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 Gap teaming up with Dapper Dan to Chewy’s purrfectly adorable Santa Claus campaign, here’s our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Dick’s names private label chief
Dick’s Sporting Goods earlier this week announced Chad Kessler has become its executive vice president of vertical brands, according to a company LinkedIn post.
Kessler spent over eight years at American Eagle Outfitters holding a number of roles, including president of American Eagle premium brands, global brand president of American Eagle, and executive vice president and chief merchandising and design officer. Kessler also held leadership roles at Urban Outfitters, Coach and Abercrombie & Fitch.
As executive vice president of vertical brands at Dick’s, Kessler will be responsible for overseeing the company’s strategy, management and execution of Dick’s private label organization, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
Amazon launches virtual healthcare for common ailments
Amazon may be behaving less and less like a retailer, and now it’s more like a healthcare provider than ever. The e-commerce giant on Tuesday announced the launch of Amazon Clinic, a message-based virtual health service available in 32 states that offers care from licensed providers.
The clinicians can diagnose, treat and prescribe medication for more than 20 common health conditions, including acne, hair loss and allergies.
The service, which comes on top of Amazon’s recent acquisition of One Medical and its existing pharmacy business, is available round the clock, seven days a week through Amazon’s website and mobile app. Prices vary by provider, and Amazon Clinic doesn’t accept insurance, though prescriptions (which can also be filled at any pharmacy) may be covered by many health plans.
Dapper Dan partners with Gap on hoodies
Icon and fashion influencer Dapper Dan has once again partnered with Gap on a collection. The new Dap Gap hoodies come in four plaid colorways and retail for $128. The drop will be available on Nov. 29 at the Gap store on 125th St. in Harlem, New York. The apparel will be available widely on the Gap website on Nov. 30.
This one is for the Doggs
Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. is fulfilling his retail destiny. Snoop Dogg announced a brand new venture with the introduction of a pet accessory brand named — what else? — Snoop Doggie Doggs.
The collection of apparel, plush toys, bowls, leashes and more, was created in partnership with SMAC Entertainment and Little Earth Productions. It “pulls inspiration from Snoop’s lifestyle” and encourages shoppers to spoil their pets.
“If my dogs ain’t fresh I ain’t fresh. These dogs and their apparel are a reflection of Tha Dogg himself, so they gotta look the role of a Top Dog, ya dig?!?!” Snoop Dogg said in a statement.
The company wants you to drop it like it’s hot and grab one of its apparel products that range in size from XS to XL, or in a “big dog” size. Items cost between $14.99 and $99.99.
You can find Snoop Doggie Dogs on its namesake website and on Amazon.
To spread holiday cheer to pets, Chewy launches ‘Letters to Chewy Claus’
With the holidays around the corner, many are curating their wish lists of items they hope to receive this year.
But online pet retailer Chewy didn’t want humans to have all of the fun, so this week it launched its “Letters to Chewy Claus” initiative.
The retailer created a “pet-friendly website” so pets can share their holiday wish lists for Chewy Claus to determine if they’ve been naughty or nice. Pets who submit their lists by Dec. 15 will receive their gifts by the new year.
“At Chewy, we know pets are a part of the family and we wanted to give them a way to truly participate in the holiday season this year,” Orlena Yeung, vice president of brand marketing at Chewy, said in a statement. “Through Chewy Claus, we are hoping to spread joy while recognizing the most important gift that keeps on giving — the love and companionship of our pets.”
And to extend the holiday spirit further, Chewy has pledged to donate one pound of food to one of its non-profit partners — up to 15,000 pounds — for every letter received.
What we’re still thinking about
That is how much net income slid by at Kohl’s in the third quarter, with comp sales down nearly 7%. That came as no surprise after the retailer announced Q3 preliminary results, along with the departure of Michelle Gass from the company and CEO role, earlier this month.
What did come as unexpected was the withdrawal of guidance for Q4 and the fiscal year. With sales decelerating in October and into November, and its customers on the hunt for discounts, the retailer is facing a bumpy ride through the rest of the year, and as it is without a chief executive. The company’s chief financial officer and board chair signaled that the company would be leaning in to its position as a value banner, and expects a highly promotional season — which means profits aren’t coming back anytime soon.
Speaking of falling profits, Target once again missed analyst estimates this year, with its Q3 report bringing yet another down revision for its forecasts for the year. Target, like Kohl’s and others, has seen sales slow down in October, a troubling sign for the holiday season ahead. Yet rival Walmart posted a blowout quarter relative to the year, a dichotomy that analysts took note of.
Target Chief Growth Officer Christina Hennington said sales have been soft in electronics and sporting goods, and toy sales have decelerated — again, a worrying omen for the holidays. Target CEO Brian Cornell noted that the retailer has seen its customers become increasingly cautious, price sensitive and driven by promotions on products to induce them to buy, which has put continuous pressure on the company’s margins. Analysts voiced disappointment with the company itself, with one suggesting that “Target has let its standards slip and its energy slide.”
What we’re watching
Adidas, Nike step deeper into virtual goods
Brands have been playing around with the metaverse and virtual goods for the entirety of 2022, but two major athletics brands made big commitments to the space this week. Nike announced a new marketplace, called .Swoosh, dedicated to the collection and eventual trade of virtual goods. And just days later, Adidas dropped its first NFT collection of wearables, designed specifically for virtual avatars.
Both moves represent serious dedication to virtual products, and in Adidas’ case, the brand even developed a new “Virtual Gear” product category to hold all of those items. Nike has plans to debut digital collections of its own on the .Swoosh platform starting next year, which shoppers will be able to wear in digital games and experiences. And the retailer will give some shoppers the chance to co-create virtual products like jerseys and shoes, and earn royalties on those items.
These two aren’t playing around anymore.