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 Bed Bath & Beyond and DoorDash's partnership expansion to estimates for Halloween spending, here's our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Nordstrom finally goes home
Nordstrom was never truly a "department store," in that years ago it started out as a shoe store and expanded to apparel and beauty; with little available in other categories, it didn't really have other full "departments." As home goods and furniture sales have taken off during the pandemic, its slim home offer was a weakness that didn't escape the notice of many analysts.
The retailer is now addressing that with a new Nordstrom Home concept, which debuted at its New York City flagship on Thursday. It is focused on three segments: kitchen and tabletop, home textiles, and home décor, according to a company press release. A specialized merchant team led by Nordstrom VP of Creative Projects and Home Olivia Kim, who has been instrumental in guiding the company's pop-ups and brand collaborations, is spearheading the effort.
The assortment includes emerging brands like Estelle Glassware, GOODEE, Otherland and Serax as well as more established ones like Boll & Branch, Dyson, Staub, Marimekko, Matouk and Moccamaster, per the release. Nordstrom Home also serves as a physical touchpoint for DTC brands including Bearaby, Carraway, Casper, Five. Two by Food 52, Great Jones, Open Spaces and Our Place.
The New York store, open just a few months before the pandemic struck, is also partnering with Fjällräven for a "stuga village" pop-up, featuring Swedish houses designed to evoke life in nature, that runs through Oct. 10. Its merchandise includes outerwear, wool, fleece, trousers and day packs, and activities include two "plogging" events — jogging or walking while picking up litter — at city parks.
Bed Bath & Beyond expands DoorDash partnership
Bed Bath & Beyond this week announced it's expanded its partnership with DoorDash to offer on-demand delivery of over 60,000 products from more than 700 of the company's namesake stores and around 120 BuyBuy Baby locations. The deal makes Bed Bath & Beyond and BuyBuy Baby the first home and baby goods retailers available on DoorDash's app and website.
Wednesday's announcement expands on Bed Bath & Beyond's push to bolster its fulfillment options to become, what it calls, an "omni-always retailer." Over the past year, the retailer has partnered with Roadie, Shipt, Instacart and others to expand its same-day delivery capabilities.
The expanded partnership also comes ahead of a holiday season that's expected to be fraught with shipping delays and other supply chain disruptions.
G-III Apparel acquires a European fashion brand
G-III Apparel announced this week the acquisition of European fashion brand Sonia Rykiel, according to a company press release.
"We are extremely pleased to purchase the Sonia Rykiel brand which further enables us to expand into the luxury space," G-III's CEO, Morris Goldfarb, said in a statement. "We believe there is significant opportunity to unlock the untapped potential of this brand as we look to accelerate our global reach."
The conglomerate aims to accelerate the relaunch of the brand in Europe for the fall of 2022 and will grow Sonia Rykiel across apparel, accessories and lifestyle categories. The deal is expected to close by the end of October.
Etsy introduces eco-friendly packaging
Etsy announced this week it is offering sellers the option to buy planet-friendly packaging — a move to help make Etsy a more sustainable marketplace, according to a company blog post. Etsy said the packaging is made from certified responsibly sourced and 100% recycled materials, thanks to a partnership with EcoEnclose. U.S. merchants have various packaging options, including boxes, padded paper mailers and rigid paper envelopes, all of which have different sizes available.
All we are saying is give fleece a chance
The weather is starting to change, so as you pull sweaters out of storage consider how a drop in temperature will impact your dog's nightly stroll. You may want to obtain this Mountain Pile Fleece Jacket from L.L. Bean that sells for $19.95.
It's made from sherpa fleece, is machine washable, and HAS A HOOD. Most importantly, it has a pocket, which is one more pocket than most women's apparel that is out on the market.
Spirit Halloween packs the heat with Cheetos costume collab
It's that time of the year again: pumpkin spice lattes, boatloads of candy and questionable costumes. This spooky season, Spirit Halloween is offering Cheetos Flamin' Hot fans the chance to dress as their favorite snack or their favorite snack's package, according to an announcement emailed to Retail Dive.
"The best part about Halloween is you can unapologetically transform into whatever you want to be, and Cheetos fans are ready to heat up Halloween this year with these first-of-their-kind costumes that are sure to turn heads," said Kym Sarkos, executive vice president of Spirit Halloween.
Fans can be a life-sized Cheetos or a life-sized Cheetos bag for $39.99 in stores and SpiritHalloween.com.
What we're still thinking about
That's how much the National Retail Federation forecasts that consumers will spend on Halloween this year. It's an all-time high and up from $8.05 billion last year. Shopping is expected to start early, with 45% of consumers prepping for the holiday in September (or earlier) and another 39% shopping during the first two weeks of October.
"Retailers have implemented a number of measures, such as bringing in Halloween products earlier than normal, to ensure their shelves are stocked with seasonal candy, décor and other items ahead of this important holiday," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.
Consumers will spend, on average, $102.74 on candy, costumes, decorations and greeting cards. The most popular costume for kiddos is everyone's favorite web designer, Spider-Man, while nearly 5 million adults plan to dress like a witch.
That's how many store openings retailers have announced for the year so far, according to Coresight Research's latest count. That is a 58.3% increase from last year, and it is also a figure that modestly outpaces closures for the year. To get an idea how far the industry has come, this time last year there were over 150% more stores closing than opening, according to Coresight.
The biggest expansion, by far, is Dollar General's, with more than 1,000 store openings planned, accounting for more than 20% of the openings announced this year.
What we're watching
Name a stranger duo to IPO, we'll wait
2021 has brought on a wave of companies looking to go public. Retail Dive has tracked 12 major retailers filing initial public offerings or direct listings since the year began, and this week, two more retailers made moves to be added to that list.
Mattress Firm on Monday confidentially filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. The filing comes just three years after the retailer filed for bankruptcy, resulting in around 700 store closures. More recently, though, Mattress Firm has benefited financially from increased demand in the home category: In the first nine months of this year, the retailer reported net revenues increased 41% in local currency, while comp sales rose 46.2% year over year.
Around the same time, Guitar Center — which also recently had a trip through bankruptcy court — confidentially filed paperwork for an IPO with the SEC, according to a report from Debtwire that cited anonymous sources. But, like Mattress Firm, the retailer has experienced both sales and earnings increases this year.