The Weekly Closeout: Amazon clashes with Visa and Petco posts 'record' Q3 - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Saturday, November 20, 2021

The Weekly Closeout: Amazon clashes with Visa and Petco posts 'record' Q3


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 Diesel's latest petwear collection to Macy's entrance into the third-party marketplace space, here's our closeout for the week.

What you may have missed:

It's in the cards

Amazon this week informed merchants in the United Kingdom that it won't accept U.K.-issued Visa credit cards for transactions, pointing to high fees for the decision. 

"These costs should be going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise," an Amazon spokesperson said to sister publication Payments Dive by email. "As a result of Visa's continued high cost of payments, we regret that will no longer accept UK-issued Visa credit cards as of 19 January, 2022."

"We have a long-standing relationship with Amazon, and we continue to work toward a resolution, so our cardholders can use their preferred Visa credit cards at Amazon UK without Amazon-imposed restrictions come January 2022," Visa said in a comment via email.

Now, according to Bloomberg, Amazon is in talks with Mastercard to shift its co-branded card to that company from Visa.

CoverGirl branches out to skincare

Courtesy of CoverGirl


With a long history in the cosmetics space, CoverGirl on Monday launched its first skincare collection, called Clean Fresh Skincare. The line is vegan and formulated with 90% naturally derived ingredients, according to a company press release on the launch. It features five products: a cleanser, a priming glow mist, a "weightless" moisturizer, an oil-free moisturizer and a corrector cream for dry skin. The skincare collection is available "everywhere CoverGirl is sold."

"CoverGirl is an icon in the makeup aisle with a deep heritage in skin-forward products, so breaking into the skincare category is a natural evolution for the brand," Andrew Stanleick, executive vice president of North America at Coty and CEO of Kylie Jenner beauty brands, said in a statement. "We know consumers are more skin-aware than ever and want ingredient-conscious products at an accessible price point. CoverGirl Clean Fresh Skincare is just that."

Petco reports double-digit growth in private labels in Q3

Petco on Thursday reported "record" third quarter net revenue of $1.4 billion, up 15% year over year. The retailer's net income increased some 2,346% to $51.5 million, up $49.4 million from last year.

Petco's owned and exclusive brands in Q3 delivered double-digit growth from a year ago, the company said. The retailer's push into private labels, including through the opening of its SoHo flagship dedicated to its Reddy brand, has helped the retailer ward off some of the supply chain challenges affecting much of the industry, according to CEO Ron Coughlin.

"We are pleased with our supply relative to the industry, particularly in consumables, enabling a more than doubling of our rate of share gain," Coughlin said on a call with analysts Thursday. "Additionally, because most of our holiday stock is owned brands, we are well positioned, having over 95% of that stock already in stores and DCs. This is on the heels of a 24% increase in Halloween merchandise sales compared to last year."

Retail Therapy

Your dog looks cooler than you

Courtesy of Diesel


Diesel has launched its latest petwear collection, dubbed Doggie Capsule #02, in select stores and on its website, according to information sent to Retail Dive. 

The eight-piece collection is inspired by the retailer's Fall/Winter 2021 womenswear and menswear collections, so you can continue to support the theory that owners look exactly like their pets. 

Apparel includes a padded denim jacket, a camo hoodie, a nylon bomber jacket and a gray hoodie. Accessory options include a collar, leash and harness that are made in denim and faux leather and a dog carrier with detachable handles and straps.

An advent calendar for anglers

Retailers, in recent years, have proven themselves to be particularly creative in creating their own version of the advent calendar. Target previously sold cheese advent calendars, while Tiffany famously released an advent calendar filled with jewelry pieces with a steep $112,000 price tag.

Just when you think every version of the advent calendar has been done, fishing brand Catch Co. this week introduced its first-ever advent calendar filled with fishing products, called the 12 Days of Fishmas Advent Calendar. The calendar includes products like lures, tackle and Catch Co. swag.

For only $24.99, "anglers who enjoy the excitement of trying new products" can purchase the advent calendar exclusively at Walmart stores and

What we're still thinking about:


That's how many stores CVS plans to close over the next three years, at a pace of around 300 per year starting next spring. The company framed the retrenchment in terms of its omnichannel strategy and focus on services. CVS also said the decision followed "evaluating changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs" to tailor its footprint.

As it cuts its footprint, Neela Montgomery, current president of CVS Retail/Pharmacy, is leaving the company while two other executives were named as the next co-presidents of CVS's retail business.


That's how many private labels Bed Bath & Beyond has launched this year. The retailer on Thursday introduced H for Happy, a holiday-inspired collection of home decor. The brand's launch completed Bed Bath & Beyond's goal of introducing at least eight owned brands in fiscal 2021, which have also included Nestwell, Simply Essential and Wild Sage.

What we're watching:

Kmart to close its last store in Michigan

Kmart is about to close its last store in Michigan, the state where the discount retailer was founded more than a century ago. After years of bloodletting, Kmart has perhaps a dozen stores left in the continental U.S., compared to more than 1,300 a decade ago. At some point, the retailer — owned by Transformco, which holds some of the last remnants of the former Sears empire — is going to run out of stores to shutter. If and when it does, the world will lose yet another storied retail name.

Macy's is joining the marketplace party

Amazon has led the way when it comes to third-party marketplaces. The set-up has allowed the retail giant to expand its selection while leaving the risks of owning and selling inventory to its sellers. And it's a cash cow, as all the while Amazon charges them for advertising, fulfillment and other services, and collects data on their customer relationships.

The model isn't just for Amazon anymore. Walmart has been steadily growing its marketplace for years now, as has Target, although the latter has taken a more curated approach. Canadian department store Hudson's Bay Co., before splitting its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar operations into separate companies, announced a marketplace with more than 500 sellers. And, although it hasn't established a marketplace per se, Nordstrom earlier this year noted that it will be leveraging drop-shipping in order to similarly push more costs and uncertainties unto suppliers.

The approach is not without risk, however. Marketplaces have become notorious for their sales of fake and possibly unsafe goods, a problem serious enough to capture the attention of Congress. And while it may be nice to foist many of the costs of doing business onto third-party sellers, poor customer experiences hurt the retailer's brand, not the seller's. Macy's, in particular, could face not just those downsides, but — with a marketplace rounding out its e-commerce — also greater difficulty fending off activist pressure to spin off its digital operations, analysts say.


Retail Dive Staff, Khareem Sudlow