Traub Weekly News Roundup // August 22, 2023

Here's our weekly roundup of recent consumer and retail news. This week, off-price chains like T.J. Maxx and Ross Stores prove to be resilient retail, Meta launches web version of Threads, and more. 





  • Private equity firm Roark nears deal to buy Subway for about $9.6B Reuters
  • Bubblegum maker Bazooka to be sold for $700 million Axios
  • Canyon Ranch Secures $150 Million Equity Investment SGB Media
  • Jinx Dog Food raised $17.85M in Series B Funding Bloomberg
  • American Exchange Group Acquired HatchCollective WWD
  • Aldi to acquire Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores CNBC
  • RadioShack under new ownership again Retail Dive
  • acquired by MSG Distributors TechCrunch
  • Francisco Partners will acquire, Weather Channel and other assets from IBM WSJ




From the freezer to the kiosk: Nestlé testing a vending machine that makes DiGiorno pizza in 3 minutes

With more than $1 billion in sales, the world’s largest food manufacturer is moving the brand beyond the grocery aisle to places such as airports and college dorms. Food Dive


Barbie, what have you done? The nightmare of Hollywood’s toy movie future

After Barbie’s success, toy maker Hasbro has joined the goldrush – and soon even the dullest playtime object will get its own film. Are you ready for the Play-Doh Cinematic Universe. The Guardian


Etsy doubles down on happy events with new baby registry service

In the last three months, searches for custom toy boxes on Etsy have spiked 270%. Retail Brew


Pickleball is a hit with millennials – the average player is 35 years old — and over 25,000 new courts are needed to keep up with demand

A new report shows pickleball remains the fastest-growing sport in the country, with 8.9 million players in 2022, an 85% increase from the year prior. Business Insider


How Kroger Became the Biggest Sushi Seller in America

Millions of shoppers agree: It’s OK to eat supermarket sushi.  At U.S. retailers, sales are up over 70% in the past year. WSJ


How Modelo dethroned Bud Light to become the top-selling U.S. beer

“This was long a matter of, if not when. These trends have been building for a long time,” said Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association. “Modelo has been on a rise and Bud Light’s been on a decline as we’ve seen overall shifts in the beer market in the last 10 years.” CNBC


Kraft Heinz Sees a $25 Billion Opportunity—in Schools

Packaged-food giant revamps Lunchables for the cafeteria, tapping a new market and drawing pushback. WSJ


Dunkin' is releasing boozy versions of their iced coffees and teas

Dunkin' is turning two of its most popular drinks into boozy beverages. CNN


Weight loss drugs boost sales not profits at retail pharmacies

Retailers with pharmacy businesses, such as Walmart, Kroger and Rite Aid, said increased demand for prescription weight loss drugs helped boost sales for the second quarter. CNBC


Recess expands to 5K additional retail doors

The DTC beverage brand is now available in 14,000 stores, spanning retailers like Target, CVS, H-E-B, Sprouts and Winn Dixie. Retail Dive




Shoppers Are Spending Big at T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods as Target Sales Slide

The retailer is benefiting from the bloated inventories of other retailers and is able to offer a wider assortment of premium merchandise. CNBC


People sit in a public area in the Brookfield Place Mall on March 11, 2022 in New York City.

The US mall is not dying

Malls are not going extinct, they are merely adapting to a new environment. In fact, many have reported robust occupancy levels and bigger crowds than before the pandemic, according to a recent market analysis from Coresight Research. CNN


Santa better get a T- shirt because summer has claimed Christmas

Now, the Christmas “creep” is trumping not only Halloween, but also competing with consumer spending on back-to-school and Labor Day sales. CNN


A Bright Spot in Commercial Real Estate: Retail Shops

Retailers are on track to open 1,000 net new stores in the U.S. this year as retail availability hits record lows, in fresh signs of the sector’s resilience despite turmoil in commercial real estate. WSJ


Retailers Are Fleeing Downtown San Francisco. IKEA Is Moving In.

New opening set to test furniture giant’s plan to roll out more city-center stores. WSJ


Macy’s Revenue Dips as In-Store, Digital Sales Fall

Bloomingdale’s owner maintains cautious earnings outlook as consumer spending sputters. WSJ




Meta’s Threads App to Launch Web Version as Rivalry With X Enters New Stage

A web version of the new text-first app is one of the features users have asked for and could help it compete with X after decline in usage. WSJ


YouTube is figuring out its AI strategy by working with music labels

YouTube is partnering with record labels to establish rules for how AI-generated music is treated on its platform, including monetization opportunities for both companies and creators. The Verge


‘Don’t Put Your Head in the Sand’: Stars Are Quietly Inking Deals to License Their AI Doubles

As generative AI companies multiply, celebrities and their estates are starting to see the profit potential in digital twins. The Information




Getting your food at Wendy's is about to get a lot faster

Wendy's has opened its first so-called "next gen" restaurants which focus on technology and digital ordering. Business Insider


Cava and Sweetgreen see delivery orders fall as customers pick up their own food

The shift in consumer behavior can hurt the fast-casual chains’ sales because those orders are usually more expensive, thanks to added fees and even higher menu prices. CNBC




  • Walmart Shuffles C-Suite as Top Female Exec Plans to Leave Company WSJ
  • Sweetgreen Hires Former Chipotle Executives, Readies Mid-America Push WSJ
  • Columbia Sportswear Names SVP, Global Distribution Network SGB Media
  • Bloomberg overhauls management team with Mark Carney to lead new board Financial Times
  • Happy Socks Names Alexander Meyer CEO WWD
  • American Beverage names veteran insider as new CEO Food Dive



  • What Happens to All the Stuff We Return? The New Yorker
  • US Consumers Are Just Bored, Not Strapped Bloomberg
  • Why luxury x American heritage brand collaborations are suddenly everywhere Glossy