Weekly Consumer News Update // February 14, 2023

Happy Valentine's Day! Here's our weekly roundup of recent consumer and retail news. This week, Disney, Yahoo & Twilio announce layoffs, Valentine's Day spending climbs to $26 billion, and more. 


  • Designer Brands Acquires Keds From Wolverine Worldwide SGB Media
  • Simon Property Swaps Eddie Bauer for Larger Stake in Authentic Brands Group PYMNTS
  • Hudson Bay Is Anchor Investor in Bed Bath & Beyond Share Sale Bloomberg
  • Post to Buy Pet Food Brands From J.M. Smucker for $1.2 Billion WSJ
  • Transit tech company Via raises $110M at $3.5B valuation TechCrunch
  • Luggage Brand Away Is Exploring Options, Including a Sale Bloomberg
  • Unilever Sells North America Suave Business WWD



Zoom cuts 15% of staff in post-pandemic 'reset'

The video conferencing company that became a household name when remote work spiked during the Covid pandemic is laying off 1,300 staff. BBC


Microsoft will let companies create their own custom versions of ChatGPT

Companies would be able to remove Microsoft or OpenAI branding when they release chatbots developed with the software. CNBC


Wholesale Brands Want to Be the New DTC Disruptors

Brands that once ruled multi-brand retailers are investing in DTC to build connections with customers and improve their margins. But like digitally native brands before them, they’re finding fatter profits remain elusive. BoF


Shoppers to face fresh price hikes as stores, suppliers pass on costs

Grocery costs seen rising further in 2023. Reuters


The Toddlers in the $600 High-Tops

Luxury brands target kids, and the parents are buying. The Cut


Under Armour Says More Discounting in Store for Sports Apparel

Inventory buildup has weighed down the sports-apparel industry due to unpredictable demand and long freight times. Bloomberg


Joana Avillez's drawing for Bergdorf Goodman.

Bergdorf Goodman’s Immersive Campaign to Support Independent, New York City Brands

"Only in New York," is a new 360-degree campaign aimed to support New York's burst of fresh talent. WWD

Lodging Companies Step Up Efforts to Lure Competitors’ Hotels to Their Brands

Hotel conversions can pick up during periods of economic upheaval and slower development. WSJ


4.9 million Fabuloso bottles are recalled over the risk of bacteria contamination

Colgate-Palmolive noted "a preservative was not added at the intended levels during manufacturing," which could have allowed Pseudomonas bacteria to grow. NPR


Disney will reorganize into three divisions as it slashes costs and cuts 7,000 jobs

Disney will now be 3 divisions: Entertainment, ESPN and parks and experiences and has plans to cut $5.5 billion in costs. CNBC


Why a Downturn Could Give Beauty Services a Boost

Booming beauty service chains like HeyDay and Ever/Body are hoping for recession-proof success. BoF


Adidas says dropping Kanye West could cost it more than $1 billion in sales

Adidas ended its nine-year partnership with the rapper last October because of his antisemitic remarks. CNN


Eggs Are Getting Less Expensive—for Stores, Not Shoppers

Supplies likely to remain constrained as long as bird-flu outbreak persists. WSJ


Yahoo to lay off more than 20% of staff as it shrinks ad biz

The changes will end Yahoo’s years-long effort to compete directly with Google and Meta for digital advertising dominance. Axios


Why Athletes Are Beauty’s Buzzy New Spokespeople

Beauty and wellness brands are increasingly tapping professional and college athletes for ambassadorships to help deepen and forge new consumer relationships.  WWD


Fast food reigns supreme as inflation weighs on pricier restaurants

McDonald’s and Yum Brands have reported solid U.S. demand as inflation-weary customers trade down to fast food. CNBC


Alo Yoga VR Quest

Alo Yoga Breaks Ground on New Virtual Store

The brand launches immersive shopping, fitness, fashion and beauty for phones, computers and Quest 2 VR headsets. WWD


How the FDA stopped the momentum for CBD in food and drink

the government’s decision to not permit the ingredient in food and beverages has left producers unwilling to invest further. RetailDive


What the Metabirkins verdict means for the future of Web3 fashion

Hermès won its case against artist Mason Rothschild, who’s expected to appeal. It’s still likely to set a precedent for future questions of artistry and ownership in Web3. Vogue Business


Wanted: Interns Who Can Make TikTok Hits

More companies are posting jobs such as "TikTok content creator interns" or "chief TikTok officer," tasked with making and appearing in promotional videos on the app. NYT


Barney is back: Mattel gives its nostalgic purple dinosaur an animated makeover

The company is looking to better engage consumers through film and television series, which it hopes will ultimately lead to a stronger connection with Mattel’s brands and help drive toy sales. CNBC


More than half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers stopped spending on platform

Some 625 of the top 1,000 Twitter advertisers, including major brands such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Jeep, Wells Fargo and Merck, had pulled their ad dollars as of January. CNN


Hyundai launches 'no commitment' electric vehicle monthly subscription

Evolve+, the subscription program, will allow users to rent an electric car for as low as $699 per month. Business Insider


Target expands beauty assortment with ‘thousands’ of new products

The company is bringing on an undisclosed number of new Black-owned and inclusive brands, and adding more products that fit its Target Clean standards for ingredient transparency. RetailDive


Twilio to Lay Off 17% of Workers in Second Round of Cuts

Cloud-communications company giving priority to profit over growth as it reorganizes. WSJ


Amazon chief vows to ‘go big’ on physical stores

Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy said that the retail and technology giant will “go big” on brick and mortar grocery stores despite the fact that the company recently hit pause on its expansion efforts. Financial Times


Valentine's Day spending climbs to $26 billion in 2023

This year, consumer spending on Valentine's Day is expected to increase by 8% to $26 billion – the second-highest year on record. USA Today



  • Twitter’s Head of Revenue Strategy & Operations Departs The Information
  • Vestiaire Collective Appoints Two Female C-level Executives WWD
  • Kohl’s Names Nick Jones Chief Merchandising and Digital Officer WWD
  • Asos Names Sean Glithero as Interim Finance Chief BoF
  • Off-White Names Isamaya Ffrench as Beauty Curator BoF
  • Burger King-owner Restaurant Brands names new CEO CNBC
  • Meta Platforms Business Chief Marne Levine to Leave WSJ


  • How Olympia Gayot Brought J.Crew Back Harper's Bazaar
  • How a tide of tech money is transforming charity The Economist
  • Why Fashion Should Recruit From Outside the Industry BoF
  • Why Are Layoffs Contagious? The Atlantic
  • Inside the Battle to Run Fashion’s E-Commerce BoF