The Weekly Closeout: Saks Off 5th rebrands and Parachute stirs up debate over catalog cover

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

From Aerie’s move to bring positivity to social media to Walmart’s plans to hire 50,000 associates in Q1, here’s our closeout for the week.

What you may have missed

Aerie tackles social media through Aerie Real brand platform

Aerie on Tuesday announced the “evolution” of its Aerie Real brand marketing campaign, which has been around since 2014, with an emphasis on bringing positivity to social media.

The Aerie Real platform was built on redefining beauty standards and promoting inclusivity by emphasizing real people in the brand’s marketing and not touching up photos. The company’s new focus is social media, and attempting to increase positive messaging across social platforms. In pursuit of that goal, Aerie is working with a team of brand ambassadors that includes Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman; actresses Alisha Boe and Carlacia Grant; TikTok stars Erika Priscilla, Hannah Schlenker and Elyse Myers; and country artist Kelsea Ballerini (who wrote a song, “Keepin’ It Real,” for Aerie).

The company is using its Aerie Real brand marketing campaign, which has been around since 2014, to bring positivity to social media

American Eagle Outfitters

Aerie is highlighting its “commitment of self-acceptance and well-being” through a series of spots where brand will talk about how to control time partners spent on social media and mental health issues, which will air across the brand’s social media channels. In addition to those PSAs, which Aerie is referring to as “Positive Scrolling Always,” the company will also launch a TikTok hashtag challenge to share inspiration and already hosted a pool party event in Miami with its brand ambassadors.

“The #AerieREAL movement revolutionized the industry, bringing inclusivity to the forefront and empowering young women to love their REAL selves inside and out. As we build on the strength of Aerie, we are committed to helping our community find their happy and prioritize positivity, Jennifer Foyle, president and executive creative director at American Eagle and Aerie, said in a statement. “We know that social media can have a negative impact, which is why we are creating a safe and happy space that fosters healthy conversations and cultivates a positive social scroll for our Aerie community.”

In hopes of appealing to young luxury shoppers, Saks Off 5th rebrands

Saks Off 5th joins Macy’s in letting customers know they’re free to express themselves. The luxury off-price retailer has launched a new campaign, “Where Fashion Takes Off,” and updated its logo, according to an announcement emailed to Retail Dive.

“Over the past year, Saks Off 5th conducted extensive market research to more completely understand its target customer base, including how they want to shop and build their wardrobe. Through this work, the company discovered a significant opportunity to appeal to a younger, fashion -minded core customer that is a growing segment for Saks Off 5th,” the company said in its announcement. “This customer loves to shop, find great deals and stay on top of the latest trends, using fashion as an outlet for their personality and point of view on life. Saks Off 5th’s evolved brand positioning was created with this customer in mind.”

Saks Off 5th is now two companies after HBC and private equity firm Insight Partners split up its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar operations last year. Proponents of such splits, which have been suggested for other department stores As well, have insisted that brands in those circumstances can remain cohesive, but there appear to be different expectations for the two sides. Insight Partners last year poured $200 million to reshape Saks Off 5th’s business strategy into “a digitally native model focused on customer experience,” according to the firm’s website. The goal is ultimately to take at least that dot-com portion of the Saks Off 5th enterprise public, Women’s Wear Daily reports.

Resale consolidates further as Vestiaire Collective acquires Tradesy

French resale site Vestiaire Collective this week announced its acquisition of US resale site Tradesy for an undisclosed amount.

Even before this deal, the United States had become Vestiaire’s largest market. After their tie-up, the company will have 23 million members, a catalog of 5 million items and gross merchandise value exceeding $1 billion, according to a press release.

Both sites were founded in 2009 by women. Vestiaire founder Fanny Moizant will stay on as the company’s president and Maximilian Bittner will stay on as chief executive, while Tradesy founder and CEO Tracy DiNunzio will become CEO of the combined US operations.

In a statement, Bittner said the deal is a confirmation of “Vestiaire Collective’s ambition to be a truly global player, promoting circularity in Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific.” Moizant said the companies’ leadership is “particularly enthusiastic about the scale we are reaching together and the associated benefits in the highly attractive US market.”

The resale segment may see more consolidation as startups chase scale and global reach. Rival site ThredUp, which also runs resale platforms for several retailers, last year snapped up European resale company Remix for over $28 million.

Vestiaire Collective also said it will open an authentication center in the Los Angeles area, its fifth globally, and second in the US authentication of luxury items has become a point of contention in the rapidly growing resale market.

Retail Therapy

It takes 2, baby

Tailored Brands, which is the parent company of a number of apparel retailers including Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, announced on Wednesday that board members Bob Hull and Peter Sachse will be the company’s co-CEOs.

Hull and Sachse were appointed as interim co-CEO’s a year ago, and have obviously worked together well enough that the company wants them to continue being a team.

But, the nature of co-CEOs seems a bit … odd. Not impossible, just a bit, perhaps, confusing.

The character of Oscar Nunez addressed this exact issue on an episode of “The Office” when Michael Scott and Jim Halpert were tasked to work alongside each other in a shared leadership role.

“Look, it doesn’t take a genius to know that any organization thrives when it has two leaders. Go ahead, name a country that doesn’t have two presidents. A boat that sets sail without two captains. Where would Catholicism be without the Popes?” Nunez mused.

Not to be outdone, a day later Kontoor Brands announced co-chief operating officers. Chris Waldeck, who is currently the global brand president of Lee was named the co-chief operating officer and global brand president of Lee. Tom Waldron who is currently the global brand president of Wrangler was named the co-chief operating officer and global brand president of Wrangler. (That’s a lot of words to simply say they are each taking a brand.)

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