Weekly Consumer News Update // May 23, 2023

Here's our weekly roundup of recent consumer and retail news. This week, Target and Home Depot flash recession warning, Sweetgreen tests food-service automation, and more. 


  • WHP Global And Express To Acquire Bonobos For A Combined $75 Million Forbes
  • EBay Acquires Certilogo to Boost Pre-owned Authentication WWD
  • B. Riley acquires equity interest in Scotch & Soda through Bluestar Retail Dive
  • Ariana Grande’s R.e.m. Beauty Nabs Investment From Sandbridge Capital WWD




Target flashes a recession warning: Shoppers are buying fewer clothes and more necessities

Shoppers are pulling back at Target, Home Depot and other major chains as they face pressure from higher prices and borrowing costs. CNN


The Consumer Mystery: How Retail Copes in an Uncertain World

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said, “It's a great time just to be a really good merchant.” WWD


The "Blooms" installations at the Pulitzer Plaza off Fifth Avenue.

Experiencing Fifth Avenue in Different Ways

“We need to find new and creative ways to excite and delight visitors to our streets in New York,” said Marie Boster, president of the Fifth Avenue Association. WWD


As Consumers Pull Back Postpandemic, Troubled Retailers Lose a Lifeline

Bricks-and-mortar chains are going bankrupt at the fastest pace since the 2020 lockdowns. ‘There’s no more easy money,’ says one bankruptcy lawyer. WSJ


Walmart will offer pet telehealth in latest bid to compete with Amazon

Walmart is partnering with veterinary telehealth provider Pawp to offer Walmart+ subscribers free access to virtual veterinarians for a year beginning Tuesday. CNBC


Department Stores Focus on Home’s Online Potential

Despite increased price competition and inflation, online commerce is seen as the main catalyst for the future, as department stores enhance their omnichannel services and focus on curating their websites. WWD


Target recalls nearly 5 million Threshold candles after severe burns, lacerations reported

Target is recalling almost 5 million candles over laceration and burn hazards, according to a Thursday notice from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. ABC


Household brands cash in on dollar-store dynasty

Major household brands are positioning their products for discount shelves, as dollar stores continue to pop up around the nation, with more than 34,000 in the U.S. last year. Axios


Retailers Clamp Down on Returns

Merchants shorten return windows, increase mail fees and offer discounts to discourage returns. WSJ


Shein bets on third-party marketplace, pop-ups to grow its following in the U.S.

After building a rabid following online, Shein now aims to further build on its following in the U.S. with pop-ups and a new third-party marketplace. Modern Retail




How AR Mirrors Blend Visual Merchandising With User Generated Content

For retailers across fashion and beauty, they’re being used increasingly as a tool for visual merchandising or out of home advertising — one that comes with the added benefit of free social marketing via user generated content. Forbes


TikTok sues Montana over its new law banning the app

The widely expected lawsuit argues that banning a hugely popular social media app amounts to an illegal suppression of free speech tantamount to censorship. NPR


Metaverse Fashion week sees VR go vogue

Designers aren't deterred by doubters, as NFTs hit the virtual catwalk. CNN


Microsoft bakes its Bing/ChatGPT bot into Windows 11

The new Windows Copilot, which will be available right in the Windows 11 taskbar, is meant to make it easier for Windows users to find and change settings without having to delve deep into the Windows settings. TechCrunch




Sweetgreen Tests Robots to Make Faster, More Efficient Sad Desk Salads

The “Infinite Kitchen” still needs human help, but it’s a big step beyond other recent attempts at food-service automation. Bloomberg


Kraft Heinz unveils customizable sauce dispenser with more than 200 condiment combos for restaurants

Kraft Heinz has been leaning into its away-from-home segment to drive sales as part of its broader turnaround strategy. CNBC


Ferrero brings Kinder Chocolate to the US

The flagship product of the popular candy brand is a large part of the European confectioner’s plan for North American growth. Food Dive


Mediterranean restaurant chain Cava files for IPO as revenue climbs

Cava isn’t profitable yet, but its revenue rose 12.8% in 2022, according to regulatory filings. CNBC


How Bud Light Blew It

With one blunder after another, the brewing giant behind the brand became a case study in how not to handle a culture-war storm. WSJ




Roku launches new sports hub dedicated to women’s sporting events

The company announced the launch of Women’s Sports Zone, a new centralized hub that makes it easier for users to search, discover and stream women’s sports programming, from live games, matches and events to on-demand and free content. TechCrunch


From left, Major League Pickleball owners Dude Perfect, Heidi Klum, Eva Longoria, Gary Vaynerchuk, Mark Cuban, Naomi Osaka, Kate Upton, David Dobrik, LeBron James and Tom Brady. Photo-composite by Clark Miller. Gary Vaynerchuk by Michael Nagle/Bloomberg, Kate Upton by Humberto Vidal, Lebron James by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images.

The Hot New Trophy Asset: A Pro Pickleball Team

An A-list cast of billionaires and celebrities is hungrily snapping up stakes in the nation’s fastest growing sport. The Information




Equinox to Partner With High-end Brands With New Circle Program

Equinox is expanding the benefits it offers to members by partnering with other luxury brands in fashion, travel, nutrition and entertainment. The launch will include eight brands including StockX, Bezel and Oura. WWD




  • WeWork CEO Mathrani to step down after joining Sycamore Partners as director Reuters
  • Morgan Stanley CEO Gorman to hand reins to successor within a year Reuters
  • Pacsun names CEO Retail Dive
  • Audemars Piguet Names Ilaria Resta as New CEO BoF
  • Jeff Jordan steps back from Andreessen Horowitz Axios
  • LVMH Appoints New Chief Omnichannel and Data Officer WWD


  • What Shein’s Lower Valuation Means for the Future of Fast Fashion BoF
  • Is AI or livestreaming the future of shopping? Glossy