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 eBay’s latest investment to Lowe’s throwing birthday parties, here’s our closeout for the week.

What you may have missed

1-800-Flowers launches a marketplace

In addition to floral arrangements, 1-800-Flowers.com has expanded its assortment by launching a new marketplace dubbed Gifts & More. It features over 200 new brands and 15 product categories including home décor, spa gift baskets, party supplies and DIY activities. 

“This addition will help us continue to bring new trends to market as we support local independent sellers, providing them with an innovative platform to sell their goods on a national scale,” Abhay Patel, president of 1-800-Flowers.com, said in a statement. 

EBay invests in luxury platform Cudoni

Ebay’s venture arm invested $9 million in Cudoni, according to Business of Fashion. Cudoni is a luxury resale site based in the UK that sells throughout that region and Europe. Cudoni helped raise a portion from existing investors like Andrew Jennings and The Daily Mail Group Ventures. It sells from over 4,000 luxury brands ranging from clothing to jewelry, and more.

Cudoni’s site states that sellers on the platform receive extensive market research and knowledge from specialists in order to maximize all possible earnings. Ebay is investing in apparel resale during a time of exceptional growth for the segment. The money will go toward sales and marketing functions at Cudoni. 

Class-action lawsuit filed against Foot Locker under California privacy law

A class action lawsuit was filed against Foot Locker on Monday, alleging the retailer acted in violation of the California Invasion of Privacy Act. The plaintiff is asking for $25,000,000 in damages.

The suit claims that Foot Locker “ignores” CIPA’s rules on wiretapping and eavesdropping of electronic communications by using an embedded code in its chat feature that “records and creates transcripts of all such conversations,” according to court documents. Those court documents allege that Foot Locker eavesdrops by allowing “at least one independent third-party” to intercept the communications and store transcripts, all without proper consent.

Several retailers have been hit with lawsuits under CIPA, as Sephora settled a suit for $1.2 million in August. Meanwhile, Crocs and Adidas are both actively dealing with separate litigation related to CIPA. 

Retail Therapy

Levi’s CEO misquotes Mark Twain about skinny jeans

Mark Twain is famously one of the most misquoted people of all time, and Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh this week piled on with one of the better-known Twain distortions.

Bergh told an analyst who asked about the supposedly dying skinny jeans trend that two such styles are still the bestsellers in women’s. “As Mark Twain once said, ‘The news of my death has been greatly exaggerated,’” he said. “I’ve been known to say skinny jeans will never die.”

Twain did say something like that, in an attempt to quell a rumor that mixed him up with a gravely ill cousin, according to Professor Joe Fulton, a Mark Twain scholar at Baylor University. The accurate quotation: “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

But, according to Fulton, there may be a stronger tie between Levi’s and Twain than Wednesday’s Q4 earnings call. Twain – who was 18 when Levi’s was founded and spent pivotal years in its original trading areas – may very well have been a customer.

“It seems very likely Twain did wear blue jeans, possibly even Levi blue jeans, during his time in the Nevada Territory and California,” Fulton said by email. In the semi-autobiographical “Roughing It,” Twain describes “pantaloons” modified with “ample additions of buckskin, to do duty in place of leggings, when the man rode horseback so the pants were half dull blue and half yellow, and unspeakably picturesque.” 

Twain, most often pictured in a light three-piece suit and shock of white hair, wrote about acquiring a taste for western style, though he doesn’t specify Levi’s or blue jeans, Fulton said. 


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