Weekly Industry Brief: 12.10.2018

Happy Monday! Here is a quick recap of news from around the industry in the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Hope your holidays have been successful so far 🙂

Brands + Retailers

  • Marlboro maker buys $1.8B stake in cannabis company.  Adage
  • Amazon tests its cashier-less technology for bigger stores.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon’s cashier-free Go stores may be coming to airports.  TechCrunch
  • What big consumer brands can do to compete in a digital economy.  Harvard Business Review
  • Walgreens launches next-day drug delivery with FedEx.  Forbes
  • Chanel is showing the first signs of evolving into a more flexible, millennial-oriented company.  Glossy
  • Walmart to acquire home decor site Art.com. CNBC
  • Stella McCartney, Burberry among brands uniting against climate change.  CNN
  • How digitally native brands are changing the American mall.  Glossy
  • Verizon trims 7% of staff in preparation for a 5G future.  TechCrunch

Marketing + Social Media

  • Google’s search data shows YouTube’s influence over this season’s hottest toys.  TechCrunch
  • Why the New York Times is going all in on march.  Fashionista
  • Lyft drops ‘L’ in solidarity with screwed Brooklyn commuters.  AdAge
  • Lululemon expands test loyalty program with annual fee.  CNBC
  • How Adidas is evolving dark social to stay ahead of the game.  Marketing Week
  • TV can now complete the attribution puzzle.  AdAge
  • Will ad dollars continue shifting from Facebook to Instagram in 2019?  AdWeek
  • Pringles returns to the Super Bowl.  AdAge
  • Social media tops newspapers as a top source for adults.  TechCrunch
  • Instagram adds voice messaging feature to Instagram Direct.  Fast Company

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Wearables are pivoting from fitness to wellness.  Glossy
  • Target’s Christmas tree sales aided by augmented-reality feature.  Bloomberg
  • Google has acquired one of India’s most popular train-tracking apps.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon Music customers can now talk to Alexa more naturally.  TechCrunch
  • Target replaces startup accelerator program, partners with German retailer.  Biz Journals
  • VR headset market grew 8.3% in Q3.  VentureBeat
  • American Airlines is offering biometric boarding at LAX terminal.  Fast Company

International

  • China’s Alibaba takes on Amazon in European cloud.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Macy’s fully exits China after closing its last online shop.  ZDNet
  • Amazon is planning to open a flagship Go store in London.  Fast Company 

Weekly Industry Brief: 12.3.2018

Happy Monday! Here is a quick recap of industry news from the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Have a great week!!

Brands + Retailers

Marketing + Social Media

  • Marketing through smart speakers? Brands don’t need to be asked twice.  The New York Times 
  • Retailers test Facebook-style shopper profiles to battle Amazon.  AdAge
  • Samsung overtakes P&G as world’s largest advertiser.  AdAge
  • Intel guts its high-profile internal agency.  AdAge
  • Amazon emerges as an advertising giant.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon Teen targets kids on Snapchat.  Fast Company
  • For Birchbox and Glamsquad, it’s all about clicks and mortar.  Fortune
  • Apple launches online store with 10% discount for active military and veterans.  TechCrunch
  • DTC brand Parachute plans to have 20 retail stores by 2020.  Digiday
  • How this 7-year-old made $22M playing with toys.  Forbes
  • YouTube rolls out Stories to creators with over 10K subscribers.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon is letting Apple Musica onto its Alexa speakers.  AdAge
  • Facebook adds free TV shows to redefine Watch.  TechCrunch

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • L’oreal’s Modifiche brings AR to nail care.  Glossy
  • Startup incubator Betaworks signs exclusive partnership with WPP’s Grey.  AdWeek
  • Payless opened a fake luxury store to see how much people would pay for $20 shoes.  AdWeek
  • YouTube lets European creators add a march store to their channels.  Engadget
  • This is the ultimate no-frills shopping site.  Fast Company
  • Bustle buys Mic.  Forbes

International

  • Amazon under fire in Europe as Germany adds antitrust probe.  AdAge
  • El Corte Ingles ties up with Alibaba.  Alizila
  • Toys ‘R’ Us Asia maps regional growth plan.  The Wall Street Journal

Weekly Industry Brief: 11.26.2018

This is my first Cyber Monday away from brand-side commerce in many years. I hope you are all swimming in positive (profitable) comps! In the meantime, you can checkout headlines from the last week here.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text.

Brands and Retailers

  • Walmart passes Apple to become No. 3 online retailer in the U.S. TechCrunch
  • Black Friday is now retail’s digital stress test.  Bloomberg
  • Black Friday sales were the best they have been in years – but companies lost out because they weren’t ready for success.  Business Insider
  • Amazon, Apple and Facebook once led the market. Now they are driving it down.  The New York Times 
  • Victoria’s Secret is bringing back swimwear after abandoning it nearly 3 years ago.  Business Insider
  • Amazon reports customer data snafu as holiday shopping heats up.  AdAge
  • Thanksgiving online spend hits a record $3,7B, mobile accounted for one-third of sales.  TechCrunch
  • Kohl’s cracks the retail code.  Fortune
  • A new wave of beauty brands are catering to the post-Glossier customer.  Fashionista
  • Former Toys ‘R’ Us employees get a long overdue severance payout.  Fast Company 
  • Columbia Sportswear says the president’s new wave of levies will not bring jobs back to the US.  The New York Times
  • Walmart, J.Crew, Lululemon: Retailers’ websites struggle to handle the Black Friday bonanza.  Fortune
  • Neiman Marcus is exploring options that include a sale.  StocksBeat
  • The new trend in luxury retail? Not selling anything.  Fashionista
  • Gap considers closing hundreds of stores with urgency.  Fortune
  • Walmart is finding ways to be nimble and thinking like a startup.  AdWeek
  • Ikea to slash thousands of jobs in restructuring.  The Wall Street Journal
  • GM plans to cut 14,000 jobs, close factories as downturn looms.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon exec tapped to lead Airbnb to the public market.  TechCrunch
  • US Postal Service exposed data of 60 million users.  TechCrunch

Marketing and Social Media

  • LinkedIn violated data protection by using 18M email addresses of non-members to buy targeted ads on Facebook.  TechCrunch
  • Cards Against Humanity sold diamond and TVs for 99% off on Black Friday.  TechCrunch
  • Why holiday windows still matter.  The New York Times 
  • Ticketmaster and Fanatics link up to sell march and tickets on each others’ platforms.  TechCrunch
  • Instagram is purging fake followers from the app.  Fortune
  • Apple’s gorgeously detailed holiday ad has a moral that all creatives should take to heart.  AdWeek
  • Coca-Cola wiped its social media accounts and relaunched with a positive, happy new look.  AdWeek
  • Facebook Watch pivots to an older audience.  CNBC

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Google Home Hub is a makeup how-to machine for your vanity.  Fast Company
  • For retailers and brands, sustainability needs good tech.  Forbes
  • Neo banks are finally having their moment.  The New York Times
  • Amazon aims to put digital wallet in brick-and-mortar stores.  The Wall Street Journal

International

  • Alibaba vs. Amazon reveals China’s digital commerce edge.  AdAge
  • Dolce & Gabbana in China storm over videos seen as racist.  AdAge
  • How Farfetch leverages its WeChat strategy.  Jing Daily
  • Lowe’s to exit Mexico retail business.  The Wall Street Journal

Weekly Industry Brief 11.19.2019

Happy Thanksgiving week slash one-week-til-Cyber-Monday! This year marks my first year in many years that I won’t be on the phone every other hour for war room check-ins over the holiday weekend.  Wishing everyone positive comps and no website crashes!

In the meantime, do a quick skim of the industry news from the last week here. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands + Retailers

  • Walmart passes Apple to become No. 3 online retailer in U.S. TechCrunch 
  • Levi’s plans IPO that values the company at up to $5B.  CNBC
  • Ticketmaster and Fanatics link up to sell march and tickets on each others’ platforms.  TechCrunch
  • J.Crew CEO steps down.  Fast Company
  • Get ready for the first-ever trillion-dollar shopping season.  Fast Company
  • Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription to make its service more affordable.  TechCrunch
  • Rent more than the runway: why soon you won’t own any clothes at all.  Fast Company 
  • Why JP Morgan’s top internet analyst expects breakout growth for Facebook and Amazon shares in 2019.  CNBC
  • In the era of online shopping, the retail store is immersive theater.  Quartz
  • How Amazon now shapes what our stuff looks like.  Gizmodo
  • Nike’s huge new flagship looks like the future of retail.  Fast Company
  • FAO Schwarz puts a new spin on its dance-on piano as part of comeback.  CNBC
  • Starbucks to lay off 5% of corporate workforce. The Wall Street Journal

Marketing + Social Media

  • GirlBoss is launching a Linkedin-like platform that’s exclusively for women.  AdWeek
  • YouTube is now showing ad-supported Hollywood movies.  AdAge
  • ThirdLove CEO had perfect response to Victoria’s Secret shade.  Fast Company
  • Advertisers are giving people with 1,000 Instagram followers endorsement deals.  Fortune
  • Buzzfeed will tell you want millennials want, for a fee.  Bloomberg
  • Making YouTube videos stoppable just got a lot easier for influencers.  AdWeek
  • Facebook is shutting down its connected-TV ad network.  Digiday
  • Snapchat’s new commerce channel lets consumers shop without leaving the app.  AdWeek
  • Spotify, Pandora turn to podcasts for listeners, profits.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Saks launches holiday gift guide chatbot on Messenger.  AdWeek
  • Snapchat launches Bitmoji march and comic strips starring your avatar.  TechCrunch

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • iHeartMedia is acquiring ad ad-tech startup to expand programmatic audio advertising.  AdWeek
  • Ford and Walmart join forces for driverless delivery pilot in Miami.  AdAge
  • Walmart is using virtual reality simulation to train employees for Black Friday.  Vox
  • Facial recognition’s growing adoption spurs privacy concerns.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Fashion’s infatuation with AR continues.  Glossy

International

  • Disney receives Chinese approval for purchase of Fox assets.  AdAge
  • The great promise of China.  The New York Times
  • How Allbirds plots international growth.  Digiday
  • How Michael Kors is driving Chinese tourists to US stores.  Glossy
  • Another foreign furniture giant is following IKEA to India.  Quartz

Weekly Industry Brief: 11.12.2018

Hi!  Here’s your recap of industry news from the last week. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands + Retailers

  • Amazon captures 30% of online grocery spending.  RetailDive
  • Wall Street analysts are now selling more data, less analysis.  The Wall Street Journal
  • LVMH forms partnership for cross-border payments help.  RetailDive
  • Dollar Shave Club branches into fine fragrances and vending machines.  AdAge
  • CVS to test stores with added health services next year after Aetna deal closes.  CNBC
  • Walmart’s celebrity collaborations for the holidays include Ellen DeGeneres and Kendall and Kylie Jenner.  Variety
  • Sears considers selling up to $900M in debt.  Bloomberg
  • Victoria’s Secret’s CMO facing backlash for controversial comments about casting.  Fashionista
  • Apple pumps up its Amazon listings with iPhones, iPads and more.  CNet
  • See the Amazon HQ2 picks: Crystal City and Long Island City.  CNN
  • Ralph Lauren builds on plan to win young shoppers.  The Wall Street Journal

Marketing + Social Media

  • How much does brand DNA matter?  Business of Fashion
  • How digitally native brands negotiate wholesale partnerships.  Digiday
  • Pinterest gets a redesigned feed that looks a lot like Instagram.  The Verge
  • Facebook goes after TikTok with the debut of Lasso.  Fortune
  • Lyft is launching a rider loyalty program in December.  TechCrunch
  • Are you ready for the nano-influencers?  The New York Times
  • Generation Z and its implications for companies.  McKinsey
  • Amazon is mailing a printed holiday toy catalog to millions of customers.  CNBC
  • Google and Amazon pursue shopper marketing budgets.  Digiday
  • Glossier emphasizes experience at 2nd permanent store.  The New York Times

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • How Yoox is using artificial intelligence to assist design in its private label brand.  Glossy
  • SAP acquires Qualtrics for $8B just before its IPO.  Forbes
  • Google and Sephora are bringing beauty tutorials to the newest home device.  AdWeek
  • Snap’s former No. 2 exec is building an online shopping startup.  ReCode
  • American Eagle invests in Dormify.  Seeking Alpha
  • WalMart building an AI lab insides one of its stores.  TechCrunch
  • Samsung unveils its foldable smartphone.  Fortune

International

  • China’s Singles’ Day brings in a record-breaking $30B.  Fast Company
  • Alibaba rival JD sees Singles’ Day revenue jump 27% thanks to offline push.  TechCrunch
  • JD.com competes for luxury partners with tech and white gloves.  Jing Daily
  • China’s obsession with short videos has its internet giants worried.  TechCrunch
  • With an assist from Alibaba, Starbucks’ China delivery strategy offers clues of what may be coming in the U.S. Digiday

Weekly Industry Brief: 11.6.2018

I was busy celebrating my two year anni last night, so Happy Tuesday! Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

P.S. Did you vote today?

Brands + Retailers:

  • Dollar Shave Club expands into fine fragrances.  AdAge
  • Amazon is now offering free shipping on all holiday orders.  Fast Company
  • Facebook opens small business shops inside Macy’s.  TechCrunch
  • CoverGirl cosmetics are now certified cruelty-free.  Fast Company
  • Seven retailers that made pivotal deals in 2018.  RetailDive
  • Bonobos and Nike get their own branded shops on Jet.com.  TechCrunch
  • Uber will now pay college tuition for its most prized drivers.  Fast Company
  • Amazon reportedly to choose two cities for HQ2.  The New York Times
  • Dollar General unveils urban store formate.  Bloomberg
  • Walmart surpasses Amazon as online shoppers most popular grocer.  Bloomberg
  • Canada Goose buys footwear brand Baffin.  Financial Post
  • Sources say Toys ‘R Us plans pop-ups in Kroger this holiday season.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon debuts private-label cleaning line.  CNN

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Facebook sees Stories as the future; ads will follow.  AdAge
  • Goop brings its holiday list to life with new gifting concept store.  Fast Company
  • Snapchat partners with ComScore to add limited measurement tool for Snapchat Discover.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Designing people’s Instagram stories is now a million dollar business.  Fast Company
  • Amazon and Google pursue shopper marketing budgets.  Digiday
  • P&G’s CMO on how to combat the direct-to-consumer threat.  AdAge
  • Target changes up its holiday ad strategy.  AdAge
  • CVS tests membership program.  CNBC
  • Macy’s to keep growing in-house influencer program.  Digiday

Start-ups + Acquisitions + Emerging Tech:

  • Men’s wellness company, Hims, launches Hers.  Fast Company
  • There’s a new crop of women’s wellness brands bringing women’s healthcare into the digital space.  Fashionista
  • Augmented reality takes root with brands, tech.  AdWeek
  • Walmart’s new store format to test technology opens in Dallas. TechCrunch

International:

  • Commercial excellence in China: lessons from the CPG industry.  McKinsey
  • Singles Day is the world’s biggest shopping day, but don’t expect to find it in the US.  AdWeek
  • Rural Indian market represented $12B ecommerce market.  LiveMint
  • Ikea to open first Mumbai store next year.  AdWeek
  • What Net-a-Porter’s Alibaba deal says about the luxury ecommerce opportunity in China. Business of Fashion
  • Amazon opens first pop-up store in Italy.  Women’s Wear Daily

Weekly Industry Brief: 10.29.2018

Happy Monday! Here is a recap of industry news from the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Legacy retailer and disruptive brand partnerships are on the rise.  Forbes
  • Mattel sales fall despite strong showing from Barbie.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Target focuses on private label brands to compete with Amazon.  Glossy
  • Buzzfeed launches Goodful product line with Macy’s.  MediaPost
  • The affordable cashmere wars are heating up just in time for sweater weather.  Fast Company 
  • Sam’s Club looks to fend off Amazon with cashier-less stores.  Fast Company
  • How Peapod plans to win over customers in the crowded online grocery market.  Digiday
  • Shopify adds Venom as a checkout option just in time for the holidays.  AdWeek
  • Measuring the fashion world’s go-to-market strategy.  McKinsey
  • Foundation is becoming the most innovative category in makeup.  Fashionista
  • Nordstrom adds “early-bird” pick-up this holiday season.  USA Today

Marketing and Social Media

  • Tinder preps programmatic ad partnership with Google.  Digiday
  • Twitter beats on Q3 earnings.  TechCrunch
  • Stickers are coming to WhatsApp.  AdWeek
  • The Standard hotel created a virtual lobby so you can meet fellow guests IRL.  Fast Company
  • Levi’s, Disney partner on sales via Snapchat. AdWeek
  • What Gen Z wants for Christmas.  RetailDive
  • Amazon’s ad bonanza continues with $2.5B last quarter.  AdAge
  • Apple plans for subscription TV launch.  Mashable
  • Blue Apron partners with Jet.com.  TechCrunch

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • IBM buys Red Hat for $34B.  Fast Company
  • Grocery, food delivery firms raises billions in new funding.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Facial recognition system to approve alcohol and cigarette sales to be trailed in British supermarket.  Telegraph
  • Samsung teases a reveal for its foldable, dual-screen smartphone.  
  • IBM is making a perfume based on artificial intelligence.  Vox
  • Entrepreneurs create $750M bra business by exposing Victoria Secret’s weakness.  Forbes

International

  • Cartier meets TMall in Richemont-Alibaba online luxury tie-up.  Bloomberg
  • India has already hit record number of $1B startups this year.  Bloomberg
  • Vogue said to launch Hong Kong edition.  South China Morning Post
  • Goop, new to London, is already being reported to U.K. regulator. Fast Company
  • Yoox-Net-a-Porter ink joint venture deal with Alibaba to target Chinese consumers.  The Drum
  • Alibaba used shoppers’ data to invent spicy Snickers bar.  Bloomberg 
  • Russia’s Yandex trumpets fastest growth in six years.  Reuters

Weekly Industry Brief: 10.23.2018

Happy Tuesday! Here’s a recap of industry news from the last week plus one day 🙂  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Walmart’s marketplace items get free 2-day shipping, in-store returns.  TechCrunch
  • How Everyone plans to rid its supply chain of virgin plastic.  Fashionista
  • According to survey, Vans is the breakout brand for teens.  Quartz
  • Amazon Business Prime adds same-day and 1-day shipping among other benefits.  TechCrunch
  • Warby Parker is coming to a suburban mall near you.  Bloomberg
  • A look inside the convenience store of the future.  Bloomberg
  • Hasbro’s holiday cheer may be delayed by Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy.  The Wall Street Journal
  • eBay launches instant selling, a new trade-in service for smartphones.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon revisits some cities as H2Q decision looms.  The Wall Street Joural
  • Rent-the-Runway is teaming up with WeWork to boost subscription services.  Glossy
  • Jimmy Choo co-founder is reimagining the shoe industry with her namesake line, Tamara Mellon.  CNBC
  • Starbucks opens it first U.S. sign language store.  AdAge
  • P&G reports best quarter in five years.  USA Today

Marketing and Social Media

  • Instagram inches ahead of Snapchat in popularity among teens.  CNBC
  • L’oreal CMO says that companies that just sell products will not be successful.  MarketingWeek
  • Tommy Hilfiger combines content and commerce in Messenger.  AdWeek
  • Inside the $2.6B subscription box wars.  Fast Company
  • Oculus co-founder departs Facebook.  AdWeek
  • Crate & Barrel teams up with Zola hoping to win over Millennial couples.  AdWeek

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Uber ambitiously eyes 2021 for food-delivery drones launch.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Former Go-Pro exec launches clothing startup that does away with sizes.  TechCrunch
  • Lufstansa and IBM think AI can convince you to use your vacation days.  Fast Company
  • General Motors expands its peer-to-peer ride-sharing service to 10 cities.  Fast Company
  • China is the world’s retail laboratory.  Bloomberg
  • Tastemade raises $35M in funding from investors including Amazon.  Variety
  • Amazon, Walmart and others are using AI and robotics to transform everything from appliance shopping to grocery delivery.  The Wall Street Journal

International

  • Alibaba looks to take this year’s $25B mega sales event international.  CNBC
  • Hermes launches its first-ever Chinese ecommerce site. Jing Daily 
  • The multi billion-dollar modest fashion industry that’s gone global.  Vogue
  • China’s JD.com unwraps FedEx-style parcel business to bolster sales.  Reuters
  • China’s JD will launch flagship U.S. store on Google this year.  Bloomberg
  • Starbucks is brewing up massive growth in China.  Fortune

Weekly Industry Brief: 10.15.2018

Happy Monday! Here is a recap of industry news from the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Sears files for bankruptcy. Fast Company
  • Luxury labels are going direct to consumer.  Quartz
  • Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are sending a clear signal that Amazon is the future of fashion.  Business Insider
  • Rent the Runway and the transformational bliss of renting your work clothes.  The New York Times 
  • LVMH shares slide as China concerns linger.  Business of Fashion
  • Travelers teams up with Amazon to sell home security kits.  CNN
  • Google unveils new hardware, including a tablet-laptop hybrid.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Can Knix win the $12B underwear wars?  Fast Company
  • Amazon debuts a retail site for Shark Tank products.  TechCrunch
  • Alexander Wang and Uniqlo to collaborate on new heat tech underwear.  Fashionista
  • Amazon’s Jeff Bezos talks government contracts and Blue Origin Rockets.  Fortune
  • Role reversal: grown-up retailers acting like startups and vice versa.  Forbes
  • Shopify opens brick-and-mortar space for entrepreneurs in LA.  RetailDive
  • Activist investor takes $900M stake in Starbucks.  Forbes
  • Walgreens will open 600 medical testing locations in its US stores.  Bloomberg
  • ModCloth launches size-inclusive collaboration with Anna Sui.  Glossy

Marketing and Social Media

  • Walmart wants to expand video service with HBO, Showtime.  AdAge
  • Instagram is testing tapping through posts instead of scrolling.  The Verge
  • A new Ikea report is an unsettling look at life in the 21st century.  Fast Company
  • How CPG brands and retailers can remain competitive amid seismic change.  AdAge
  • Some advertisers are moving half of their search budget from Google to Amazon.  CNBC
  • Why brands are creating apps for superfans.  Business of Fashion
  • Facebook purges hundreds of “inauthentic” pages and accounts ahead of midterm elections.  Fortune
  • Samsung sees smart homes as a gamechanger for loyalty.  MarketingWeek
  • Target to test app that recruits neighbors for delivery.  Star Tribune
  • PhotoShop is coming to the iPad. AdAge
  • New report cites skyrocketing growth of internal agencies.  AdAge

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • AllBirds raises $50M.  Biz Journals
  • Walmart continues M&A spree with acquisition of lingerie retailer Bare Necessities.  TechCrunch
  • Apple reportedly buys music platform “able to find the next Justin Bieber.” Fast Company 
  • Deal expands MedMen’s footprint to more states.  AdAge
  • Nike creates Messenger bots for Jordans.  AdWeek
  • Six things you need to know about the future of retail.  Wired
  • Walmart planning a net-connected shopping cart.  BCC
  • Forbes reveals its picks for the next billion-dollar startups.  Forbes
  • Meditation app, Inscape, wants to be the Spotify of mindfulness.  Glossy

International

Weekly Industry Brief: 10.8.2018

Happy Monday! Hope some of you were able to enjoy a day off today.  Here is a recap of industry news to get you caught up.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Have a great week!

Brands + Retailers

  • Walgreens takes a minority stake in Birchbox, which will now come to its stores.  TechCrunch
  • Walmart partners with MGM on original programming for Vudu.  TechCrunch
  • Kraft-Heinz starts food technology VC fund with $100M.  AdAge
  • Stitch Fix shares slide 20% amid growing concerns about Amazon competition.  Fortune
  • Nike’s shop for female sneaker heads will be curated by a fashion retail superstar.  Quartzy
  • Express is the latest retailer to launch a clothing rental service.  CNBC
  • Toys ‘R’ Us lenders plan brand revival.  Bloomberg
  • Target is back to its ‘cheap chic’ roots but the retailer has to keep the momentum going.  CNBC
  • How Eloquii fits into Walmart’s quest for upscale growth.  RetailDive
  • Target’s answer to discounters is an even cheaper store brand.  The Wall Street Journal
  • What competitors are missing about Amazon’s new 4-start retail concept.  Forbes
  • Barnes and Noble evaluates possible sale.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Time magazine names its 50 most genius companies of 2018.  Time
  • Netflix is buying a studio.  Bloomberg
  • Why future success on the high street could mean collaborating with ‘frenemies.’ Marketing Week

Marketing + Social Media

  • Why J&J enlists teens with modest Instagram followings as influencers.  AdAge
  • How Lowe’s is using Pinterest to build customer intent.  Digiday
  • Foursquare closes a $33 million funding round aiming to ‘refine’ its products.  AdWeek
  • Highlights from Snapchat CEO’s 6,000-word leaked memo on survival.  TechCrunch
  • Why you’re buying products from companies you’ve never heard of.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Facebook to allow first-party cookies by the end of the month.  Inc
  • Facebook adds personas to Messenger chatbots.  Mobile Marketer
  • Twitter allows publishers to monetize their organic videos worldwide via in-stream video ads.  AdWeek
  • How L’oreal is balancing data and consumer trust.  Glossy
  • Facebook pushes into smart speakers with new portal video calling device.  Fortune
  • Google is shutting down Google+ in wake of privacy glitch.  USA Today

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Klarna raises $20M from H&M, will build financing and payment services for the fashion retailer.  TechCrunch
  • Facebook messenger internally tests voice command for chat, calls.  TechCrunch
  • Google acquires CRM automation startup.  Seeking Alpha 
  • LinkedIn acquires employee engagement platform Glint.  TechCrunch
  • How AI is helping Amazon become a trillion-dollar company.  Fast Company
  • Forerunner Ventures raises a new $360 million fund.  Fast Company
  • New cannabis tech boosting industry and providing a better user experience.  Forbes

International

  • China’s most famous actress faces huge fines in tax evasion.  The New York Times 
  • WeChat has more users than China’s entire internet – but what’s next? JingDaily
  • Bumble to head to India with help from Priyanka Chopra.  The New York Times