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.
‘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.
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.
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
- Target is offering up to 50 percent off video games and 30 percent off kids’ clothing.
- SkinStore is offering up to 50 percent off select last-minute gifts.
- AeroGarden is offering up to 50 percent off sitewide with the code HOLIDAY20.
- The Sill is offering up to 50 percent off select plants, planters, holiday bundles and more.
- The Company Store is offering up to 40 percent off on select items through Dec. 19.
- Colgate is offering up to 35 percent off sitewide through Dec. 31.
- prAna is offering 25 percent off orders with the code HAPPY25 through Dec. 13.
- Londontown is offering 25 percent off all items (excluding UV gels and gift cards) using the code JOLLY25 through Dec. 20.
- 1-800-Flowers is offering up to 20 percent off holiday flowers and gifts.
- Kinsa Health is offering 20 percent off sitewide through Jan. 1 with the code CHEERS.
- Nest Bedding is offering up to to $850 off mattresses, sheets and more through Dec. 13.
- The Google Store is offering up to $130 off select Nest home security products through Jan. 2.