Morning Brew - ☕ Drinking outside the box

Boisson founder on non-alcoholic beverages and the holidays.
November 16, 2023

Retail Brew

Good afternoon, everyone. Will you look at that? The average Thanksgiving dinner will be cheaper this year than it was last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. Of course, last year was a record high, but we’ll take a win when we can.

In today’s edition:

—Erin Cabrey, Katishi Maake, Alex Vuocolo


Drink and be merry

Boisson storefront in Brooklyn, NY Boisson

Festivities spanning from Thanksgiving to Christmas and New Year’s—with plenty of Friendsgivings and office holiday parties in between—means a significant uptick in imbibing at the tail end of the year. But for non-alcoholic (NA) beverage retailer Boisson, the holiday season is its busiest time of year, too.

“People are actually experiencing these products in the same moments that they would with alcohol,” Nicholas Bodkins, president of Boisson, which sells NA wines, spirits, aperitifs, and beers, as well as adaptogenics like Kin Euphorics and De Soi, told Retail Brew. “The moments really haven’t changed. The ingredients is what we’re seeing change a little bit over time.”’

The NA space has evolved a lot since Boisson opened its first of five New York City locations in February 2021 in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood, and its business has continued to grow since. The retailer secured $12 million in seed funding last year to expand to locations like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami, as well as launch its wholesale and import distribution business. In September, it brought in another $5 million in a bridge round from alcoholic giant Pernod Ricard’s venture arm Convivialité Ventures, and is on track for triple-digit revenue growth this year.

Despite what you may think, NA beverage purchases don’t actually revolve around “a thematic month that has a kitschy name,” like Dry January or Sober October, but continue year-round, Bodkins said, so Boisson is gearing up for a busy holiday season and beyond as the category’s momentum continues to build.

Keep reading here.—EC



Tesla’s bumpy ride

The Crew

Tesla advertises its cars as having a smooth ride, but following the prices for its vehicles has been anything but. Tesla has dropped prices multiple times in 2023, and then in April, it raised the prices of its two most expensive models.

Now, automotive industry economists and experts are left wondering: Is there a method behind Tesla’s up-and-down pricing changes?

Check out this investigation from CFO Brew to find out how the nontraditional car manufacturer’s sales and market share are expected to evolve.


Miami price

"Crypto capital" Miami is doing great, even without crypto Francis Scialabba

We know Miami for hot weather and hotter parties, and the occasional “Florida man” story. But dating back to the pandemic, when working from home meant working from anywhere, Florida saw a population boom. While it didn’t hit Miami quite the same, the city’s retail landscape is thriving.

Between 2020 and 2022, Florida experienced one of the highest population surges in the nation. While Miami-Dade’s numbers declined, it has enjoyed a renaissance in its retail and dining markets. According to commercial real estate firm Lee & Associates, the influx of new restaurant and retail tenants has pushed “rents to prices second only to New York City,” with one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country.

Keep reading here.—KM



One-stop medical shop

One Medical Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Amazon’s journey from online book seller to “everything store” to industry-bestriding conglomerate just hit another milestone.

One Medical, the company’s virtual primary care service, is now available to Amazon Prime members at the lower cost of $9 per month or $99 annually, compared to the current fee of double that amount for nonmembers. The service comes with 24/7 access to video chats with licensed providers and in-app features such as “Treat Me Now,” which provides guidance around common ailments such as colds, allergies, and infections.

The beefed-up membership benefit is Amazon’s latest effort to become a major player in healthcare—a multiyear effort that has seen plenty of setbacks along the way.

Keep reading here.—AV




Accessibility apparel: Ready for a heartwarming story? HSBC partnered with school uniform brand French Toast to support their adaptive fashion line made for all students, including those with disabilities. Learn more about their work.


Today’s top retail reads.

Sneak peek: Salesforce VP and GM of retail Rob Garf explains the role AI will play during the holiday shopping season. (Chain Store Age)

I get you: It turns out people who have had to work for tips are more likely to tip other workers. (Pew Research Center)

Getting carried away: DTC cookware brand Caraway is the latest brand to make its products available through The Container Store. (Modern Retail)

Trailblazer tales: Embarking on an omnichannel transformation? Get insights and advice from retail brands and leaders who’ve already made the journey in NewStore’s latest e-book, Mastering the Art of Omnichannel Transformation. Grab your copy.*

*A message from our sponsor.


Are you an exec looking to make your next career move or join a board of directors? We’ve partnered with ExecThread, where you can find thousands of confidential job opportunities and board roles that aren’t listed anywhere else. Check out positions like:


The numbers you need to know.

Squeezed between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday, a marketing initiative originally created by American Express to encourage holiday shopping at small businesses.

This year, half of consumers are expected to shop that day, with 51% saying they prefer to patronize small businesses than bigger retailers for holiday shopping, according to American Express’s Shop Small Impact study.

  • This year will mark the 14th annual Small Business Saturday, which is estimated to have brought in $184 billion from consumers since 2010.

But there are things small businesses can do to reach more customers: More than half of consumers (53%) said that if small businesses had technology and digital tools to make the shopping experience easier, they would be more likely to shop with them.

  • Also, there’s a bit of a generational split when it comes to who shops on Small Business Saturday. Nearly three-quarters of millennials (72%) said they plan on spending on Small Business Saturday, compared to 69% of Zoomers, 59% of Gen Xers, and 51% of baby boomers, according to Bankrate data.

“While holiday shopping seems to start earlier every year, Thanksgiving weekend still includes several important events for retailers and consumers,” Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, said in a statement. “With Americans seemingly in a frugal mood this holiday season due to high inflation and high interest rates, I think this will be the best discounting season in years.”


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