It's been another week with far more retail news than there is time in the day. Below, we break down some things you may have missed during the week and what we're still thinking about.
From skincare brand Versed entering Walmart to Kids Foot Locker opening a second "House of Play" concept, here's our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
David's Bridal announces a junior's collection
David's Bridal announced the launch of its first exclusive junior collection, dubbed Jules & Cleo, according to a company press release. Apparel comes in sizes 0 to 30, is priced between $79 and $399 and is available in stores and on the retailer's website.
The company is positioning the collection, which is named after Juliet from "Romeo and Juliet" and Cleopatra, to be "the ultimate party brand."
The bridal retailer aims to be a destination for all occasions and special events, including proms, graduations, sorority events and homecomings, thereby creating a lifetime customer.
"Our juniors are fun, flirty, outgoing, bold and super trendy," Nancy Viall, chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. "We are the ultimate dress destination for all of life's most magical moments and we are thrilled to be able to serve this customer base for all her special life events to come. Jules & Cleo is a natural category addition to our assortment and product offerings."
Walmart adds skincare brand Versed to its assortment
After entering 1,400 Target stores when it launched in 2019, skincare brand Versed is expanding its reach even further. The brand this week announced it will be available through Walmart and has already launched on the mass merchant's website. Versed will then be added to more than 3,000 stores on Feb. 26, according to a company press release.
"Walmart Beauty is focused on making high-quality, value products accessible to customers. Versed is a brand our customers are already excited about, and we're thrilled to add it to our growing assortment in the skincare aisle," said Paula Ryan, senior merchandising director of beauty at Walmart U.S., in a statement.
The brand — which is owned by Offspring Beauty, a subsidiary of Clique Brands, which owns Who What Wear, The Thirty and College Fashionista — also made deals previously to sell its products with Riley Rose, Revolve and DermStore.
While the brand launched with retail partners already lined up, it has a DTC side of its business as well. But as many DTC brands have proven over the years, physical retail seems to be key to finding success, especially when it comes to profitability.
Everyday Humans, a DTC spf-focused skincare brand, this week announced it formed a partnership with Target to be sold in 717 of its stores nationwide, according to an announcement emailed to Retail Dive. The brand was initially made available on Target's website 10 months ago. The latest retail partnership helps extend Everyday Human's reach further: The brand already has deals with Ulta, J.C. Penney, Revolve, Free People and others.
Kids Foot Locker opens second store in new 'House of Play' concept
Late last week, Kids Foot Locker opened a "House of Play" concept in Dallas aimed at "kids first" experiences. The first location in the concept opened in Miami in November last year, and more are planned for the year ahead in to-be-determined spots. The stores are aimed at serving the local communities they open in and offering a "full-family experience," according to details emailed to Retail Dive.
Stores have clothes for babies all the way up to "big kids" and feature brands including Nike, New Balance, Crocs and Timberland. The concept is divided into different sections by age, so that the assortment and play experiences match a given age group. For toddlers, the play areas include padded climbing structures, for example, whereas older kids can play at a gaming lounge or use a homework table. A "central playscape" in the middle of the concept serves as a community area for all kids to play. The space is "highly modular to allow in-store events and community-focused programming, like workshops, keynote speakers, and more," according to the retailer.
E.l.f. prepares to raise prices
Budget-conscious beauty brand e.l.f. will raise prices on many of its products in mid-March, CEO Tarang Amin said this week on an earnings call with analysts. However, prices for entry-level products will not change.
The company announced the price increase along with raised guidance. Its updated outlook for fiscal 2022 is between $372 million and $379 million in net sales, up from the original forecast of $364 million to $370 million.
For the third quarter, net sales increased 11% to $98 million. It is the company's 12th consecutive quarter of net sales growth.
At the end of January the company announced that it was committing to 100% clean beauty.
To kick off 2022's absurdity, KFC teams up with Pillow Pets
This week we ushered in a fresh month, which for many is largely centered around one event: Valentine's Day. And if you're in the market to buy a highly specific gift for a fried chicken sandwich lover, well KFC has just the thing.
Through a partnership with Pillow Pets — yes, the company that sells stuffed animals that can flatten out to a pillow — KFC has introduced a "larger-than-life KFC Chicken Sandwich Snuggler." The product, which is nearly three feet long, can be purchased on Pillow Pet's website for $99.99.
Show that special someone you care by dropping nearly $100 on something reminiscent of one of the biggest things to hit fast-food this decade: the chicken sandwich.
"[W]hether you're single and snuggling solo or cozying up with your partner or closest friends for a night in, the KFC Chicken Sandwich Snuggler has the versatility to be the perfect napping accessory," the company said.
What we're still thinking about
That's how many stores retailers collectively opened in 2021, according to Coresight Research. In a break from previous years, that number (modestly) outpaced closures, which stood at 4,975 in a year marked by surging consumer demand for goods and a significant slowdown in bankruptcies.
The trend continues for 2022 so far. By Coresight's count, announced closures are down 65% year over year, and openings are far outpacing closures. It's worth noting that the lion's share of the new stores planned for the year belong to a single retailer: Dollar General. The discounter, with an announced 1,102 stores slated so far for 2022, is planning to build more stores this year than every other retailer combined.
In its presentation to analysts this week, Capri threw out a lot of numbers representing its goals for its resurgent Versace label: $1 billion (in accessories sales), $500 million (in e-commerce sales) and 300 (its global store footprint, from 212 as of December).
These goals, which also include a plan to more than double its footwear sales, demonstrate renewed faith in the iconic Italian brand, which is still led by Creative Director Donatella Versace but had grown tired by the time the company acquired it three years ago. The brand had a good quarter, with revenues up nearly 30%, and is benefiting from a brighter consumer mood late in the pandemic.
"In some ways Versace, which has always been a bold brand, is coming into its own as post-pandemic consumers look for flamboyant and statement pieces to counteract the greyness of the past couple of years," GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders said in emailed comments. "In our view, there is a strong pipeline of design innovation and Versace seems to be firmly on the front foot when it comes to stimulating interest among luxury shoppers."
What we're watching
Reebok's transition to Authentic Brands Group
As the acquisition of Reebok edges ever closer to completion, the brand has announced a series of changes. Notable among them: plans to lay off about 150 employees once the deal closes, and the departure of Creative Director Kerby Jean-Raymond. Jean-Raymond, who announced his departure just this week, had been responsible for a brand refresh at Reebok, which has struggled to define a sense of identity. Reebok President Matt O'Toole said the "positive impact he has made on the brand will be felt for years to come," but the move is also a sign that Authentic Brands has a different vision for Reebok.
Upon acquiring the brand, Authentic Brands' founder Jamie Salter cited the importance of "preserving Reebok's integrity, innovation, and values" and vowed to maintain the brand's current presence in wholesale, DTC and brick and mortar. That might hint to business as usual, but operational changes are already underway. The layoffs at Reebok's headquarters, for example, were made "in preparation for a new operating model," O'Toole said. Change is inevitable in an acquisition, but we'll be watching the changes closely to see what it says about Reebok's future under Authentic Brands.