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 Lids’ new university stores to Miller Lite’s bodega apparel collection, here’s our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Lululemon launches third shoe this year
Since announcing its first footwear collection in March, Lululemon has launched three out of the four shoes it intends to debut this year. The company’s running shoe, Blissfeel, was the first to become available, followed by the Restfeel post-workout slide, which launched on May 31. This week, Lululemon’s cross-training shoe, the Chargefeel, debuted in stores and online, according to details emailed to Retail Dive.
The Chargefeel is available in sizes 5 through 11, and costs between $138 and $148. It comes in 14 colorways and is sold with a “low” upper and a “mid” upper, which offer different stability. Lululemon describes the shoe as a piece of footwear that “defies typical cross-training construction, leading with the bounce and forward motion required in a running shoe, rounded out with the stabilizing side-to-side support of a trainer.”
Lululemon’s final shoe in this collection – the Strongfeel, for training – is set to launch this fall. CEO Calvin McDonald in June said its running shoe was so popular it drove out of stocks.
Adidas signs 15 college athletes to NIL deals
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Adidas this week announced it would sign 15 female college athletes to name, image and likeness deals. The athletes span soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball, gymnastics, tennis, and track and field at various schools. Adidas in March created a NIL network open to more than 50,000 student athletes.
The retailer is also bringing on WNBA star Candace Parker to form a mentorship program for recently signed college athletes to provide guidance “as they navigate the NIL era,” Adidas said in details emailed to Retail Dive.
“As a leading global sports brand, we’re focused on creating long-term equity in sport,” Rupert Campbell, president of Adidas North America, said in a statement. “That means both investing in the next generation of athletes today and also supporting them in the future.”
Williams Sonoma president resigns
Williams-Sonoma this week announced Ryan Ross, president of the company’s Williams Sonoma brand, resigned as of Tuesday. Ross has taken on a leadership role outside of the company, according to a press release.
Replacing Ross as president of the Williams Sonoma brand is Felix Carbullido, who has been at the company since 2009 and most recently served as Williams-Sonoma’s chief marketing officer. Prior to that, he was the vice president of Pottery Barn’s e-commerce business and senior vice president of Pottery Barn’s DTC business.
Lids goes to school
This week Lids announced the launch of Lids University, or Lids U, a retail concept dedicated to collegiate sports and apparel. Each store will offer products specific to the market it serves and feature an assortment of NCAA products. Lids U will open in malls and outlets in key college markets nationwide and will feature items from brands including Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Fanatics and more.
The concept was launched in response to customers seeking more NCAA products, according to the retailer.
Stores have opened in Chicago, Buford, Georgia and San Marcos, Texas, with a total of 11 locations to launch this year.
Best Buy welcomes everyone, regardless of outfit choice
When Best Buy announced the launch of a small-format, digitally focused store this week, it also offered a look at what type of consumer might shop there.
A digitally rendered set of images of people shopping at the store showed plenty of normal activity, but one shopper profile seemed to stand out. Behold — a bearded individual standing outside the Best Buy in a suit jacket and shorts.
Perhaps Best Buy is looking to appeal to the modern person, someone who might need to immediately run to Best Buy in their Zoom-appropriate work-from-home outfit. No matter the case, it is good to know anyone and any unhinged outfit is welcome at the Monroe, North Carolina, location.
Nothing compares to brew
Miller Lite and Colombian singer J Balvin partnered on a merch line that was made specifically for beer runs to the neighborhood c-store. Dubbed BodegaWear, the collection is inspired by “the vibe, look, and culture of one of the most authentic spots in the community — the bodega.”
The collection includes a bucket hat that doubles as a beer bucket because we are in 2022 and what a time to be alive. Other products include a varsity jacket, socks and slides.
Proceeds from sales go to Accion Opportunity Fund, which supports bodegas, corner stores and Latino-owned businesses.
“Bodegas are much more than stores – they’re neighborhood hubs that truly bring people together. So, when we decided to launch a merch collaboration with J Balvin, we wanted to pay tribute and give back to these beloved, local institutions and the way people effortlessly combine street style and comfort on their bodega runs,” Sofia Colucci, vice president of the Miller family of brands, said in a statement.
What we’re still thinking about
That’s how large Shopify’s net loss was for the second quarter. Operating loss was $190.2 million during the period compared to an operating income of $139.4 million in 2021. The company warned that operating loss would increase “materially” in the third quarter.
The losses came as the e-commerce platform announced it was laying off 10% of its workforce, according to a company post from CEO Tobi Lütke. The company expanded rapidly during the pandemic as online shopping accelerated in the early days of the pandemic. “It’s now clear that bet didn’t pay off,” Lütke said.
That’s how much a bankruptcy court said Revlon can spend on bonuses to retain as many as 160 “critical” employees as it works its way through Chapter 11. The beauty brand told the court that it experienced turnover rates as high as 25% among such employees as it struggles with cash flow and as vendors stopped or threatened to stop shipments of key supplies. Anyone accepting these payments would be obligated to stick around through the confirmation of a bankruptcy plan or June 30, 2023.
The U.S. trustee assigned to Revlon’s case had objected to this idea, citing a lack of information about the recipients and their job duties, but the judge ruled that the plan meets the bankruptcy code’s legal criteria for bonuses.
What we’re watching
Amazon, citing rising costs, will ask European Prime members for more money
After hiking its U.S. Prime membership fee in February by 20 bucks, Amazon is now reportedly also planning increases of as much as 43% for Europe in September.
Consumers globally are watching their budgets as inflation squeezes their wallets, and some European Prime members may trim their expenses if the new fee takes too big a bite. But the e-commerce giant probably isn’t too worried, given that U.S. Prime membership and retention remain strong so far this year, according to Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky, who said this week during the company’s Q2 earnings call that it’s “happy with the results we’re seeing in the Prime program.”
Like its customers, the company needs to find ways to offset rising costs. In the second quarter, its operating expenses rose 11.9% to $117.9 billion, which helped push its operating income down 56.9% year over year, and it notched a net loss for the second straight quarter.