February 26, 2019 by Sujay Seetharaman

1. Target US launches an online marketplace

In a blog post early this morning, Target announced its new initiative – ‘Target+’, a curated assortment of products from third-party sellers on Target.com. The initiative, still in its earliest stages, is designed to complement Target’s current assortment with selected additions in popular categories like home goods, toys, electronics, and sporting gear. Target has a strictly “invite-only” policy for its marketplace, which will help it monitor the quality of goods being sold by its merchants. So far, SV Sports, Mizuno, Kaplan, Early Learning Company, Serenity Health & Home Décor, and Music123 are among the brands that have been invited to sell.

2. Walmart launches celebrity-backed line of baby care products

Walmart has introduced a new line of plant-based baby products, backed by celebrity couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. Named “Hello Bello”, its products are available exclusively via Walmart. Over the last year, Walmart has reportedly expanded its baby assortment and improved the shopping experience by remodeling the baby department in over 2,000 stores and launching a new section on Walmart.com to help parents shop curated nursery design styles. Hello Bello bears similarities to “The Honest Company” a digital retailer co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, that started selling organic baby care products but since then has expanded to beauty goods for adults as well.

3. Target takes on Victoria’s Secret with size inclusive products

Target is launching three lingerie and sleepwear brands, and the new product lines come at a time when Victoria’s Secret finds itself embroiled in competition from a host of new players, both online and offline, that are challenging the market leader’s positioning with more natural-looking and casual styles along with inclusive sizing and messaging. Target said that photos of models that celebrate “body positivity and inclusivity” will be woven throughout its stores and online as well.

4. GAP expands operations

Apparel retailer GAP has announced that it will be expanding operations in Ohio, investing approximately $100 million into a 420,000 square foot warehouse. According to Retail touchpoints, GAP’s eCommerce expansion contrasts with its lagging brick-and-mortar presence, where comparable sales fell by 7% in the third quarter of 2018. The retailer also shut down its NYC flagship earlier this year. However, it has been seeing success outside of its flagship brand with Old Navy store sales growing by 4% and Banana Republic store sales growing by 2% in Q3 2018.

5. Peloton plans to go public

The Direct to consumer home fitness brand has reportedly picked JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to lead its Initial Public Offering. Founded in 2012, Peloton sells exercise bikes and treadmills with tablets attached that stream live fitness classes. The company raised $550 Million in Series F funding at a valuation of $4.15 Billion, in 2018. According to people familiar with the story, the timing of the IPO remains unknown at this point but, it is expected to value Peloton at about $8 Billion.

 

 

Sujay Seetharaman

Market Analyst @ PipeCandy

Currently donning the Researcher's hat. Talks to himself.