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.

Ulta Beauty expands store-based fulfillment capabilities

Ulta Beauty has expanded its ship-to-store service to 276 new stores, allowing the retailer to provide faster, more cost-effective deliveries to more customers, CEO Dave Kimbell noted on the company’s latest earnings call, Max Garland of Supply Chain Dive reports. That number is up from 115 stores as of the beginning of the year, with Ulta now fulfilling e-commerce orders from nearly 400 of its 1,362 locations.

It wasn’t until the pandemic that Ulta began to get serious about store-based fulfillment, CFO Scott Settersten stated on the call. But, as e-commerce began to take off for the retailer, “Ulta leaned into the method,” Garland notes. “This allowed the company to squeeze more revenue out of its retail locations while boosting delivery speeds.”

Heron Preston partners with H&M

H&M announced on Wednesday the launch of a new partnership with fashion designer Heron Preston to lead the development of a new platform called H2, according to a company statement. In his role as Creative Menswear Advisor to the clothing brand and retailer, Heron will design special collections and provide advisory services for H&M designers, as well as mentorship for young creative talent.

Spanning a range of areas — from consulting to curation to experimental design — the partnership has the potential to change the way brands think about collaborations, notes Essence’s Kerane Marcellus. “This goes against the status quo of a usual collaboration, focusing on long-term impact rather than a brief burst of hype,” Marcellus writes. “While high and fast fashion brands have a history of collaborating, this particular partnership could pave the way for unforeseen innovations in the fashion industry.”

Related coverage:
“Heron Preston and H&M join forces on new creative and circular platform” (Fashion Network)

New Balance acquires Wolverine Worldwide’s U.S. leathers business

Further transforming its brand portfolio, Michigan-based Wolverine Worldwide just completed the $6 million sale of its U.S. leathers business to New Balance last week, which included transferring Wolverine’s U.S. tannery contracts to New Balance, the company said in a statement. Wolverine noted that it is still exploring other options for its non-U.S. leathers business.

The acquisition comes on the heels of Wolverine completing the sale of Keds to Designer Brands and the announcement of an agreement to sell the Hush Puppies brand’s intellectual property in China, Hong Kong and Macau. These moves are part of “an ongoing effort to target our most meaningful opportunities,” Wolverine Worldwide Executive Vice President and CFO Mike Stornant stated. “We continue to streamline … and become more efficient, so that we can direct greater resources into our growth brands, pay down debt and enhance long-term shareholder value.”

 Related coverage:
• “Wolverine sells off Hush Puppies Greater China intellectual property, U.S. leather business” (Fashion Network)

Further reading

“Crate & Barrel Plans to Double Tech Team Size, Boost Use of AI” (Retail TouchPoints)

“H-E-B opens its largest ever ecommerce fulfillment center in Texas” (Supermarket News)

“With supply chain ‘in a good place,’ Abercrombie & Fitch cuts inventory by 30%” (Supply Chain Dive)

“Target expands sortation network; tests larger capacity delivery vehicles” (Chain Store Age)

“Forever 21 Launches Barneys Collection” (The Business of Fashion)

“Lowe’s renews multiyear deal with NFL” (Sports Business Journal)

“Kroger and Albertsons sell 400 stores to Piggly Wiggly’s parent company” (CNN Business)