The Weekly Closeout: Adidas left with $1.3B in Yeezy shoes, Dick’s Sporting Goods, NCAA partner for March Madness
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 Adidas trying to figure out what to do with leftover Yeezys to limited edition mini basketballs from Pizza Hut, here’s our closeout for the week.
What you may have missed
Helen of Troy’s CFO resigns
The parent company of Hydro Flask, OXO and Osprey announced this week that its chief financial officer, Matt Osberg, has resigned from the company effective April 27.
Helen of Troy said Osberg has accepted another opportunity “closer to his family in Minnesota,” according to a company press release.
Osberg joined the company as senior vice president of corporate finance in 2016 and was named CFO in 2021.
Helen of Troy said Brian Grass, who was previously the CFO at the company, will return on March 21 to become senior vice president and assistant chief financial officer. We will then transition to interim CFO on April 28. The company has started a search for a permanent CFO.
“I am pleased to welcome Brian back in his interim role. In his seven years as Helen of Troy’s CFO, he has proven himself many times as a valued partner to me and our global leadership team,” CEO Julien Mininberg said in a statement. “I appreciate his expertise, integrity, ambitious standards, and the countless contributions he made during his 15-year career at Helen of Troy.”
Skechers unveils Martha Stewart capsule collection and name-drops her bestie Snoop Dogg
Skechers may not have time for Yeezy, who was unceremoniously escorted out of the casual sneakers’ headquarters last year when he showed up there unannounced. But lifestyle maven Martha Stewart, known for her homemaking perfection, is another story.
Stewart and Skechers first teamed up last year for a campaign featuring Skechers Arch Fit collection. Now the relationship has expanded with a collection of her own. In a statement, Skechers President Michael Greenberg called it “the perfect match.”
The Spring 2023 capsule, which launched on International Women’s Day, is dubbed “A Day in the Life of Martha.” The collection features comfy slip-ins, slides and sandals, according to a press release, in which the company also managed to name-drop Stewart pal Snoop Dogg.
Dick’s, NCAA tip off partnership during March Madness
Dick’s Sporting Goods and the NCAA this week announced a corporate partnership. Under the deal, Dick’s is the official sporting goods retail partner for the NCAA’s 90 men’s and women’s championships.
The partnership will begin during the men’s NCAA tournament’s First Four starting March 14. Dick’s will activate its sponsorship through media investments that include content production and courtside signage. Through the partnership, Dick’s said it can reach millions of fans.
Dick’s will also own exclusive category sponsorship rights to select fan events during the men’s and women’s Final Four games including the women’s Final Four open practices and the Kids Zone at the men’s Final Four fan festival.
As an official retail partner, Dick’s will receive exclusive access to NCAA-licensed merchandise for promotional purposes. CBS Sports and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports jointly manage and collaborate on the NCAA’s corporate Champions and partners program. Dick’s said it also will receive category-exclusive rights to NCAA-owned historical footage to create custom content.
“Dick’s Sporting Goods and NCAA form a wonderful partnership that will help enhance all 90 Championships,” said Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball. “We look forward to working together on our collective goals, which center around supporting student-athletes and their overall achievements.”
Meet me at the Pizza Hut basketball court
Speaking of basketball, Pizza Hut announced it is releasing its limited-edition mini basketballs in time for NCAA March Madness.
The $7 basketballs are a black and red design, and were last offered by the pizza chain restaurant in the 1990s, per a Wednesday press release. Available starting March 14, Pizza Hut has brought them back alongside its 16 inch pizza pie, The Big New Yorker.
Don’t have a hoop? Pizza Hut has designed a limited box for The Big New Yorker that turns in to a hoop with a backboard.
Claire’s opens a(nother) store in Paris
Claire’s on Monday announced that it opened a new store in Paris, located on Rue Faubourg St. Antoine.
The 1,200 square-foot store was “designed for total brand immersion,” features an ear-shaped “chandel-ear” and has two dedicated ear piercing studios and one content creation studio. The store will be a place the company launches exclusive products and tests lines. It will also have experiential and pop-up events.
Claire’s has eight locations in Paris, 230 stores in France, and will be expanding to other cities in Europe.
What we’re still thinking about
That’s how much fast-fashion retailer Shein is reportedly collecting this month in its latest funding round, according to a report from Reuters citing unnamed sources.
For the round, the Chinese apparel company lowered its valuation to $64 billion, per the report. Last year the retailer’s valuation was pegged at closer to $100 billion. Shein has also apparently resumed its effort to go public, with outreach to “several investment banks” in preparation for a U.S.-based initial public offering, Reuters reported.
Rivals H&M and Zara are grappling with slowing demand amid rising consumer preference for more sustainably made clothing and some indications that younger shoppers are less interested in trendy styles. Yet Shein has gobbled up share with one of the fastest production cycles and cheapest assortments ever.
That’s how much Prada Group’s revenue increased year over year. In fact, the 21% revenue boost is the luxury brand’s best sales year ever.
The Italian luxury group’s big wins come on the heels of executive leadership changes early this year. Andrea Guerra was named the group’s CEO at its January board meeting. Former co-CEO Miuccia Prada remained at the company as creative director of Miu Miu and co-creative director of Prada, along with Raf Simons. Patrizio Bertelli was named chairman of the board of directors. Former board director Paolo Zannoni moved to executive deputy chairman.
Leadership attributes its success to strong retail sales and organic growth of Prada brands, particularly Miu Miu, which has garnered the attention of celebrities and influencers.
What we’re watching
Adidas debates what to do with Yeezy shoes
There are still $1.3 billion worth of Yeezy shoes housed by Adidas after the decision to stop selling over Ye’s antisemitic remarks and rhetoric, and the sports brand doesn’t know what to do about it. Five months ago, the two cut ties after a string of controversial television appearances and social media posts by Ye. Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden this week told analysts that the brand is facing pressure not to destroy the inventory for sustainability reasons, but not to sell it, either, for reputational ones. The lost sales opportunity has already impacted Adidas’ earnings, with the company reporting its first annual loss in three decades.