2PM - No. 796: Brady Blue

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Happy Monday: No. 795 went out on Friday and the most clicked links were: the 2021 recap and this Vogue feature on Yeezy Gap. Our take on the new collaboration between GAP and Balenciaga is at the foot of today's letter. 
The DTC Power List has been updated with estimated revenue for nearly every brand. If you'd like to join the membership for full access, start here. The lead analysis is a four minute read and it's available to all readers. 


Brand Brady / WWD: Tom Brady's football career is far from over but he's already plotting his next chapter — and it's simply called Brady. After teasing it last fall, on Wednesday the superstar Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback will finally unveil his men's apparel brand, a joint venture with Jens Grede of Skims fame that was designed by Public School cofounder Dao-Yi Chow, who serves as creative director.

2PM Analysis: In an interview with WWD, the Tampa Bay quarterback outlines how Brady will be sold at brady-brand.com and through Nordstrom. The collection will debut with 145 pieces in three categories, and will maintain a monthly drop schedule popularized by brands like Parade, Noah, Todd Snyder, and Drake’s. The plan is to steadily expand the brand into more upscale categories but for now, the focus is on athleisure and office casual. (Read More - 4 minute read)

2PM Data: The Brady brand was made possible by Under Armour's renewed focus on what brought it to the spotlight. Our analysis explains why. 


Nike's lawsuit against Lululemon's Mirror

Brand Law / Footwear News: This topic is mentioned in the lead analysis. It's an example of how Nike (and Adidas) are finding new ways to expand its footprint. The implication is that Nike may build its own version of Mirror (or hey, acquire Tonal). They share a brand spokesman. The second implication is that Lululemon has become a legitimate threat to Nike's apparel business. "The complaint, filed in a U.S. District Court in Manhattan, alleges that Lululemon infringed on six of Nike’s patents. It also comes during another likely boom for at-home fitness as COVID-19 cases rise sharply. At the core of Nike’s argument is the claim that it owns trademark rights to certain “digital sport technologies.” Nike says this ownership can be traced back as far as 1983, when the company filed a patent application on a device that measures the speed, distance, time and calories expended for a runner."

That big office building? It's an eCommerce warehouse now

Retail Real Estate / Wall Street Journal: Over the holiday season, one in three made online purchases. If this is any indication, a bet on warehousing is a safe one. And as remote work continues to persist, a bet against offices is equally safe. "This is especially appealing for offices located in crowded cities where retailers face a scarcity of last-mile warehouses. Bridge, which bid on Allstate’s headquarters, is in contract to buy several office properties in a number of major U.S. cities and convert them to distribution facilities, Mr. Poulos said. Developers are also looking to turn suburban offices into schools or lab space, said JLL’s Mr. Ryan. In city centers, conversions of office towers into apartments and hotels are also becoming more common."


Updated for January 10: Estimated revenue has been updated. This week’s biggest moves: Our Place (47 to 11), Reel (309 to 35), Figs (64 to 49), Outdoor Voices (125 to 94), Studs (75 to 167), Re Inc (524 to 444).

Cable is the new landline

A. Sociology / New York Times: Streaming services will be bundled. It’s likely that we’re near the point of OTT carriers marketing the opportunity for consumers to purchase pre-negotiated, economically-friendly bundles of streaming services packaged. With no-login, one collective price, and less of a fear of missing out – the past has become the present. "As recently as a decade ago, nearly all Americans — more than 85 percent of U.S. households — paid for packages of TV channels from cable or satellite companies. That started to decline haltingly at first and then far more quickly in the past few years. Now, the share of American homes that pay for conventional TV service is closing in on 50 percent, according to recent assessments from the investment analyst Craig Moffett and S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Kagan research group."

HBO Max tries to close gap with Netflix and Disney in streaming wars

B. The Streaming Economy / Financial Times: "The company last week reported it had reached 74m subscribers to HBO Max and HBO by the end of 2021, up from 61m in 2020. People who pay for HBO’s television channel have access to the streaming service for free. Despite Kilar’s enthusiasm, HBO Max is still well behind Netflix and Disney, which reported 214m and 118m subscribers, respectively, at the start of October."

Macy's set out to conquer the department store business — and lost

Legacy Brands / Retail Dive: If you can't beat them, join them. The Macy’s eCommerce operation could soon head the same way as Saks Fifth Avenue, which earlier this year split its retail operation in half, dividing its eCommerce business from its department stores. An activist shareholder is calling for Macy's to similarly split off its eCommerce business, which has an estimated market cap of $15 billion, double what the entire company is worth. "Through a series of fateful decisions, Macy’s transformed itself into a national retailer and the largest department store in the country, if not the world. Now, it has a murky future, muddied further in recent months by rhetoric from activist investors who would have it cleave its operations in two — one Macy’s existing only on the internet, the other only on the ground."


Solo Brands raises full year guidance (Yahoo). Ciera and Russ Wilson are looking to raise their Series A (Axios). Mattress Firm files for IPO (Retail Dive). And what the Great Resignation really means (Twitter). 

Gen Z sellers are reshaping the vintage market

Linear Commerce / Fashionista: Spotts' story is similar to several of her enterprising Gen Z peers who have also created a social-media-to-brick-and-mortar pipeline for selling vintage. 

NRF 2022: What to be on the lookout for

Retail Trends / Morning Brew: You can’t have a conference — retail-focused or not — and not talk about sustainability.”



In what was a throwaway essay from 2018 on the merging of merchandise, music, and high fashion, I wrote: “The word ‘merch’ is synonymous with throwaway. Or at least it used to be. Gone are the days when famed fashion houses like Gucci focus solely on traditional luxury fashion. Today, their products reflect an affinity for sweatpants, tennis shoes, and modern T-shirt patterns. This has trickled on down to the merchandise industry.” The partnership between Balenciaga, Gap, and the Yeezy brand is the embodiment of this idea, and the partnership concert merch predecessor of sorts.

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