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 Shein’s billion-dollar funding round to Scott Disick bringing champagne to Florida, here’s our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Texas airport to gain Toys R Us
Geoffrey the Giraffe will take up residency in Terminal A at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. WHP Global, the parent company of Toys R Us, announced this week that it's entered a partnership with Duty Free Americas to open the first-ever Toys R Us location inside an airport.
A life-size 3D version of the giraffe will welcome store visitors. Inside the store, customers will find a curated selection of toys and games from top brands, and demonstration tables for hands-on play experiences. DFW ranks among the world’s top five busiest airports by passenger volume. The store is slated to open in time for the 2023 holiday shopping season.
Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of WHP Global, said in an announcement that the concept could be introduced in airports worldwide. WHP acquired Toys R Us in 2021. The parent company has recently increased its footprint by 50% by introducing Toys R Us store-in-stores at all Macy’s locations.
Great Jones heads to Sur La Table
DTC cookware brand Great Jones this month launched at Sur La Table.
Products available at Sur La Table include the brand’s Dutch oven, skillets, saucepans and baking dishes, according to details emailed to Retail Dive. The partnership builds on Great Jones’ growing list of wholesale partners, which also include Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Great Jones was founded in 2018 by Sierra Tishgart and Maddy Moelis after the two “struggled to find the right kitchen tools.”
This sneaker is the pawn in Puma’s chess game
Puma, like so many others stuck at home during the lockdown days of 2020, must have seen “The Queen’s Gambit” and decided to make the game of chess a bigger part of its life.
The retailer signed World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen as a brand ambassador in February 2022 and this year the two are collaborating on a chess-inspired sneaker. The Puma Clyde Chess sneaker promises to capture “the essence of chess” with nothing more than a premium leather upper and a chessboard-like texture.
In case customers don’t immediately pick up on the chess essence, the shoes also feature a tongue with a chess figure on it, chess-inspired lace charms, a synthetic leather sock liner in each shoe showcasing the King and Queen pieces, and “Magnus Signature” in foil print. Puma is also the sports lifestyle partner for Chess.com’s Champions Chess Tour, and the sneaker will be released during the live broadcast of the tournament on Monday.
“It’s an incredible honor to be part of the first chess-inspired sneaker that Puma has ever made,” Carlsen said in a statement. “I’m glad that with the Clyde, we chose a style with a rich culture and basketball heritage. It shows off my personality, combining my love of chess with my passion for basketball.”
Scott Disick apparently makes Champagne and is bringing it to Florida
Reality TV star Scott Disick is bringing his Champagne brand, Leo De Verzay, to Florida restaurants, bars, clubs and stores. Disick – who is also dubbed as a “renowned entrepreneur” – is celebrating the expansion by making appearances at select Florida locations May 20 to 21, per a Wednesday press release.
"I am excited to bring The Taste of Luxury to wine and spirit stores and make Florida my first stop. My goal has always been to bring affordable luxury to people, and I believe Leo De Verzay does just that," Disick said in a statement.
The Leo De Verzay Champagnes can also be bought online starting at nearly $150.
What we’re still thinking about
That’s the amount fast fashion retailer Shein raised in its latest funding round, according to reporting by The Wall Street Journal. That values the company at $66 billion, or a third less than the year prior.
Earlier this month a group of U.S. representatives called for a halt for Shein’s potential bid to become public until it verifies that it doesn’t use forced labor. The retailer was recently the focus of a government report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which called on lawmakers to ensure Shein and other Chinese fast fashion companies are complying with U.S. trade restrictions and intellectual property laws.
That’s how much net sales increased year over year for footwear brand On in Q1. The sales record equates to about $467 million for the Swiss brand.
Martin Hoffmann, co-CEO and CFO of On, said in a statement, “Our record net sales in Q1 are a further validation of the strong brand momentum across all regions, channels and product groups.”
The healthy quarter for On also came with direct-to-consumer net sales up 64.3%, while wholesale revenue increased 86%. This quarter the brand expanded its product offerings, including adding kids footwear in March, contributing to a 186% year over year inventory increase.
What we’re watching
Retailers have been ditching San Francisco for a while
Anthropologie, one of the apparel retailers run by Urban Outfitters, is the latest store to leave downtown San Francisco. The location in the city’s historic Flood Building on Market Street is permanently shuttered. According to local reports, it closed for good earlier this month.
The store joins Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack in leaving the shopping corridor, adjacent to the Union Square shopping district. Office Depot and Saks Off 5th also reportedly intend to leave the area later this year. City officials attribute the closures to a shift to working from home, a falloff in tourism and growth in e-commerce. More than 7,700 retail jobs were lost citywide from 2019 to 2022, according to that report.
Indeed, retailers’ flight from the city has been going on for a while now. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic and amid a rash of closures of its namesake and Banana Republic stores, Gap Inc. closed its Flood Building Gap flagship and another Gap location in the nearby Embarcadero Center office complex.
In all, a little over half the stores in the Union Square area in 2019 are still around, not including those, open or closing, in the Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre mall anchored by Nordstrom’s full-line store, according to The San Francisco Standard.