ON THE VERGE OF MERGER
Last year, Kroger and Albertsons stunned the grocery world by announcing the agreement of a merger between the two supermarket chains—a deal the two giants hope to close by 2024. The merger, which was devised as a means to compete with the likes of Walmart and Amazon, has since been met with mixed reactions. A number of local and national unions, as well as some consumer advocacy groups, have expressed concern over the announcement, while punctilious minds at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are no doubt preparing an all-you-can-inquire buffet of questions for each entity. Still, Kroger and Albertsons remain optimistic their gambit will find success, assuring the public that there is no plan to close stores, lay off frontline employees, or raise prices.
LIVIN’ ON A HOPE AND A BEAR
Last week, King of Bears, Haribo, celebrated National Gummi Bear Day by giving fans a bit of good news. Literally. Recognizing the dual need for good news in a world of bad news and for good ol’ fashioned fan interaction, Haribo took to social media to launch the one-day-only “Good News Goldbears” campaign. Populated with a combination of super-positive user-generated content (UGC), original skits produced by the brand, and other lighthearted branded content, the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages spread sweet solace that everything was going to be OK across both channels. Fans of the edible ursine treat were even offered the opportunity to call a 24-hour good news hotline and given access to a Vans + Haribo collaborated shoe collection.
TALKING THE TALK AND WALKING THE CROC
Hate them or love them, Crocs very much remain a footwear contender in spite of recent heavy breathing from market experts surrounding a potential sales slowdown. Last Thursday, Crocs reported a staggering $884.2 million in first-quarter revenue, reflecting a 33.9% increase from the same period last year. Contributing to that eye-popping number likely were profits garnered by Hey Dude, another very popular (and sartorially polarizing) comfort shoe company acquired by Crocs in 2021. While growth-mitigating factors noted by some industry experts—such as a slightly lagging North American market, Hey Dude’s occasional struggle to meet demand, and global currency inflation generally—have resulted in second-quarter predictions falling a bit short of what was originally forecast, Crocs is well on its way to continue beating sales records.