Weekly News Update // Week of June 29, 2020

Here's TRAUB's roundup of recent retail news. Lululemon to buy fitness start-up Mirror for $500 Million, Venmo brings piloting business profiles for small sellers, Beyond Meat partners with Alibaba to sell through grocery stores in China, the Tour de France goes virtual with Zwift, and more. 


  • Lululemon to Buy Mirror, a Fitness Start-Up, for $500 Million NY Times 
  • Kim Kardashian West sells $200M stake in makeup brand to US beauty giant Coty, in a deal that values the company at $1 billion Business Insider
  • Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group Raises $820M For Second Fund Crunchbase
  • Mexico City’s Jüsto raises a $12M bridge round for its delivery-only grocery stores TechCrunch
  • Outdoor Voices, a women’s activewear brand, announced that it has raised a new round of funding from NaHCO3 SBG Media 


Venmo Begins Piloting ‘Business Profiles’ For Small Sellers

Venmo is going after small businesses. The mobile-payments app announced today it’s piloting a new feature called Business Profiles, which offers small sellers and other sole proprietors the opportunity to have a more professional profile page on its platform. Sellers can share key business details like address, phone number, email, website and more. By adopting a Business Profile, sellers will be able to raise awareness about their business through Venmo’s social feed and search, as well as keep their personal transactions separate from those for their businesses for accounting purposes. The profiles give smaller sellers a way to do business without having to necessarily establish a larger web presence, like a Facebook Page or Google Business listing, for example. TechCrunch


Beyond Meat Partners With Alibaba to Sell Through Grocery Stores in China 

Beyond Meat, the maker of plant-based meat alternative products, has announced a significant expansion into China. The California-based company is teaming up with China’s Alibaba Group to sell its products in Alibaba’s Freshippo grocery stores. As Alizila reports, Beyond Meat will sell its flagship Beyond Burger and other meatless products in 50 Freshippo stores in Shanghai starting this weekend. The move comes after Beyond Meat entered China for the first time just months ago. In April, Beyond Meat teamed up with Starbucks in China to start selling some of its products at the coffee giant’s stores in mainland China. Fast Company


Core Invests in Beauty Manufacturer Arizona Naturals With Plans to Scale

Chicago private equity firm Core Industrial Partners has closed a majority investment in Arizona Natural Resources. The move is the first step in a broader plan to build up the next major North American beauty manufacturer, said John May, managing partner at Core. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ANR, headquartered in Phoenix and founded in 1972, operates a midsize beauty manufacturing business that makes custom product formulations, specializing in skin care and hair care. “The focus of ANR has been around supporting the emerging and midtier brands and helping them accelerate their growth,” said May in an interview. For Core, the deal is its first in beauty. But May said it won’t be the last, and that the firm has plans to build out a major North American beauty manufacturing platform through organic growth and future acquisitions. WWD


Gap’s $100 Million Kanye West Deal May Not Save The Fledgling Brand

Kanye West landed his spaceship at The Gap with a 10-year deal to create an iteration of his Yeezy branded clothing line for the retailer. The Gap’s threads are still out of fashion with Black millennials, though this could be an opportunity to change that while boosting sales. For West, his total stake should be worth more than $100 million at the current share price, and the Yeezy brand could reach more price-conscious customers at The Gap, as recession pressures mount. Forbes 


The Tour de France Goes Virtual, as E-Cycling Takes Off During Quarantine

Zwift, a platform for racing bikes from the comfort of your home, has taken off amid the coronavirus pandemic and is even powering this year’s virtual Tour de France. Next stop? The Olympics. The app is digital, but the experience of racing online is extremely physical, thanks to a suite of high-tech accessories, from the company Wahoo, that are built to measure my performance while simulating a real ride. I sit on a real bike with both wheels removed. Where the front tire would go is a Wahoo Climb, which lifts my frame up and down like a mechanical bull to simulate hills. Fast Company


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Forget Telehealth. The Future of Medicine Could Be Drive-Through Doctors

Architecture firm NBBJ has come up with a new concept that could reduce the risk of contamination for patients visiting hospitals: a drive-through medical clinic. While there have been plenty of drive-through testing facilities for those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, a full care unit where doctors can treat patients in their cars is new. NBBJ—whose recent projects include Tencent’s new headquarters in Shenzhen, China, and buildings for the NYU Langone medical system—calls it The In Car Care Unit. And it has already drawn interest from two hospital clients in the Northeast. “COVID is keeping many people from going to the hospital,” says NBBJ partner Ryan Hullinger. “We’re looking for ways to make hospital clinics safer [and give patients] an environment [they think of] as safe, so they’re willing to come back and get the care that they need.”
Fast Company



  •  Signet appoints new chief digital officer, Rebecca Wooters BoF
  • Macy’s chief brand experience, Rachel Shechtman, officer exits BoF
  • Moynat’s New Designer Comes From Louis Vuitton WWD 
  • Yoox Net-a-Porter CEO, Federico Marchetti, joins Armani board BoF
  • Suzy Menkes Exits Vogue International BoF 


  • Understanding the Consumer Mindset During Coronavirus Google