Express Checkout # 7

Commerce news from the week of 1/2/2023

Hello! I cannot believe the first week of 2023 is already done ✅ 

I hope it was both relaxing and productive for everyone! I was able to ring in 2023 with friends and loved ones out in Denver, I highly recommend visiting!

CES just wrapped up. Smart home devices were all the rage, including a new protocol called Matter. My favorite item I read about has to be Withings urine monitor. Yes it is real, and apparently works well.

If you're looking for what else went down at CES, check out these sites: The Verge, Wired, Engadget, CNET 📱

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🔥 Big News of the week 🔥

  • 🚨🚨 Attention New York founders! Governor Hochul just launched a $30 Million Pre-seed and Seed matching fund program which will offer early-stage start-up companies $50,000 to $250,000 (source)

  • Layoffs are still everywhere

    • Amazon lays off 18,000 (source)

    • Stitch Fix is cutting 20% of its workforce, its CEO is stepping down, and its founder Katrina Lake will be interim CEO (source)

    • Attentive laid off 15% of its employees (source)

    • Everlane has cut 17% of their workforce (source)

    • Helen Of Troy, maker of OXO, Honeywell, HydroFlask, and Osprey is laying off 10% of their workforce (source)

  • Bed Bath and Beyond continues to struggle 📉. The retailer said that it's considering bankruptcy as their stock and market value have hit record lows (source)

  • Boxed is considering selling the company as the eGrocery has faced challenges over the past year (source)

  • Prices of eggs 🍳 are still up from the end of last year thanks to bird flu and increased demand. It sounds like there is some hope of prices coming down but not for a while (source)

🗞️ News from the week  (1/2/23 - 1/8/23)

🛍 Retail

  • Walgreens admits that it may have cried wolf on retail theft (source)

  • Pop Up Grocer, known for its grocery popups around the country, is finally opening their first permanent location in NYC at 205 Bleecker Street!! The store will open later this year (source)

  • The beauty retailer Morphe is set to close all their US stores, their DTC site and non-US stores will remain open (source)

  • The amazing Wawa was named the top retail brand to watch in 2023 by Whataburger, Dave & Busters, Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, and Total Wine were also on the list (source)

  • Bloomingdale’s is starting to roll out its 3rd small format store this year in Seattle following similar launches in Virginia and Chicago since 2021. The smaller store format has been taken retail by storm with Target, Macy’s, and Nordstrom all implementing similar concepts (source)

  • Macy's is shutting down 4 mall-based stores this year in LA, Fort Collins, Oahu, and Gaithersburg. This is part of their turnaround plan which was first announced in 2020 but derailed due to the pandemic (source)

  • Non-alc retailer Boisson has partnered with Drizly to offer same-day delivery in NYC, LA, and San Francisco and 2-5 day shipping in 28 states (source)

🛒 Consumer - CPG, Beauty, Tech, Spirits

  • 🌱 Plant Based alternatives continue to proliferate across various markets

    • Caribou Coffee has added JUST Egg flatbreads to its permanent menu at 400 locations (source)

    • Beyond Meat is expanding distribution of its Beyond Steak to over 50 Costcos and its Popcorn Chicken to Sam's Clubs acorss the country (source)

    • AMC theaters are now serving several of Dr. Praeger's plant-based protein alternatives (source)

    • Target has partnered with influencer Tabitha Brown to launch a collection of vegan and plant-based products (source)

  • Indoor vertical farming company Square Roots is expected to see 30% higher yields in its recently opened Sheperdsville, KY farm thanks to its newly implemented tech platform. I really love seeing the growth of vertical farming. It increases access to fresh produce year-round in a controlled environment, using fewer resources and with less impact on the environment..what more could you want! (source)

  • Grillo’s Pickles has filed a lawsuit against Wahlburgers claiming they have falsely advertising its pickles. The pickle wars have begun (source)

  • Kohler has just launched a new wellness brand called Sprig. It’s a shower head attachment which allows you to infuse your shower's water stream with calming spa-like scents (source)

    • I have a feeling 2023 is going to be the year of the shower, especially after seeing brands like Jolie, Sproos, Hai and Outlines 

  • Sazerac is transitioning its spirits portfolio from RNDC to a variety of distributors including Breakthru Beverage, Southern Glazers, and Reyes. Sazerac has a sizable portfolio of well known brands like Fireball, Buffalo trace, Blanton’s and Pappy Van Winkle (source)

  • Given it's Dry January, many Tito’s bottles are laying dormant on bar carts across the country. Martha and Tito’s have teamed up to fix that with a new campaign showing how you can put vodka to good use during this Dry month

🏭 Supply Chain

  • Oatly is moving to an “asset light” model as it has struck a deal with Ya Ya foods corporation, one of the country's largest contract manufacturers. In the $98.1 million co-packing agreement, Oatly will continue to produce its proprietary oat base in its Utah and Texas facilities, while Ya Ya will take on the manufacturing of its core products including oat milk and ice cream (source)

  • Walmart completed more than 6,000 drone deliveries across 7 states at its 36 delivery hubs in 2022. Some of most delivered items included Great Value Cookies and Cream Ice Cream, a 2lb Bag of Lemons, Hot Rotisserie Chicken, Red Bull, an paper towels (source)

  • In a Q3 earnings call, Joann announced a $200 million annual cost reduction plan relying heavily on the declining ocean freight rates. Other retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, Gap, and Hasbro have benefited from dropping freight costs (source)

  • Ohio is becoming a major US manufacturing hub. The state produced $40.5 billion in manufactured goods in 2020. Intel is is building a $20 billion chip manufacturing site in the state which will create an estimated 3,000 intel jobs and 7,000 construction jobs (source)

💻 eCommerce

  • Shopify has announced a new modular tech stack designed for larger enterprise companies such as Mattel (source)

💸 Funding, Exits, M&A, and VC

  • Starco Brands is acquiring beauty brand Skylar for an undisclosed amount. Starco has acquired a somewhat random selection of brands from Art of Sport, a deodorant brand, to Whipshots, alcohol infused whipped cream - it was not tasty (source)

  • Explorer Cold Brew has raised $2.5M, co-led by NewBound Ventures and Bill Ackman’s family office Table Management (source)

  • Glowbar, a skincare brand that provides 30-minute facials, has closed a $10M round led by Peterson Partners whose investments includes the likes of Bonobos and Madison Reed (source)

  • Molson Coors has just sold its Hooch, Hooper, and Reef RTD brands to Global Brands (source)

  • Bohana has been acquired by Boon Distribution. The air-popped water lily seed snack brand may sound familiar as it appeared on Shark Tank Season 11 (source)

  • Naver has completed its Poshmark Acquisition with plans to grow the brand even more. Over the past year the second-hand market has grown significantly with many resale-as-a-service tools like Archive, Trove, and Recurate and consumer-facing tools like Gently, ThreadUp, and Loma Search seeing lots of traction. If anyone is curious to learn more about this space, I highly recommend following Danielle over at Goodwill Hunting on Twitter (source)

🧐 Interesting reads

💡 Reports, research, and trends

🐦 Interesting Tweets

Thanks for reading! I'll be back next week with more commerce news straight to your inbox. If you have any suggestions, feedback, or stories or posts I missed, let me know! 

Nate :)

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