Traub Weekly News Roundup // October 24, 2023

Here's our weekly roundup of recent consumer and retail news. This week, Macy's launches digital fashion platform, Goop announces an accessibly priced beauty and wellness line, and more. 



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  • Campbell's closing of $2.33 billion Sovos deal pushed to 2024 Reuters
  • P&G to Weigh $1 Billion Sale of VS Sassoon’s China Business Bloomberg
  • Kurt Geiger owner mulls £400m sale Drapers
  • Steve Madden Buys Almost Famous in $52 Million Deal WWD
  • Automattic acquires Texts, a universal messaging app for $50M The Verge
  • JM Smucker selling 4 condiment brands to TreeHouse Foods for $20M Food Dive
  • GameSquare is acquiring peer Faze Holdings, an esports company once worth $1B, for an estimated $17M Reuters
  • Farfetch to Sell Violet Grey BoF
  • Ferrara to purchase candy maker Jelly Belly for undisclosed amount Food Dive
  • Farfetch’s Acquisition of Yoox Net-a-Porter Stake Gets EU Approval BoF




Coca-Cola Company and Pernod Ricard partner on Absolut Vodka with Sprite

The pre-mixed cocktail will be available in regular and Zero Sugar, with the initial launch planned for select European countries in early 2024. Food Dive


Those Doritos Too Expensive? More Stores Offer Their Own Alternatives.

Retailers are expanding their own private-label food and beverage offerings, attracting customers looking for less expensive options. NYT


Goop Launches Mass Market Beauty and Wellness Brand

Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle label is introducing an accessibly priced beauty line at Target and Amazon. WWD


Who Counts as a Disaster Prepper These Days? Lots of Us

More people are prepping for a few weeks of flood, fire or other urgent situations by buying supplies to get them through. WSJ


How toy and game companies are winning back their grown-up former customers

Adults are increasingly shelling out for relics of their youth and for items, ranging from flip phones to film cameras to Tamagotchis, that evoke a late 20th-century or turn-of-the century nostalgia. That demand has created a treasure-trove of sales in particular for toys and products. CNN


Food Is on Sale Again. You Might Still Have Sticker Shock.

U.S. food giants are back to pitching deals as consumers balk at high prices. WSJ


How Gen Z’s ‘promiscuous’ relationship to beverages is changing the industry

As alcohol moderation rises, a desire for drinks to fit a multitude of occasions drive the generation’s purchases, according to experts. Food Dive


Celebrity-Backed Baby Brand Hello Bello Files for Bankruptcy

Baby products company Hello Bello, founded by actress Kristen Bell and actor Dax Shepard, filed for bankruptcy after it struggled to overcome high shipping and production costs. Bloomberg




Walmart beefs up its third-party marketplace as it challenges bigger online rival Amazon

Walmart is banking on its third-party online marketplace to boost holiday sales. Online sales for Walmart U.S. rose sharply recently, while other major retailers such as Macy’s and Target reported declines. CNBC


HomeGoods Abruptly Closes Online Store, Focusing on Brick-and-Mortar Expansion

HomeGoods, owned by TJX Companies, has announced the sudden closure of its online shopping platform, effective Oct. 21. Business Insider


Barnes & Noble Sets Itself Free

As the bookstore chain mounts a comeback, it’s breaking a cardinal rule of corporate branding and store design: consistency. NYT


Rite Aid to Close 154 Stores Nationwide in Chapter 11 Restructuring

This move is part of a broader strategy as Rite Aid adapts to evolving business conditions and aims to enhance store performance. Business Insider


Americans are planning to spend way more on holiday shopping this year

Over one in five Americans are planning to spend over $1,000 on holiday shopping this year, exceeding last year's holiday spending. Business Insider


How Walmart became America’s largest grocer

The Arkansas-based retailer is America’s largest grocer, more than twice the size of its next-biggest competitor as it takes in more than one in four grocery dollars in the U.S., according to KeyBanc Capital Markets. CNBC


Kim Kardashian is making Skims for men

The four-year-old shapewear brand is expanding beyond female clothing and into men’s products, with a new lineup launching Thursday that includes briefs, undershirts, boxers and leggings. CNN


Costume obsession fuels record Halloween spending

Total Halloween spending is projected to reach $12.2 billion up from last year's $10.6 billion record. Axios


How Nike Fell Behind in the Innovation Race

The sneaker company faces stiffer competition in the running and lifestyle categories; ‘We need to raise our game’. WSJ


How retail brands are trying to cash in on ‘funflation’

While eight of 10 customers are cutting back on spending, 70% still say they will spend the same on events this year as opposed to last. Modern Retail




Entrupy Becomes an Official TikTok Shop Authenticator

The AI-powered technology will authenticate pre-owned luxury handbags for TikTok shop in the U.S. WWD

Why beauty brands are experimenting with Roblox'

Roblox has captured the attention of traditional beauty brands that want to engage with a younger demographic. Modern Retail


Amazon Confronts a New Rival: TikTok

In the emerging business of ‘social shopping,’ TikTok dominates the social and is spending big to improve the selling. Amazon dominates selling, and is working on the social. WSJ


Macy's new "mstylelab" digital fashion platform for immersive experiences.

Macy’s Launches ‘Mstylelab’ Digital Fashion Platform

The big retailer seeks to engage existing shoppers and hopefully new ones in a different, technology driven way. WWD

Netflix Plans Price Increase as Password-Sharing Crackdown Boosts Subscriber Growth

Netflix is raising the price of its basic plan in the U.S. to $11.99 and its premium plan to $22.99. The news comes after Netflix added 8.8 million subscribers in the third quarter. WSJ


On TikTok Shop, Any Beauty Product Can Be a Viral Star

The platform’s freewheeling approach to e-commerce has opened the floodgates for established labels, grey-market sellers and influencers to entice beauty shoppers to buy. But with little oversight over fake product listings, brands must negotiate how much control they want to give over to the app. BoF


Amazon adds social shopping features, including a way to ask friends for product feedback

Amazon is launching a social shopping feature that will allow consumers to ask trusted friends for advice while they shop online through the app. The feature, dubbed “Consult-a-Friend,” lets shoppers send a message to people whose advice they want to receive. TechCrunch


H&M Group Is Using AI to Let Anyone Design Merch

Creator Studio, a platform for producing merch on demand from H&M Group, is using generative AI to try to make it so anyone can make and print professional-looking designs to order, no artistic ability required. BoF




It’s Getting Too Expensive to Have Fun

Prices for concert tickets and amusement-park entries have ballooned. WSJ


Pret A Manger Aims For A Bigger Bite Of The U.S. Sandwich Market

U.K.-based fresh sandwich and coffee chain Pret A Manger is to triple its U.S. footprint over the next five years as part of a deal with franchisee Dallas International. Forbes


Food Halls, a Hot Real-Estate Investment, Conquer the Suburbs

Explosion of variety-filled, modern food courts follows pandemic’s city exodus. WSJ




  • Tupperware appointed Laurie Ann Goldman as its new CEO CNBC
  • Costco’s longtime CEO Craig Jelinek steps down, Ron Vachris to step up CNN
  • Durand Guion Joins Burlington Stores as Senior Vice President WWD
  • Puma Hires A$AP Rocky as Creative Director of Formula 1 Partnership BoF



  • Are Too Many Retail CEOs Too Old? Forbes
  • Welcome to the age of the hermit consumer The Economist
  • Investment Bankers on the Future of Fashion Dealmaking WWD