Sep 24, 2019 Bloomingdale's joins the rental clothing club Read More Disowning is the new black... Legendary department store Bloomingdale's jumped into clothing rental this week. Confusingly-named "My List at Bloomindale's" costs $149/month for 10 items you use, minorly-abuse, then return. Rental-ware is just 1% of the apparel market, but it surged 24% last year, while fashion overall grew 5%. Here's who recently got in:
The original look = Rent The Runway: The decade-old rental pioneer is now a unicorn, boasting 25 drop-off points (19 of them in WeWorks) and a new club in San Francisco to meet fellow dress-renters.
The moocher look = Levi's: Denim's finest doesn't have its own rental service — but it partnered with Rent The Runway on a revenue share deal to offer up its skinny jeans on their platform.
The newbie look = Nuuly: It's the rental brand of Urban Outfitters that just launched this summer to take on all the others.
"Clothing as a Service"... CaaS. It's now a thing. The startup CaaStle has it in its name. Clothing rental is almost entirely logistics — shipping is its greatest cost. So CaaStle's software and warehouses handle all that for clients like retail chain Express. And solving that logistics challenge could make it the greatest threat to Bloomingdale's and Rent The Runway yet.The Takeaway:Clothing Rental is one big bet... and we’re all waiting on the answer. Both fashion brands and retail chains are experimenting with clothing rental programs because the industry could go in 1 of 2 directions:
Cannibalization: Shoppers could stop buying clothes and just rent instead, potentially hurting sales.
Boosting: Shoppers could start testing clothes before they buy, thereby helping sales. Apr 10, 2019 Levi's tries on its first post-IPO earnings report Read More No shrinkage... In its first earnings report since its March IPO, Levi's sales and profits rose 11% and 81%. That's 11x81 in jean-speak. The stock's now up 25% since its first day of trading. Even better, the CEO doesn't think you should wash your jeans. Maybe ever.
Ripped. Not intentionally... Because of two market trends, denim sales globally have only risen 3.5% per year over the past decade — Not very fast, considering the rest of the economy's grown faster.
Athleisure's surged 7% per year as consumers rethink boot-cut skinny-crops for jog-worthy yoga pants — In 2017, US imports of stretchy knit options beat denim for the 1st time ever.
Online shopping now makes up over a quarter of all apparel sales. But unlike jeggings, jeans need to fit just right, best tried-on pre-purchase. That's a challenge online.The Takeaway:Stretch jeans to everywhere... That's Levi's strategy. It's leaning into its 166-year-old brand's global recognition to win jean sales away from other denim denizens. The real growth story is international, and it IPO'd to focus on that. So far, it's working — Here's where that happened last quarter (adjusted for foreign currencies):
Americas: Sales up 10% to $717M
Europe: Up 10% to $465M
Asia: Up 14% to $253M — China + India is where Levi thinks there's huge potential for growth Mar 22, 2019 Levi's jumps 32% on its IPO. Comfortably. Read More Those shares look good on you... Fresh off the top shelf, Levi's IPO'd Thursday, jumping to a $9B valuation under uncreative ticker symbol "LEVI." Since 70% of its sales are to dudes, it's now focused on convincing women Levi's isn't their dads' jeans company.
Look who's sporting Canadian tuxes now... It's the Haas family. They're decendents of the founder, old man Levi Strauss himself, and that family tree's controled the brand for 166 years. This IPO means they're fashionably cashing out part of their heritage.
Before yesterday they owned over 80% of the company's voting shares. That means they could add a 3rd back pocket if they wanted.
The Haas fam's selling 21M shares during this IPO in return for cash — $623M total.
FYI, this is the 2nd time they've listed shares publicly -- Levi's actually IPO'd back in 1971, then went private in 1985. Now they're trying it on again.The Takeaway:The timing fits poorly... Jean sales globally have only grown 3.5% the last decade, slower than fashion overall (blame athleisurewear, @Lululemon). And Levi competitors Old Navy and Wrangler are getting spun-off into their own publicly-traded companies this year.