Need to Know
03 : 08 : 22

Kanye West re-engineers the retail experience, Sainsbury’s boosts Black-owned businesses, and free-from foods face an inflationary spike.

Yeezy Gap takes over Times Square

Kanye West and Balenciaga Gap drop leans into thrifting Yeezy Gap engineered by Balenciaga, US
Kanye West and Balenciaga Gap drop leans into thrifting Yeezy Gap engineered by Balenciaga, US
Kanye West and Balenciaga Gap drop leans into thrifting Yeezy Gap engineered by Balenciaga, US

New York – Yeezy Gap has taken over the Gap flagship store in Times Square, as the partnership between the affordable fashion brand and multi-hyphenate artist Kanye West continues. The memorable retail event marks the first time that products from the collaboration will be available in stores.

To introduce the collection, the Gap flagship store was redesigned in keeping with the utilitarian aesthetic of Yeezy Gap and Kanye West's affinity for simple, minimalist style. Rather than being displayed on clothing racks and tables, items from the much-hyped collection were thrown on the floor in giant sacks that indicate the price and size of the clothing inside. As a result, the retail experience was much more like thrifting than shopping in one of New York's most commercially conventional areas.

By subverting our expectations and developing a new retail language for high-low collaborations, Yeezy Gap is generating a unique shopping experience that embraces the rise of Hyperphysical Stores.

Strategic opportunity

Take inspiration from Yeezy Gap’s less-is-more approach and create a retail experience that focuses on the fundamentals rather than excessive visual merchandising

Ronning translates its workwear aesthetic into slick homewares

Ronning, UK Ronning, UK
Ronning, UK Ronning, UK

UK – The apparel brand, famed for its high-quality, workwear-focused garments, is making a foray into the homewares market. Leading with its ‘everyday uniform’ ethos, Ronning is entering the space with a three-piece collection of ceramics to be used in home environments.

Comprising two multi-purpose trays and a dish that can be used for incense or storage, each item has been crafted and glazed in a way that focuses on quality and attention to detail. Playfully featured on the brand’s Instagram as displaying both personal accessories and food arrangements, Ronning invites its customers to use its homewares in a way that suits them. Here, the brand’s move into an alternative category reflects people’s changing relationships with work and workplace products.

Looking ahead, there is an opportunity for brands across sectors to create premium homewares that elevate comfort and style – while also retaining core brand values and aesthetics.

Strategic opportunity

From fragrance to alcohol, brands with a strong heritage and aesthetic are well placed to create covetable homewares. Consider how you might translate your most popular products into interior furnishings

Sainsbury’s elevates Black-owned businesses

UK – After we reported that Black-owned businesses are struggling to access financial support, British food retailer Sainsbury’s has launched the Thrive with Sainsbury’s initiative, a 16-week programme designed to elevate Black founder-led food and drink brands.

The programme, which includes financial investment, practical support and expert mentorship, seeks to remove some of the barriers that Black-owned businesses may face when launching a new brand. ‘We know that despite the strength of ideas and potential among Black founders, often opportunities and success can be hindered by ethnicity, which is why we are starting with this group of the most under-represented founders first,’ says Silika Shellie-Manso, director of grocery innovation at Sainsbury’s.

Successful applicants will receive a grant of £20,000 ($24,000, €23,700), group classes, and 150 hours of one-to-one sessions. Five of the finalists will also be given the chance to sell their products in Sainsbury's stores, exposing their companies to new audiences.

By providing financial support, expert mentorship and a space in their stores, Sainsbury’s is incorporating the Black Lives Matter movement into its business model, creating a more inclusive product selection.

Sainsbury’s, UK Sainsbury’s, UK

Strategic opportunity

Consider how your company can use its platform and resources to help Black-owned businesses thrive

Stat: Free-from diets are becoming increasingly costly

Melbourne Food Hub, Australia Melbourne Food Hub, Australia

The cost of living crisis is affecting grocery shopping habits among Britons, with new research highlighting the effect this is having on people with food intolerances.

According to research conducted by The Grocer using data from retail research firm Assosia, prices for more than 260 individual items across free-from food cupboard products, chilled and frozen foods, bakery and dessert items have risen in past 12 weeks.

The price of a Warburtons Gluten Free Multiseed loaf, for example, had risen by 8% at retailer Tesco, from £1.85 ($2.25, €2.20) to £2 ($2.40, €2.38) on 20 July. Meanwhile, the cost of dairy-free and lactose-free brands is also increasing. At Sainsbury’s supermarket, Arla Lactofree Soft Cheese 200g rose by 25% from £1.40 ($1.68, €1.65) to £1.75 ($2.07, €2.10) on 2 June.

With the price of these foods rising, many shoppers will be left without options to trade down and buy cheaper products, especially where dietary requirements exist. With this in mind, brands and retailers must develop products in line with Retail-flation, creating schemes that specifically cater for consumers with dietary or health needs.

Strategic opportunity

To protect customers’ access, retailers should consider introducing rewards or discounts schemes that focus on product categories such as free-from or plant-based foods

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