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Welcome to Dealboard. In this weekly feature, The Current is providing a look at the mergers, acquisitions and venture capital deals making waves in ecommerce, CPG and retail.
This week, five-year-old startup brands in beauty and furniture were acquired, L’Oréal invested in a longtime partner and Glowbar raised funds to expand beyond New York. Here’s the latest activity:
L’Oréal invests in temporary tattoo company
Beauty giant L’Oréal invested in Prinker Korea, which specializes in micro-printing of temporary tattoos.
The minority investment was made through corporate venture arm BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oreal Development.
Founded in 2015, Prinker developed a digital temporary tattoo device. The companies worked together for several years to develop Brow Magic, an applicator debuted at last week’s CES that applies eyebrows by combining AR and printing technology.
Glowbar raises $10 million
Skincare brand Glowbar raised $10 million from Peterson Partners, a Salt Lake City VC firm which has also invested in Allbirds, Bonobos and Madison Reed.
Founded in 2019 by esthetician Rachel Liverman, Glowbar operates six studios offering 30-minute facials in the New York area. It is planning to double that total in 2023 while expanding into new geographic markets on the East Coast.
With the deal, Drybar cofounder Alli Webb and Bluemercury cofounder Marla Beck will join the company’s advisory board.
Explorer raises $2.5M for cold brew
The round was co-led by NewBound Ventures and Table Management, the family office of prominent hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. Additional investors include Covet PR founder Sara Brooks,Truffl Agency Founder Raphael Farasat, Drizly cofounder Justin Robinson, Victress Capital General Partner Lori Cashman and CPG advisor Timo Weiland.
Founded by Carson Crane, Explorer makes cold brew in four caffeine levels, with fair-trade coffee that is roasted and bottled in Texas. Its business is 70% ecommerce, and is adding new products and branding, Forbes reported.
Fanatics divests stake in NFT company
Sports-focused ecommerce platform Fanatics is divesting its 60% stake in Candy Digital, a company offering collectibles for fans via nonfungible tokens (NFTs), according to CNBC. Fanatics is selling the majority stake to crypto merchant platform Galaxy Digital.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Starco acquires clean beauty brand
Consumer products maker Starco is set to acquire clean beauty brand Skylar, the companies announced.
Founded in 2017 by Cat Chen, Skylar makes fragrances that are vegan, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin.
Going forward, Skylar will be an independent entity of Starco, led by Chen. The companies are planning new products, while leveraging partnerships with retailers Sephora and Nordstrom.
Previously, Starco acquired Kobe Bryant-fouded Art of Sport, and vodka-infused whipped cream brand Whipshots.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
DTC furniture brand acquired
Canadian sleep retailer Sleep Country acquired DTC brand Silk & Snow.
Following a 2017 Kickstarter campaign, Silk & Snow launched via ecommerce with a memory foam mattress that was locally made, and delivered via box. The company has grown to develop a line of sleep and lifestyle products that includes mattresses, furniture, bed essentials and its new bath lineup. It also expanded into the U.S.
Going forward, Silk & Snow will operate as an independent entity within Sleep Country. Terms were not disclosed.
“Their purpose-driven approach to product design, manufacturing, and digital marketing aligns beautifully with our strategic road map and expansion of sustainable products, and into new markets,” said Stewart Schaefer, president and CEO of Sleep Country Canada, in a statement
L2 acquires Ouray
Sportswear makers Ouray and Locale Outdoor were acquired by apparel and headwear maker L2 Brands from distributor S&S.
Ouray was founded in 1965 as Ski Country Imports. In 2021, it acquired Locale. That same year, Ouray was acquired by S&S as part of a deal to bring on TSC Apparel. Now, it will join L2, which is the owner of apparel, headwear and home décor brands League and Legacy.
The companies said the deal will bring opportunities to grow across categories including destination, collegiate, golf and consumer branded apparel.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Naver completes Poshmark acquisition
South Korean internet giant Naver completed its $1.2 billion acquisition of resale platform Poshmark, the companies said this week. With the close of the deal, Poshmark was delisted from the Nasdaq.
Initially announced in October, the deal was billed as a means to combine the AI-powered ecommerce technology and reach in Asia of Naver with Poshmark’s standing as a fashion ecommerce powerhouse and large community.
Trending in Brand News
On the Move has the latest from Amazon, Lovesac and more.
This week, leadership is changing at GameStop, Sorel and Beautycounter. Meanwhile, key executives are departing at Amazon, Wayfair and Lovesac.
Here’s a look at the latest shuffles:
GameStop CEO fired
GameStop announced the termination of Matthew Furlong as CEO on Wednesday. A brief statement did not provide a reason for the firing.
With the move, Chewy founder and activist investor Ryan Cohen was named executive chairman of the video game retailer. Cohen will be responsible for capital allocation and overseeing management.
It came as the company reported a 10% year-over-year decline in net sales for the first quarter. Meanwhile, the company’s net loss improved by 62%.
In an SEC filing, GameStop further added this “We believe the combination of these efforts to stabilize and optimize our core business and achieve sustained profitability while also focusing on capital allocation under Mr. Cohen’s leadership will further unlock long-term value creation for our stockholders.”
Cohen was revealed as GameStop's largest shareholder when he disclosed a 10% stake in the retailer in 2020. GameStop went on to become a leading name in the meme stock rise of 2021.
Sorel president steps down
Mark Nenow is stepping down as president of the Sorel brand in order to focus on his health.
After rising to the role in 2015, Nenow spearheaded a transformation of Columbia Sportswear-owned Sorel from a men’s workwear brand to a fashion-focused brand that led with a women’s offering of boots, sandals and sneakers.
“Mark led the brand to sales of $347 million in net sales in 2022,” said Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle, in a statement. “His leadership has been invaluable to this company, and we wish him the very best.”
Columbia will conduct a search for Nenow’s replacement. Craig Zanon, the company’s SVP of emerging brands, will lead Sorel in the interim.
Beautycounter appoints interim CEO
Beautycounter appointed board member Mindy Mackenzie as interim CEO, succeeding Marc Rey. According to the brand, Rey and the board “mutually decided to transition to a new phase of leadership for Beautycounter.”
McKenzie, a former executive at Carlyle, McKinsey and Jim Beam, will lead the company as it conducts a search for a permanent CEO. Additionally, former Natura & Co CEO Roberto Marques will join Beautycounter’s board as chair.
As part of the transition, Nicole Malozi is also joining the company as chief financial officer. She brings experience from Tatcha, Nike, and DFS Group Limited.
Amazon’s North America fulfillment chief departs
Melissa Nick, a VP of customer fulfillment for North America at Amazon, will leave the company, effective June 16, CNBC reported. Nick joined the company in 2014, and oversaw a region that included nearly 300 fulfillment centers. After doubling its supply chain footprint during the pandemic, Amazon recently reorganized its fulfillment operations to take a regional approach, as opposed to a national model that often resulted in items shipping across the country.
Wayfair’s chief commercial officer to retire
Jon Blotner (Courtesy photo)
Steve Oblak will retire from the role of chief commercial officer at home goods marketplace Wayfair. With the move, Jon Blotner will be promoted to chief commercial officer.
"Steve has served as a critical part of our leadership team and played a pivotal role in Wayfair's growth, helping us grow from a $250 million business when he joined to $12 billion in net revenue today,” said Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah, in a statement. “He oversaw countless milestones, from helping to launch the Wayfair brand as we brought together hundreds of sites into a single platform, to launching new categories, business lines, and geographies while overseeing our North American and European businesses, to leading our debut into physical retail.”
Blotner previously oversaw exclusive and specialty retail brands, as well as digital media at Wayfair. Before joining the company, he served as president of Gemvara.com prior to its 2016 acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway.
Lovesac announces CFO transition
Furniture retailer Lovesac said Donna Dellomo will retire as EVP and CFO, and move to an advisory role, effective June 30. Dellomo was with Lovesac for six years.
Keith Siegner was appointed as the next EVP and CFO. He brings experience as CFO of esports company Vindex, as well as executive roles at Yum! Brands, UBS Securities and Credit Suisse.
Additionally, Jack Krause will retire from the role of chief strategy officer, effective June 30. His responsibilities will be divided between CEO Shawn Nelson and president Mary Fox.
“Since joining Lovesac, Jack has played an instrumental role in transforming the Company into a true omni channel retailer by helping expand our physical touchpoints and digital platform as we continue to disrupt the industry,” said Nelson, in a statement.
NRF adds board members
The National Retail Federation announced the addition of five new board members. They include:
- Marguerite Adzick, founder and CEO, Addison Bay
- Harley Finkelstein, president, Shopify
- Ian Kahn, partner, PwC
- Sharon Leite, CEO, Ideal Image
- Carrie Tharp, VP, strategic industries, Google Cloud