• Swedish Luxury Brand Plans U.S. Expansion
    Family-owned Swedish luxury bed brand Hästens is planning to expand in the United States. "Luxury distributor MadaLuxe Group has entered into a strategic partnership with Hästens to open 20 Hästens stores across the U.S. during the next five to seven years," per Chain Store Age. "Founded in Sweden in 1852, Hästens’ currently operates 15 stores and 15 in-store shops in the U.S. The company said it is on a mission is to change the way people think about and prioritize sleep, so they can enjoy a better quality of life."
  • Men's Wearhouse Installs AR Mirrors
    Men’s Wearhouse is working with Snap to test augmented reality mirrors in a pilot launching ahead of prom season. The effort is part of its "Prom Your Way" campaign. "The mirrors, featuring embedded fit technology, display dozens of new apparel and accessory styles that shoppers can virtually try on and share with friends and family in seconds," per Sourcing Journal. 
  • CVS Health Aims To Transform Healthcare Delivery
    CVS Health is hoping to transform healthcare delivery via its virtual primary care platform. It works in conjunction with the retailer's MinuteClinic. The platform is also looking at ways to increase access for consumers to mental health programs. 
  • Pepsi Challenges Coke's Sprite With New 'Starry' Beverage
    PepsiCo's new Starry lemon-lime soda represents the soft drink maker’s fourth stab at a category in which success has proven elusive thanks to the popularity of Coca-Cola's Spirte brand. "Researcher Euromonitor says 10% of all carbonated soft drinks sold in the US are lemon-lime, and Sprite and Sprite Zero account for almost three-quarters of that," per Bloomberg. "With soda consumption falling by 12% in the last decade as Gen Z consumers seek healthier options, the real battle for producers is stealing market share from one another."
  • Mattel Releases Doll With Down Syndrome
    Mattel worked with the National Down Syndrome Society to design the first Barbie doll with Down syndrome. The doll wears pink ankle foot orthoses to support her feet and ankles, and "dons several other accessories that promote Down syndrome awareness or are commonly used by people with the disorder," per USA Today. "The new doll is part of Barbie's 2023 Fashionista line, which the company describes as an 'inclusive range' of dolls 'designed to reflect the world kids see today.'"
  • Disney Sues Florida Governor After Free Speech Kerfuffle
    Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his hand-picked oversight board, accusing the Republican presidential prospect of "weaponizing his political power to punish the company for exercising its free speech rights." per CNN. "The unlikely fracturing of Florida’s relationship with its most iconic business started during the contentious debate last year over state legislation to restrict certain classroom instruction on sexuality and gender identity. Disney’s then-CEO, Bob Chapek, facing pressure from his employees, reluctantly objected to the bill, leading DeSantis to criticize the company. When DeSantis signed the legislation into law, Disney announced it would …
  • Documentary Reveals Lives Of Former Patagonia, North Face Execs
    The post-work life of Kristine Thompkins, former chief executive of the outdoor-apparel company Patagonia, is the subject of a new documentary. "The film tells the story of Ms. Tompkins and her husband, Doug Tompkins, a founder of the North Face and the apparel company Esprit, as well as the ambitious — and controversial — conservation projects they started after leaving their corporate careers behind," per The New York Times
  • Amazon Enlists Dolly Parton For Annual Pet Day
    Amazon is turning its Amazon Pet Day into a two-day digital promotion and is enlisting country singer Dolly Parton to help promote the event. "The Amazon Live livestream platform will also play a role in Amazon Pet Day festivities," per Chain Store Age. "Broadcasts on May 2 and 3 will provide information about the event; and country music star Dolly Parton, founder of the 'Doggy Parton' brand of pet products, will give a special performance."
  • Former TIkTok Executive Chosen As Farfetch CMO
    Luxury fashion ecommerce platform Farfetch has named Nick Tran as its new chief marketing officer.  "Tran was most recently global head of marketing for TikTok, where he oversaw brand strategy, paid media and social media. He’s also previously served in marketing roles at Hulu and Samsung," per Retail Dive. "The appointment comes at pivotal time for Farfetch, which has plans to create an ecommerce behemoth by purchasing a large stake of rival Yoox Net-a-Porter from French luxury conglomerate Richemont."
  • Bud Light Top Marketer Placed On Leave After Uproar Over Transgender Influencer
    Alissa Heinerscheid, Bud Light's vice president of marketing, and her boss Daniel Blake have been placed on leave following an uproar by some customers over the pair's decision to use Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer, in its marketing. "Anheuser-Busch has faced cascading problems, including cancelled events with the iconic Budweiser Clydesdale horses, a stock price that’s dipped, and many prominent Americans voicing their opposition, including Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas), Kid Rock, and Travis Tritt," per Yahoo News. 
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