Home / Blog / The Weekly Closeout: Yeezy sells despite controversy, Tamagotchi makes a comeback

The Weekly Closeout: Yeezy sells despite controversy, Tamagotchi makes a comeback

Jan 20, 2024Jan 20, 2024

All 12 styles Adidas released sold out, Wedbush said. Meanwhile, the ’90s-era toy has a new metaverse play and a tie-up with TikTok star Charli D’Amelio.

It's been another week with far more retail news than there is time in the day. Below, we break down some things you may have missed during the week, and what we’re still thinking about.

From the potential sale of BuyBuy Baby to Rue 21's new chief customer officer, here's our closeout for the week.

Post-breakup, first Yeezy release from Adidas sells out

Adidas debated for months about what to do with its leftover Yeezy inventory after the athletics retailer broke ties with Kanye West, also known as Ye, in October. The company finally decided last month that it would sell some of the inventory, with plans to donate a "significant amount" of the proceeds to charity.

Adidas released the first drop of merchandise at the end of May, and according to Wedbush analysts, it's going well. "There was some uncertainty as to how consumers would respond, given the highly-offensive comments made by Yeezy collaborator Kanye West (which led to the termination of the partnership last October), but the launches all sold out," Tom Nikic and Austin Borina said in emailed comments Monday. The analysts noted that the athletics giant offered up 12 Yeezy styles over a two-day period and sold out of all of them, and that now the styles are "selling for premiums in the resale market."

"Thus, it appears as though consumer demand for these products still exist, so at the very least, Adidas should be able to sell through the inventory that was already in place when they terminated the partnership with Mr. West," the analysts said. "Admittedly, the number of pairs sold was probably very low (as we believe they were just ‘testing the waters’), but last week's response from sneakerheads probably demonstrates that demand for the Yeezy products has not been impaired."

Adidas left open the possibility of selling additional inventory, but started with existing Yeezy designs and designs that were planned for 2023.

Rue21 names chief customer officer

Rue21 on Tuesday named Karlyn Mattson as its chief customer officer, where she will oversee the company's merchandising, planning and marketing operations.

Mattson joins Rue21 from GNC, where she was the retailer's chief merchandising officer. Mattson has 25 years of experience working with retailers including Target, Amazon and Macy's, according to the release.

"Karlyn's industry leadership and dedication to customer needs is perfectly aligned with our mission at Rue21," CEO Josh Burris said in a statement. "Her unique background will be invaluable as we continue to cultivate our commitment to building the most relevant and mainstream fashion destination."

Carhartt names vice president of global merchandising

Workwear brand Carhartt has named Tara Roemke as its vice president of global merchandising. She will serve as the general manager of the Carhartt's Men's and Carhartt Company Gear businesses, and report to the company's chief brand officer, Susan Hennike.

Roemke comes to Carhartt with more than two decades of product management and merchandising experience. She spent 13 years at Ariat International, most recently serving as its vice president of apparel and denim product management. Roemke has also held positions at Levi Strauss and Gap Inc.

"Tara has an impressive track record of developing and implementing strategic product plans that authentically reach diverse audiences to drive business," Hennike said in a statement. "We are so pleased that she is bringing her expertise to Carhartt and will grow our Men's category and our PPE business in new ways while delivering the premium, durable workwear that our consumers depend on each day."

In her new role, Roemke will develop strategies and grow the men's workwear and PPE product strategies, as well as identify marketplace opportunities for the company.

Remember the small virtual pet you owned in the ‘90s?

Tamagotchi are back and more interactive. On Tuesday, Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America announced its latest version, Tamagotchi Uni. Tamagotchi now connect players with the Tamaverse, the metaverse of the Tamagotchi world. The new device is able to connect to Wi-Fi and fans can play globally with up to seven language options for gameplay. The device now comes with its own social platform and more ways to customize characters.

Additionally, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio is the new face of Tamagotchi Uni.

"I'm a huge Tamagotchi fan and I'm so excited to be able to partner with the brand to launch an all-new device designed for a new generation," D'Amelio said in a statement. "The Tamagotchi Uni is a whole new experience and gives fans the opportunity to customize the play in an exciting and interactive new way!"

Devices are available for pre-order on Amazon before they launch on July 15. New Tamagotchi come in either purple or pink and now with an included wristband.

Everyone say happy birthday to Grimace!

In honor of what McDonald's calls everyone's favorite purple bestie, the food chain is celebrating Grimace's birthday starting June 12.

The company is releasing a Grimace Birthday Meal featuring a limited-edition purple shake at participating restaurants, the company announced Tuesday in a press release. McDonald's is also launching a Grimace-related video game and limited Grimace merch.


That's the annual stipend Adidas is offering through its new Student Loan Support Program for eligible U.S.-based employees. Employees in any part of Adidas’ business areas — retail, distribution centers, or corporate — may apply for the stipend after one year of work for the company and if they work at least 30 hours per week.

Adidas said the program places the company among 7% of employers that offer student loan assistance. The retailer also recently introduced a free financial wellness program for U.S. employees that offers coaching, guidance, and live seminars and webinars.

As of April, nearly 44 million people in America had about $1.76 trillion in student loan debt.


That's how many years Stitch Fix has operated in the U.K. Last year that business garnered the online apparel box company $50 million in revenue.

But it also required some $35 million in SG&A expense, resulting in negative EBITDA of about $15 million, CFO David Aufderhaar told analysts Tuesday. That has the company wondering if it should exit the country, in light of its renewed focus on profitability over growth. No decision has yet been made, but the idea is on the table, the company said.

That's quite a turnabout from 2018, when Stitch Fix began collecting signups for its U.K. launch the following year. "There are a lot of reasons that we’re really excited and optimistic about the U.K.," Founder and CEO Katrina Lake said at the time, noting that, compared to the U.S., consumers there were already buying a lot of apparel online and were less discount-oriented.

When the U.K. business got going in 2019, Stitch Fix's active client base was still rising. But in the company's most recent quarter, its number of active clients had fallen for the sixth straight quarter.

BuyBuy Baby bids bump up interest in brand

At least two bidders so far are interested in acquiring all or part of BuyBuy Baby from bankrupt retailer Bed Bath & Beyond: Babylist, a baby registry and product discovery platform, and Go Global Retail, owner of children's clothing brand Janie and Jack.

"The BuyBuy Baby brand has value as it is the only national dedicated baby retailer," Cristina Fernández, managing director and senior research analyst with Telsey Advisory Group told Retail Dive in an email.

Eighteen months ago, Fernandez said BuyBuy Baby had an estimated valuation of $1 billion. But BuyBuy Baby has struggled since then as consumers have pulled back on discretionary spending. Inventory shortages also hurt the company. Now, the brand could net an estimated $100 million to $200 million.

"[Retail's] baby [sector] tends to be less discretionary than other categories given it is based on the life stage and is an area that consumers are going to prioritize," Fernández said. "People could pull back on some baby clothes or toys, but based on recent personal experience, most cribs, strollers, feeding chairs, diapers, lotions, etc. are all ‘essentials’. Overall, I would expect some contraction in the baby business, but less than for the broader home furnishings market."