business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

Bloomberg reports that "Authentic Brands Group won court approval to become the new owner of bankrupt Barneys New York Inc. with plans to license the brand and close most of the chain’s stores." The bid was judged to be the only viable offer.

"Authentic’s plan involves hitching the chain to another iconic retailer, with about 40 Barneys shops opening inside Saks Fifth Avenue stores," Bloomberg writes. "The chain may also have some free-standing locations, including one in Boston and a new site in Greenwich, Conn."

There seems to be little question that the winning bid represents a deconstructionist approach to traditional retail. It could be a means to saving the brand via unconventional means (including a more robust online presence), or it could be just another series of steps in the brand's downhill path to oblivion. We'll see … but my cynicism makes me want to bet on the latter.

Business Insider reports that "dollar stores are gaining ground against Walmart.

"A report from marketing platform InMarket found that shoppers from low-income groups are more likely to shop at Family Dollar and Dollar General than at Walmart … Dollar Tree and Dollar General stores have largely defied grim retail trends and have been rapidly expanding across the US. Walmart quietly closed at least 22 stores in the US and Canada this year."

• The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that "Procter & Gamble Co. is rolling out the Oral-B Genius X, a $220 electric toothbrush that employs artificial intelligence to let users track where they have brushed."

According to the story, "P&G consumer research indicates that most people miss certain areas of the mouth, use either too much pressure or don’t brush long enough, so a smartphone app provides personalized details for each user and notes areas that require additional brushing. The Cincinnati-based maker of consumer goods such as Crest toothpaste said the Oral-B Genius X uses sensors to monitor brushing pressure, keep track of brushing time, and detect the brush’s location and orientation. Data is sent to the Oral-B app, which leverages the Genius X artificial intelligence algorithm to identify in real-time where users are brushing."

Got a $25 Quip. Happy with my $25 Quip. Can't imagine why I'd want to spend $220 on a new toothbrush. Sounds to me like P&G is a day late and a lot of dollars too expensive.
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