May 18, 2024


Let your Fashion

The Weekly Closeout: REI expands run assortment and Farfetch enters beauty


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 Old Navy vowing not to raise prices during the back-to-school season to an updated store closure forecast from UBS, here’s our closeout for the week.

What you may have missed

Ulta Beauty invests in precision skincare company Revea

Revea, a precision skincare company, on Thursday announced it secured $6 million in a funding round led by Alpha Edison. Ulta Beauty, WaldenCast Ventures and others also participated in the round, according to a company press release.

“Ulta Beauty was founded to disrupt the status quo and today, we remain focused on doing just that across every touchpoint — with greater personalization than ever before,” Prama Bhatt, chief digital officer of Ulta Beauty, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to support Revea as they continue to disrupt and deliver unique, personalized skincare solutions.”

The company, which was founded in 2019, has run diagnostic imaging consultations from its physical location in San Francisco. The latest round of funding will be used to launch a mobile experience to bring its diagnostic capabilities to users’ smartphones. The funding will also be used to support Revea’s on-demand manufacturing capabilities and expand its team.

Shopify might buy Deliverr

Rumors circulated this week that e-commerce platform Shopify may acquire fulfillment platform Deliverr for between $2.3 billion and $2.7 billion. The news, first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed with more details by Insider, could get inked in the next two weeks, according to reports.

Neither Shopify nor Deliverr immediately responded to requests for comment.

The tie-up could provide the small retailers and brands that use Shopify a level of service closer to what Amazon offers through its Fulfillment by Amazon marketplace program. That’s likely even more important now that Amazon has launched Buy With Prime. That new option, which will roll out throughout the year, opens its FBA services to sellers beyond its marketplace and allows its Prime members to shop on those websites using their Amazon checkout and Prime perks like fast, free delivery and free returns.

Old Navy’s idea of a discount 

As policymakers argue over what to do about inflation hitting 40-year highs, and as higher food and fuel prices show up in retail sales numbers, retailers have to formulate pricing strategies that can cover their own higher costs without turning away customers.

One challenge in this environment is how to manage consumer expectations at times like Memorial Day that traditionally mean big sales events. For its part, Old Navy, already known as a value retailer, says it understands its customers’ struggles, though it’s keeping expectations low. Through the back-to-school season this year, the retailer “is committing to not raising prices on kid’s clothes,” according to an emailed press release.

Old Navy is dubbing this “Price ON-Lock,” and applying it to “kids fashion essentials.” This may be one way to remind consumers everyday prices are low at Old Navy. But it’s also just another way of saying they won’t be holding a sale, and that they won’t make the same promise for adult clothes, or children’s clothes outside of these essentials.

Mango ties finance to sustainability

Spanish fashion retailer Mango will pay less on a recently refinanced loan if it hits carbon emission and sustainable fiber targets, the company said in a press release.

The sustainability goals were part of a refinancing deal managed by CaixaBank, and the first sustainability-linked financing package for Mango. Targets, verified by an outside party, include 100% use of sustainable cotton, recycled polyester and cellulose fibers of controlled origin by 2025, as well as reducing certain carbon dioxide emissions by more than 10%. 

“With this operation, Mango, which closed 2021 with the highest profits in almost a decade and a healthy financial structure, has extended the repayment calendar of its financial obligations, improved the cost of its debt, doubled the availability of revolving credit lines and introduced sustainability criteria, one of the development vectors of the fashion industry,” the company said in the release.

Farfetch launches beauty

Luxury fashion platform Farfetch on Wednesday announced that it was entering into the beauty category, according to a company press release. The effort will take place across Farfetch’s brands, which include its namesake company, Browns and Off-White. The move follows the company’s acquisition of luxury beauty retailer Violet Grey earlier in the year

“Together with Violet Grey, Browns and Off-White, will provide a curated edit of the best luxury beauty products to serve customers across ages, races, cultures and genders in an ‘Only on Farfetch‘ way,” the company said. 

Farfetch took a minority stake in Neiman Marcus Group earlier this month. 

After ‘historic year,’ REI is expanding run and tackling mental health

It’s been a busy month for REI. The retailer on April 12 reported that its 2021 net sales hit $3.7 billion, up 36% over 2020, in what CEO Eric Artz called a “historic year for the co-op.” REI also added 1.4 million new members and saw growth of more than 80% in its used gear business. On the backs of that growth, the outdoors retailer is expanding its running assortment to reach even more shoppers in the space.


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