- Express Checkout
- Express Checkout #56 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm
Express Checkout #56 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm
Commerce and CPG news from the week of 1/8/24
Welcome back! NRF is in full swing in NYC and I’ve already met so many readers in town for the conference! If you’re in town let’s try to meet this week!
If you don’t know, I’m building a CPG brand with a good friend of mine and we’re raising our pre-seed round. We would love to chat with anyone interested in learning more :)
No sponsor this week but I want to share my friends Parker and Neal’s new company, PodPitch!
PodPitch uses AI to schedule you on relevant podcasts and provides edited clips for social media!
You can book a demo with them here! 📆
And use code "checkout" for 25% off
📣 Since it’s dry January, I also what to shout out the Dry Atlas newsletter
Calling all non-alcoholic beverage fans! Don’t miss the Dry Atlas newsletter, which curates the latest non-alc insights, news, and recs every Wednesday.
Dry Atlas is a media company dedicated to alcohol alternatives, brought to you by the duo behind Spirited Away, America's first booze-free bottle shop. Whether you're a connoisseur or just curious, Dry Atlas is your window into the non-alc world. Subscribe to their newsletter and join 3,500+ readers from companies like Diageo, Pernod Ricard, and Pepsi who are staying smart on the category.
I have a ton of events happening this year and you can find them all here!!
🏃 NYC Run Club 🏃
Every Wednesday morning, Lisa Popovici (Siena.ai) and I will be running from 8am - 9am - sign up here
(if you want to sponsor any event or send samples email me!!)
(If you’re reading this email in gmail it might get clipped! You can always view full issues here.)
🔥 Big News - 10 items or less 🔥
Connecticut boys rejoice - Wolverine World Wide has sold Sperry to Authentic Brands Group, with Canadian retailer Aldo Group as the brand's North American operating partner. Sperry's slow sales have created an enticing entry point for Authentic, which plans to expand the brand's product offerings and market share globally. (source)
Invest in CPG! - Kroger and MidOcean Partners have partnered to create MPearlRock, an investment company focused on emerging CPG brands. MPearlRock will aim to help CPG companies expand by utilizing Kroger's retail expertise, distribution capabilities, and data insights through 84.51°. (source)
Animal-free dairy company shakes up - The founders of Perfect Day, a precision fermentation specialist, are stepping down as the company finalizes a pre-series E round of up to $90 million. TM Narayan has been installed as the interim CEO. The company is also teasing a launch with a leading CPG company. (source)
Showfields more like noshow - Showfields will permanently close its remaining locations in Brooklyn; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles. The company, which filed for bankruptcy in October, has faced financial difficulties and is unable to pay vendors for return-to-vendor shipping. Showfields previously closed its Miami and Manhattan stores last year. (source)
🗞️ News from the week (1/8/24 - 1/14/24)
Specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op plans to open 10 new stores in 2024, including locations in Glendale, Arizona; Rancho Mirage, California; and St. George, Utah. (source)
7-Eleven has agreed to acquire over 200 convenience stores from Sunoco for approximately $1 billion, bringing all Stripes and Laredo Taco Company locations under its ownership. (source)
CVS will be closing select Target pharmacies as part of its strategy to space out locations and ensure the right pharmacy format in the right locations. The closures are expected to happen between February and April. In total, CVS is expected to close 900 stores between 2022 and 2024. (source)
Walmart upgrades their retail experience
Sam's Club has launched new digital innovations to enhance shopping experiences. The technology uses AI and computer vision to eliminate queuing at the club's exit area for receipt verification. The technology is currently being piloted in 10 locations and will be expanded to nearly 600 clubs by the end of the year. (source)
Walmart showcased its vision for the future of retail at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), highlighting technologies like AI, GenAI, and AR. They also announced innovations for associates, such as the expansion of the My Assistant tool, and ambitious clean energy goals to transition towards emissions-free energy. (source)
FreshDirect is restructuring and laying off over 100 workers, representing 3.5% of its workforce. The move comes after Ahold Delhaize USA sold the online grocery service to rapid delivery firm Getir. (source)
Aldi has stopped offering plastic shopping bags in its U.S. stores and plans to transition to natural refrigerants by the end of 2035. (source)
🛒 CPG & Consumer Goods
Fenty Skin has launched a new unisex Lux Balm, a cherry lip balm containing vitamin E and shea butter with a blend of murumuru, mango, and cocoa. The lip balm is available exclusively online at FentySkin.com and Sephora.com. (source)
It has been blowing up on TikTok the past week, I guess all it took for men to start to take care of their skin was A$AP Rocky
Kinder Beauty, a cruelty-free beauty and lifestyle subscription box service, has announced its dissolution due to financial difficulties. The company's primary funding source unexpectedly backed out. (source)
Curology has officially launched its non-RX products on Amazon, expanding its distribution network following its entrance into physical retail through a partnership with Target. Other DTC companies, such as Care/of, Peloton, Allbirds, and Our Place, have also launched on Amazon to broaden their consumer reach. (source)
ELAVI, a woman-owned healthy snack brand, has launched their Chocolate Fudge cashew butter dessert spread in select Costco SoCal locations. This alternative to Nutella is 20x less sugar, dairy-free, and palm oil-free, aiming to help consumers cut sugar while still indulging. (source)
Diana's is expanding its line of Banana Bites with two new flavors: White Chocolate Cinnamon Granola Crunch and Dark Chocolate Caramel Crunch. (source)
Suja Organic has launched a new line of ready-to-drink protein shakes, marking its entry into the fast-growing RTD protein market. (source)
King Arthur Baking and Project Potluck have partnered to create the Baking Pitchfest, an accelerator program for POC bakers. The program has two editions for bakeries and baking products, providing financial support, brand exposure, and mentorship to winners. (source)
Michael B. Jordan has launched MOSS, a sea moss beverage. The drink combines sea moss with organic juices, botanical extracts, and herbs. (source)
Rowdy Energy, the energy drink manufacturer co-founded by Kyle Busch, is shutting down its operations due to challenges faced by new consumer brands. Positioned as a better-for-you energy drink, Rowdy Energy raised $13 million in funding in 2021. (source)
Fruit Stripe gum, a nostalgic candy that has been enjoyed for over 50 years, is being discontinued by its manufacturer Ferrara Foods. (source)
Who wants the buy the IP with me?
Victoria's Secret is partnering with Google Cloud to leverage AI and generative AI technologies to enhance the personalized and inclusive shopping experience for customers. (source)
Amazon Fashion is introducing AI to enhance its offerings. AI-powered innovations include personalized size recommendations, review highlights, re-imagined size charts, and fit insights. (source)
Instacart and Google have announced that Google Shopping ads are now available to Instacart's advertising partners, allowing CPG brands to reach high-intent consumers searching on Google and get their products delivered through Instacart. (soruce)
🏭 Supply Chain
Pitney Bowes and PackageHub have launched a drop-off network for product returns with no box or label required. The network currently has nearly 1,000 locations across the U.S., with more launching in the coming months. (source)
Over 130 union drivers at US Foods in Chicago have gone on strike after unsuccessful negotiations for a new contract. This follows a similar unionization of US Foods drivers in California. (source)
The Biden-Harris Administration will provide $623 million in grants to expand the EV charging network in the U.S., supporting the construction of around 7,500 charging ports across 22 states and Puerto Rico. (source)
Walmart is expanding its drone delivery service in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This expansion includes more than 30 towns and municipalities, making it the largest drone delivery footprint of any U.S. retailer. The deliveries will be powered by on-demand drone delivery providers Wing and Zipline. (source)
💸 Funding news
Sway, an e-commerce logistics startup previously known as Returnmates, has raised a $19.5 million Series A round led by 7GC to expand its last-mile delivery and doorstep returns service that uses two-way SMS communication and a driver network to quickly facilitate purchases and returns for retailers. (source)
Puig has acquired a majority stake in Dr. Barbara Sturm, a premium skincare brand known for its anti-inflammatory treatments. (source)\
UK-based whisky app Bevvy has raised $1.5 million. The app, which has approximately 120,000 active users, offers access to a catalogue of over 200,000 whisky bottles, allowing users to scan labels for tasting notes, distillery information, and valuations. The funding, primarily from Scottish angel investors and a Denver-based family office, will support Bevvy's expansion into the US market and the growth of its consumer audience. (source)
Dutch online grocer Picnic has raised $388 million from investors, including the Gates Foundation. (source)
Rokt has acquired of AfterSell, a Shopify and Shopify Plus partner that helps ecommerce merchants with upselling and cross-selling. (source)
Voyage Foods, a food technology company, has secured a new investment of $22 million with participation from previous investors Valor Equity Partners, Horizons Ventures, UBS O'Connor, and Level One Fund. This brings the total amount raised by Voyage Foods to over $41 million since its launch in 2020. (source)
🧐 Interesting reads
Water Bottles & Lessons in Viral Growth (Digital Native)
💡 Data, reports, and trends
😋 Brands and things I’ve tried this week
No brands this week, but coming to you all with an ask!
Please check out my marketplace! Powered by the folks at Nishe Retail
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