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Inside Retail (Aug 13th, 2019)

1. Rite Aid appointed health care veteran Heyward Donigan as CEO and expects her to lead it into e-commerce in the health care space. Donigan comes most recently from her role as president and CEO at Sapphire Digital (formerly Vitals), a company that helps increase transparency in health care and match consumers with providers. She also held leadership roles at Premera Blue Cross, CIGNA, and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. Bruce Bodaken, Rite Aid's board chairman, said Donigan's "broad healthcare knowledge and digital shopping technology expertise set her apart" in their search for a new CEO and that she will be tasked with "capitalizing on the opportunities in the evolving health care environment." In March, Rite Aid cut 400 jobs in the U.S. as part of a restructuring that slashed 20 percent of its corporate workforce. With her new role at Rite Aid, Donigan is one of 34 female CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies. - WSJ

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2. Target added the Levi's Red Tab label to 50 stores near college campuses and high-traffic urban locations. It piloted Red Tab for men last year at 20 stores and will expand to jeans, jackets and tops for men and women. The expansion shows Target's responsiveness to consumers. It sold the lower price point Levi's Denizen line developed for Asia beginning in 2011, and Levi's is one of the most searched brands on Target's website. - RETAIL DIVE

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3. The North Face's new Soho, New York, store concept is a preview of the renovations the brand is planning for the majority of its stores in the next five years. TNF's new brick-and-mortar retail strategy is to create an environment that feels like a "basecamp for exploration." Reclaimed wood, sustainable materials, and low VOC paint form the foundation of the stores that will also have an archives section that pays tribute to the brand's history and heritage in outdoor exploring. Mark Parker, Vice President of Direct to Consumer, said "We're now focused on creating an environment that highlights our heritage and allows consumers to deeply connect with the brand as they prepare for their own exploration, wherever it may be." TNF plans revitalizations of its Seattle and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, stores in the coming weeks, as well as revites for its European stores this fall. - RIS

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4. BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, invested $625 million in Authentic Brands Group, the parent company of Volcom, Sports Illustrated, and Nine West, and is now the largest investor in ABG. ABG is valued at $4 billion after the latest round which raised $875 million. ABG was founded by the co-founder of Ride Snowboards, Jamie Salter, who is reportedly considering bailing Barneys New York out of bankruptcy. This is the first deal made by BlackRock's Long Term private equity firm. - CNBC

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5. Coach and Givenchy apologized to the Chinese government and people for t-shirts that violate the "One China" policy. Versace apologized to China over the weekend after selling a t-shirt that listed Hong Kong and Macau as separate countries when the One China policy mandates they be listed as China. Versace's first Chinese brand ambassador stepped down, and now Coach and Givenchy are facing similar events. Both brands issued apologies and are trying to avoid what happened to Dolce & Gabbana last year. Coach's shirt listed Taiwan as a separate province. Its Chinese brand ambassador, supermodel Liu Wen posted on Weibo "China's sovereignty and territory integrity are inviolable!" Coach apologized and said it is "dedicated to long-term development in China." LVMH-owned Givenchy also made a shirt that listed Hong Kong and Taiwan as separate provinces. The French label apologized and pulled the shirt but not before losing its Chinese ambassador, boy band star Jackson Yee. - REUTERS

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6. CuanTec is a startup that makes compostable plastic wrap out of shellfish shells. The Scottish startup uses a process similar to fermentation in brewing beer to extract chitin which is then converted to clear film. Cait Murray-Green, CEO, said "The challenge is to create something that does the same job, but through a sustainable source." - FAST COMPANY

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7. This Reddit thread shows why customers are leaving LVMH-owned Sephora and switching to Ulta. Formerly a skanky store that sold returned products that were used as new, Ulta has made smart decisions like expanding its assortment and revamping its rewards program to offer better rewards products. Its partnership with Kylie Cosmetics is also a huge advantage, and it has more reliable shipping than either Sephora or Glossier.

I used to love Sephora only, but Ulta is next to Trader Joe's and Shake Shack and the chain makes it easy for me when I'm already thinking about going to a store. Are you an Ulta or a Sephora fan?

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8. Amazon-backed European food delivery service Deliveroo is leaving Germany. The company did not provide a specific reason why it was pulling out of the country and is giving employees a final paycheck with severance pay. A professor at the University of Amsterdam who has been researching the gig economy in Berlin said, "The gig economy is great while it lasts, as a stepping stone or stopgap but you don’t want to get stuck in it for too long because then shit will happen." - QZ

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9. Taco Bell and KFC's parent company Yum Brands promoted its current president and COO David Gibbs, to become its new CEO effective Jan. 1, 2020. Gibbs' strategic contributions to Yum focus on global expansion, particularly into China. Gibbs replaces current Greg Creed who will retire after being with the company for 25 years. Creed plans to stay on as a part-time advisor and will stay on the board. - CNBC

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10. Musician Ed Sheeran and Heinz are giving away 150 limited edition Edchup bottles with labels that look like the tattoo the musician has of the iconic ketchup bottle. Sheeran apparently has a major love for ketchup and he and Heinz first experimented with Edchup earlier this summer. Kraft Heinz is doing terribly because people are rejecting processed condiments, not at all because it's spending resources making Edchup. - FOOD & WINE

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Written and curated by Cassidy Mantor, a brand storyteller with a decade of retail marketing experience including in-house at Nike and Oakley. Occasionally she writes a “think piece” about fashion law for the American Bar Association. She is happy to be based in coastal Virginia except when there’s a hurricane. She can be found on LinkedIn.

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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