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  • Express Checkout #57 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm

Express Checkout #57 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm

Commerce and CPG news from the week of 1/15/24

Hello hello!

Last week, I had moderated my first-ever panel (and got my new profile picture)! Hosted by Isetta, a wonderful PR firm for consumer brands. I was joined by a panel of outstanding founders and entrepreneurs - Susan Korn, founder of Susan Alexandra; Mike De Santis, Co-founder of Canopy and Managing Director of Doris Dev (the best product dev shop); Steph Chen, founder of Anyday cookware; and Cristina Krumsick, founder of Isetta.

One of the biggest takeaways was that 2024 will be the year of tempering expectations and focusing on sustainable growth. We love to hear it!!

Now that I got that first one out of the way, I’m ready to host and moderate many more panels, if you’re looking for someone you know where to find me!


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

  • She’s hosting one in LA this Wednesday! - more details 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 🔥

  • Red Sea Attacks continue to disrupt supply chain - The disruptions to shipping caused by the Houthi rebel attacks in the Red Sea are having a more damaging impact on the supply chain than the early Covid-19 pandemic, according to a leading ocean supply chain advisory firm. Ocean freight is also seeing a rise in costs. (source)

  • Big moves in energy…drinks - Sprecher Brewing Company has acquired Juvee, expanding into the energy drink category. Juvee, launched in 2022 by 100 Thieves, has experienced significant growth Juvee's employees will join the Sprecher team including Juvee Co-founder Sam Keene who will become Spreecher’s CMO. Sprecher's craft sodas have also seen increased popularity, with sales up 300% and distribution in over 25,000 stores. (source)

This is the kind of thing founders dream of: finding a partner that can continue to elevate the brand you created and we found that with Sprecher Brewery. Our Juvee community has always been at the center of what we do and in 2024 we'll be able to deliver big time for them!

Sam Keene - Co-Founder, Juvee & CMO at Sprecher
  • Diddy v Diageo - Diageo and Sean 'Diddy' Combs have reached a settlement, completely cutting ties. They now solely own Cîroc vodka and DeLeón tequila. This comes after Combs raised concerns of racial discrimination and filed a lawsuit claiming mishandling of the liquor brands. Diageo refuted the claims and both parties have agreed to resolve all disputes. (source)

  • Bye bye Dizly - Uber is closing down its alcohol delivery service, Drizly, just 3 years after acquiring it for a cool $1.1 billion. The Drizly brand will be dissolved by March 2024. Uber will now focus on alcohol delivery through Uber Eats, which operates in 35 U.S. states and 25 countries globally. (source)

🗞️ News from the week (1/15/24 - 1/21/24)

🛍 Retail

  • IKEA has announced plans to open four new Plan & order points with Pick-up locations in 2024, including Austin, Texas, the Atlanta Metropolitan area, and two locations in the greater LA market. (source)

  • Macy's is reducing its workforce by 3.5% and closing five full-line stores. The move comes as Tony Spring prepares to take over as CEO, and follows previous store closures. Macy's has accelerated plans to open smaller off-mall locations. (Source)

🛒 CPG & Consumer Goods

  • Manscaped, a leading men's grooming company, has launched in 3,000 Walmart stores in the US and online. This enhances their existing retail footprint, which already encompasses major retailers such as Target, Best Buy, Macy's, and others. (source)

  • VF Corp, the parent company of brands such as Vans and The North Face, estimates that approximately 35.5 million consumers' personal data was stolen in a recent cybersecurity incident. The stolen information does not include social security, banking, or payment information, and there is no indication of consumer passwords being stolen. (source)

  • Cotopaxi, an adventure lifestyle brand, has laid off 22 workers as part of a company restructuring. (source)

  • Mars has opened a new global R&D hub in Chicago. (source)

  • Aleph Farms has received pre-market approval from Israel's Ministry of Health for its cultivated beef steaks, making it the first non-chicken cultivated meat product to receive such approval. (source)

  • Pair Eyewear has announced a new partnership with National Vision, the second largest optical retailer in America. The collaboration aims to make Pair Eyewear's customizable eyewear more accessible to customers by offering affordable bundles that include eyewear and comprehensive eye exams. The partnership has launched in 110 America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses stores nationwide. (source)

💻️ eCommerce

  • Layoffs galore

    • Wayfair is laying off approximately 1,650 employees, representing 13% of its global workforce and 19% of its corporate team. The company expects this action to result in annualized cost savings of over $280 million. (source)

    • Stitch Fix is eliminating its full-time styling role and transitioning to a part-time model for stylists in a cost-cutting move. The changes come as the company faces declining revenue and active clients. (source)

    • Amazon has confirmed additional layoffs, this time in its Buy with Prime unit (I guess Shop Pay is really eating their lunch). This round affects less than 5% of staff. (source)

  • Shipt has unveiled its new innovation lab, which aims to centralize delivery and product experiments to enhance the future of shopping and delivery. Key themes include exploring new frontiers of delivery, elevating personalization, and monetizing virtual experiences. (source)

  • Long Story Short is a recently launched luxury goods e-commerce startup that offers a curated collection to its members for a monthly fee of $1,000. Founder Joseph Einhorn aims to provide high-net-worth individuals with a private and secure online shopping experience. (source)

🏭 Supply Chain

  • Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd have announced plans to enter into an agreement called Gemini Cooperation, starting in February 2025. The operational agreement will have a fleet pool of around 290 vessels with a combined capacity of 3.4 million TEUs (TEU stands for twenty-foot equivalent unit, which is a standard unit of measure in the shipping industry to quantify container capacity). (source)

  • Omaha Industries has sued UNFI over allegations of fraudulent conduct and unfair chargebacks. UNFI deducted hundreds of thousands of dollars from payments to Omaha for pet food shipments deemed "unacceptable" by the grocer Giant Food. The supplier is seeking damages of over $250,000 in addition to attorney fees and other amounts. (source)

💸 Funding news

  • MPearlRock has completed their first acquisition. They’ve acquired nutpods, a leading brand in the plant-based, non-dairy coffee creamer category. MPearlRock, a partnership between Kroger’s PearlRock Partners and MidOcean Partners, specializes in investing in high-growth consumer packaged goods brands. (source)

  • Cart.com, has secured a $70 million debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank and Trinity Capital Inc. Cart.com offers infrastructure and services to simplify commerce for multichannel merchants and has raised a $60 million Series C funding round in June 2023. (source)

  • The Honey Pot, announced a $380 million acquisition by Compass Diversified. Co-founder Beatrice Dixon will continue as CEO and chief innovation officer. (source)

  • Nutrabolt, the makers of C4 Energy drink, has made a minority investment in Bloom Nutrition, becoming the company's largest investor with a 20% ownership stake. investment is part of a larger $90 million financing round that includes Clayton Christopher and Amberstone. (source)

C4 was one of the first supplements I personally ever bought, and the fact that Doss Cunningham was the CEO then, and still is today, speaks volumes to the style of leader he is. I'm very much looking forward to collaborating with him on our next phase of growth. Their expertise and resources as industry leaders will enable us to scale effectively, fuel sales growth, and accelerate innovation. This is a significant leap forward, and we could not be more excited to embark on this next phase of growth together

Greg LaVecchia - CEO at Bloom Nutrition
  • Asian-inspired sparkling water brand Sanzo has raised $5 million in a new investment round. (source)

  • Petalfast, a cannabis distribution company in California, has secured approximately $8 million in strategic financing to drive accelerated growth and expansion in the United States. (source)

🧐 Interesting reads

💡 Data, reports, and trends

👋 Just a couple asks

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Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions, feedback, or stories I missed, let me know!

Nate :)

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