The retail world looks different now and there's a lot of uncertainty. Instead of highlighting the absurd products we normally do, we're looking instead at some of the things in the industry that made us smile.
This week, Ikea created step-by-step directions on how to build blanket forts, Post Malone ventured into a new category and Heinz released a product to drive consumers crazy.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
Ikea creates instructions to build furniture forts
While Ikea's stores are temporarily shuttered, like many other nonessential retailers, consumers may still have caught the retailer's iconic step-by-step assembly directions floating around social media.
Ikea Russia this week pushed out directions for building forts made out of the retailer's flatpack furniture. The campaign was developed by Instinct creative agency and features instructions for six different house models: WIGWÅM, CÅMPINGTENT, CÅVE, FÖRTRESS, CÅSTLE, and HÖUSE.
"Parents no longer know how else they can entertain their children being stuck inside the four walls," Instinct said in a press release emailed to Retail Dive. "To those who are totally out of all ideas, IKEA Russia offers to build a [playhouse] using instruction and things which can be [easily] found in every home - blankets, bedspreads, chairs, stools etc. Or you can buy them in IKEA!"
This isn't the first campaign in which Ikea leaned into the stay-at-home theme. In March, Ikea Israel teamed up with McCann Tel Aviv to create step-by-step instructions on how to stay safely indoors during the pandemic. The campaign featured visuals of locked doors and toilet paper levels. And the brand teamed up with Pizza Hut Hong Kong earlier this year to develop a flat-packed, life-sized pizza saver, aka those tiny tables found on top of pizzas to prevent the cheese from sticking to the box.
So go ahead and build a castle or fortress with your kids, or for those without kids, build one for yourself. Because let's be honest, you never outgrow the joys of sitting inside your own blanket kingdom.
Post Malone to launch French rose
As the days get warmer, we're reminded summer is right around the corner. Which also means long-awaited rosé season is almost here.
If "frosé" sounds so 2017 and you want to try something new, you might be in luck. Singer-songwriter Post Malone flexed his sommelier muscles and released a new beverage just in time for the warm days ahead.
In partnership with Global Brand Equities, the artist developed a French rosé dubbed Maison No. 9. The wine's "inviting aromas of freshly picked fruit, such as ripe pineapple, pear and strawberry, meet hints of sweet French desserts once uncorked," according to a release.
"Rosé is for when you want to get a little fancy," Post Malone said. "It's a nice switch up and I have been thinking about doing my own wine for a while. … Maison No. 9 goes down smooth, and you're all going to love it!"
The name, the company notes, took inspiration from Post Malone's favorite tarot card, the Nine of Swords, "and represents overcoming the daily challenges we all face."
The wine, which will be available online and in stores in June, will be sold in three sizes priced between $21.99 and $89.99.
Honestly, given Post's love of Olive Garden and fine Italian cuisine, we're a bit surprised he opted for the French style.
Kraft Heinz puzzle of identical red pieces
As people spend more time at home, puzzles have become the activity of choice for many. One puzzle maker saw a 370% increase in sales in the last two weeks of March from the year-ago period, Forbes reported.
Now brands are leaning into the trend. Heinz Canada recently released a "ridiculously slow" puzzle to help consumers pass the time.
The product features 570 identical red pieces that are sure to drive puzzle participants up a wall.
"Heinz is known for its iconic, slow-pouring ketchup. In a period when everyone has a little more time on their hands and puzzle popularity has skyrocketed, we wanted to help pass the time by connecting the two," said Brian Neumann, senior brand manager, Kraft Heinz Canada.
The brand said it will give away 57 versions of the puzzle to consumers in 17 different countries through an Instagram contest. Canadians can also comment on the official @Heinz_ca page for a chance to win one of 57 sets.
And if for some strange reason you're still craving more puzzle time after completing this bad boy, McDonald's also recently released its own. The 500-piece puzzle is inspired by one of the fast-food chain's iconic burgers. Like Heinz, the restaurant is taking to Instagram to give 20 sets away.