All Hail Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian
So, we're not all too impressed with Gwyneth Paltrow or Kanye West: the whole idea that those two vapid degenerates are influencing anything gives us concern for the future of this great nation. And we thought that the utter dumpster fire known as the Fyre Festival would at least temporarily stick a fork into the whole concept of influencer marketing. Alas, we were wrong. Turns out that Adidas' rise and Under Armour ($UA) and Nike's ($NKE) fall is somewhat attributable to this phenomenon. "Experiential" retail is all the rage right now and not a day goes by where we don't hear some tunnel-visioned advisor mention the concept - always in the abstract we might add - as the panacea for ailing retail (see Toys "R" Us). But, maybe part of the issue was Toys' marketing strategy. Maybe, just maybe, Geoffrey the Giraffe isn't influencing much of anything. Beyonce and Serena have babies now: maybe Toys ought to take that $3 billion of new liquidity and hire one or both of them as a spokeswoman. It has worked for Weight Watchers ($WTW); it has an insane 1-year performance. This may buy some time for Toys' execs as they try and figure out what the hell "experiential retail" ACTUALLY means.