Traub Weekly News Roundup // September 26, 2023

Here's our weekly roundup of recent consumer and retail news. This week, Walmart unveils subscription replenishment program, Disney and Six Flags theme parks hope for fall rebound, and more. 



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  • Cisco to Buy Splunk in $28 Billion Cybersecurity Deal NYT
  • Amazon to Invest Up to $4 Billion in Anthropic as AI Arms Race Escalates WSJ
  • Johnny Rockets Owner FAT Brands Buys BBQ Chain Smokey Bones for $30M Bloomberg
  • Aria Growth Partners Invests in LesserEvil PE Hub




Staples Adds Uber Eats Delivery Option for School and Office Supplies

“Increasing on-demand delivery of our wide assortment of home office, business and classroom products means we can be a more convenient and reliable solution — wherever you are working or learning." Retail Touchpoints


Lego abandons one of its projects to make oil-free bricks

Danish Toymaker Lego has abandoned its most high-profile effort to ditch oil-based plastics from its bricks after finding that its new material led to higher carbon emissions. Reuters


Walmart gets into the replenishment game 16 years after Amazon

Walmart's subscription replenishment program comes 16 years after Amazon unveiled a similar option for its online delivery customers. Business Insider


Rite Aid Plans to Shut Down Hundreds of Stores in Bankruptcy

The drugstore chain is negotiating with creditors over a chapter 11 plan that would substantially shrink its operational footprint. WSJ


Fly By Jing expands to 1,200 Target stores

The brand launched at Target in 2021, and the move builds on its wholesale presence, which also includes partnerships with Whole Foods and Costco. Retail Dive




Amazon, Target to Hire Thousands of Workers Ahead of Holiday Season

Hiring target exceeds e-commerce company’s recent hiring sprees. WSJ



Halloween spending to reach $12.2B this year

Consumers once again plan to spend a record amount on Halloween as participation in the holiday is projected to surpass pre-pandemic levels. NRF


Amazon’s New Challenge: Bargain Retailers That Are Playing a Different Game

E-commerce giant weighs how to respond as online shopping sites Shein and Temu notch rapid growth by stressing low prices, not fast shipping. WSJ


Consumers are still spending on nice things, if they're on trend

American consumers aren’t tired of shopping. They’re shopping more prudently, with an eye on getting the best value, sure. But they’re also rewarding the stores that are betting big on the right trends at the right time, for the right price. CNN


Lululemon’s Secret Power: Even Mom Can’t Make It Uncool

The maker of workout gear built a multigenerational following. Can it last? WSJ


More brands and retailers are turning to marketplaces to sell their products

Last year was a big one for marketplaces; 31% more businesses began selling their products on such platforms, according to Mirakl’s 2023 seller report. Retail Brew


Hottest Christmas Toy List Is Out, But Holiday Sales Growth Projected To Slow

Christmas Day is less than 100 days away and true to form the first predictions for the holiday season’s big seller toys are out despite concerns over total sales growth. Forbes




How TikTok is courting luxury brands during Fashion Month

With the launch of a new TikTok Collective and the new “speed-dating”-style events it's hosting in the four fashion capitals, TikTok aims to offer brands unique content opportunities around Fashion Month. Glossy


Carrera 'smart' glasses set for US launch by Safilo and Amazon

The new glasses ill offer the wearer up to six hours of continuous media playback or continuous talk time on a full battery charge. Reuters


TikTok Plans Seattle Beachhead for Shopping Expansion

As TikTok seeks to compete with Amazon, it’s planting a flag in the e-commerce giant’s backyard. The Information


Klaviyo goes public, setting stage for SaaS IPO rush

Klaviyo, a Boston-based provider of e-commerce marketing automation SaaS, raised $576 million in its IPO. There are a lot more SaaS companies in the IPO pipeline than there are chip design, grocery delivery, or footwear companies. Axios


Gucci Ancora Fashion Show - Roblox

Gucci brings Sabato De Sarno’s big debut to three metaverse worlds

For the first show under new creative director Sabato De Sarno, Gucci has created three simultaneous virtual experiences designed to provide access to a global audience. Vogue Business


Amazon Will Show Commercials on Prime Video Starting Next Year

Seeking to raise revenue, Amazon said that U.S. subscribers to its streaming service could opt for an ad-free version for an extra $2.99 per month. NYT


TikTok is changing the way books are recommended and sold

Booktok represents a profound shift for readers, authors and publishers. The Economist


ChatGPT Can Now Respond With Spoken Words

A new version of OpenAI’s popular chatbot behaves a lot like Siri and Alexa. You can talk to it — and have a conversation. NYT


Mattel Creates AI-Enhanced Version Of Classic Guessing Game Pictionary

Mattel is releasing a version of Pictionary that uses artificial intelligence to guess clues. It's another example of how toy manufacturers are embracing AI. Forbes




Chipotle's new robots can crank out nearly 200 burrito bowls an hour

Restaurant chains are relying on automation to streamline operations and save on labor. Business Insider


McDonald's to raise royalty fees for new franchise restaurants in US, Canada

The fees are being hiked to 5% from 4%, starting Jan. 1, and will not affect franchises that are looking to rebuild or renovate existing locations or transfer an outlet to another party. Reuters


Theme Parks Pin Hopes on a Fall Rebound After Summer Flop

Disney, Six Flags are counting on ghouls, ghosts and zombie attractions after hot weather cut into summer visits. WSJ




  • Tiffany & Co. Appoints Hector Muelas as Chief Brand Creative Officer WWD
  • Rupert Murdoch to retire from Fox and News Corp. boards NYT
  • Diageo taps former Tyson, Clif Bar exec as North American CEO Food Dive
  • Keurig Dr Pepper names ex-Mondelēz exec Tim Cofer as CEO Food Dive
  • Nordstrom names Guy Persaud to board of directors Fashion Network
  • Asos names William Baker as non-exec director Fashion United
  • Peloton names Cédric Fletcher SVP of apparel, accessories Retail Dive
  • Hershey names Deepak Bhatia first chief technology officer Food Dive



  • The Investment Giant Behind Some of Fashion’s Biggest Deals BoF
  • Why companies from Amazon to Goldman Sachs are fumbling the return to office Fast Company
  • Why Dollar General Might Just Be the Worst Retail Job in America Bloomberg