Retail Therapy: Estée Lauder’s $130K moon shot

It’s been another weird week in retail. Estée Lauder announced plans to send a serum to space, Dolly Parton launched a holiday collection at Williams Sonoma and Taco Bell created a service to make gift giving easier this year.

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

Estée Lauder teams up with NASA

Just when we thought this year couldn’t get any weirder, Estée Lauder presented us with a partnership that absolutely blew our minds. 

The beauty brand teamed up with NASA to send up to 10 bottles of its new Advanced Night Repair serum to space, because why not?

The product will be photographed in the space station’s cupola window and is part of NASA’s “efforts to enable commercial activities at the space station and develop a robust low-Earth orbit economy,” the agency said.

Estée Lauder will showcase the photos across its social media pages, but it’ll come at a price. Space Commerce Matters, the beauty brand’s partner for this project, is expected to reimburse NASA $128,136, according to a document detailing the terms of the agreement. The serum, along with radishes and a toilet, will board a Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft soon to be launched into the atmosphere.

This isn’t the first time brands have attempted to use space as part of their marketing. Budweiser has been sending barley seeds to the International Space Station for years, and Ben & Jerry’s earlier this year sent a pint of its space-themed ice cream 20 miles into the atmosphere.

To be honest we applaud these brands for planning ahead: With the way things are going on this planet, we might expect to see some humans considering a move to another galaxy.

Dolly Parton brings holiday joy to Williams Sonoma

With the Big 3 retailers announcing sales events in October, the holidays are kicking off earlier than ever this year.

So to help get you in the spirit, Williams Sonoma launched a line with everyone’s favorite gal, Dolly Parton. This is absolutely the collaboration we needed to get us through the next several months.

The collection features products inspired by the singer’s own holiday traditions, including her signature sugar cookie mix ($16.95), a cookie baking kit ($29.95), guitar-shaped cookies ($10.95 for two) and a shortbread log cabin inspired by her childhood home ($129.95).

Williams Sonoma


The collection also features patchwork products, like aprons and oven mitts, inspired by Dolly’s coat of many colors.

“My mama always made us feel loved by making us treats in our little mountain cabin around the holidays. Now I get to invite all my nieces and nephews and their kids for what we like to call ‘cookie night,'” Parton said in a statement. “It’s the perfect way to spend time with the special people on your Christmas list.”

This collection warms our cold hearts.

Taco Bell helps consumers give the gift everyone really wants this year

In time for the holidays, the fast-food chain is launching “Taco Gifter,” an e-service that allows people to send others tacos.

Taco Bell


The service launches this Sunday on National Taco Day, but will be around all year on Taco Bell’s app and website. “BFFs can now console taco-loving friends whose favorite show was just cancelled, celebrate a half-birthday, or thank someone for noticing a new haircut,” the company said in a press release.

But what’s better than one taco? 10,000 tacos. 

To help promote the new service and celebrate National Taco Day, Taco Bell is giving one taco to the first 10,000 people who use the Taco Gifter. 

And because tacos truly are a gift sent from the gods, the chain said it will wrap its crunchy tacos in limited edition seasonal gift wrap so each recipient will be able to unwrap deliciousness.