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Inside Retail (Oct 23rd, 2019)

Good morning, Inside Retail readers,

From two major retail CEOs announcing exits, to Saks' parent company going private and an unusually long hashtag relating to Amazon trending, I've got a lot of news for you today.

– Cassidy

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1. This week was a one-two punch of CEO resignations hitting the activewear market as Nike CEO Mark Parker and Under Armour CEO and founder Kevin Plank each separately announced their resignations. Parker, who had been with the company for 30 years, will be replaced by John Donahoe, former eBay CEO and current chairman of PayPal's board. Plank, who founded Under Armour in his grandmother's basement, will be replaced with Chief Operating Officer Patrik Frisk. Both transitions will occur in January. At Nike, Parker denied the resignation was related to the anti-doping scandal. Donahoe has been on Nike's board for five years and is currently the CEO of ServiceNow. Parker became CEO at Nike when founder Phil Knight retired in 2006. Meanwhile, Frisk has been leading a three-year plan to turn around Under Armour's business in North America, where sales for the quarter ending in July fell 3.2 percent. Under Armour's global growth so far this year has been 14 percent – compared to Nike's 30 percent growth. – CNBC / CNN

What do you expect to see in the next three years from these companies under new leadership? Hit reply to share your thoughts with me.

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2. Shoe manufacturer Cole Haan has been preparing for an IPO since August, and submitted a confidential IPO filing this week. Cole Haan is owned by footwear and fashion investment firm Apax Partners. Apax bought Cole Haan from Nike for $570 million in 2013. Cole Haan reported a 14 percent increase in revenue to $687 last year. Cole Haan did not disclose information on the size of the IPO, how many shares it is offering, or the price sought. - FOOTWEAR NEWS

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3. Saks Fifth Avenue parent company Hudson's Bay Company is going private. Chairman of the Board David Leigh said he was "confident that this transaction represents the best path forward." Hudson's Bay sold Lord & Taylor to Le Tote in August for $75 million, and has plans to close 15 Hudson's Bay department stores in Europe. As CNN notes, going private will allow the company to make adjustments without having to answer to investors. Minority shareholders and the Canadian government still have to approve the deal, but stock prices increased 6 percent after the announcement. - CNN

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4. The Federal Trade Commission settled its fake product reviews case with beauty retailer Sunday Riley. The investigation started when a whistleblower former employee said on Reddit that they were instructed to post product reviews on Sephora. Here's one of the emails that the former employee saved with instructions on how the company wanted the fake reviews posted. The settlement did not ask the company to admit guilt, but prevented it from writing fake reviews going forward. - BUZZFEED NEWS

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5. The incredibly long hashtag of #WeirdThingsOnMyAmazonWishList was trending on Twitter, and, before you click, prepare for a strangely fascinating and mildly uncomfortable thread. Canned cheeseburgers, mullet socks, and multiple cat-themed novelty items await. My favorite: these "fashionable amphibious shoes."

Hit reply and tell me what's on your Amazon wish list?

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6. CVS and Walgreens plan to offer drone delivery to customers. CVS partnered with UPS and Walgreens launched drone delivery with FedEx and Google sister company Wing. Walgreens will only deliver over-the-counter medications for now, but is "exploring the possibility” of drone delivered prescriptions in the future to compete with e-comm companies. CNN cited Zipline as another company that is exploring using drone delivery for medical products abroad. - FAST COMPANY

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7. Dunkin' is launching its Beyond Meat plant-based breakfast sandwich nationwide next month. Dunkin' first tested the Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwich in New York in July and customers said it tasted like the real thing. The sandwich will launch across the country on November 6. Dunkin's launch will be the largest plant-based product launch at a national restaurant chain. - MARKETS INSIDER

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8. Louis Vuitton women's art director Nicolas Ghesquière got incredibly political on his Instagram page, saying, "I am a fashion designer refusing this association #trumpisajoke #homophobia” in response to LVMH's new Texas workshop. Last week President Trump welcomed the opening of a LVMH leather workshop in a small town Texas. The Louis Vuitton Rochambeau Ranch will create 1,000 skilled jobs in the U.S. and opened as part of Trump's initiative to create better jobs in the country. Louis Vuitton men's artistic director Virgil Abloh responded to the post with, "Heyyy," but no other official comments have been made by anyone in the LVMH org. - NYT

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9. Macy's will stop selling fur at Bloomingdale's, Macy's, and off-price stores by the end of its 2020 fiscal year, and will also close its fur storage vaults that also repaired old furs. Macy's CEO and Chairman said, "we have been closely following consumer and brand trends... and researching alternatives to fur... [W]e have met regularly on this topic with the Humane Society of the United States and other NGOs." Designer Stella McCartney and PETA have led fur-free in fashion, but more brands are picking up the fur ban. California issued the first statewide ban on sales of new fur beginning 2023. Macy's will continue to sell calf hair (cowhide) and shearling (sheepskin) because the Fur Free Alliance permits "use of fur that is a by-product of domestic farming to feed our society." - CBS

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10. After multiple rumors, Supreme confirmed it is opening a San Francisco store. Supreme took out an ad in the SF Chronicle and offered registration to stand in line at the new store at 1015 Market Street. Supreme started hyping the store last year. It will be the fourth for the brand in the U.S., following two stores in New York and one in LA. Supreme didn't say when it'll open but based on previous openings, people are guessing it'll be October 24. - HIGHSNOBIETY

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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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