Morning Brew - ☕ Price to play

Playboy’s reinvention for the Gen Z consumer.
February 06, 2023

Retail Brew


Let’s start the week by paying tribute. Bob Born, who invented marshmallow Peeps, died at 98. What can you say about someone who made so many childhoods that much sweeter, and whose company, Just Born Quality Confections, also brought us the deliciousness of Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales? Rest in peace, chick magnate.

In today’s edition:

—Jeena Sharma, Katishi Maake, Andrew Adam Newman


Play time

Lingerie model siting in a large queen of hearts card Playboy

Playboy is not playing around with its Valentine’s Day lingerie collection (yes, we’re talking about the Playboy that you’re thinking of). Inspired by the iconic Pamela Anderson cover of the February 1991 issue of Playboy magazine, the Miss February collection—which came out last month—comes adorned with lace and hearts.

While the brand already sold casual underwear as part of its capsule collection that debuted in November 2022, the Miss February collection has been a year in the making and is designed to be a tad more racy. The collection is part of the company’s overarching strategy—a key component of which is retail—to transition from a brand that used to represent “entertainment for men” to one focused on “pleasure for all,” according to its website.

“So much about bridging the gap between fantasy and reality is kind of taking some of those iconic moments and realizing them in a three-dimensional way; so we kind of reinterpreted that core set and built a full lingerie [collection] around it,” Jason Mahler, VP of design at Playboy, told Retail Brew.

New crop: During its magazine days, Playboy counted (mostly) men across a wide age range as its “reader” base; the lingerie collection is aimed at the demographic everyone seems to want a piece of: Gen Z.

  • The target age for the new range is under 34, Mahler told us.
  • The collection was also intentionally designed in a way to be more “provocative” and promote the trend of “innerwear as outerwear,” he said.

“There’s obviously a clear correlation in our history and our heritage to lingerie,” Mahler said. “It’s always been a big feature of the magazine in general and the history of the brand. How we kind of approached it this time around was really understanding that there was an opportunity for the Gen Z consumer. Specifically, there’s a big focus on nostalgia right now.”

Keep reading here.—JS



Increase revenue, optimize spend


For retailers and brands, uniting owned channels into one unified symphony can really change the tune of their customer experience.

Listrak’s Customer Engagement Platform orchestrates key channels to create a personalized, seamless customer experience. It offers email, SMS, identity resolution, and push notifications all within a single platform, helping brands optimize spend and accelerate revenue.

Take personal care company Sol de Janeiro, for example. They switched to Listrak for email, SMS, and identity resolution and saw a 50% reduction in monthly total cost of ownership. Oh, and at the same time, they grew their e-commerce revenue by 28% YoY.

Bring your brand into harmony with Listrak today.


With beauty, with grace

Hopson Grace decor Hopson Grace

Hopson Grace was one of many home decor operations that saw success early in the pandemic, with its 2020 online sales doubling to almost 30% of revenue. Almost three years later, its online business has consistently accounted for 20–25% of sales, and the return of weddings has boosted its registry business.

The Canadian-based company recently moved into a 4,000-square-foot showroom in Toronto, after expanding its product selection and outgrowing its first location, which was about 1,000 square feet. But the future of the company’s expansion plans lies in its e-commerce and registry platform, where the company is gaining traffic in the United States.

  • For now, the majority of Hopson Grace’s sales still come from its brick-and-mortar operations, co-founder Andrea Hopson told Retail Brew.
  • The brand has built a dedicated customer base since its founding in 2016, as 80% of its shoppers are repeat customers.
  • Hopson attributes this loyalty to the unique tableware products and brands it carries, names that include Richard Ginori, Mud Australia, Tom Dixon, Ethnicraft, and others.

“They feel a great affinity in terms of a kind of shared philosophy. Not just the quality of the product, but the aesthetic philosophy, which is…less stuffy,” Hopson said. “We’re bringing that culture and vibe to the way they already want to live, and so we’re reflecting their needs.”

The registry platform and marrying that with its existing online business is now the primary focus for the company over the next year or so, co-founder Martha Grace McKimm told Retail Brew. She explained that couples in Toronto have been looking for a modern, curated offering, and Hopson Grace has been able to accommodate items beyond tableware, such as furniture, bedding, rugs, and bathroom products.

Keep reading here.—KM



Printful Enterprise

R.I.P. dead stock. With print-on-demand apparel options from Printful, you’ll be supplied with as few or as many SKUs as you need right when you need ’em. If you’re swimming in dead stock as we speak, stop wasting product and opt for Printful’s inventory-free (and headache-free) solution. Grow your product catalog and capabilities.


Today’s top retail reads.

Induction ceremony: As questions arise about the safety of gas stoves, some brands are introducing more induction stoves. (the Wall Street Journal)

Dollar s’mores: More consumers are doing their grocery shopping at dollar stores, which are increasing their offerings. (CNBC)

Pay it backward: The pay-it-forward trend is a nightmare for some fast-food workers. “Drive-thrus have a very organized system and when people pay it forward, the order of things is disrupted and it is easy to make mistakes and receive the wrong order,” a Starbucks barista wrote on Reddit. (Eat This, Not That)


  • Kroger’s proposed purchase of Albertsons was opposed in a suit by 25 consumers from several states.
  • Paco Rabanne, the fashion and fragrance designer, died at 88.
  • Walmart tweeted a reminder that shoppers have to order only $35 of groceries for free delivery after Amazon announced it was raising its free-delivery threshold to $150.
  • Tim Hortons will give some Canadian consumers who use their app a free baked good and hot beverage after a Quebec court ruled the app users’ privacy was breached.
  • Cracker Barrel announced a contest where couples who propose marriage at their restaurants—and post a video documenting doing so to Instagram—could win free meals for a year.


At the mall, it’s where band tees are the only tees. In Retail Brew, it’s where we invite readers to weigh in on a trending retail topic.

Last week, we ran two stories by Retail Brew’s Andrew Adam Newman (hey, that’s me!) about tipflation, which Wiktionary defines as: “the phenomenon of tipping becoming both increasingly widespread and expensive (in terms of acceptable percentage) in society.”

Contactless point-of-sale payment systems on touchscreens—both stationary and handheld—have gained popularity. And the choose-a-tip prompt increasingly migrated from full-service restaurants to other types of restaurants and—more and more—beyond restaurants.

“To me, this sort of obligatory, ubiquitous approach of I go to a stationery store and I buy a pad of paper for $3.06 and then the screen turns around…and should you tip for that?” Michael Prendergast, managing director of the consumer and retail group at Alvarez & Marsal, told us. “I don’t see that as a great strategy going forward, especially in an inflationary environment.”

You tell us: Is it a good thing that tip-prompt screens are being used not just in full-service restaurants, but in more and more retail settings? Cast your vote here.

Circling back: Last week, we asked you about Sheetz’s rules regarding employees’ smiles, the subject of a recent scoop in Insider.

The Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain has a policy that “applicants with obvious missing, broken, or badly discolored teeth (unrelated to a disability) are not qualified for employment with Sheetz,” according to documents acquired by Insider.

An unnamed former Sheetz employee told Insider the policy was “really disgusting and kind of classist, especially when the majority of people you’re employing are going to be lower-income.” And Sheetz told the publication it was reviewing the policy.

We asked you if you thought Sheetz should keep its policy that disqualifies employees based on the state of their teeth, and most of you (55.2%) said no, the company should abandon the policy. Another 37.9% of you said Sheetz should keep its policy of disqualifying employees based on their teeth, and 6.9% didn’t know or weren’t sure.—AAN


Catch up on the Retail Brew stories you may have missed.


Share Retail Brew with your coworkers, acquire free Brew swag, and then make new friends as a result of your fresh Brew swag.

We’re saying we’ll give you free stuff and more friends if you share a link. One link.

Your referral count: 2

Click to Share

Or copy & paste your referral link to others:


Written by Jeena Sharma, Katishi Maake, and Andrew Adam Newman

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.

Take The Brew to work

Get smarter in just 5 minutes

Business education without the BS

Interested in podcasts?

  • Check out ours here

Update your email preferences or unsubscribe here.
View our privacy policy here.

Copyright © 2023 Morning Brew. All rights reserved.
22 W 19th St, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011

Key phrases

Older messages

☕ Dancing on my own

Monday, February 6, 2023

CMOs go fractional. February 06, 2023 Marketing Brew It's Monday. Tim Hortons settled a class-action lawsuit just as you might expect it to: By offering a free coffee and donut to mobile-app users

☕ Beyoncé makes history

Monday, February 6, 2023

Why Biden waited to bring down the Chinese balloon... February 06, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off Morning Brew TOGETHER WITH Huel Good morning. One small formatting update before we get into

☕ Fear and loathing

Sunday, February 5, 2023

British Columbia embarks on a controversial experiment... Together with Apollo Global Management February 05, 2023 | View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off The fabled green comet. Dan Bartlett/AFP/NASA/

☕ Big jobs

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Why it looks like the laws of economics no longer apply... February 04, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off Morning Brew TOGETHER WITH Droplette Good morning. On this day 19 years ago, Harvard

☕ Keep it clean

Friday, February 3, 2023

Beauty brands reformulate to be clean and vegan. February 03, 2023 Retail Brew TOGETHER WITH Printful Enterprise Hello there. Is your schedule so packed you can't even remember the last time you

Trump was indicted. Now what?

Friday, March 31, 2023

Plus, Finland is set to join NATO. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Michael Cohen Is Already Undermining the Trump Prosecution

Friday, March 31, 2023

Columns and commentary on news, politics, business, and technology from the Intelligencer team. Intelligencer Stay informed about business, politics, technology, and where they intersect. Subscribe now

Teflon Gone

Friday, March 31, 2023

The arc of the moral universe bends toward Rikers Friday, March 31, 2023 - The Day's Most Fascinating News from Dave Pell NextDraft Logo Current Edition About NextDraft Friday, March 31, 2023 Share

Welcome to the Redmond Space District | Deploying clean energy

Friday, March 31, 2023

Microsoft exec joins Twilio board | No intelligenza artificiale? ADVERTISEMENT GeekWire SPONSOR MESSAGE: GeekWire Awards finalists revealed: Cast your vote and pick the top Pacific Northwest innovators

☕ Putting on a clinic

Friday, March 31, 2023

Will Nike's big shot at Web3 be a game changer? March 31, 2023 Retail Brew TOGETHER WITH Listrak As you may have heard, it's Friday. In retail, the numbers are king. And The Brew's Business

☕ It takes two

Friday, March 31, 2023

Making brand partnerships work. March 31, 2023 Marketing Brew TOGETHER WITH Intuit Mailchimp Today is Friday. We hope your day is as good as Gwyneth Paltrow's after winning (Gwynning?) her court

How "scary tech" will change politics

Friday, March 31, 2023

A wave of new tech is raising alarm. But what will change in politics and government? How "scary tech" will change politics By Isaac Saul • 31 Mar 2023 • Comment View in browser View in

If AI destroys the media industry, then who will feed the chatbots?

Friday, March 31, 2023

PLUS: AI-written content is riddled with cliches. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

GeekWire Startups Weekly

Friday, March 31, 2023

News, analysis, insights from the Pacific NW startup ecosystem View this email in your browser Presented by Flying Fish Partners GeekWire Awards: Meet the 5 finalists for Startup CEO of the Year Read

What You Might Have Missed This Week

Friday, March 31, 2023

View in your browser Twitter Facebook Instagram Share | Subscribe The Ringer March 31, 2023 Happy Friday from your friends at The Ringer! Here are some things you might have missed on our site this