The Weekly Closeout: Lacoste names deputy CEO and Mattress Firm is (still) mulling an IPO

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 Nike targeting resellers to Tractor Supply finally receiving FTC clearance for a 2021 deal, here’s our closeout for the week.

What you may have missed

Nike takes aim at resellers

A report by The Wall Street Journal this week found Nike tweaked its terms of sale to crack down on resellers, which have been a complaint from the athletic brand’s customers for years. In Nike’s terms of sale, which were updated in October, the company said it could cancel orders if the brand determines those purchases were made for resale purposes. 

Nike also said it could restrict sales to a given customer, customer account or member account, and also might charge restocking fees, refuse to give a refund or impose purchase limits if the brand suspects someone has purchased items purely for resale.

In addition, Nike said it could cancel an order if it exceeds a product purchase limit, or if it comes from an “automated ordering software or technology.” The resale market for Nike products can be incredibly lucrative, and many customers have complained about not being able to secure products because of bots buying up stock to resell at several times the original price.

Neiman Marcus exec leaves for cannabis company

Neiman Marcus President and Chief Customer Officer David Goubert left his role at the department store. Goubert joined cannabis operator Ayr Wellness as president, according to a Wednesday press release. At Ayr, Goubert will oversee the company’s operational and commercial functions, including production, supply chain, retail, wholesale and marketing.

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“We are excited to add an experienced CPG and retail operator to our leadership team,” Jonathan Sandelman, Ayr CEO, said in a statement. “As the Board and I engaged with David over the last several months, it became clear that he was a natural leader with a track record of driving positive organizational change and operational excellence. His experience at other vertically integrated, consumer-facing businesses makes him the ideal choice to help support our Company as we enter our next phase of growth and optimization of our footprint.”

Lacoste names a deputy CEO

This week, Lacoste named Catherine Spindler as its deputy CEO. Spindler has been the company’s chief brand officer since 2019, and has experience at LVMH and the Rocher Group. 

Headshot of Catherine Spindler.
Spindler has been Lacoste’s chief brand officer since 2019.
Courtesy of Lacoste
 

Spindler will work to improve the company’s go-to-market strategy and “continue the premiumization of the iconic French brand” and strengthen its position across markets and distribution channels. 

“Catherine Spindler’s appointment comes after three years spent at the service of the brand, which have enabled us to breathe new life into the collections, to increase its desirability and its global influence, and to raise our CSR requirements and commitments even higher,” Thierry Guibert, CEO of Lacoste, said in a statement. 

Tractor Supply receives FTC clearance to close on Orscheln acquisition

After initially announcing the deal in February 2021, Tractor Supply this week received clearance from the Federal Trade Commission to close on its acquisition of Orscheln Farm and Home.

Under the consent order, the FTC is requiring Tractor Supply to divest some Orscheln stores, corporate offices and a Missouri distribution center to Bomgaars — a farm store based in Iowa — and some stores to Buchheit — a farm store with locations in Missouri and Illinois. Tractor Supply will acquire a net 81 stores, while divesting the remaining 85.

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In its announcement of the deal last year, Tractor Supply said it would acquire Orscheln for $297 million in cash.

“Today is an important day for Tractor Supply as this acquisition expands our ability to better serve our customers in the Midwest,” Tractor Supply CEO Hal Lawton said, adding, “While agreeing to this remedy with the FTC took longer than we anticipated, the outcome is in line with our expectations. We are very pleased with the high-quality locations that will be converted to Tractor Supply stores.”

Ikea laps 2021 sales figures

Ingka Group — Ikea’s largest franchisee — on Thursday reported fiscal 2022 Ikea retail sales increased 5.6% year over year to 39.5 billion euros ($38.4 billion at the time of publication).

“The last year has tested us like never before, as a business, as leaders and as people. And we lived up to the challenge – achieving solid performance in a disrupted environment, making tough decisions, while always keeping sight of the needs and dreams of the many,” Ingka Group CEO Jesper Brodin said in a statement. “Uncertainties will continue [to] be part of our lives in the coming years, but I am optimistic and confident in the strength of our togetherness and purpose.”

Inter Ikea, owner of the Ikea concept and Ikea worldwide, on Thursday also announced total Ikea retail sales across its 12 groups of franchisees increased 6.5% year over year to 44.6 billion euros. Store sales grew 13% compared to last year when many stores were closed, and online sales fell 10%.

Retail Therapy

Death becomes her

Canned water company Liquid Death, which has cornered the market in helping kids look like they are holding a beer, partnered with convicted felon Martha Stewart to release its “Dismembered Moments” candle. The product is a replica of the company’s can being held by a “life-size severed hand” that is “so realistic that you and your guests might wonder just how Martha made them.” 

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The candle sells for $58 on Stewart’s website, is nearly seven inches tall and will burn for around 60 hours. Shoppers are encouraged to order by Oct. 20 for delivery by Halloween. 

What we’re still thinking about

1,458

That’s how many employees Walmart plans to lay off at a facility in Fulton County, Georgia, by Dec. 2 this year. The retail giant told Reuters that the company is converting the center to support its Walmart Fulfillment Services business for third-party sellers. Walmart’s online sales have surged in recent years, but e-commerce growth is showing signs of slowing as shoppers return more fully to stores.

$7.4B

That’s what Victoria’s Secret is aiming to reach in net sales as the company carries on a turnaround focused on repositioning its brand. The company plans to emphasize bras and wants the category to make up 55% of its offer. The turnaround will also include a reimagined fashion show.

What we’re watching

Mattress Firm is ‘IPO-ready,’ and has been for a while

Mattress Firm’s owner, Steinhoff International, is still trying to figure out what to do with the mattress retailer, which went through a bankruptcy in 2018. The company signaled last August that it was exploring strategic options for Mattress Firm, which included an IPO. By March, the retailer was “IPO-ready,” having filed documents to do so, but Steinhoff was monitoring financial markets — which have become far less hungry for IPOs than they were last year.

In its latest announcement, Steinhoff said, “While the monitoring of market conditions is ongoing, the Steinhoff Group is continuing to explore strategic options for Mattress Firm,” and also cautioned that no decision has been made on what to do with Mattress Firm.

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