The Weekly Closeout: Disney turns to villains for bridal inspiration, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. cuts a role - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Friday, February 9, 2024

The Weekly Closeout: Disney turns to villains for bridal inspiration, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. cuts a role


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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 Bark reporting better-than-expected revenue results in Q3 to Lovesac partnering with KidSuper, here’s our closeout for the week.

What you may have missed

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. eliminates a role 

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. on Tuesday announced the company’s board of directors decided on Feb. 2 to eliminate the role of president of global brands. As a result, Kristin Scott, who currently holds the position as well as managing director of North America, will be leaving the company no later than March 30, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Lovesac and KidSuper partner

The Lovesac Company announced on Thursday a multi-season partnership with fashion label KidSuper. The limited-edition Fall/Winter 2024 collection features artwork by artist, designer and brand founder Colm Dillane. 

Courtesy of Lovesac


"KidSuper's bold designs align perfectly with our unconventional approach to home furniture and together we are creating something truly unique in the market — a blend of fashion-forward design and unparalleled comfort that speaks to the modern consumer," Lovesac founder and CEO Shawn Nelson said in a statement.

The partnership announcement coincides with the grand opening of KidSuper’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, during New York Fashion Week. To celebrate the studio’s launch, Lovesac also created a limited-edition SuperSac with an exclusive KidSuper print.

Anthropologie to accept pre-loved denim in-store

Anthropologie on Monday announced it would be participating in Cotton Incorporated's Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program for its third year in a row, according to a press release. At any of the retailer’s over 200 U.S. stores, customers can bring in their pre-owned denim to be recycled into insulating material for many uses as a part of Cotton Incorporated's consumer sustainability program.

“At Anthropologie, we are committed to creating a more sustainable future and being mindful of our environmental impact on the planet across our business operations,” Anthropologie Group's Global Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Preis said in a statement. “I am confident that through this relationship, we will grow Anthropologie's denim circularity initiative, support in waste-reduction, and reduce our overall environmental impact.”

Any type of denim apparel made of 90% cotton or greater is accepted. The retailer also set a goal of diverting 10 tons of denim by the end of 2025.

Bark narrows losses in Q3, but sees revenue slip nearly 7%

While Bark’s third-quarter revenue came ahead of the high-end of its guidance range, revenue still fell nearly 7% year over year to $125.1 million. By channel, direct-to-consumer revenue fell 7.6% year over year and wholesale revenue fell 0.6%. Total orders in the period declined 5.8% year over year to 3.5 million, while average order value fell about 2% from the year-ago period.

But Bark was also able to narrow its losses in the period. Net loss improved 52% year over year to $10.1 million and operating loss narrowed 36%.

"We've been very pleased with our ability to deliver consistent improvements in our profitability profile," Bark CFO Zahir Ibrahim, said in a statement. "There is still work to do, however, we believe the business has reached an inflection point from a profitability standpoint.

For the full fiscal year, the company projects revenue to decline 8% to 9%, an improvement from prior guidance of declining 8% to 11%.

Retail therapy

Disney helps brides dress to kill

Disney is throwing out fairy-tale weddings and bringing out the bad in all of us. The entertainment company is rolling out a set of four bridal gowns based on popular Disney villains through a partnership with Allure Bridals.

Courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort, Claire Celeste


Shoppers can stick with the traditional white or make distant relations question their morality by donning one of the villain’s styles in black. So go on — grace those poor, unfortunate souls with a sparkly mermaid silhouette inspired by Ursula or demand to be fairest of them all in a floral embellished black and gold number that pays homage to the evil Queen.

Styles based on Jafar and Maleficent are also available, covering every transgression from cursing an infant to condemning someone to die in a pyramid of treasures. And Disney isn’t leaving do-gooders entirely in the dust: The new collection adds onto a Disney Princess line the company has with Allure Bridals, featuring gowns inspired by Ariel, Pocahontas, Belle and more.

Pick your poison: Happily ever after or wickedly designed dresses.

Fireball releases fiery lipstick inspired by Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

Ahead of Super Bowl LVIII where the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers, Fireball Whisky is releasing its first custom lipstick — Cinnamon Delight — inspired by one of the most popular couples of the moment: Taylor Swift and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Courtesy of Fireball


The lipstick, which comes in Fireball’s red color and is a nod to Swift’s signature shade, features a cinnamon flavor and aroma. The product costs $13.87, paying homage to the couple with 13 being Swift’s lucky number and 87 being Kelce’s jersey number.

"This football season has enchanted an army of new fans, inspiring them to turn the heat up at game time in response to a love story the world knows all too well at this point," Danny Suich, global brand director for Fireball, said in a statement. "When we introduced Fireball Cinnamon Delight, fans loved that we added a little heat by daring to go where no whisky brand has gone before, so it was a no brainer to make this widely available for the big game."

What we’re still thinking about


That’s how much net sales fell during the third quarter at The Container Store.

The retailer reported $215 million in net sales for Q3, down from $252 million during the same period last year. CEO Satish Malhotra acknowledged that third-quarter results missed the company’s expectations, attributing the sales slide to ongoing challenges in the company’s core general merchandise category.

The company posted a $6.4 million net loss for Q3 versus net income of $4.2 million last year. It also had $179.3 million in long-term debt, up slightly from $178.4 million a year earlier. The Container Store lowered its full-year fiscal outlook. It now expects net sales to range from $842 million to $847 million, down from previous guidance of $870 million to $885 million.

The Container Store appeared on Retail Dive’s bankruptcy watchlist in October. At that time, it had a 4% to 10% chance of bankruptcy within 12 months, according to CreditRiskMonitor data.

$700 million

That’s the top end of how much Estée Lauder expects its restructuring program to cost.

The initiative, announced this week, includes plans to cut 3% to 5% of its positions starting during the company’s 2024 fiscal third quarter. The reduction includes the elimination of some positions as well as retraining and redeployment of select employees. The beauty company said the overall cost of restructuring may range from $500 million to $700 million and produce gross profits ranging from $350 million to $500 million.

As part of Estée Lauder’s overall profit recovery plan, the company now expects to achieve an incremental operating profit of $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion. The company announced the restructuring plan on the same day it reported earnings for the quarter ending on Dec. 31. Estée Lauder said its net sales during the last three months fell 7% to $4.28 billion, down from $4.62 billion a year earlier.

What we’re watching

Shein’s continued expansion in the U.S. 

Shein on Thursday announced it will open a Seattle-area office that will serve as a hub for the company’s U.S. fulfillment and logistics. 

"The U.S. is an important market for Shein, and we are thrilled to establish a presence in the Seattle area as we continue enhancing our fulfillment process and improving the customer experience," Andy Huang, Shein’s head of U.S. fulfillment and logistics, said in a statement. "This expansion underscores our commitment to efficiency across our operations, and we look forward to contributing to the local community and fostering innovation in the heart of the Pacific Northwest."

Over 50 people will work from the new space by the end of the year. The company currently has a team of over 1,500 corporate and warehouse employees across the U.S.


Retail Dive Staff, Khareem Sudlow