how retail stores and retail workers can thrive in the future. Forbes


Express, Gap Stores Glutted With Prior Seasons’ Goods

At risk are retailers’ margins during the critical holiday shopping season and their efforts to be the go-to location for trendy fashions. BoF


Tech’s pandemic hiring boom continues to bust as fintech Plaid adds to mounting layoffs

Fintech firm Plaid is laying off about 260 employees, adding to a recent wave of cuts from private tech companies. CNBC


The Power Players were inspired by both the lipstick shades and the personalities of the people who might wear them....

Why Nars’ new brand ambassadors are all virtual

The makeup brand has created meta-humans, inspired by lipstick shades, to be its new digital spokespeople. It’s the latest way the beauty brand is making the case for branded avatars. Vogue Business


Netflix Is ‘Not Anti-Sports, We’re Just Pro-Profit’ 

Netflix’s Ted Sarandos again addressed the question of whether the streamer is interested in live sports — and he once again waved it off as not in the cards, at least anytime soon. Variety


Campbell’s Turnaround Has Reached Full Boil

Resilient results for Campbell vindicate management’s investment in old brands. WSJ


Amazon Is Launching TikTok-Style Feed in Bet on Social Commerce

The new feature, called Inspire, will let shoppers buy merchandise from a curated feed of photos and video. BoF


Marijuana industry sales slow down after pandemic surge

The U.S. cannabis industry is showing signs of a slowdown as it faces economic and regulatory challenges and people choose to spend their money elsewhere. CNBC


Intermix Asking Brands for Deep Cuts on Their Outstanding Payments on Current and Future Merchandise

Under new owners Regent L.P., Intermix has been asking brands to take a steep cut in what they’re owed on current merchandise and future orders through Q2, wreaking havoc on some small brands that were expecting payments. WWD


Fast-Fashion Giant Shein Explores Becoming Online Marketplace

The fast-growing company founded in China has also begun diversifying its supply chain to Europe, according to memo to investors. WSJ


Squeezed by inflation, families are tightening their holiday budgets

Overall holiday spending hasn’t slowed yet, according to the National Retail Federation, but many families are making sacrifices to buy presents for their loved ones. CNN


Darth Vader, R2-D2 and C-3PO Inspire New Makeup Collaboration From ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy and Pat McGrath Labs

Set to release on Friday, the collection will offer a number of cosmetic products that draw inspiration from the franchise’s first three films: “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” WWD


RH Announces Bold Moves That Will Disrupt The To-The-Trade Design Industry

The former Restoration Hardware is expanding its presence in the luxury furnishings market with two acquisitions and the creation of an editorial content platform, part of a long-term strategy to become the world’s dominant high-end lifestyle brand. Forbes


FedEx to launch consolidated returns service

The carrier is touting the service as a low-price option for shippers in an expensive reverse logistics market. Retail Dive


AI art apps are cluttering the App Store’s Top Charts following Lensa AI’s success

Consumer demand for the app, its "magic avatars" feature , and for AI edits more broadly, has now pushed numerous other “AI” apps into the U.S. App Store’s Top Charts. TechCrunch


Bankman-Fried, disgraced former CEO of FTX crypto exchange, is charged with fraud

The notorious former CEO of crypto exchange FTX, is facing a raft of federal fraud charges, accused of misleading investors and using billions of dollars from his customers for his own ends. NPR


Alabama, Utah become the latest U.S. states to ban TikTok on state devices

Alabama and Utah on Monday joined other U.S. states prohibiting the use of Chinese-owned short-video sharing app TikTok on state government devices and computer networks due to national security concerns. Reuters


CEO Libby Wadle on the Course J. Crew Is Charting

In its journey to get back on everybody’s radar and reconnect with customers, J. Crew is giving people something to talk about again. WWD


Inside Erewhon’s beauty ambitions

With over 150 beauty brands in stock, the upscale L.A.-based grocery chain is granting more visibility to the category as it shows strength in sales. Glossy



  • Amazon CEO, Putting Stamp on Company, Promotes Four Leaders Yahoo Finance
  • Alexandra Winokur Named President of Christian Dior Couture Americas WWD
  • Ganni Appoints First Chief Brand Officer BoF
  • Antoine Arnault Becomes CEO of LVMH Holding Company BoF
  • Sephora Promotes Deborah Yeh to Global Chief Purpose Officer WWD
  • Prada Names Gianfranco D’Attis New Brand CEO BoF
  • Honest Co. Names Former Amazon Executive as New CEO Bloomberg
  • Jeff Zucker, Former CNN President, to Lead Sports-and-Media Investment Firm RedBird IMI WSJ


  • Artificial intelligence is permeating business at last The Economist
  • Why Lanvin Group Probably Won’t End Fashion’s IPO Drought BoF
  • Why brick-and-mortar is still the future of retail CNN