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Luxury’s global expansion starts with India
Morning Brew September 07, 2022

Retail Brew


Hey, hey. If you’re in the market for some weirdly relaxing retail-related TikTok content, might we recommend our latest obsessions: a Target order packer and a Trader Joe’s sign artist.

In today’s edition:

—Jeena Sharma, Erin Cabrey


New horizons

New horizons Le Mill

Since Louis Vuitton’s arrival in India in 2002, several brands, like Gucci, Dior, and Hermès, have set up shop in the world’s second most-populated country, making the nation an up-and-comer in the luxury-goods category. And the recent arrival of the likes of Balenciaga and Valentino has only invited more attention to the country as a potential luxury hotspot.

Still, most luxury brands coming to the country have chosen to do so through a partnership with companies like Aditya Birla Group or Reliance Brands Limited, a conglomerate that has brought 50 international brands including Armani Exchange, Bottega Veneta, and Burberry into the country.

  • Per Swarooprani Muralidhar, senior analyst at Coresight India, foreign brands prefer to partner with these groups, as they are more likely to navigate the nuances of the Indian market.

Worth an estimated $8.5 billion in 2022, up from $2.5 billion in 2021, the Indian luxury market is on track to be one of the fastest growing in the globe, according to Euromonitor International. This is in part because of the varying cultures within India’s population of ~1.4 billion.

Le Mill—the Mumbai-based multi brand luxury retailer founded 11 years ago by two French natives, Cecilia Morelli and Julie Leymarie—houses a number of brands including Celine, Dries Van Noten, and Zimmerman in its stores. Le Mill is an example of how a house of brands can work in India, guiding luxury retailers through the labyrinth of Indian society.

Keep reading here.JS



Do abandoned carts haunt your biz?


Roughly 70% of all online shopping carts are abandoned. Dun, dun, duuuun. But this eerie trend isn’t an unsolved mystery—it’s often caused by a confusing checkout process.

The solution? A seamless, one-click checkout experience that can boost conversions and revenue. If you crave more enlightening data on what stops customers from purchasing, dive into Bolt’s exclusive research.

Bolt surveyed shoppers about why they let carts languish before checkout, and their reasons were pretty eye-opening. The team channeled these thoughts into a host of insightful tips for retailers to help them avoid $$$-costing mistakes. Just in time for holiday sales, too.

Free the carts from their spooky shackles and download Bolt’s free report.



Band of misfits

Misfits Market box with food items Misfits Market

Misfits Market is seeking a more (im)perfect union within the e-comm grocery space, announcing today its plans to acquire Imperfect Foods in a “mostly stock transaction,” Misfits CEO and founder Abhi Ramesh told Retail Brew.

  • Philadelphia-based Misfits was valued at $2 billion last year after raising $225 million, while Imperfect was worth $700 million after bringing in $95 million in January 2021.

The two sustainability-minded online grocers, founded three years apart (Misfits in 2018 and Imperfect in 2015), share similar ethos around food-waste reduction, Ramesh noted. He said acquisition discussions began a few months ago, when Misfits connected with Imperfect investors and management as Imperfect was beginning a funding round and suggested the two join forces.

“Their team…said, ‘Hey, we agree. Capital markets are a little bit more challenging these days than they were a year ago and we see the brand alignment, we get the mission alignment, and we see the operational similarities and efficiencies, so let’s dive in,’” he said.

In the market: The two brands will “coexist” in the short term, Ramesh said, and will likely integrate over the next year (what that exactly looks like is still TBD, but they’ll eventually form a “unified brand.”). Their operations, however, will be consolidated more quickly, he noted, using both companies’ logistics networks to fulfill deliveries and merging their product assortments, including both companies’ private-label products (Imperfect has 100+ items of its own, Misfits rolled out its label Odds & Ends in April.)

  • Ramesh will serve as CEO across the combined company, with Imperfect CEO Dan Park staying on during the transition.

Turning green: The deal offers “the scale that neither brand could really achieve standalone without a lot more time, a lot more capital,” Ramesh told us. That provides a “clearer path” to profitability by early 2024, with a predicted $1 billion in sales.

Keep reading here.EC




What’s stopping the shopping? Abandoned carts are a trillion-dollar problem in e-commerce…annually. Why are so many shoppers dipping out during checkout? Bolt’s research suggests issues like sticker shock and checkout hassles are to blame. Wanna avoid such common pitfalls before the holiday season? Read Bolt’s free report.



Coworking with Nikki Baird

Coworking with Nikki Baird Nikki Baird

On Wednesdays, we wear pink spotlight Retail Brew’s readers. Want to be featured in an upcoming edition? Click here to introduce yourself.

Nikki Baird has spent over 15 years as a retail industry analyst, starting with firms like Forrester before co-founding her own, Retail Systems Research. Now, she’s VP of strategy at retail solutions provider Aptos—read on to find out what her role entails.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in retail? I look after the future, and interpret what it means for both retailers and how our solutions help retailers. For the average consumer, it means that I look at all the new ways you want to engage with retailers and figure out how much retailers will have to change in order to continue to meet your continuously rising expectations.

One thing we can’t guess about your job from your LinkedIn profile? I was WFH long before the pandemic—over 20 years now.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on? We invested a lot of time and effort in defining out some forward-looking consumer experiences—things that blended digital and store, like “See it on Instagram, buy it in store” or “Shop Serena Williams’s locker” as examples. We designed them down to the screen-by-screen interaction that a consumer would have. It was a goldmine of things to put on our roadmap for the foreseeable future, and it was really fun to dream it, but then see how we might actually make it come to life.

Which emerging retail trend are you most excited about this year, and why? Rethinking the role of the store associate. It’s been long overdue—right before the pandemic hit, I think retail had hit an all-time low, where a front-line job had gone from something you could make a career out of, to a disposable job with disposable pay. The pandemic and the labor crunch that has come since have refocused retailers on putting meaning back into front line jobs at a time when retail is seeing pressure to change how store associates interact with everything from customers to inventory to technology.

Keep reading here.—EC



Today’s top retail reads.

Break point: How Serena Williams’s brand partnerships opened the door for other female athletes. “Serena was a catalyst,” said Michelob’s VP of marketing Ricardo Marques. “She gave confidence to brands like us to come forward and put these commitments, dollars, to make that support more visible.” (Bloomberg)

Fair play: E.l.f. Beauty has become the first brand to have its factories Fair Trade Certified—and more beauty brands might follow. (Fast Company)

Picture of health: Nutrition advocates and food trade groups continue to debate the addition of front-of-pack labeling to food products to identify health risks like excessive sugar and fat. (the Wall Street Journal)


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  • Target CEO Brian Cornell will remain with the retailer for three more years after its board nixed the mandatory retirement age of 65.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond named its chief accounting officer Laura Crossen interim CFO.
  • Hero Cosmetics, maker of the Mighty Patch, was acquired by Church & Dwight.
  • The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, one of the country’s largest labor unions, debuted a new division focused on the unionization of Amazon employees.
  • Boots will debut an online marketplace for health and beauty brands.


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