Weekly Industry Brief: 07.16.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • Amazon suffers glitches at the start of Prime Day, its biggest shopping day of the year.  CNBC
  • Amazon’s share of the US commerce market is now 49% or 5% of all retail spend.  TechCrunch
  • Nordstrom Local expands its innovative, inventory-free retail hubs.  Fast Company
  • Fabletics plans to open 75 new stores in global push.  CNBC
  • Home Depot getting into the home decor space.  Forbes
  • US mobile data use, cell sites set new records in 2017.  Wireless Week
  • Study finds that Amazon Prime Day suppresses foot traffic at other retailers.  Fortune
  • Nike’s digital reboot is working.  CNN Money
  • New Nike concept store goes live in LA.  Retail Dive
  • How Kylie Jenner built a $900M fortune in less than 3 years.  Forbes
  • Why brands like Madewell and Reformation are driving growth for Nordstrom.  Fashionista
  • How Huda Kattan built a multi-million dollar beauty brand from a blog.  Fast Company
  • This retailer is betting big on made-to-order brands and is opening 15 stores dedicated to it.  AdWeek
  • Strong retail sales in June boosted growth.  The Wall Street Journal
  • CPG giants seek out tie-ups and push M&A to 15-year high.  Forbes
  • Apple launches clean energy fund in China.  NBC
  • Netflix stock plummets after missed subscriber targets by 1M.  Fast Company

Marketing and Social Media

  • Target has a secret app for superfine and it looks like Instagram.  Fast Company
  • Google works with Shopify to spur commerce, retail ad spending.  Bloomberg
  • Aerie’s latest campaign features women in wheelchairs, with illnesses and more.  Fashionista
  • Pinterest’s rudimentary consultancy gives retailers advice on in-store marketing.  The Drum
  • On Instagram TV, brands go longer, weirder.  AdAge
  • Facebook testing AR ads in the news feed and new tool to help brands create video ads.  MarketingLand
  • Google expanding store visitation and local conversion reporting.  Search Engine Land
  • How H&M’s millennial brand Nyden is crowdsourcing design on Instagram.  Glossy

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Alibaba, Amazon and Nike all point to the next innovation in retail: personalized physical spaces.  Forbes
  • AdQuick raises over $2M to make billboard advertising more programmatic.  TechCrunch
  • Lady Gaga is quietly working on a new beauty startup.  Recode
  • Retailers use AI for more personalized approach.  AdAge
  • Facebook taught bots how to navigate New York City using natural language.  Fast Company
  • Adobe is bringing real Photoshop to the iPad, possibly in 2019.  Fast Company

International

  • Burberry to cut prices in China.  Jing Daily
  • Louis Vuitton expands ecommerce to cover all of China.  Jing Daily
  • Instagram is changing the way fashion sells in India.  Quartz
  • WeWork’s biggest rival in China is on an acquisition spree.  TechCrunch
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Weekly Industry Brief: 7.9.2018

And just like that – we are more than halfway through 2018 – WOW!  Might be time for a quick pulse check on the year.

In the meantime, here is a recap of industry headlines from the last two weeks. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Sonos files for IPO with plans to raise $100M.  Fast Company
  • How Wharton launched Warby Parker and dozens of tore companies just like it.  Inc
  • Groupon stock surged this morning on news that it wants a buyer.  Fast Company
  • Luxury retail is making a comeback thanks to China, Millennials and men.  Forbes
  • Colgate takes minority stake in Hubble.  The Wall Street Journal
  • A bigger Amazon Prime Day 2018 arrives July 16 with more deals, devices and longer hours.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon makes big push with in-house brands ahead of Prime Day.  CNBC
  • Amazon Prime Day and a Half expected to set record at $3.4B.  WWD
  • Walmart hires CMO from outside the organization.  AdAge
  • Macy’s plans 60 new BlueMercury stores.  Business of Fashion
  • Amazon reveals a new plan to deliver more packages: recruit people to run small-scale delivery services.  CNBC
  • Xiaomi’s IPO raises $4.7B after pricing on low end.  Bloomberg
  • Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie launch new installment payment program online.  Business Insider
  • How specialty food retailers are fighting back against Amazon.  FoodDive
  • 27% of apparel sales are now online.  Retail Dive
  • The American beauty industry is thriving – thanks to these 6 visionary brands.  Fashionista
  • Starbucks will stop distributing plastic straws by 2020.  AdWeek
  • Kroger is launching its own fashion brand.  Fortune
  • How Michael Mente took Revolve from an ecommerce startup to a global powerhouse.  Fashionista
  • Net-a-porter launches kids’ wear with Gucci.  WWD
  • How Netflix became a billion-dollar titan.  The Economist

Marketing and Social Media

  • Snap and Amazon are reportedly working on a visual search feature for Snapchat.  Fortune
  • Facebook is shuttering three of its apps, including Moves.  Fast Company
  • Dedicated Amazon teams are helping brands develop platform-specific marketing tactics.  AdWeek
  • How live events can boost digital marketing.  AdWeek
  • How Benefit Cosmetics is home-growing its own influencers on Instagram.  Glossy
  • Amazon may send holiday toy catalogs in the mail.  Engadget
  • How Frank and Oak is building a data driven subscription service. Glossy
  • Instagram Stories is twice as popular as Snapchat.  CNN Money
  • Adidas Originals surprised influencers with personalized billboards for the drop of a new shoe. AdWeek
  • Tiffany is giving cool a try and it’s working.  CNN Money
  • How packaging is helping launch indie brands on social media.  Glossy
  • WhatsApp copies Telegram to add one-way ‘broadcast’ mode to group chats.  TechCrunch
  • From Muji to Ikea: why the best retailers think like UX designers.  Fast Company
  • Inside Instagram’s social shopping master class.  Business of Fashion
  • Timehop suffered a data breach that affected 21M users.  The Verge
  • Jaden Smith’s latest album is only available on Instagram.  Engadget

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • How L’Occitane uses AI to improve customer experience online.  Glossy
  • The luggage upstart Away is taking on industry giants.  Fast Company
  • Kroger plans to introduce driverless grocery deliveries.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Walmart-led blockchain effort seeks farm-to-grocery-aisle view of food supply chain.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Walmart offers a 3D tour to get shoppers to look, click and buy.  USA Today
  • Amazon buys PillPack, an online pharmacy for just under $1B.  TechCrunch
  • Uber and Lyft eyeing crowdsourced bus startup Skedaddle.  The Drive

International

  • Instagram Lite quietly launches to find a billion more users abroad.  TechCrunch
  • Inside JD.com, the giant Chinese firm that could eat Amazon alive.  Wired
  • Tencent seeks to list online music unit in US.  Reuters
  • The factors behind China’s growing strength in innovation.  Harvard Business Review
  • 37% of luxury brands with active WeChat accounts introduced a mini program.  L2 Think Tank
  • Siemens inks deal with Alibaba to launch digital products in China.  Reuters

Weekly Industry Brief: 6.26.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • Chanel publishes annual results for the first time in 108 years.  Business of Fashion
  • States can collect sales taxes from online retailers.  Business of Fashion
  • Kroger’s new approach to stocking shelves is boosting earnings.  The Wall Street Journal
  • AT&T launches a new streaming service for $15 a month.  Fortune
  • A Kmart store opens inside a Sears store in Brooklyn. CNBC
  • CVS adds home delivery with help from Post Office.  The Wall Street Journal
  • AT&T launches a new streaming service for $15 a month.  Fortune
  • Molson-Coors may be getting into the marijuana business.  Fortune
  • Ex Amazon executive tapped to run luxury store Bergdorf Goodman.  Business of Fashion 
  • Subscription box market fights fatigue.  AdAge

Marketing and Social Media

  • YouTube introduces channel memberships, merchandise and premieres.  TechCrunch
  • Aerie rapidly gaining market share off social media and ‘more authentic’ women.  CNBC
  • Facebook launches brand collabs search engine for sponsoring creators.  TechCrunch
  • Google launches podcasts app for Android.  Forbes
  • FabFitFun partners with Pinterest on trending box.  AdAge
  • Whole Foods scrubbed Instagram to raise awareness.  Fast Company
  • Soul Cycle just launched a new media division.  Fast Company
  • Instagram launches IGTV app for creators, 1-hour video uploads.  TechCrunch
  • Avon is launching a podcast to recruit sellers and build credibility.  Glossy
  • LL Bean campaign takes office outdoors.  AdAge
  • Google announces new features for retail advertisers.  MarketingLand
  • Reebok is boosting its women business with celebrities, music videos and podcasts.  Glossy
  • Facebook launches gameshows platform with interactive video.  TechCrunch
  • Google rolls out messages on the web for Android users.  TechCrunch

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Amazon launches an Alexa system for hotels.  TechCrunch
  • Twitter acquires anti-abuse technology provider Smyte.  TechCrunch
  • PayPal to acquire machine learning-powered fraud detection startup Similarity for $120M.  VentureBeat
  • Oculus TV brings high-quality shows, movies to VR.  Fast Company
  • Voice shopping gains traction, will disrupt retail.  The Business Times
  • Google Assistant debuts continued conversation feature.  Retail Dive
  • Andreessen Horowitz just punched an aggressive $300M crypto-currency fund.  Fast Company

International

  • China’s tech giants’ costly wars to go cashless.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Social media still growing in emerging markets but stalled elsewhere.  TechCrunch
  • Alibaba’s European expansion plans.  Forbes

Weekly Industry Brief: 6.18.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • Is co-working the next hot retail concept?  Retail Dive
  • These brands are benefiting from fumbles at Victoria’s Secret.  CNBC
  • To compete with Amazon, big-name consumer brands have to become more like it.  Havard Business Review
  • CoverGirl is opening its first store.  Elle
  • Rent the Runway extends logistics tools to luxury fashion brands.  Fast Company
  • Google enters deal with Carrefour to sell food online.  Bloomberg
  • Zara goes high-tech in race with Amazon.  Bloomberg
  • Home Depot sets $1.2B supply-chain overhaul.  The Wall Street Journal
  • AT&T completes its acquisition of Time Warner.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon is facing questions from U.S. senators about Echo privacy.  AdAge
  • Adobe could be the next $10B software company.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon’s clever machines are moving from the warehouse to headquarters.  Bloomberg
  • JetBlue founder launching another low-cost airline.  Fast Company

Marketing + Social Media

  • Voice assistants are the new marketing battleground.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Cannabis has officially arrived in the realm of luxury wellness.  Quartz
  • Inside Coach’s latest bid for brand love.  Retail Dive
  • Inside Nike’s mission to change the future of our planet.  Dazed
  • Snap introduces ads for its stoppable AR games.  VentureBeat
  • How Depop is catering to Gen Z and millennials to get an edge over competitors.  Glossy
  • Get ready to activate marketing campaigns with mobile wallets.  Forbes
  • Facebook is building a $750M data center in Huntsville, Alabama.  Fortune
  • Instagram’s new shopping bag icon adds commerce element to advertisers’ Stories.  MarketingLand
  • In study, Conde Nast seeks to understand which factors influence purchase on the path to purchase.  Glossy
  • Oprah partners with Apple on subscription video service.  Fast Company
  • Snapchat builds app services for Tinder and more.  AdAge
  • Unilever says it won’t work with influencers who buy followers.  CNBC

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • L’oreal is bringing the makeup counter experience into your home with live-streaming and AR.  AdWeek
  • Macy’s and B8ta partner on new retail concept.  Retail Dive
  • Why are grocery retailers teaming up with tech giants?  Reuters
  • Microsoft is developing its own cashier less store technology.  TechCrunch
  • Marketing startup Influential raises $12M from WME and others.  TechCrunch
  • Zelle forecast to overtake Venmo this year.  TechCrunch
  • WeWork in talks with SoftBank to double valuation to as much as $40B.  The Wall Street Journal
  • LOLA raises $24M for a subscription service that ships tampons, pads and now condoms.  TechCrunch
  • Square jumps on receiving license to let New York customers buy and sell bitcoin.  Bloomberg
  • These high-tech clothes make you money by selling your data.  Wired

International

  • Chinese shoppers look to live videos to discover American beauty brands.  Glossy
  • How ecommerce with drove delivery is taking flight in China.  The Economist
  • Google invests in JD.com.  Seeking Alpha

Weekly Industry Brief: 6.11.2018

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

  • Lord & Taylor is closing 10 stores including its Fifth Avenue flagship.  Fortune
  • Gucci aims to rival Louis Vuitton with $12B target.  Fortune
  • The world’s largest apparel companies 2018.  Forbes
  • Amazon introduces the Fire TV cube.  Quartz
  • Ikea no longer just a furniture company.  Fast Company
  • Why 2018 is the year of modernization for Target.  Retail Dive
  • Five surprising findings about how people buy shoes and clothes.  Harvard Business Review
  • Kayla Itsines’ Sweat app will rake in $77M this year.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon taps into the indie beauty craze with new online store.  Glossy
  • Target, Sycamore tried to acquire Toys ‘R’ Us assets.  Bloomberg
  • Rue La La is buying GIlt.  Bloomberg
  • How FitBit is trying to transform healthcare and itself.  Fast Company
  • Yahoo Messenger to shut down.  Fortune
  • How pop-up shops are evolving as commerce brands expand their footprints.  AdWeek
  • Starbucks increases price of coffee.  AdAge
  • J.C. Penny to open 650 Fanatics shops in stores.  Women’s Wear Daily

Marketing and Social Media

  • Facebook allows video with copyrighted music, tests Lip Sync Live.  TechCrunch
  • SeatGeek brings ticket selling into Snapchat.  TechCrunch
  • Is H&M’s influencer-drive line the future of fashion?  Fast Company
  • Behind the messy, expensive split between Facebook and WhatsApp founders.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Facebook shared data with Chinese telecom Huawei, raising US government security concerns.  TechCrunch
  • Facebook monetizes Marketplace with ads from users and brands.  TechCrunch
  • Facebook takes on Twitch with launch of new game streaming.  Tech Radar
  • Snapchat ad prices go from ungodly to cheap.  AdAge
  • Instagram plans to launch a Snapchat Discover-style video hub.  TechCrunch
  • Direct-to-consumer brands sour on Facebook ads.  Digiday
  • Publishers are seeing traffic from more than just Facebook.  AdWeek
  • How Generation Z’s social media savvy entrepreneurs are giving millennials a run for their money.  CNBC
  • US podcast ad revenues hit record $314M in 2017. TechCrunch

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • The Honest Company accelerates growth strategy with investment from L Catterton.  BusinessWire
  • Casper launches a $35 nap pillow for sleeping on-the-go.  TechCrunch
  • Apple drew up a patent for a new kind of blood pressure monitor.  The Verge
  • H&M tests voice-activated mirrors at NYC flagship.  Retail Dive
  • Why Microsoft is willing to pay so much for Github.  Harvard Business Review
  • How shopping app Wish is building a retail empire.  CNet
  • Microsoft acquires a bunch of game studios.  TechCrunch

International

  • Amazon extends UK hiring spree as Brexit uncertainty lingers.  Bloomberg
  • Chinese buyers crave a new sales pitch: “experiential luxury”.  Jing Daily
  • Luxury sales are rebounding in China. Just not in stores. The New York Times
  • India’s online sales to grow 31% in 2018. LiveMint

Weekly Industry Brief: 6.4.2018

And just like that, it’s JUNE! Here is a recap of industry news over the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • WalMart’s personal shopper service launches in New York.  Fortune
  • Microsoft is now more valuable than Google.  The Verge
  • Improvement seen across the board for Urban Outfitters in the first quarter.  Forbes
  • Howard Shultz to exit Starbucks.  The New York Times
  • Sears Holdings closing 72 more stores after another terrible quarter.  Fortune
  • Madewell continues to help J.Crew, with sales up 39%.  Fashionista
  • How today’s newest underwear brands are changing the game by focusing on inclusivity.  Fashionista
  • American Eagle beats earnings, Aerie sales on fire.  Reuters
  • Coca Cola just started selling its first alcoholic drink ever.  Fortune
  • Valentino and L’Oreal are joining forces to create a new beauty collection.  Harper’s Bazaar
  • Etsy to close wholesale market to focus on main website.  Bloomberg
  • 20 Takeaways from Mary Meeker’s 294-page Internet Trends report.  TechCrunch
  • WalMart CEO highlights innovation, performance.  CNBC
  • Lululemon climbs as sales pick up pace.  Bloomberg
  • Ikea rethinks US expansion, invests in online.  USA Today

Marketing and Social Media

  • Pinterest 2017 sales rise 58%.  Bloomberg
  • Facebook nears deals on new shows for video platform.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Kanye skips Tidal exclusivity, drops new album on Spotify and Apple Music.  TechCrunch
  • TV ads on AMC networks will be able to deliver offers directly to viewers’ smartphones.  AdWeek
  • Facebook pulling plug on Trending feature.  AdWeek
  • Abercrombie’s comeback traced to marketing.  AdAge
  • Teens dump Facebook for YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat.  TechCrunch
  • Why wellness brands are betting on podcast ads.  Glossy
  • Snapchat preps Snapkit platform to bring camera, login to other apps.  TechCrunch
  • Pinterest unveils new video ad format.  Mediapost

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Hello Alfred, the in-home assistant service snags $40M.  Fast Company
  • Warren Buffet offered Uber a $3B investment but the talks fell apart.  The Wall Street Journal
  • WalMart’s future may include in-store drones and smart shopping carts.  CNBC
  • Alibaba’s new autonomous robot delivers packages at a modest pace.  Engadget
  • HelloFresh takes meal kits to Giant, Stop & Shop.  The Wall Street Journal
  • The number of smartphone driven retailers is growing.  Bloomberg
  • L’Oreal says AR beauty is just the beginning.  Forbes
  • Softbank to invest $2.25B in GM’s self-driving car division.  Fortune

International

  • Amazon India rebrands, expands online groceries service.  LiveMint
  • Canada goose to expand in China.  Financial Post
  • Amazon geo-blocks Australia from US website as tax change kicks in.  Reuters
  • Apple’s HomePod launches in Canada, France and Germany.  The Verge
  • Alibaba to invest $15.5B in logistics network.  ZDNet

Weekly Industry Brief: 5.29.2018

Welcome back to work! Here is a recap of industry news from the last two weeks (yes, two weeks…you can stalk my Insta to know why I didn’t post last week!).  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • BJ’s Wholesale files for IPO. The Wall Street Journal
  • Urban Outfitters launches third-party marketplace and tests self-checkout in stores.  Marketing Dive 
  • Target’s first quarter store traffic highest in a decade.  AdAge
  • Netflix tops Disney market value as top media stock.  AdAge
  • Facebook, Google face first GDPR complaints over “forced consent.”  TechCrunch
  • Amazon made the top 10 of the Fortune 500 for the first time ever.  Quartz
  • Best Buy expands Geek Squad services with roll out of Total Tech Support.  Star Tribune
  • Ralph Lauren shares surge on designer’s vote of confidence in CEO.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon’s map-tracking package locator now offered to all US shoppers.  CNet
  • Gap leans on heavy discounts to clear store inventory.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Nordstrom wants brands to embrace the size spectrum.  Glossy
  • Matches Fashion saw sales climb a whopping 44% last year.  Fashionista
  • Urban Outfitters sees profits triple in first quarter. Seeking Alpha
  • Poshmark has officially distributed $1B to its sellers.  Fashionista
  • Walmart quietly launches JetBlack, a personal shopping service for affluent city moms.  Recode
  • With three new brands, Target takes aim at Generation Z.  Business of Fashion
  • Target cuts delivery fees by almost half, putting pressure on Walmart and Amazon.  USA Today  
  • The Real Real’s radical vision of secondhand luxury.  New Yorker 
  • How Ulta is winning in the age of Amazon.  Quartz
  • Next time you buy a TV at Best Buy, you may also be offered health care.  CNBC
  • How OPI is hacking Amazon and data algorithms to improve its online site.  Glossy

Marketing and Social Media

  • Why it’s primetime for Instagram Stories.  AdWeek
  • Paypal starts deeper integration with Google; users can now pay directly in Gmail, Youtube.  TechCrunch
  • Snapchat launches first lens that responds to sound.  Engadget
  • A leaked look at Facebook’s influencer marketing search engine.  TechCrunch
  • Ikea’s witty social posts about the Royal Wedding.  AdAge
  • Instagram adds options to mute posts in your feed.  VentureBeat
  • How Lego infuses social media marketing with play.  CMO
  • L’Oreal films Chinese influencer marketing videos at Cannes.  SCMP
  • Ulta partners with Like to Know It.  Glossy
  • Publicis Groupe reveals much anticipated AI platform.  The Drum 
  • New Balance launches shoppable AR in Snapchat. MediaPost 
  • How Vans became the brand that can do no wrong.  High Snobiety
  • Victoria’s Secret has a plan to upgrade its image for younger women.  CNBC
  • Facebook Stories sees 150M users per day and will soon launch ads.  TechCrunch
  • YouTube Music subscription service to relaunch this week.  Seeking Alpha
  • Amazon Prime members now get 10% off at Whole Foods.  Fast Company 
  • Twitter looking to expand its programatic offerings with Timeline Ad Network pilot program.  MarketingLand

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Dog-sitting start-up, Rover, raises $155M.  TechCrunch
  • PayPal acquires European payments start-up iZettle for $2.2B.  The New York Times 
  • Kroger buys meal-kit start up Home Chef.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Why Nike’s AR experiment with Facebook Messenger was a hit.  MarTech Today
  • Your favorite stores could be tracking you with facial recognition. Racked
  • Why Nordstrom is betting on high-touch tech in stores.  Fortune
  • Adobe buys Magento for $1.7B.  Bloomberg
  • Target rolling out AR tools in stores to stay competitive in beauty.  Glossy
  • You’ll soon be able to use augmented reality to try on sneakers.  Quartz
  • Cult ‘fast-beauty’ brand Winky Lux raises $6M in Series A to fund experience-first retail plans.  Forbes

International 

  • Ikea pushes into South America.  Reuters
  • Starbucks to open 3,000 more stores in China.  CNN Money 
  • Amazon leads $12M investment in India-based digital insurance start-up.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon plans China event for global growth strategy.  SmartBrief
  • Meet the start-up building a market from scratch to become Africa’s Alibaba.  The Wall Street Journal
  • China may be about to cut import tariff on consumer goods from lipstick to food.  Fortune
  • Retailers’ global expansion cools as businesses get smart about opening new stores.  CNBC

Weekly Industry Brief: 5.14.2018

TGIM (“Thank God It’s Monday”)! Here is your recap of industry news from the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Have an awesome week.

Brands and Retailers

  • Target testing a retail ‘flow center’ for faster, nimbler distribution.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Five more Nike executives out amid inquiry into harassment allegations.  The New York Times 
  • WalMart to start selling Harry’s razors.  Bloomberg
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills could be valued at $3B after minority stake acquisition.  CNBC
  • Why Nestle is paying $7.2B to sell Starbucks Coffee.  Fortune
  • Sears extends partnership with Amazon as transformation continues.  Retail Dive
  • Stadium Goods positioned itself as the Tiffany’s of the high-end sneaker resale market.  The New York Times
  • Amazon launches private label pet brand.  Retail Dive
  • Apple is reportedly working on a credit card.  Quartz
  • Handy wants to take care of the heavy lifting for furniture retailers.  Forbes
  • Canadian Tie to buy sportswear brand Helly Hansen in $770M deal.  Reuters
  • Shopify launching a brick-and-mortar store.  Forbes
  • Urban Outfitters experiments with pop-ups and artist collaborations.  Glossy
  • Marriott to compete with Airbnb in home-sharing game.  Fast Company
  • Mondelez buying Tate’s Bake Shop for $500M.  Fortune
  • How product customization is driving a new business strategy at Tapestry.  Glossy

Marketing and Social Media

  • Instagram adds video chat to its host of features.  The Drum
  • Brands can turn social video views into conversions.  PYMNTS
  • How social media issuing used to sell real estate.  AdWeek
  • Amazon stops buying shopping ads on Google. AdAge
  • Why beauty brands are shifting their focus from the feed to Instagram Stories.  Glossy
  • Why Revlon brought its digital marketing and sales organizations in-house.  Glossy
  • Snapchat’s redesigned redesign starts rolling out.  The Verge
  • Amazon, Snapchat could bring competition to Facebook and Google.  Digiday
  • Businesses on Instagram are getting calls to action, direct messaging improvements.  AdWeek
  • Instagram’s emoji slider sticker added a new element to polling friends and followers.  AdWeek
  • Facebook suspends 200 apps for potential misuse of data. AdAge
  • Bonobos looks to cash in on fashion’s inclusivity movement.  Glossy

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Google’s Style Match feature applies image recognition to finding products.  Racked
  • What blockchain could mean for marketing.  Harvard Business Review
  • LVMH to invest in Lyst upon new round of funding.  Fashionista
  • Uber unveils the flying taxi it wants to rule the skies.  Wired
  • Amazon is setting up model ‘smart’ homes to sell Alexa gadgets.  New York Post
  • Blockchain used to track gems to counter blood diamonds and fakes.  Forbes
  • Google and Levi’s connected jacket will let you know when your Uber is here.  TechCrunch

International

  • Alibaba’s brick-and-mortar malls herald new growth strategy.  Nikkei
  • How Chinese consumer engage with luxury livestreamers.  Jing Daily

Weekly Industry Brief: 5.6.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • Online retailer Sense opens brick-and-mortar.  Glossy
  • Amazon studies body sizes to get that perfect clothing fit.  Wall Street Journal
  • Blue Apron turns to Costco as customer growth slows.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Apple has already built its next big business.  Fortune
  • Sale spikes continue for Estee Lauder.  WWD
  • Vitamins are trendy.  Vitamin stores are not.  Racked
  • Birchbox has sold majority ownership to one of its hedge fund investors after sale talks with QVC fell through.  Recode
  • Pandora and Spotify surprise investors.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon launches Prime Book Box, a $23 kids’ book selection.  TechCrunch
  • Nestle bets $7B on Starbucks to revive coffee sales.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon’s share of all retail sales could reach nearly 10% in two years.  CNBC
  • Online spending passes $100B for the first time.  RetailDive

Marketing and Social Media

  • Under Armour launches real-time Steph Curry trivia game.  Fast Company
  • Instagram is starting to take payments – but not for products just yet.  Fortune
  • Hulu surpasses 20M subscribers, grows engagement by over 60%.  The Drum
  • Snap stock plunges 15% on disappointing earnings that it partly blamed on redesign.  Fortune
  • Cambridge Analytica shuts all operations after Facebook scandal.  Fortune
  • Facebook is considering a paid, ad-free version of its social network.  Fast Company
  • Twitter advising all users to change passwords after bug exposed them in plain text.  The Verge
  • Facebook announces dating feature for meeting non-friends.   TechCrunch
  • Twitter shares spike after Disney announces it will make shows specifically for the platform.  CNBC
  • Instagram code reveals up-coming music feature.  TechCrunch
  • WhatsApp new lets you play Facebook and Instagram videos within the app.  The Verge
  • Microsoft and Amazon show off their Alexa-Cortana collaboration.  AdAge
  • Bonobos showcases 172 kinds of diversity in priciest campaign to date.  AdAge

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • J.P. Morgan files patent for blockchain powered payments.  Fortune
  • The $1B company that’s building wearable AI for blind people.  Fast Company
  • Macy’s acquires New York concept shop, Story.  CNBC
  • For all the hype about VR, advertisers are more excited by AR (for now).  Digiday
  • Oculus aims for the masses with a new $200 VR headset.  Fast Company
  • How beauty brands like Coty and Shiseido are using voice assistants.  Glossy
  • Goldman Sachs to open a bitcoin trading operation.  The New York Times

International

  • Walmart buys 75% share of Flipkart, India’s largest commerce platform.  AdWeek
  • Why Walmart and Amazon are battling so fiercely over India.  Fortune
  • Alibaba beats forecasts with 61% growth and predicts more of the same for the next year.  TechCrunch
  • Impulsive, addictive social commerce is China’s latest craze.  Business of Fashion

Weekly Industry Brief: 4.30.2018

And just like that, it’s the last day of April. Here is your brief of industry news from the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • T-Mobile and Sprint to merge.  Fast Company
  • Old Navy to open 60 stores this year, driving Gap’s growth.  CNBC
  • Amazon’s fiscal discipline pays off as it more than doubles profit.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Apple poised to move further into media.  The Guardian
  • Amazon will now deliver packages to the trunk of your car.  The Verge
  • Ford cuts sedans and marketing spend.  AdAge
  • Amazon breaks $50B in revenues in Q1.  WWD
  • Coach, Fenty and Nike cut the middle man and sell straight to consumer.  USA Today
  • How private equity is boosting some brands and crushing others.  Fortune
  • Adidas is testing how to mass-produce custom shoes like those it makes for elite athletes.  Quartz
  • 12 retailers on the brink of bankruptcy in 2018.  Retail Dive
  • Can online retail solve its packaging problem? Fast Company
  • Gen Z is about to kill cash.  Retail Dive
  • WalMart sells its UK supermarket business in $10B deal.  CNN
  • Retailers benefiting the most from the tax cut.  Forbes
  • GNC is closing 200 stores.  Bloomberg
  • Abercrombie CEO details the brand’s global growth plans.  Business Insider
  • American Apparel relaunches online globally.  Fashionista

Marketing and Social Media

  • Is video the future of online shopping? Business of Fashion
  • Amazon now has a multi-billion dollar advertising business.  CNBC
  • Twitter sold Cambridge Analytica researcher public data access.  AdAge
  • Facebook is conquering commerce in the developing world.  Bloomberg
  • Why retailers are trading points for experiences when it comes to loyalty programs.  AdWeek
  • The mad dash to buy vintage clothes on Instagram.  Bloomberg
  • Pepsi eyes investors for Creators League Studio.  AdAge
  • Four ways sneaker brands successfully build hype.  High Snobiety
  • In fashion’s hype-driven era, Hermes is doing its own thing.  Dazed
  • Why Instagram managed to remain unscathed amid Facebook scandals.  Digiday

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Pinterest is using AI to filter beauty searches by skin tone.  Glossy
  • The makers of AI influencer Lil Miquela receive $6M in funding.  Hypebeast
  • Alexa will soon gain a memory, converse more naturally and automatically launch skills.  TechCrunch
  • Tile and Comcast now let you find lost items through voice search on your TV.  Venture Beat
  • Adobe acquires Uru, an AI startup that embeds ads in videos.  Venture Beat
  • Domino’s adds AI to phoned-in orders.  MediaPost
  • BigCommerce raises $64M to power commerce sites.  TechCrunch

International

  • Amazon plays catch-up in Brazil as local rivals thrive.  Reuters
  • How China leapfrogged ahead of the United States in the finch race.  PIIE
  • Muslim fashion is a $254B market – but big brands can’t crack it.  Fast Company
  • Alibaba launches blockchain technology to improve supply chain integrity and enhance trust in platform.  The Drum