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New & Notable from Made In, LifeProof and Soma

Also: The online spinoff trend among retailers, and sales from Target, prAna and Nest Bedding.
Pour one out with a crystal decanter from Made In, fresh tea from Soma’s new kettle and more protection for your phone from LifeProof.
Pour one out with a crystal decanter from Made In, fresh tea from Soma’s new kettle and more protection for your phone from LifeProof.LIfeProof ; Soma ; made in

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With Black Friday and Cyber Monday now a mere speck in the rearview mirror, traditional retailers are back to pondering whether to buy into the latest trend in the industry: spinning off their online operations completely.

It’s already in the cards for Saks Fifth Avenue, and now Kohl’s is feeling the heat from shareholders who’ve been grumbling about the underperforming, Wisconsin-based department store chain. The idea, of course, is to raise massive amounts of capital through an IPO — Saks.com, which is expected to go public in the first half of 2022, now has an estimated valuation of $6 billion, or about triple what it was earlier in 2021. Last week, those antsy Kohl’s shareholders announced outright that that’s what they’re hoping for.

“We believe a standalone Kohl’s ecommerce business could be conservatively valued at $12.4 billion or more,” an amount that “dwarfs the company’s current market capitalization,” Kohl’s investor Engine Capital wrote to the retailer’s board. It also suggested Kohl’s could alternatively find a private equity buyer.

What the online spinoff trend could mean for shoppers isn’t clear, especially with so many moving pieces on the board — the pandemic, shifting consumer behavior, the national and global economies (including the worst consumer inflation since 1982) and even disagreement about whether purely online spinoffs or hybrid “omnichannels” are the better corporate model.

For now, at least, sales and deals seem to be humming along nicely for shoppers, with plenty of December opportunities for bargains still available even as we tick down to the final viable shipping dates for delivery by Christmas. And, naturally, we continue to publish gift guides for everyone you’re buying for, from cat lovers to your secret Santa.

New from Made In, Soma and LifeProof

Even though the holiday shopping season is almost coming to an early close, thanks to the global shipping crisis, companies haven't stopped introducing new products and lines. Here are a few recently launched products you could buy today that we've included based on Select reader interest.

Made In dusts off its new Crystal Decanter

‘Tis the season for imbibing. And Made In’s new Crystal Decanter is a showy way to fill wine glasses at a holiday gathering. Made in Slovakia, it ensures proper aeration with its large surface area and sports a small base that lets it fit on a crowded dinner table, according to the brand.

Soma warms up its new Kettle

Or maybe you’re a teetotaler or just more of a morning person. Soma’s new stainless steel Kettle features a gooseneck shape, can hold up to 1 liter and includes a brew-range thermometer. Plus, the B Corp-certified company has said it will donate at least 1 percent of its revenue to charity: water, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the world clean drinking water.

LifeProof launches its new FRĒ iPhone 13 protector

The iPhone 13 turns 3 months old tomorrow, and if you’re as clumsy with cellphones as some of us, it’s a good idea to protect your new baby as soon as possible. LifeProof’s new FRĒ is designed specifically for the new phone, with an eye to keeping it safe during snow-based winter adventures, according to the brand. It’s made from 60 percent recycled materials, is waterproof to 6.6 feet, is drop-, dirt- and snow-proof and has a built-in, touch-sensitive screen protector, according to LifeProof.

Sales to consider today

Though the number of year-end sales is dwindling noticeably, you can still consult our guide to December sales.

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