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 At Home's partnership with Ty Pennington to Macy's decision to temporarily cut store hours, here's our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Fanatics acquires Topps
Digital sports platform Fanatics acquired trading card company Topps this week.
The deal "will be the foundation of Fanatics Trading Cards business," which was launched last year after the company secured rights from a number of professional sports leagues, including MLB and the NBA, according to a company press release.
"With trading cards and collectibles being a significant pillar of our long-term plans to become the leading digital sports platform, we are excited to add a leading trading cards company to build out our business," Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin said in a statement. "Their iconic brand, commitment to product excellence and passionate employees worldwide will allow us to immediately serve our league and players' association partners and our fans."
Around 350 Topps employees will become part of Fanatics Trading Cards. David Leiner, current global vice president and general manager, and Tobin Lent, vice president and general manager of Topps Digital, will continue to run Topps within Fanatics Trading Cards, which is a separate subsidiary of Fanatics.
P&G acquires Tula
In its third beauty acquisition in two months, P&G announced it was buying skincare brand Tula, according to multiple media reports. The conglomerate recently purchased Ouai Haircare and Farmacy Beauty as it works to build out a more robust beauty portfolio.
"When we look at our beauty strategy, we want to win in beauty in the categories we choose to play in — skin, hair and personal care, categories where the clinical performance of the products makes a difference," Markus Strobel, president of global skin and personal care at P&G, told Women's Wear Daily.
The M&A space has been hot in retail lately, particularly for DTC brands. Sunscreen brand Supergoop in December sold a majority stake to Blackstone while Harry's acquired deodorant brand Lumē.
P&G tried to acquire DTC shaving brand Billie in 2020 before the Federal Trade Commission blocked the acquisition on antitrust grounds. That company has since been acquired by Schick owner Edgewell.
At Home launches collection with TV host and designer Ty Pennington
At Home this week announced an exclusive collection with Ty Pennington — the TV host known for shows like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "Trading Spaces."
The line features "hundreds" of products, such as wall art, textiles, furniture and rugs, starting at $4.99. Pennington worked with At Home's creative and merchant teams to source the materials used.
"Ty's down-to-earth designs feel more timeless than trendy, showcasing his love for natural materials and careful craftsmanship," Chad Stauffer, At Home's president and chief merchandising and product officer, said in a statement. "Each piece ends up feeling like it's one-of-a-kind, while his unique style lends the collection a visual consistency that's ready made to mix and match. Best of all, our customers can get this effortless look at amazing price points."
At Home has undergone a number of changes this past year, most notably entering a deal to be acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman for $2.8 billion. In its fiscal year ended January 30, 2021 — its last fiscal year as a publicly traded company — the retailer reported net sales increased 27.3% to $1.7 billion, while comparable sales increased 19.4%.
Authentic Brands buys into Beckham
Authentic Brands may have shelved its plans for an initial public offering, but it hasn't skipped a beat in its never-ending dealmaking bender. Its latest deal is a reported majority stake in soccer icon David Beckham's brand-management company, DB Ventures. According to Bloomberg, Authentic Brands has agreed to pay $269 million for a 55% stake in Beckham's firm.
Last summer, according to Women's Wear Daily, Beckham was looking to buy back full ownership of Seven Global — which controls Beckham's deals with the Tudor, Coty, Adidas and Biotherm brands. The majority owner at the time was the struggling Global Brands Group, which has since moved to wind down and whose North American subsidiary has gone bankrupt.
I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world
Mattel this week announced a partnership between its Barbie brand and French fashion house Balmain on a ready-to-wear fashion and accessories collection.
The two companies are also releasing three NFTs of Barbie and Ken avatars, each of which comes with a bespoke set of "Barbie-sized Balmain pieces," according to a Mattel press release. The Barbie x Balmain NFTs will be available through an online auction.
"Together, Barbie and Balmain are creating a new chapter in the legacy of the toy and fashion industries," Richard Dickson, Mattel's president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "As a fashion house committed to innovation in unexpected and joyous ways, Balmain, under Olivier Rousteing's creative direction, is the perfect partner to translate the iconography that is unique to Barbie into a modern iteration of digital art and physical fashion."
"It's a dream come true," Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing said in an Instagram post announcing the partnership. "Since [I was] a kid I always loved Barbie and I feel so proud to be part of the Barbie world."
The collection, which is unisex, features over 50 pieces and will drop on Jan. 13 at Balmain stores and its website, Mattel Creations and other retailers.
What we're still thinking about
That's the number of U.S. households Walmart plans to expand its in-home delivery service to by the end of 2022, according to a Wednesday announcement. Walmart said the service is currently being used by 6 million U.S. households. The retailer plans to hire over 3,000 associate delivery drivers, a newly created role, to scale the delivery service.
That's how much Bed Bath & Beyond's third quarter net loss widened when compared to the same period in 2020. While the home goods retailer largely benefited at the onset of the pandemic by selling in a category in high demand, it has faced foot traffic and inventory challenges more recently, which executives have credited to sliding sales.
Bed Bath & Beyond missed on its own sales expectations in Q3, reporting net sales of $1.9 billion. That represents a 28% decline from the year-ago period and a 32% decrease from 2019.
What we're watching
Retailers respond to omicron
Amid a rising number of COVID-19 omicron variant cases across the country, retailers have implemented measures in response. Two major retailers, Macy's and Walmart, have recently announced they are shifting store operations.
For the remainder of January, all Macy's locations will only open its doors from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, while store hours will remain the same on the other days.
Walmart, on the other hand, is temporarily closing some Walmart and Sam's Club locations for cleaning. The store closures usually last a day and a half and the program will remain in place for as long as it's needed, a Walmart spokesperson said.
On Wednesday, CNBC reported that Walmart is slashing COVID-related paid leave from two weeks to one week. The decision came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended shorter isolation and quarantine periods for asymptomatic Americans and those in close contact with someone who tests positive.