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The Weekly Closeout: Ulta, partner The Allure Store and UK antitrust watchdog takes on Amazon

It’s been another week with a lot more retail news than there is time in the day. Below, we break down some things you may have missed over the week, and what we’re still thinking about.

From Hawaii preparing to raise the minimum wage to $18 to Deckers hiring a Nike vet, here’s our closeout for the week.

What you may have missed

Ulta launches a pop-up store with the Allure Store

Ulta Wednesday announced a pop-up store at the Allure store in New York, an Allure magazine retail experience. The pop-up will be open from July to September, and the beauty retailer uses the space to showcase new brands in its assortment, with the selected products changing monthly.

Brands that will be featured in the pop-up store include Andrew Fitzsimons, Billie Eilish Fragrance, Black Girl Sunscreen, Charli D’Amelio Fragrance, Fenty Beauty, Love Wellness, Morphe, NYX, Olaplex, rem beauty and Supergoop, according to a company press release. . The pop-up store will also host “experiential programming” and events.

Deckers hires Nike vet

Deckers on Wednesday announced the appointment of Anne Spangenberg as President of Fashion and Lifestyle, effective July 11. More recently, Spangenberg was Nike’s main merchant. She will lead Deckers’ lifestyle brands, which include UGG and Koolaburra, and will report directly to CEO Dave Powers.

“Anne is a proven industry leader who has played a significant role in building and transforming merchandising functions across categories, channels and markets,” Powers said in a statement. “Most importantly, she brings to Deckers an innate understanding of the consumer and the ability to effectively execute a strategy in alignment with the latest fashion and lifestyle trends.

Britain’s antitrust watchdog takes aim at Amazon

The UK one The Competition and Markets Authority announced on Wednesday a UK Amazon Marketplace antitrust investigationfollowing two similar investigations by the European Commission.

The focus is on how Amazon collects and uses data from third-party sellers, how it highlights certain items or sellers, and what criteria it uses to sell under the Prime label, according to a press release from CMA. The agency said it is also investigating whether Amazon and Google are doing enough about the fake reviews.

Amazon has also faced questions about its market practices from sellers, lawmakers and regulators in the United States. Adore Me, a DTC lingerie brand, opened a storefront on Amazon’s site in April in hopes of fight growing competition from imposters who she claims stole her exclusive images and product details.

“Some level of regulation, policy-making, enforcement — outside of Amazon — has to take place,” Adore Me vice president of strategy Ranjan Roy said this week.

retail therapy

Elf launches makeup collection inspired by video games

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of gambling? Makeup, of course. At least Elf Cosmetics hopes you’ll think of its latest eight-piece Game Up collection, featuring bright neon colors, according to a statement.

The collection is available now at the brand’s websiteand at outlets like Target starting July 10.

The brand says this launch is “the next step in elf Cosmetics’ journey deeper into the world of gaming and the metaverse,” according to the release. Forest might disagree a bit with that wording, as his recent report on purchases and the metaverse says that virtual immersive commerce is specifically a precursor to the Metaverse.

That said, the collection allows customers to redeem codes for each of the products to unlock bonus points and gift cards through its Beauty Squad program. Those who collect all eight product codes will win a surprise product.

Aldi tries to stop cheese theft

Aldi takes security and theft concerns to the next level. The grocer places security labels and wire cages around $4.80 blocks of cheese in select locations in the UK, as Business Insider reported this week. If you were thinking of eating a bite of cheese, think again!

Twitter posts and news outlets point to similar security measures on tubs of butter and hygienic products such as toothpaste in other grocery stores in the UK

This would all be laughable and move on, other than the fact that food prices have skyrocketed in recent weeks and the cost of living in general is following suit. home catering prices increased by more than 12% over the past year, which has had an impact on where consumers buy and what they buy. With Aldi’s low prices, some consumers might still be willing to deal with the grocer’s bank-like security measures.

What we still think about

$18

This will be the minimum wage in Hawaii (in 2028). A group in California, the first state to approve a $15 minimum wage, recently launched a ballot initiative that would raise that state’s minimum to $18 by 2025. The $18 number could be the new target for activists and localities who are pushing for higher minimum wage — for whom the “fight for $15” has long served as a rallying cry — as cost-of-living increases eat away at wages. As a trade unionist told sister publication HR Dive“With prices rising at their fastest rate in 40 years, higher wages can’t wait!”

1.6%

That’s the number S&P Global Ratings predicts for growth in 2023, calling it a “low-growth” recession on the horizon. Right now, there are signs of growing risks for the financially weaker players in the economy. The retail sector pushed back downgrades beyond upgrades, with ratings downgrades for Bed Bath & Beyond and Rite Aid at S&P. Additionally, S&P noted that the US distress ratio, a “key indicator” of rising default risk, jumped last week to 8.7% from 6.4% the previous week, and is up 2.4% compared to the end of May.

what we watch

SPACS cancel everything

2022 is turning into a year of failed deals. Walgreens canceled a boot sale. Office Depot owner ODP Corp. has rejected takeover bids and the fallout from its consumer business. And Kohl said no to a takeover by Franchise Group.

Perhaps most interesting to note, however, is how a number of SPAC deals have failed. Special purpose acquisition companies have been all the rage recently as companies seek an alternative form of entry into the public market. But the Securities and Exchange Commission was seeking stricter disclosure rules at the same time, the market has become more turbulent, factors that potentially played into the breakdown of 30 deals this year, according to Bloomberg.