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The Weekly Closeout: Claire’s expands into Mexico and Squishmallows collabs with H&M


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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 Rent the Runway’s decision to restructure its debt to the National Retail Federation updating its crime report to address faulty numbers, here’s our closeout for the week.

Claire’s goes to Mexico

Claire’s on Thursday announced an expansion into Mexico with the opening of a new flagship location in Mexico City. 

The 1,227-square-foot space has a curated selection of products including jewelry, fashion and hair accessories, toys, tech and cosmetics items, among other products. 

“Opening a flagship store in Mexico presents an exciting opportunity to continue building on the brand’s reach through immersive experiences and is just the start of the opportunity we see in this market.” Richard Flint, Claire’s president of Europe, said in a statement. 

Claire’s this month also appointed Bath & Body Works vet Chris Cramer as its CFO and COO. 

Rent the Runway refinances

Rent the Runway this week amended its credit agreement with existing lender Double Helix, which is a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The refinancing cuts the company’s minimum liquidity requirement from $50 million to $30 million. It also eliminates all interest for a period of six fiscal quarters beginning in Q4 of this year. 

The agreement also states that Rent the Runway may not exceed agreed upon quarterly and annual spend levels for inventory capital expenditures, fixed operating expenditures and marketing expenditures during fiscal 2024, and will have agreed upon levels for fiscal years 2025 and 2026.

Parade teams up with Betsey Johnson for collection

DTC underwear brand Parade has teamed up with designer Betsey Johnson to launch a limited-edition collection. 

The collection features unique silhouettes, including limited-edition styles and best-selling Parade favorites, and taps into classic Betsey Johnson prints like leopard, floral and plaid.

The collaboration is “an ode to middle-school nostalgia (especially our Days of the Week Underwear Pack <3), ’90s punk revival, and, most importantly, FUN,” the brand said in an email.

Parade, which launched in 2019, was acquired by Ariela & Associates International in August for an undisclosed amount. At the time, the company said the acquisition would allow Parade to scale in the U.S. and internationally by tapping into Ariela & Associates International’s sourcing, design and forecasting capabilities.

Goodwill opens first mini shop in NYC

On Dec. 1, Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey opened a mini shop and donation drop at the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, according to a press release. This is the nonprofit organization’s first small-format store at 1,000 sq. feet with a curated selection of donated items. The store offers home decor, books, glassware, knick-knacks and other finds.

“We designed our new Mini Shop & Donation Drop locations thinking of community-minded and environmentally-conscious neighbors who seek easy and convenient ways to give a second life to the clothing and goods they no longer need,” Katy Gaul-Stigge, Goodwill NYNJ president and CEO said in a statement. “This smaller format concept is perfect for donors on the go — stop by, drop your donations, and check unique finds to gift this holiday season.”

According to Goodwill NYNJ, revenue generated at its retail locations and on its website support Goodwill NYNJ’s training, job connections, on-the-job coaching and retention services for those with disabilities and other barriers on their journey to employment.

Squishmallows collabs with H&M

Plush toy brand Squishmallows teamed up with H&M for an apparel and accessories collection inspired by the toys, per a Tuesday press release. 

The 42-piece collection for tweens and kids became available online Thursday and will be in stores Dec. 21. The line features pajamas, T-shirts, dresses, ear muffs, hoodies and more.

Squishmallow's collection with H&amp;M
Courtesy of Squishmallows

“Partnering with H&M, a global force in fashion, allows us to authentically translate the world of Squishmallows into stylish apparel and accessories we know consumers will love,” Sam Ferguson, senior vice president of licensing at Squishmallows maker Jazwares, said in a statement. “We are steadfast in our vision to expand Squishmallows into a full 360-degree lifestyle brand and are eager for fans to add this epic collection to their wardrobes.”

Subway makes footlong cookie permanent

In an almost unfathomable amount of cookie, food chain Subway has made its footlong cookies a permanent menu item, sister publication Restaurant Dive reported last week.

Courtesy of Subway

The dessert debuted on National Cookie Day in 2022, but the company has since altered the item by increasing the density of chocolate chips. 

“The overwhelming response we received from fans around the country last year let us know that we needed to make the footlong cookie a permanent addition to our menu,” Paul Fabre, Subway’s SVP of culinary and innovation, said in a statement.


That’s how much third quarter net sales increased at closeout retailer Ollie’s. The nearly 15% rise equals $480.1 million from a year ago when the company posted net sales of $418.1 million. Comparable store sales rose 7% for Q3, up from a year ago increase of 1.9%.

Ollie’s recently reached two other milestones. In September it opened its 500th store in Iowa, and it celebrated a new distribution center in Illinois with a “topping out ceremony” — wherein a signed steel beam is placed on the roof of a facility signaling the next phrase of construction. The company ended Q3 with 505 stores, while the distribution center is slated to open in 2024.


That’s the number of stores that Sears has reopened this year. After over a decade of closing down stores, the company, which also owns Kmart, reopened Sears stores in Burbank, California, and in Union Gap, Washington. The Burbank store reopened in October, while the Washington state location reopened in November. Both locations had closed about a year ago.

One industry analyst told Retail Dive that the moves are likely a way for Sears to protect its real estate interests in the properties. Another noted that reopening stores to serve the interests of investors over customers could adversely affect customers’ perception of the brand. 

Following Retail Dive’s story on theft numbers, NRF withdraws claim about the scope of organized retail crime

The National Retail Federation has retracted a key statistic on organized retail crime from its special report released in April, after reporting from Retail Dive found a data mistake.

In the original report, conducted with risk monitoring firm K2 Integrity, the NRF had said that shrink was $94.5 billion in 2021, “nearly half of which was attributable to ORC, according to NRF survey data and research by the National Coalition of Law Enforcement,” also known as CLEAR. However, that “nearly half” was actually NRF’s old total shrink number from 2016, which includes inventory loss unrelated to crime, CLEAR confirmed to Retail Dive. NRF’s shrink numbers from year to year are unadjusted for inflation.

Data regarding how much inventory is lost to theft is difficult to ascertain. Broadly, the NRF estimates that in 2022, 63% of inventory loss was internal, including process errors, theft by employees or unknown/other reasons. The remaining 36% or so is from external theft, including shoplifting, burglary, break-ins, robbery, credit card fraud and organized retail crime.


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