🏳️‍🌈 Rainbow capitalism

Friday, June 17, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |
A Pride protest near NYC’s Stonewall Inn (Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images)

A Pride protest near NYC’s Stonewall Inn (Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images)

A Pride protest near NYC’s Stonewall Inn (Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images)

A Pride protest near NYC’s Stonewall Inn (Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images)

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
29,927 (-2.42%)
S&P 500
3,667 (-3.25%)
Nasdaq
10,646 (-4.08%)
Bitcoin
$20,643 (-8.51%)

Hey Snackers,

The “fake German heiress” is going non-fungible: Anna Sorokin (aka: Anna Delvey), the subject of Netflix’s “Inventing Anna” scammer series, said from jail that she plans to launch an NFT collection. Very VIP.

Stocks sank as investors worried that aggressive rate hikes from the Fed could tip the US into a recession. The Dow fell below 30K for the first time in over a year, while the Nasdaq plunged 4% to its lowest level since 2020.

Pride

1. Rainbow capitalism is all the rage this Pride Month, but the workforce of tomorrow expects more activism

So many rainbow logos… This Pride Month, a lot of companies are showing support through cheeky ad campaigns, social posts, and logos (think: Uber’s rainbow cars in its app). On Wednesday, President Biden signed an executive order geared toward protecting the record-breaking 7% of American adults — and 21% of Gen Z adults — who identify as LGBTQ+. But the community’s weathering a harsh climate:

  • State legislators have proposed an unprecedented ~300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills this year — many targeting transgender people and their access to healthcare.
  • Meanwhile: The leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that could overturn Roe v. Wade has raised concerns over the future of same-sex marriage.

Pride for sale... Corporate Pride participation has surged as companies seek to promote inclusive images. But many of the companies sponsoring parade floats also fund lawmakers who support anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Powerhouses like Amazon, AT&T, and Comcast have collectively donated ~$3M to anti-LGBTQ+ causes in recent years. Meanwhile, companies that’ve spoken out against anti-LGBTQ+ bills have done so inconsistently:

  • Apple quietly lobbies against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation under the leadership of Tim Cook, America’s most prominent publicly gay CEO. It’s the only company that lobbied against an Iowa bill that bars trans girls and women from participating in K-12 and collegiate sports.
  • Disney chose not to take a public stance on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill until it passed. When employees protested, Disney announced it would donate $5M to LGBTQ+ orgs like the Human Rights Campaign. But the HRC rejected the funds, and Gov. Ron DeSantis revoked Disney’s special tax status.
THE TAKEAWAY

Rainbow capitalism is a tough sell… and logos aren’t enough. An overwhelming 93% of Americans believe LGBTQ+ people should have equal work opportunities, but nearly half of LGBTQ+ workers have experienced unfair treatment at work — including being fired, not hired, or harassed because of their identity. Now a growing number of workers and consumers expect employers to prevent anti-LGBTQ legislation and provide an equitable workplace.

Smoky

Should’ve gone with waterproof mascara… for the Chapter 11 tears. Cosmetics giant Revlon officially filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday. Decades ago, Revlon was the second-largest beauty company and the first to feature a Black model. But when people ditched matte lipstick for masks in 2020, the 90-year-old biz barely avoided bankruptcy. Even though cosmetic sales are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, things have gotten worse at Revlon:

  • Difficulty level = winged eyeliner: Revlon can’t fill a third of its orders (#supply-probs) and has $3.3B in debt to boot. Sales ticked up last quarter, but it’s still losing $$.
  • Kiss and makeup: Now Revlon expects $575M from lenders to save its brand, which it says is still in demand.

Killed by Kylie… For decades, Revlon has sold most of its makeup in drugstores and malls. But the new generation discovers products on TikTok, not at CVS. Now Revlon is losing customers to glossier names: the “tap to buy” trend has helped online-first brands like Kylie Cosmetics, Glossier, and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. Gen Z favorite E.L.F. crushed sales expectations last quarter thanks to social collabs with brands like Dunkin’.

Even fellow legacy brand Estée Lauder is faring better than Revlon (and is profitable), partly thanks to ecomm investments like viral skincare brand The Ordinary.

THE TAKEAWAY

You can’t conceal billions in debt… Revlon was the first major brand to file for bankruptcy this year, but likely won’t be the last. Last year, nonfinancial US companies took on a record $1.7T of debt when interest rates were near zero. Now soaring interest will make it pricier for cash-strapped companies like Peloton, Affirm, and Just Eat to pay back IOUs.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Ludicrous: Not even EV owners can escape commuter-flation: Tesla hiked the price for all its US car models by up to $6K to make up for rising materials costs (including: aluminum for those #sleek doors).
  • Bleat: Petco’s new profit puppy may be a sales sheep. The chain’s testing out a rural-store concept for pets and farm animals (feat. goat-washing stations), seeking to tap into the $7B small-town market.
  • Burp: Parents can breathe (slightly) easier now that Enfamil maker Reckitt Benckiser plans to import 66M bottles of baby formula to the US. A shortage has left caregivers scrambling to stock up.
  • Buzz: Disney’s new “Toy Story” movie, “Lightyear,” was banned in several Middle Eastern and Asian countries over a same-sex kiss, but that’s unlikely to dent the Pixar flick’s global box office $$.
  • Unstable: Crypto investors drained $1.6B out of Tether in two days, showing that not even the largest stablecoin is immune to crypto winter’s chill. Not helping: algo stablecoin TerraUSD’s recent fall.

Snack Fact of the Day

Pride Month was chosen to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which took place in NYC on June 28, 1969

Friday

  • Industrial production index
  • National Apple Strudel Day

Authors of this Snacks own: shares of Tesla, Apple, Disney, Netflix, Comcast, Uber, AT&T, CVS, and Amazon

ID: 2250539