March 21, 2019 by Sujay Seetharaman

1. IKEA to debut new urban format store in Manhattan

The Swedish home furnishing retailer is reportedly opening its first city-center store in the US on the upper-east side of Manhattan next month. Dubbed the Ikea planning studio, the store will focus on small space or city-living solutions and provide personalized planning and services. Globally, IKEA plans to open 30 such stores over the next three years. Customers will be able to browse and shop popular product lines while also having access to IKEA’s in-store experts.

2. Cannabis Now to open a retail and wellness store

Media outlet Cannabis Now is reportedly opening a branded retail and wellness store in Los Angeles in April. The 2800 square-foot store at the Beverly Connection will feature demonstrations and product launches with fully educated store experts to guide consumers through each experience. Cannabis products — which will not contain THC, the psychoactive property in cannabis — will range from beauty to lifestyle to home and fashion. Many of the products will contain CDB, the non-psychoactive aspect of cannabis. The store will cater to both the newbies looking to educate themselves and the experienced coming to get the latest and greatest.

3. Amazon launches new skin-care line

Amazon on Wednesday launched Belei, a private-label line of 12 skincare products including moisturizers, serums, masks, and wipes. According to Retail Dive, items range in price from $9 to $40 and orders for Belei products are eligible for free shipping, including free two-day shipping for Amazon Prime members. Walgreens and CVS dominate the sector, Amazon is already on the minds of consumers with 71% of 2500 consumers reporting that they saw Amazon as the top online destination for buying beauty products.

4. H&M pauses cashmere amid sustainability push

H&M announced this week that the company will stop placing orders on conventional cashmere by the end of next year as part of its overall sustainability efforts, according to the company’s blog post until the company can find more transparent supply chain operations, where cashmere can be sourced from places that meet its environmental and animal welfare standards, as per the announcement. H&M also revealed that 57% of all materials used by the company are recycled or sustainably sourced, an increase of 35% in just one year. The retailer reiterated its goal to use only recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030. According to a 2017 study, 55% of Gen-Z shoppers are choosing brands that are eco-friendly and socially responsible.

5. Brandless expands health and wellness assortment

Direct to Consumer retailer Brandless has reportedly launched 17 new products ranging from organic superfood powders and organic vitamins to non-GMO supplements and essential oils. The launch comes about two months after the retailer launched in pet and baby. Prices of the items range from $4 to $15, unlike its typical $3 price-point. At the end of 2018, the company reportedly offered about 400 products and is planning to double that by the end of this year.


Sujay Seetharaman

Market Analyst @ PipeCandy

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