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Hungryroot’s CEO on pricing and turning a profit.
February 12, 2024

Retail Brew


It’s Monday, and if you haven’t yet found a Valentine’s Day gift for that someone special, you may want to consider Build-A-Bear’s new adult “After Dark” line, which features stuffed animals including the Red Roses Teddy Bear that you can outfit in T-shirts including one that says “You Turn Me On” and another that says “I Have Mixed Drinks About Feelings.” But this is no child’s play; before you enter that section of the website, you’ll have to confirm you’re 18.

In today’s edition:

—Erin Cabrey, Jeena Sharma, Katishi Maake


Staying hungry

Hungryroot grocery box with food products Hungryroot

After a surge during the pandemic, the business of grocery delivery has gone a little bit rotten in the past two years, from rapid delivery shutdowns to meal-kit company layoffs, but AI-powered grocery delivery company Hungryroot has managed to remain fresh—and even profitable.

Last year was a “pivotal” one for the company, founder, chair, and CEO Ben McKean told Retail Brew. The company secured $333 million in revenue for the full year, up 40% YoY, and made over $9 million in profit—a somewhat rare feat in the grocery and meal delivery business.

Hungryroot began in 2015 as an e-commerce CPG company offering its own food products. In 2019, it made what McKean called a “key pivot” to an AI-driven model to become a grocery and recipe service, adding third-party brands. Hungryroot customers fill out an onboarding quiz regarding factors like health objectives and dietary restrictions, and the company fills out a shopping cart for them each week tailored to different recipes, with both name-brand and private-label items that they can then edit.

The company has found success by doing things a little bit differently than others in the category, and McKean broke down a few strategies that have led to its success.

Keep reading here.—EC



By the pros, for the pros


As consumer expectations continue to shift, your marketing strategy has more riding on it than ever before. You’ve gotta bring customer interactions together, visualize and optimize the entire end-to-end customer experience, and navigate a cookie-less, first-party data world.

That’s a whole lot to ask—both of your strategy and you. Don’t go it alone; grab The Big Book of Klaviyo Use Cases. It’s filled with inspiration from industry pros who’ve been in your place and have successfully grown their e-commerce marketing revenue.

Klaviyo’s full guide is packed with 11 road-tested strategies, all inspired by real brands. Learn how they did it, the power of leveraging first-party data, and more.

Read on here.


On the DL

Gucci store on Rodeo Drive Anjelika Gretskaia/Getty Images

The luxury industry has been in a lull of late—at least the big players like Kering, which reported a 6% slump in its Q4 revenue.

It was an improvement on the 8% quarterly revenue drop analysts had expected for the French luxury conglomerate.

Meanwhile, sales for Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Yves Saint Laurent—all under the Kering umbrella—were down 8% YoY.

The losses were somewhat mitigated by the retailer’s improved sales across the Asia-Pacific region, but Kering noted that its recurring operating income would likely decline in H1 2024.

Chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault also said he was focused on “revitalizing” brands like Gucci.

Keep reading here.—JS



To the moon

February 2024 calendar with push pins on a yellow background. Pakin Songmor/Getty Images

For all the football fans, now that you're not preoccupied on Mondays doomscrolling through hot takes on your team, we should have your undivided attention. Here’s what’s going on in retail this week.

In earnings: Shopify reports earnings tomorrow and the company is, to quote the meme, locked in. Wall Street expects to see strong Q4 results, following a Q3 that saw Shopify’s revenue spike 25% YoY to $1.7 billion.

In new hires: Today marks the start of Anca Marola’s tenure as Sephora’s global chief digital officer. Marola’s responsibilities include building the company’s data strategy and improving the omnichannel experience for Sephora’s customers.

E-commerce pet retailer Chewy is bringing on David Reeder as its new chief financial officer, starting Wednesday.

+1: We didn’t forget that Wednesday is also one of the largest consumer holidays on the calendar.

Keep reading here.—KM




Your “unprecedented times” roadmap. Sure, your role is more complicated, but you can grow e-commerce marketing revenue without breaking the bank. That’s where The Big Book of Klaviyo Use Cases comes in. Learn how fellow marketers created successful strategies, leveraged first-party data, and more. Download the guide.


Level up Your Loyalty Program

Perfect your loyalty program strategy in 2024

Gain exclusive insights from Sephora’s senior vice president of loyalty to unlock the secrets of a top-tier loyalty program. eMarketer’s free guide equips retailers with actionable tips and essential strategies for delivering a best-in-class experience and captivating their audience.

Download your copy today!


Today’s top retail reads.

Over sharing: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos sold the first roughly 12 million shares—valued at ~$2 billion—of up to 50 million shares in Amazon that the company said he plans to sell. (Reuters)

Pork shops: It seems there’s an oversupply problem in the American pork industry, and that could be bad news for the economy. (the Wall Street Journal)

Boom and gloom: How the struggles of Casper, Allbirds, and Peloton could mark the end of the DTC boom. (CNBC)

How they did it: See the strategy behind the results. Grab The Big Book of Klaviyo Use Cases for inspo + examples from real brands that grew e-commerce marketing revenue with first-party data. Check it out.*

*A message from our sponsor.


Uber Eats released a Super Bowl ad on February 6 about people forgetting basic facts, including one man with a peanut allergy who, having forgotten that peanut butter contains peanuts, was eating it out of the jar, making his eyes swell practically shut. But after the nonprofit group Food Allergy Research & Education objected, Uber Eats removed that part of the commercial in the version that aired during the Super Bowl.

You tell us: Do you agree with Uber Eats’s decision to remove a bit about peanut allergies from its Super Bowl ad? Cast your vote here.

Last week, we asked you about recent data from Poshmark that indicated that because retailers increasingly are charging for returns, the resale marketplace saw a 16% increase in products listed as NWT (New With Tags). So we asked if you discovered you’d have to pay a fee to return an item, whether you’d be more likely to consider reselling it instead of returning it.

More than half of you (51.5%) said having to pay a return fee would make you more likely to consider reselling it rather than returning it. Another 38.2% of you said having to pay a return fee would not make you more likely to consider reselling it rather than returning it, while 10.3% of you didn’t know or weren’t sure.


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Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.