Retail Therapy: Chipotle, American Eagle reimagine Prom night


The retail world looks different now and there’s a lot of uncertainty. Instead of highlighting the absurd products we normally do, we’re looking instead at some of the things in the industry that made us smile.

This week, Chipotle collaborated with e.l.f for a cosmetic drop, Hawaiian Tropic launched a stay-at-home product to help transport consumers to the beach and Lowe’s teamed up with “American Idol” to help with the season finale.

This, and more, in this week’s retail therapy.

E.l.f drops Chipotle-inspired collection

As governments put stay-at-home orders in place and schools shut down, that unfortunately also meant for high school juniors and seniors, prom also was canceled. For many, the event was something looked forward to throughout their entire high school life.

And while it doesn’t replace it entirely, brands have stepped in to host virtual prom events. Last week, American Eagle hosted an event called #AExME Prom, which invited individuals to connect and have a fun night via Zoom. The event was hosted by Jerry Harris from “Cheer,” and featured Cash Cash, Tinashe and Addison Rae.

And more recently, Chipotle threw a virtual prom afterparty hosted by YouTube star David Dobrik. The event included a giveaway of 10,000 free entrée codes, new product drops and a special lens through Instagram and Snapchat that allowed guests to snap a photo with the host.

“Our high school fans keep our brand energized with their passion for Chipotle’s real food. It’s amazing to see students’ optimism throughout this time,” Chris Brandt, Chipotle chief marketing officer, said in a statement, adding that the brand was “excited for them to reconnect with friends and make special memories on virtual prom night.”

Coinciding with the event was a new collab between the fast-casual chain and beauty brand e.l.f. The cosmetic line was inspired by Chipotle’s famous burrito: primer for sour cream, liquid glitter in silver for the foil wrapper, blush in the shade “Always Spicy” for guac and a brown sugar lip exfoliator for brown rice. 



It’s inevitable to end up “wearing” remnants of Chipotle’s massive burrito when consuming it, so we applaud the brand for trying to get us to do it on purpose.

Hawaiian Tropic brings the summer vibes indoors

With the population sheltering in place and spending more time in their homes, thoughts of laying out on the beach can feel like a distant memory.

But to help restore some positivity, Hawaiian Tropic released a candle that will help transport you to your favorite sandy spot (even if that spot in reality is your couch). And who better to launch such a product than Hawaiian Tropic? A summer staple for many. 

Hawaiian Tropic


Candles appear to be a popular product launch for many companies in recent years. In February, McDonald’s unveiled a candle set that smelled like its famous Quarter Pounder and prior to that, Dairy Queen released a collection inspired by its frozen treats. The candle from Hawaiian Tropic, however, is a scent we’re totally on board with. The product has a “light floral aspect with some coconut, bergamot and a hint of musk,” according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.

Consumers can bring a little slice of paradise home with them by purchasing the product for $25 on eBay, which is cheaper than virtually any beach vacation out there. All proceeds, the company said, will go toward the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association, which helps coastal communities and businesses in need.

Lowe’s teams up with ‘American Idol’ to build finalists’ home stages

Studio filming of television shows came to a halt as most of the country sheltered in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

But for competition programs, the show had to go on, which oftentimes meant finding creative ways to continue filming while following health and government safety guidelines.

To help ease the transition, home improvement retailer Lowe’s teamed up with ABC’s “American Idol.” The retailer donated and shipped more than 500 items — ranging from patio furniture, to gardening tools, to lighting — to help trick out contestants’ home stages for the season finale in ways that meet their personal styles.



And though Lowe’s supplied materials to just the show’s finalists, revamping your backyard space is something a lot of consumers can relate to, especially now that most time is spent at home.

The home improvement retailer, which has been able to keep its doors open as an essential retailer, earlier this week reported an 11% net sales gain year over year in Q1 and a 12.3% comparable sales increase in the U.S from last year. The total number of comp transactions during the period also increased 1.6% from the prior year.

The contestants were able to show off the process of designing their stages on the show, and Lowe’s trend and style expert Caroline Harmon took to the brand’s social media pages to show how she helped the finalists build out their spaces.

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