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 Walmart's recent effort to tackle climate change to Lululemon's mushroom-made yoga mats, here's our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Pacsun enters resale business
In an attempt to be one of the cool kids, Pacsun is joining the rest of retail and launching resale. The company this week introduced PS Reserve — a place for trendy apparel, sneakers and accessories. Items featured have gone through a pre-screening and authentication process. Brands currently available include Yeezy, Jordan Brand and Supreme. Products for sale are part of Pacsun's own inventory, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive. Also, if you Google "PS Reserve" the first thing you are going to hit is The Private Suite at LAX — a private luxury terminal out of Los Angeles — which is a different thing entirely.
This week Pacsun also announced A$AP Rocky as its first guest artistic director. The rapper will oversee designer collaborations, in-store activations and brand campaigns related to launches in the retailer's Los Angeles and SoHo stores. Rocky's first capsule collection will be with Vans.
Walmart and other retailers band together to address climate change
Walmart, H&M, Ingka Group (Ikea) and Kingfisher plc announced a joint initiative Wednesday that aims to limit the rise of global temperatures to within 1.5 degrees Celsius called the Race to Zero Breakthroughs: Retail Campaign. By joining the pledge, the retailers will support climate action within the retail industry and encourage fellow retailers to map out a plan to achieve their climate targets. The initiative is done in partnership with the COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
David's Bridal loyalty program surpasses 500K
David's Bridal reached over 500,000 members in its Diamond loyalty program since it first launched seven months ago. The bridal retailer has partnered with companies like Blue Nile, Shutterfly, The Ritz-Carlton Spa and The Spa at the St. Regis for its rewards program. David's Bridal also discovered that the loyalty program cut the return rate in half when compared to non-members.
Lululemon to sell yoga mats and bags made from mushrooms
Lululemon this week unveiled the first products using Mylo, a leather-like material made from mycelium, which is the branching underground structure of mushrooms. The brand will sell yoga mats and bags made from the material in early 2022, according to Women's Wear Daily. Lululemon first indicated it would make products from the mushroom material in October when it joined Bolt Threads' Mylo consortium alongside Adidas, Kering and Stella McCartney.
"At lululemon, we are committed to making products and operating our business in an innovative, sustainable way for our guests," Sun Choe, Lululemon's chief product officer, said in October. "We firmly believe that innovation and sustainability are key to the future of retail."
What we're still thinking about
That's the market opportunity Authentic Brands sees for itself. The brand holding company filed for an IPO this week as it looks toward further expansion. Authentic Brands has grown its revenue from $1 million since its founding in 2010 to $489 million this past year.
That's the amount DTC beauty brand Glossier raised in its most recent round of funding. The company, which backed off of physical retail last year during the height of the pandemic, is planning "dozens of new stores" in the U.S. and abroad, and has its sights set on entering new markets with an "e-commerce-first approach."
What we're watching
Instagram declares it's no longer a photo-sharing app
Video killed the radio star, and now it's coming for Instagram. The site's head, Adam Mosseri, last week rattled users with his declaration that Instagram is "no longer a photo-sharing app." The platform itself appears to have been rattled by the success of TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing app embraced by those who miss Vine, among many others, and which has a knack for going viral.
"[L]et's be honest, there's some really serious competition right now. TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger and there's lots of other upstarts as well," Mosseri said. "And so people are looking to Instagram to be entertained. There's stiff competition and there's more to do that we have to embrace that. And that means change."
Instagram, which Mosseri said is also shaking up its recommendation algorithm, is not just thinking about its users, however; it's also thinking about shopping. "The pandemic shifted or accelerated the shift of commerce from offline to online by a number of years, and we're trying to lean into that trend," Mosseri said.
Changes are coming to video on Instagram ????— Adam Mosseri ???? (@mosseri) June 30, 2021
At Instagram we're always trying to build new features that help you get the most out of your experience. Right now we're focused on four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging. pic.twitter.com/ezFp4hfDpf
Once upon a time, Instagram was the upstart making competitors nervous. In its early days, users were sharing its characteristic square, Polaroid-esque images on Facebook. To counter the competition, Facebook bought it, a fact that came up during last year's Congressional hearings on potential antitrust concerns in tech.