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 Bark's first earnings as a public company to the beginning of fall-flavored everything, here's our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Bark swings to a loss in first quarterly earnings report
Bark, the company behind subscription services BarkBox and Super Chewer, on Monday, reported its first financial results since going public in June. The company's total revenue in the first quarter increased 57.2% to $117.6 million. Bark's DTC revenue increased 57% year over year to $105.4 million, while its "commerce" revenue increased 58.7% to $12.2 million, driven by both new and existing wholesale partnerships. The company swung into the red, reporting a net loss of $24.8 million from a net profit of $2 million a year prior.
Late last year — amid a boom in the pet category — Bark formed a deal with Northern Star Acquisition Corp., a SPAC, to go public.
Target unveils fall designer collection
This week, Target announced its latest designer collection for fall. The retailer is collaborating with designers Victor Glemaud, Nili Lotan, Rachel Comey and Sandy Liang. Most of the 180 apparel and accessories featured in the collection are priced under $50 and have XXS to 4X sizes available.
"For the past 20 years, our guests have continued to express excitement when we introduce them to new and emerging designers from across the globe, all at an incredible value," says Jill Sando, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Target.
Sephora at Kohl's rollout begins… as does Ulta Beauty at Target
Sephora at Kohl's is opening over 70 stores in August, about eight months after the partnership was announced. The beauty retailer debuted its online experience with the department store at the start of the month, which Kohl's called the "first major milestone" in the partnership. Customers buying online or in store at the Sephora at Kohl's experience can also access Kohl's fulfillment services like BOPIS and ship-to-store.
Aiming to scale to at least 850 stores by 2023, the first 200 in the deal will be open by October. The duo plan to open 400 locations in 2022. Sephora and Kohl's aren't alone in moving forward with their shop-in-shop plans this month. Target and Ulta announced in July that the first beauty shop-in-shops at the mass merchant would open in August: The companies are planning to open a total of 800 Ulta Beauty at Target locations nationwide.
Dunkin' releases pumpkin-flavored everything
Dunkin' announced its fall menu, which will be available at participating locations by Aug. 18.
Now some of you are already like, "It's still summer. Why are they doing fall things? It's so hot."
If you stop sipping on Haterade, you might find time to pick up a drink that makes up pumpkin beverage season. And just to set the record straight, when you enjoy fall treats, you are really just partial to flavors like cinnamon and nutmeg, which are freaking delights to the soul.
I can't tell you how to live your life. I can only encourage you to live in the enchanted reality of an autumnal afternoon where you are carrying a warm beverage and the filtered light makes everything look buttery and the breeze starts smelling sweet and you think of all the falls of your past and the ones yet to come and time folds on itself as you remember being a child running in leaves and you decide to start afresh with new-found hope.
But back to coffee and donuts.
Dunkin' now has pumpkin cream cold brew, a pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin-flavored donuts, muffins, and donut hole treats. And they also have apple cider donuts because HOW BOUT THEM APPLES OF COURSE THEY DO. Also up for grabs are two different apple cranberry drinks and 100% Guatemalan coffee. If you like your autumnal feelings to coincide with a deal, Dunkin' is offering a medium Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew or a medium Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte for $3 through Sept. 14 while supplies last.
We've got Spirit, Yes We Do
Calling all fiends: Spirit Halloween is having a contest to hire its first-ever chief spirit officer. The company is partnering with employment website Monster.com (naturally) on a nationwide, head-haunting mission. The winner of the contest will host a series on Spirit Halloween's social media channels where they will "treat fans to the latest Halloween season news, unveil the hottest trends for the 2021 season, and offer behind-the-scenes tips, treats and tricks," according to a company announcement.
The CSO will receive $10,000 in cash, free costumes for a decade, a home decor shopping trip and a trip to Spirit Halloween's headquarters or flagship location. (But I'm going to be straight with you - that free-costumes-for-a-decade bit is really ten $50 gift cards.)
And who will decide who is the Halloween-iest of all? That would be pop star Lance Bass. It might sound crazy, but it ain't no lie. For more information and entry details, visit here.
Barneys is a literal retail graveyard
Do you remember the good old days when Barneys was a bastion of fashion? Well, those days are over. Now the hollowed out husk of the former department store is just here for the boos. The former Barneys store in New York City is going to be turned into a Spirit Halloween for the holiday season (speak of the Devil, am I right?). Spirit Halloween has over 1,400 locations in strip centers and malls in North America — one of them now a metaphor for the fall of the department store.
What we're still thinking about
Somehow, for different reasons, both Stitch Fix and Amazon have landed on a grand as the ideal payout. At Stitch Fix, stylists who couldn't make new stricter scheduling requirements work were offered $1,000 to quit. It turns out that many couldn't. Wells Fargo warned clients that the company probably underestimated just how many, and flagged the ensuing employee churn, including a plethora of stylist complaints on Glassdoor, as a concern. Stylists told Retail Dive that the company's much-vaunted algorithm and poor inventory management increasingly make their job more difficult; the company has denied their claims.
Meanwhile, Amazon this week also said it will pay personal injury or property damage claims of up to $1,000 for defective products sold through its website. Its marketplace sellers have to carry liability insurance, and, what do you know, Amazon — whose non-retail revenue like seller fees continues to surge — has also launched Amazon Insurance Accelerator, a network of vetted insurance providers who will offer liability insurance to qualifying sellers.
That's what Reebok — whose sneakers were once so exalted that the company was deemed a potential "Nike killer" — is officially worth because that's how much Authentic Brands Group is willing to pay for the beleaguered brand. The number is a step down from the $3.8 billion that Adidas ponied up for Reebok in 2006, but a step up from the $1 billion that ABG reportedly offered earlier this year.
What we're watching
Party City's Halloween plans
Party City executives said recently that they anticipate opening 80 to 100 Halloween City pop-ups for the upcoming season. The high end of that range would quadruple the number of Halloween City stores it opened in 2020 when the pandemic defined the holiday. Yet it is also well less than half the stores the company opened pre-pandemic.
Are fewer Halloween pop-ups the new normal? Perhaps. Last year, with fewer stores, Party City added extra staff per store to support omnichannel services. That could become a permanent strategy as consumer habits solidify. And how the stores do this year could say much about Party City's remaining hold on the market for costumes and decor, as well as the season. This year could signal permanent changes in how people shop for, and celebrate, Halloween.