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  • Express Checkout #61 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm

Express Checkout #61 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm

Commerce and CPG news from the week of 2/12/24

Hello hello from (kind of) sunny LA!

I’ve been to Erewhon (multiple locations), Gjusta Grocer, Carla’s Grocery. But don’t you worry I did other things besides visit grocery stores. I saw friends, went on a hike, saw Jimmy Kimmel Live…live, went to the Warner Bros studio tour, and drove too much.

such a happy camper

I’m in LA until the 25th then off to eTail West, so if you’re around either hit me up!

This week, I had the incredible opportunity to sit down for an interview with the amazing Leah McSweeney. We talked about her brand Married to the Mob, her experiences on RHONY, and more! 👇️ 

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🔥 Big News - 10 items or less 🔥

  • When you Wish upon a star - ContextLogic Inc. has announced an agreement to sell its operating assets and liabilities associated with Wish, its ecommerce platform, to Qoo10 for approximately $173 million in cash. (source)

  • Here come MORE layoffs -

    • Luggage brand Away is laying off 25% of it’s internal staff. Away plans to invest more in brand and community building experiences, expand its retail footprint, and focus on product innovation. (source)

    • Instacart is laying off 250 workers, or 7% of its global workforce, as part of a corporate restructuring plan. Additionally, three executives, including the CTO, are departing the company for personal reasons. The layoffs come as Instacart faces pressure to improve its financial performance following its IPO. (source)

  • Target targets discount - Target has introduced a new low-price brand called dealworthy, ~400 everyday basics starting at less than $1 and with most items under $10. (source)

    • They also re-branded its up&up private label brand with over 2,000 items, including reformulated products and new additions, up&up offers high quality at an unbeatable value. The brand now includes pet items, food storage, and more, with most items priced under $15. (source)

🗞️ News from the week (2/12/24 - 2/18/24)

🛍 Retail

  • SpartanNash is expanding the use of its autonomous inventory robot Tally to 60 additional company-operated stores in the Midwest. Tally provides real-time data intelligence to ensure fresh and adequately stocked items, allowing store associates to focus more on serving customers. (source)

  • Colorado is suing to block the $24.6 billion merger between Kroger and Albertsons, the two largest grocers in the state. The lawsuit argues that the merger would harm shoppers, workers, and suppliers, and make the grocery market even more concentrated. (source)

  • Safeway is expanding the use of receipt-scanning gates at its self-checkout areas in more stores as part of long-planned security improvements to prevent theft. (source)

🛒 CPG & Consumer Goods

  • Zesty Z, a mom and son-owned Mediterranean foods brand, is pivoting from popcorn to (perfect) pita chips with the launch of a new product. The line of twice-baked pita chips offers more fiber, less fat, and fewer net-carbs. (source)

  • Another protein chip has entered the game! Pure Protein has launched their new Sweet Chili flavored Popped Crisps, adding to their portfolio of protein snacks. (source)

  • Influencer, Alix Earle has been named as the first global face of Hero Cosmetics. She will share her acne journey, participate in brand campaigns, and help promote skin positivity. (source)

  • Dr. Bronner's launched a new 32 oz. soap refill carton package for its liquid soap. It reduces plastic consumption by 82% per quart compared to their 32 oz. PCR bottles. (source)

  • LeBron James has partnered with Parlux Ltd to launch 'The Shop' men's grooming line. The line includes shampoo, conditioner, face wash, shave and beard creams, aftershave-toner, and styling pomade. (source)

  • Columbia Sportswear has partnered with Intuitive Machines to use its Omni-Heat Infinity heat-reflective fabric on a lunar lander for an upcoming mission to the moon. (source)

  • Sephora has recently added two cult-favorite skincare brands, Dieux and Soft Services, to their lineup. (source)

  • John Legend's personal care brand, Loved01, has launched on Amazon. The brand, which already sells products on its own website, Walmart, and CVS, aims to reach a wider audience through the collaboration with Amazon Beauty. (source)

  • Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg have launched Gin & Juice By Dre and Snoop, their first RTD product from their new premium spirits company. (source)

  • Yishi is expanding its product line-up with Asian-inspired pancake and waffle mixes. (source)

  • YouTuber Ryan Trahan has partnered with JOYRIDE to launch low-sugar sour strips, a lower sugar candy option. The campaign video garnered over 4 million views in 24 hours. (source)

    • This one is interesting to me, because JOYRIDE was already a brand in the market. yet they’re positioning this as a new launch.

  • Liquid Death is launching "Death Dust," an electrolyte drink mix in three flavors. (source)

🏭 Supply Chain

  • Maersk has launched a new digital solution on their website that simplifies air freight booking. The solution allows customers to book air cargo requirements with instant pricing and the option to combine them with value-added services. (source)

  • ArcBest has introduced a line of automated forklifts and reach trucks called Vaux Smart Autonomy. The tech incorporates the Vaux Freight Movement System, allowing for faster unloading of trailers. (source)

  • Amazon Air is closing its air cargo operation in San Antonio, resulting in the termination of 65 contract workers. (source)

  • Staples plans to deploy AI-powered robotic picking in its fulfillment centers through a multi-year agreement with RightHand Robotics. Other brands, such as Amazon, BJ's Wholesale Club, Stop & Shop, and Walmart, have also implemented robots in their fulfillment centers and stores. (source)

💸 Funding news

  • RIND Snacks has acquired Small Batch Organics, a Vermont-based granola manufacturer. The combined business is expected to generate over $25 million in retail sales by EOY. Small Batch's products will be rebranded as RIND, and the first joint product, RIND Cherry Cashew Crunch, will be released nationwide. (source)

  • Levelle Nutrition has launched a crowdfunding campaign on ifundewomen.com (source)

  • Jones, a nicotine replacement therapy brand, has launched with $1.1 million in pre-seed funding led by Good Friends, an early-stage fund from the founders of Warby Parker, Harry's, and All-Birds. (source)

  • Repurpose Global has launched the Reuse Outcomes Fund, a $1 million initiative aimed at promoting reuse and refill solutions to combat plastic pollution. (source)

  • Guess and WHP Global have agreed to acquire Rag & Bone, with Guess purchasing the brand's operating assets and a joint venture formed to own the label's intellectual property. The acquisition is valued at $56.5 million USD. (source)

  • Grocery Outlet Holding Corp. has announced it’s acquiring United Grocery Outlet, an extreme value, discount grocery retailer operating in the Southeastern United States. Grocery Outlet also plans to open 15 to 20 new stores in existing markets in 2024. (Source)

  • Culture POP, a Massachusetts-based soft drink brand founded by Tom First, has raised $21 million in new investment capital. The round, totaling $26 million, includes investments from Enlightened Hospitality Investments and Howard Schultz. (source)

  • Ozark Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Sababa Holdings Free, LLC, will acquire all outstanding shares of Whole Earth Brands, Inc. in an all-cash transaction. (source)

🧐 Interesting reads

💡 Data, reports, and trends

😋 Brands and things I’ve tried this week

I’m going to shout out two brands. Tequio tequila seltzers, I got to try it at the Beverly Hills Erewhon and meet the founder!

And…The Mug Guard by Dune suncare. This stuff is SOLID! Feels great on my face and doesn’t leave it oily.

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

Nate :)

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