The holiday gift Rachel Zoe buys in bulk: Diamonds

“I die.”

That’s what Rachel Zoe’s loved ones will be saying when they unwrap their holiday gifts from the fashion icon — because this season, she’s bringing them bling.

And just like the accessories, beauty products and home decor finds she includes in her seasonal Curateur subscription box ($99.99 quarterly), each piece has been specially selected.

Asked about the present she buys in bulk, Zoe told Page Six Style, “Diamonds, believe it or not! I buy handpicked, very delicate diamond jewelry for my employees each year. My favorites over the years have been from Jennifer Meyer, Anita Ko or The Last Line. It’s become a special holiday tradition that means a lot to me.”

Zoe’s closest friends and her even her husband, Rodger Berman, can expect to receive precious pieces of their own as well.

“I almost always give jewelry to my besties because it lasts forever and is deeply meaningful,” the celebrity stylist-turned-designer explained, adding, “It’s one of my favorite gifts even for the men in my life! I love the men’s jewelry at Tiffany & Co. for Rodger.”

Zoe has also received some particularly meaningful baubles of her own during holidays past.

“Rodger has [surprised] me with so many beautiful gifts over the years — it’s hard to choose one,” she said. “I would probably say the most special gifts I’ve received are jewelry engraved with our family names or children’s birthdates.”

The style star will also be picking up candles from Byredo, Diptyque and Apothia for easy last-minute gifting, and snagging Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Skin Care Discovery Set ($110) to slip into stockings.

Zoe’s rounding out her holiday shopping with handbags for her mother and sister, a Ralph Lauren jacket for her father — “because he loves when I style him,” she said — and, hopefully, the impossible-to-get new PS5 for her sons, 6-year-old Kaius Jagger and 9-year-old Skyler Morrison.

But when it comes to what she’s hoping to receive in return, Zoe said, “I truly have everything I need this year. My family has been so blessed with good health, and the ability to be outdoors and active while in quarantine living in LA.”

To that end, she’s looking to spruce up her family’s new house with outdoor theater equipment, a fireplace and blankets, “to create a comfy and luxurious experience at home.”

Something else that’s sure to put a smile on her kids’ faces? “The best gift of all for the whole family will be a new puppy!” Zoe shared.

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Blackhawk Network Buys National Gift Card

Global branded payments provider Blackhawk Network has acquired National Gift Card, one of the biggest North American prepaid tech and card companies, according to a press release emailed to PYMNTS.

With the completion of the sale, Blackhawk now has more of a foothold in the gift card and prepaid card market, while also adding National Gift Card’s fulfillment capabilities, the release stated.

The National Gift Card base, in addition, will have the ability to access Blackhawk’s digital services and wide catalog of brands and original content, the release added.

Talbott Roche, CEO and president of Blackhawk Network, said in the release that the acquisition will “further enhance our incentive solutions and strengthen our end-to-end program management solutions.”

“With this acquisition, Blackhawk now offers full issuance program management, fulfillment, global retail and business-to-business distribution, and is the global single source for leading, reward-based incentive programs large or small,” Roche said, according to the release.

“Blackhawk has long been a leader in the gift card and incentives industry and has been a long-standing partner of [National Gift Card],” said Adam Van Witzenburg, CEO of National Gift Card, according to the release. “Together, we drove almost $3 billion in gift cards and prepaid products for loyalty, rewards and employee recognition programs in 2019 alone.”

In September, Blackhawk announced it was rolling out new cards that would trigger automatic donations to certain charities when loaded. The cards are called “Giving Good” cards and work at various restaurants and retail locations. The initial charities included were Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Make-A-Wish, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Wounded Warrior Project.

“By introducing the Giving Good line of cards, we hope to provide the perfect way to not only give a great gift — regardless of physical proximity — but also to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others,” Brett Narlinger, head of global commerce at Blackhawk Network, said at the time.

Also in September, Blackhawk debuted a service to help companies outsource gift card program management. The service works to expand omnichannel access and boost client customer bases.

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NEW PYMNTS STUDY: CROSS-BORDER MERCHANT FRICTION INDEX – NOVEMBER 2020 

The PYMNTS Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index analyzes the key friction points experienced by consumers browsing, shopping and paying for purchases on global eCommerce sites. The report examines the checkout processes of 260 EU and U.S.-based B2B and B2C eCommerce sites from across 12 industries and highlights the key traits that can help merchants enhance their checkout experiences.

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VF buys Supreme for $2.1 billion, adding to Vans, Timberland, North Face

  • VF, which owns Vans, The North Face, and Timberland, is adding fashion brand Supreme to its portfolio, it announced Monday.
  • The companies expect the $2.1 billion deal to be completed in late 2020.
  • Supreme’s current investors, The Carlyle Group and Goode Partners, are selling their stakes, VF said.
  • VF expects Supreme to contribute at least $500 million of revenue in the 2022 fiscal year.
  • Supreme was founded in New York City in 1994, and has since opened stores in Asia and Europe. Its lines are also carried by other retailers.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

US apparel company VF is buying fashion brand Supreme for $2.1 billion, it announced Monday.

Supreme’s current investors, The Carlyle Group and Goode Partners, are selling their stakes, VF said.

New York City-based Supreme has worked with VF in the past, and has collaborated with VF-owned brands Vans, The North Face, and Timberland.

The companies expect the deal to be completed in late 2020. VF expects Supreme to contribute at least $500 million of revenue in the 2022 fiscal year, it said.

It would make an additional payment of up to $300 million, subject to certain milestones being met after the deal, it said.

Supreme and VF already have similar customer bases, VF said in a press release. 

The deal also means that streetwear brand Supreme can access VF’s global supply chain, international platforms, digital functions, and consumer knowledge, it said.

Read more: eBay has been ‘asleep at the wheel’ in the sneaker category. Now, an exec explains how the platform will overtake competitors like StockX and GOAT

Despite the acquisition, Supreme will continue to collaborate with brands outside of the VF portfolio, VF said.

“VF is the ideal steward to honor the authentic heritage of this cultural lifestyle brand while providing the opportunity to leverage our scale and expertise to enable sustainable long-term growth,” VF’s CEO Steve Rendle said.

Supreme was founded in 1994 to target the skateboarding and hip-hop youth cultures, and has since become known globally for its distinctive bright red logo.

The brand sells clothes, accessories, footwear, and skateboards.

The company owns 11 stores, including in Asia and Europe, but also sells through other retailers and via its own online store.

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B8ta Buys RaaS Retailer Re:store to Expand Presence in Fashion and Lifestyle

B8ta has acquired Re:store, a startup that provides retail-as-a-service for online fashion brands with partners including Instagram brands Sezane, H&M’s & Other Stories and Nasty Gal. The deal will help b8ta, which has focused primarily on technology, to enter the fashion and lifestyle market.

Re:store offers its partners a model that lets them display
products at Re:store’s shop in San Francisco, giving online brands a physical
presence. The service includes a proprietary dashboard that provides these brands
with real-time visibility to automate their merchandising, buying and logistics.
Re:store will be integrated into Forum by b8ta, which seeks to offer “one
cohesive solution” for the needs of fashion and lifestyle brands seeking retail
distribution both online and offline.

“The future of retail is discovery,” said Vibhu Norby,
co-founder and CEO of b8ta in a statement. “I am a huge fan of what Selene
built at Re:store, and we’re incredibly excited to add their Maiden Lane
location to our portfolio.”

Re:store founder Selene Cruz will stay on in an advisory
role with b8ta to support brand curation and community experience. Under the
terms of the deal, Re:store will maintain licensing rights while handing off its
business dealings to b8ta.

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Scott Morrison buys inflatable shark from Bunnings

Scott Morrison has gotten himself a Christmas gift that left his followers in stitches and his wife slightly less amused.

The Prime Minister invested in an inflatable toy depicting Santa Claus riding a shark from Bunnings Warehouse, which he proudly showed off on social media.

“It’s here. Jen’s not so impressed,” the Prime Minister captioned a picture of himself, in casual wear and pointing to the box.

The Prime Minister’s wife, Jenny, is standing by looking less than delighted.

The Saturday afternoon post was a follow-up to another earlier this month, where Mr Morrison first announced the shark toy had come to his attention.

“Totally on this year’s Christmas list. Will be going to Bunnings,” the Prime Minister wrote in the caption to a picture of the shark fully inflated and propped up on a Bunnings shelf.

The Prime Minister, a keen Cronulla Sharks fan, sees the shark toy as an opportunity to represent his home district’s rugby league team.

The more recent Facebook post garnered thousands of comments from the Prime Minister’s supporters, many of whom said they appreciated the lighthearted touch.

“Love it, good to see a bit of a smile and sense of humour in these trying times,” one person wrote.

The $129 toy is 2.7 metres long and 1.6 metres high when inflated.

“Add some fun to your home this Xmas with this giant 2.7m inflatable Santa on a shark. With 15 super bright LEDs this inflatable will surely add a touch of festive charm to your home. Simply plug in and watch him inflate in minutes,” the product description reads.

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India’s Flipkart buys over $200 million stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail

Flipkart is acquiring a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion as the Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce firm makes further push into the fashion category in one of the world’s largest retail markets.

The e-commerce group will pay $203.8 million for its stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, a conglomerate that operates over 3,000 stores including the Pantaloons brand. As part of the “landmark partnership,” Flipkart will also sell and distribute various Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail’s brands products.

“This partnership is an emphatic endorsement of the growth potential of India,” said Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, which operates the fashion retail firm in a filing to the stock exchange. “It also reflects our strong conviction in the future of the apparel industry in India, which is poised to touch $100 billion in the next 5 years.”

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Group, said the two companies will work toward “making available a wide range of products for fashion-conscious consumers across different retail formats across the country. We look forward to working with ABFRL and its well established and comprehensive fashion and retail infrastructure as we address the promising opportunity of the apparel industry in India.”

In July, Flipkart also invested $35 million in $35 million in Arvind Fashions, one of the decades-old Indian firm’s subsidiaries.

More to follow…

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Suspected wallet thief buys two Rolex watches in $40K shopping spree, Southlake police say

A man allegedly swiped a wallet at a Flower Mound gym and then went on a $40,000-plus shopping spree, using stolen credit cards to buy two Rolexes at a store in Southlake Town Square and $3,500 worth of merchandise across the street at Nordstrom Rack, police said Tuesday.

“Back on Sept. 17, the Flower Mound Lifetime Fitness had a theft in the men’s locker room. Someone broke open a locker and stole our victim’s credit cards and wallet,” the Southlake Department of Public Safety tweeted.

This six-carat cushion-cut diamond ring, valued at $101,700, is the subject of a theft investigation in Southlake.

The suspected thief then allegedly went to Pieter Andres jewelry store in Town Square, where he was buzzed in at the door, surveillance video shows, before he bought two Rolex watches—a 40mm Rolex Yachtmaster and another “regular ole Rolex Yachtmaster,” according to the law enforcement agency. He used two separate stolen cards for the purchases.

The man then crossed Southlake Boulevard and allegedly purchased $3,500 worth of clothes at Nordstrom Rack.

The suspected thief, who wore a grey suit with no tie and a surgical face mask, has thinning black hair and could be “any guy over 50 these days,” tweeted Southlake DPS, which said the crime carries two felony counts.

Southlake DPS also released the serial numbers for the watches. They are: RG 40mm Yacht-Master (model #126655; serial #39L17280) SS/RG 40mm Yacht-Master (model #126621; serial #6R797816).

Police are still searching for the suspect and ask that anyone with information contact crime analyst Diana Smith at 817-748-8915.

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David’s Bridal Buys Online Resource Rustic Wedding Chic

David’s Bridal has acquired online wedding resource Rustic Wedding Chic.
Maggie Lord, the founder of Rustic Wedding Chic, will join David’s Bridal to
lead strategic partnerships, reporting to Chief Marketing and IT Officer Kelly
Cook.

Earlier this
year, David’s Bridal launched a suite of digital planning tools including the
Wedding Checklist, a personalized, customizable Wedding Website, and the Vision
Board. Rustic Wedding Chic, which showcases the latest wedding trends,
fits into the planning process as a source of inspiration for  the Vision Board.

“As the
needs of brides change and evolve, so do we,” said Jim
Marcum, CEO of David’s Bridal in a statement. “It is clear that our
transformational framework, which is focused on digital and innovative
solutions to allow us to be with her along her entire journey, is spot-on and
accelerates our strategic goals. Our omni platform, digital planning tools,
virtual experiences and now Rustic Wedding Chic is the end-to-end, one-stop
shop for her.”

“For the
past 12 years, Maggie has been able to cultivate and forge strong and
meaningful partnerships in the wedding market,” said Cook
in a statement. “She has done a phenomenal job at connecting with the
newly engaged and establishing Rustic Wedding Chic as a go-to resource for
ideas, inspiration, community and more. She is an industry authority and we are
so excited to have her join our marketing team as Head of Partnerships, to
re-energize and expand our partnership base and to enhance the wedding planning
process for all of our David’s Bridal customers.”

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