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

Bath & Body Works kicks off pop-up tour with male athletes to promote its Men’s Shop

In a move aimed at expanding its reach among men, Bath & Body Works announced it’s launching a new traveling pop-up shop, as well as partnerships with professional and collegiate male athletes, to promote its growing line of men’s personal care and grooming products. The 14-stop tour will coincide with key sporting events in nine markets (with several surprise stops also planned along the way). Guests will have the opportunity to test, as well as win, new products and to meet local celebrity athletes — such as San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers and Ohio State University wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

The initiative is an effort by the retailer to capitalize on what has been one of the fastest growing areas of its business in recent years, Chain Store Age’s Marianne Wilson reports. “Bath & Body Works has grown its men’s category nearly 50% in the past three years,” she notes, “with a lineup that includes 200 grooming products across hair, beard and skincare.”

Walmart partners with NBCUniversal to enable viewers to “shop the moment” on Below Deck Mediterranean on Peacock

Walmart and NBCUniversal announced a partnership this week that will allow Peacock subscribers to “shop the moment” on season 8 of Bravo’s Below Deck Mediterranean for the first time. Having kicked off Nov. 7, with additional episodes airing on Peacock Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, the shoppable episodes allow customers to browse and purchase looks inspired by the show and its cast — from cookware to “yacht-life looks,” Walmart said in a statement. This can be done by using the remote to navigate an interactive on-screen product carousel — enabled by NBCUniversal’s Must ShopTV ad innovation — and scanning a QR code to check out on Walmart.com.

With customers “finding inspiration everywhere and anywhere,” the introduction of these shoppable content experiences is part of Walmart’s effort to “shorten the distance between that inspiration and the ability to purchase,” Walmart U.S. Chief Marketing Officer William White said in the statement. “By expanding our shoppable TV footprint with NBCUniversal, we’re pairing our incredible product assortment with some of their most talked-about content so our customers can quickly purchase items inspired by their favorite cast members while they’re watching.”

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Foot Locker launches online platform, holiday campaign to signal its role as a “leader in the sneaker community”

On Monday, Foot Locker announced the launch of a new platform called The Heart of Sneakers, along with a global holiday campaign featuring a host of NBA stars. Designed to celebrate “sneaker culture,” The Heart of Sneakers will be integrated into all brand campaigns, experiences and events going forward, while the holiday campaign is meant to highlight the footwear retailer’s position “at the center of basketball and sneaker culture,” according to a company statement.

Featuring NBA players Kevin Durant with Nike, LaMelo Ball with PUMA, Anthony Edwards with Adidas and Steph Curry with Under Armour, as well as musician Enisa, the holiday push centers on Foot Locker’s store associates, known as Stripers (for the striped referee-style uniforms they wear). The campaign — which will encompass TV, digital out-of-home, YouTube and social — is designed to demonstrate how these individuals continue to act “as the bridge between sneakers and those who love them,” Footwear News’ Shoshy Ciment reports.

“A key differentiator for our brand globally is the Stripers,” Foot Locker’s Vice President of Marketing Holly Tedesco told Ciment. “They have the power to fuel the passion, whether you’re a sneaker head or you’re just coming in to find what’s right for you.”

New Sam’s Club holiday ads emphasize “shared connections”

At a time when consumers are feeling the weight of economic uncertainty, Sam’s Club has launched a holiday campaign focused on promoting “togetherness over materialism,” Marketing Dive’s Sara Karlovitch reports. Featuring two spots titled “Gift” — a 30-second spot that will get paid placements, plus a 60-second YouTube version — the campaign highlights the joy of time spent with loved ones during the holidays despite the chaos that so often accompanies it.

The ads mark a deliberate pivot by Sam’s Club away from traditional holiday marketing to focus on “shared connections versus encouraging purchases,” writes Karlovitch, adding that the choice “could fare well for consumers as they continue to remain on-edge about the impacts of inflation.”

Further reading


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If you’d like to catch up on prior installments of this column, start by heading to last week’s recap: “The Week in Retail: November 3, 2023”