Local ShoppingThe Weekly Closeout: American Girl jumps on the podcast bandwagon

The Weekly Closeout: American Girl jumps on the podcast bandwagon

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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 “Griller Lite” to the acquisition of Shoe City, here’s our closeout for the week.

What you may have missed

Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection drops

Gap’s highly anticipated Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection is now available. The line includes T-shirts, hoodies, jogging pants, outerwear and caps, and can be purchased on the Yeezy Gap website, Balenciaga, Farfetch.com, MyTheresa.com and Luisaviaroma.com. 

“Designed for the future, Yeezy Gap and Balenciaga reimagine the modern wardrobe through their shared vision of utilitarian design,” Yeezy Gap said in a press release. 

Body suit from the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection. 

Image courtesy Gap Inc. 


Yeezy Gap announced the Engineered by Balenciaga collaboration in January, which garnered attention for the unique combination of styles from Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and Balenciaga Artistic Director Demna (formerly known as Demna Gvasalia). 

The collection was scheduled to drop May 25, but was postponed until May 27 following the news of a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, this week, according to a Gap press release sent to Retail Dive. 

At the time of the announcement in January, executives said that the partnership with Ye had brought in customers new to the Gap brand and skewed younger than its typical audience. However, concrete details have yet to be shared showing the partnership’s success.

The Athlete’s Foot parent company acquires Shoe City

Courtesy of Arklyz


Arklyz, parent company of The Athlete’s Foot, announced Wednesday that it acquired Baltimore-based retail chain Shoe City. The deal is expected to be completed by July. 

The acquisition will add 40 store locations to the DMV region, which includes Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Shoe City’s e-commerce presence will “help jumpstart” The Athlete’s Foot’s omnichannel strategy, according to a press release announcing the deal. 

Stitch Fix names CMO

Stitch Fix, an apparel e-retailer that also runs a box business curated by algorithms and human stylists, this week hired industry veteran Debbie Woloshin as chief marketing officer. The previous executive in the role, Deirdre Findlay, left in 2020 after less than two years on the job.

Woloshin most recently was CMO at Marc Jacobs for four years, and before that led marketing at the Frye Company and Ann, Inc. She also spent nearly two decades with the Jones Group, according to a company press release. She leads Stitch Fix’s marketing teams across the US and the UK, reporting to CEO Elizabeth Spaulding.

In a statement, Woloshin called it “a privilege to be joining a company that is such a disruptive force in our industry.” Arguably, though, it’s retail that has disrupted the company of late. Growth at Stitch Fix has slowed markedly since it ushered in traditional e-commerce last year, which is meant to augment its niche styling service. But the move has siphoned more customers away from the box business than executives had anticipated, and they have been scrambling to tweak the ecosystem for at least two quarters.

Also this week, Nordstrom announced that it is shutting down its similar box subscription service and investing more in virtual and in-store styling services.

Cotopaxi taps former Eddie Bauer CEO as president

After announcing its intentions to name a president back in December, Outdoor gear brand Cotopaxi this week said Damien Huang would fill the role. Huang, who most recently served as Eddie Bauer’s CEO, will report directly to Cotopaxi founder and CEO Davis Smith.

Damien Huang joins Cotopaxi with experience from Eddie Bauer, The North Face and Patagonia.

Courtesy of Cotopaxi


The new role was created to help the brand grow “to even greater heights and industry benchmarks in impactful brand development,” the company said in a press release. As president, Huang will help drive strategy, operations and execution across Cotopaxi’s C-suite and organization.

Aside from Eddie Bauer, Huang also held leadership roles at Patagonia, including as the vice president of design and merchandising, and The North Face.

“To say I’m excited to join Cotopaxi would be an understatement,” Huang said in a statement. “Every once in a while a company comes along that is not only new and different, but has an energy, a soul, and a purpose that makes an organization remarkable. I’m deeply inspired by what Davis and the team have built, impressed by the leaders at Bain Capital Double Impact, and honored to help push the company forward.”

Williams-Sonoma laps 2021’s figures with comps up nearly 10%

Williams-Sonoma on Wednesday reported first quarter net revenue reached $1.9 billion, up 8.1% year over year and up 53% from 2020. Overall comparable sales increased 9.5%, driven by a 14.6% comp increase at Pottery Barn and a 12.8% increase at West Elm.

The company’s gross margin increased 80 basis points from last year to 43.8%. Operating income increased 17.6% to $323.5 million, while net income grew 11.5% to $254.1 million.

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