• Market Crumbs

Dick's Joins Athleisure War With VRST Launch

Image via DICK'S Sporting Goods

Athleisure has been popular in the clothing space well before the pandemic hit, with brands such as Lululemon, Nike, Adidas and Under Armour dominating the space.

As people continue to seek clothing that can be worn in the gym or around the house just as easily as it could be worn out to a restaurant, companies have rushed to grab a piece of the athleisure pie.

Target's activewear and sporting goods brand, All in Motion, just surpassed $1 billion in sales in its first year after the company says its in-house design team used intel from thousands of guests from the beginning to get the product right.

With the athleisure market continuing to show strong demand, Dick's Sporting Goods unveiled yesterday its new men's athletic apparel line, VRST. VRST will be available exclusively on VRST.com and dicks.com and will land in more than 400 Dick's locations across the U.S. in the coming weeks.

The line includes popular athleisure items such as commuter pants, joggers, shorts, tees, hooded sweatshirts and quarter-zips. VRST items will be priced from $30 to $120 and be available in multiple sizing options outside of standard sizes S-XXL.

"With the continued intersection of casual wear and athletic apparel, we saw a white space opportunity for a men's line," Dick's Senior Vice President of Product Development Nina Barjesteh said. "The VRST line leverages our expertise in athletic apparel, technology and the in-house design capabilities we have been building over several years. VRST not only offers sophisticated performance apparel for running and training, but also comfortable, stylish pieces with premium fabrication that can be worn around town, out with friends or while working or working out at home."

The launch of VRST follows the success of its CALIA brand, which is a women's fitness and lifestyle brand launched more than five years ago through a partnership with Carrie Underwood. Dick's says CALIA has become one of the its top-selling women's brands.

VRST will become just the second brand—after CALIA, sold exclusively at Dick's to have its own eCommerce and digital platforms. Dick's says it will share additional news on brand ambassador and marketing initiatives in the coming weeks.

With the athleisure style of clothing seemingly a trend that will be around for a while, Dick's is the latest company to enter the market with its own brand.

Last week, you might have heard that the art market went—as they say in business school—absolutely bonkers. Christie’s cashed in on the mania, setting a new record of $69.3 million for a jpeg, er, digital artwork. The takeaway? Art investing has hit the mainstream. But if you’re anything like us, putting your money in real, tangible art by blue-chip artists makes a lot more sense.

For one thing, contemporary art prices have outperformed the S&P by 152% from 1995–2020 according to data from Masterworks. They were the first platform to let you invest in paintings by the likes of Basquiat, Kaws, and Haring. But what about returns? They’ve got that too: they recently sold their first painting, a Banksy work, for a cool 32% annualized return to investors.

With results like that, it’s no wonder there’s over 25,000 people on the waitlist. Just use our special link, tell them we sent you, and you’ll be good to go.

*See important info

Leftover Crumbs

  • Nvidia makes epic mistake with driver release. Nvidia inadvertently unlocked restrictions on the hash rate of ethereum mining on its RTX 3060 graphics card after touting the same restrictions recently in an attempt to dissuade cryptominers from purchasing them. The driver unlocks performance for the cards and boosts hashing rates for mining, despite Nvidia's head of communications saying last month "It's not just a driver thing." A Nvidia spokesperson told The Verge "A developer driver inadvertently included code used for internal development which removes the hash rate limiter on RTX 3060 in some configurations, the driver has been removed."

  • GE Healthcare unveils wireless hand-held ultrasound. GE Healthcare unveiled the latest version of its hand-held ultrasound device, the Vscan Air, as the company looks to capitalize on the need for handheld ultrasound devices as a result of the pandemic. The Vscan Air will be one of the smallest and lightweight devices available while still offering clear image quality and secure data sharing. "Now more than ever, clinicians need smaller and smarter tools that increase access and efficiency both in and outside of the four walls of the hospital," GE Healthcare CEO of Global Ultrasound Anders Wold said. "The Vscan Air exemplifies customer-driven innovation that enables more personalized care for patients worldwide."

  • PE firms faced record prices in 2020. Last year saw private equity firms pay a record 13.2 times EBITDA for leveraged buyouts, surpassing the 12.9 times they paid in 2019, according to financial data provider Refinitiv. According to Pitchbook, fundraising by PE firms dropped to $203.2 billion last year following 2019's record $320.5 billion. The result appears to be PE funds are being more selective as the total volume of U.S. leveraged buyouts dropped to $84.7 billion last year from $124.3 billion in 2019, according to Refinitiv.

  • India eyes cryptocurrency ban. According to senior officials who spoke with Reuters, India will propose a bill that would criminalize possession, issuance, mining, trading and transferring of cryptocurrencies. The bill follows India's agenda of outlawing private cryptocurrencies in order to issue an official Indian digital currency. The proposed bill would give people six months to dispose of their holdings or face penalties. If the proposed bill becomes law, India would become the first country to ban the ownership of cryptocurrencies.

  • Google follows Apple, cuts fees for developers. Following a similar move by Apple, Google announced it will slash Google Play app store fees from 30% to 15% for the first $1 million in sales per year. After the $1 million mark is breached, developers will have to pay the standard 30% fee. "With this change, 99% of developers globally that sell digital goods and services with Play will see a 50% reduction in fees," Google VP, Product Management Sameer Samat wrote. "These are funds that can help developers scale up at a critical phase of their growth by hiring more engineers, adding to their marketing staff, increasing server capacity, and more."