Welcome to The Week in Retail, a weekly roundup for marketers from Quad Insights that covers the latest must-know news surrounding the retail space.

Aldi releases line of branded merchandise, including $12.99 sneakers

Discount supermarket chain Aldi just released a line of Aldi-branded merchandise that includes a pair of sneakers, Parade’s Alani Vargas reports. Available while supplies last, the ALDI Gear Sneaker comes in both men’s (9-12) and women’s sizes (5-10), at a price of $12.99 each. The women’s version is white with a red sole and features a rainbow Aldi logo, while the men’s version is all white with a blue sole. “Both shoes have a similar style — a court sneaker or classic rubber-soled street sneaker look,” Vargas notes. Additional items in the line include socks, a bucket hat and even a pet sweatshirt.

The takeaway: Aldi is leveraging its fandom — the discount grocer has an almost cult-like following — to draw shoppers into its stores to score some buzzworthy limited-edition merch.

Sprouts Farmers Market signs 8 new sponsorship deals with female college athletes

Sprouts Farmers Market just announced eight new name, image and likeness (NIL) deals with female college athletes across the country, Progressive Grocer’s Marian Zboraj reports. The move is in line with the Phoenix-based grocery store chain’s commitment to women’s athletics, which began with 50 NIL sponsorships in 2022 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX and has led to more than 150 NIL partnerships with female athletes to date. Sprouts’ new deals span a range of sports and include athletes such as Pac-12 Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year Cameron Brink and five-time NCAA All-American gymnast Jordan Bowers.

The takeaway: With growing interest in women’s sports —including an increase in viewership and sponsorships — Sprouts Farmers Market is seizing the moment to double down on its commitment to supporting female college athletes.

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eBay extends luxury consignment service to apparel

Expanding upon its consignment service for designer handbags, eBay this week announced the addition of luxury pre-owned apparel as part of a partnership with consignment retailer Linda’s Stuff, per Robb Report’s Tori Latham. Sellers fill out an intake form and receive a prepaid, insured shipping label to mail their preowned designer apparel to the online retailer. “The website then works with Linda’s Stuff to photograph, price and list the item on eBay,” Latham reports, noting that the seller’s commission is based on the final sale price. Eligible brands include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, Prada and 31 others, per Retail TouchPoints’ Alicia Esposito. The expansion of the consignment program comes as eBay has seen increased demand for “pre-loved” apparel, with “22 pre-loved shirts, six pairs of pre-loved jeans and eight pre-loved coats … sold every minute on the platform across the U.S., UK and Germany,” Esposito reports.

The takeaway: As demand for secondhand goods and support for the circular fashion movement grow, eBay is seizing on the opportunity to build on the success of its existing consignment service.

See also: “Dr. Martens Prescribes Shoe Resale Program to Support Circularity” (Retail TouchPoints)

Ulta Beauty expands Beauty Drop-Off program to all stores nationwide

On Monday, Ulta Beauty announced the expansion of its in-store take-back program to all of its locations in partnership with packaging waste solutions organization Pact Collective, per Glossy’s Zofia Zwieglinska. The beauty retailer introduced Beauty Drop-Off, as the initiative is called, in 2023 in 90 of its stores and is now expanding it to give customers “a seamless and responsible solution to discard their empty packaging as well as their hard-to-recycle empty packaging,” Kristin Wolf, Ulta Beauty’s SVP of Enterprise Strategy and Transformation, told Zwieglinska. With the expansion, all of Ulta’s 1,350-plus stores will now have collection bins where customers can place their empty beauty product containers, which are then processed by Pact Collective either through “upcycling, downcycling, molecular recycling or waste-to-energy conversion,” Zwieglinska notes.

The takeaway: Ulta Beauty knows that more and more consumers are concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy. In fact, 78% of consumers say that sustainability concerns are important when choosing where they shop for and buy products, according to Blue Yonder’s third annual Consumer Sustainability Survey, per Inc., as we noted in this week’s edition of 10 Marketing, Media and Industry Statistics to Know Now.

Kohl’s to expand home décor collection by 40%

Kohl’s is aiming to position itself as a “seasonal décor destination” and, as such, has announced it’s increasing its lineup of home décor items by 40%, promising 60% “newness in home and holiday décor seasonally,” per Retail TouchPoints’ Adam Blair. The expanded assortment of home goods will feature new categories for Kohl’s that include storage, lighting and ceramics items, as well as products revamped to reflect “more modern aesthetics and frequent pattern and color injections,” Blair writes.

The takeaway: With this home décor lineup expansion that promises plenty of “newness,” Kohl’s is exploring new ways to build out it seasonal-shopping appeal.

Further reading

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