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
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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

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 4.23.2018

Happy Monday! Here is a recap of articles I’ve been reading over the last week.  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headlines.

Brands and Retailers

  • AT&T is launching a $15 TV streaming subscription.  The Verge
  • Glossier is officially opening up shop in Los Angeles.  Fashionista
  • Former Nike designer launches Wone, a minimalist luxury activewear label to watch.  Fashionista
  • Amazon’s next conquest will be apparel.  TechCrunch
  • The retail industry is focusing on customer experience and convenience to win in ecommerce.  AdWeek
  • The dawn of micro-merch.  The New York Times
  • Best Buy to sell Amazon’s new Fire TV Edition smart TVs in stores. Retail Dive
  • Starbucks to close nationwide for facia-bias training.  The New York Times
  • WalMart to launch redesigned website in May.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Net-a-Porter founder launches venture capital investment fund.  The New York Times
  • Packaged foods boost Amazon’s grocery sales.  Bloomberg
  • Facebook is forming a team to design its own chips.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon eyes a move into home shopping TV with possible Evine buy.  TechCrunch
  • As customers turn cold, Victoria’s Secret faces a reckoning.  Glossy
  • Hasbro bets on Walmart, Target and Alibaba as sales implode in wake of Toys R Us closure.  Fortune

Marketing and Social Media

  • Google beats expectations again with $31.15B in revenue.  TechCrunch
  • Snapchat introduces three new capabilities of its augmented reality lenses with ‘Shoppable AR.’  AdWeek
  • Amazon now has 100M paid Prime subscriptions.  AdAge
  • How three brands brought tech to life at Coachella.  AdWeek
  • P&G ends its year-long YouTube ban.  AdAge
  • Facebook to show pre-roll video ads in more places.  AdAge
  • Revolve’s co-founder on why Coachella and influencers are central to the firm’s $1B revenue.  Forbes
  • Social media use is increasing despite privacy fears.  The Next Web
  • How Teen Vogue is reinventing traditional magazine covers in a digital-only landscape.  Glossy
  • Twitter’s rise from the ashes.  Seeking Alpha
  • How Juicy Couture and sister brands are automating their in-house influencer campaigns.  Glossy

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Meet 9 startups investors have lit up to take the cannabis industry higher.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon is reportedly working on its first home robot.  The Verge
  • How Apple will use AR to reinvent the human-computer interface.  Fast Company 
  • The beginner’s guide to how blockchain could change the ethical fashion game.  Fashionista
  • McKinsey’s latest AI research predicts it could create trillions worth of value someday.  Recode
  • You can now buy drinks, snacks and even hangover cures in the back of your Uber.  CNBC

International

  • Online retailers go offline in China.  The Economist
  • The journey to an agile organization at Zalando.  McKinsey
  • Alibaba’s TMall woos luxury brands to sell to its invite-only loyalty club for big spenders.  Glossy
  • Mantra acquires wearables maker Witworks.  LiveMint
  • Casper plans brick-and-mortar push into Canada. Retail Dive
  • WalMart in advanced talks to acquire Amazon’s India rival, Flipkart.  Recode

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 4.16.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • Nordstrom opening a New York store as other retailers close theirs.  The New York Times
  • H&M announces Moschino collaboration.  Vogue
  • Amazon expands Prime Wardrobe.  RetailDive
  • What beauty players can teach the consumer sector about digital disruption.  McKinsey
  • Toys ‘R’ Us gets 11th hour bid from Little Tikes’ Larian.  Bloomberg
  • Levi’s CFO turns to robots to help keep the books.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Gap follows J.Crew in giving up on the bridal-wear industry.  Bloomberg
  • At Lands’ End, gone are the stilettos and trendy clothes that didn’t fit the brand’s customers.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Apple’s business is now being powered with clean energy.  Bloomberg
  • Domino’s will now delivery to 150,000 parks, pools and other non-traditional locations.  TechCrunch
  • Why Sephora merged its digital and physical retail teams into one department.  Glossy
  • Estee Lauder adds two women CEOs to its board as it nears gender parity.  Fortune
  • Walmart recruits Postdates to help grocery delivery push.  Fortune
  • The retail industry is focusing on customer experience and convenience to win in ecommerce.  AdWeek
  • Netflix stock skyrockets on yet another subscriber growth spurt.  Fast Company
  • Target brings same-day delivery of in-store purchases to five cities.  Engadget
  • T-Mobile fined $40M by FTC for inserting fake ring tones.  Fast Company
  • Sears to close more stores.  Business Insider

Marketing and Social Media

  • Netflix may spend $300M to buy a billboard company.  AdWeek
  • Hermes plays a hipster tune.  The New York Times
  • Go young, go digital: Gucci and Louis Vuitton have similarly successful playbooks.  Glossy
  • HighSnobiety experiments with a multimedia vertical stories format.  Digiday
  • Bumble ditches Facebook login requirement.  Fortune
  • Women use their phones for way more than just communicating.  AdWeek
  • Pandora vs. Spotify: ad tech streams into audio.  AdAge
  • Snap is testing commerce with Snapchat Discover publishers.  Digiday
  • Abercrombie & Fitch is digging into its archives to gain ground with Gen Z.  Glossy
  • How a teen and Wendy’s proved that social superfine work.  Digiday

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • LVMH backs luxury startups.  Reuters
  • Colgate unveils smart toothbrush.  The Wall Street Journal
  • General Assembly sells to Adecco for $413M.  TechCrunch
  • The RealReal hunts for more funding amid IPO buzz.  RetailDive
  • Startup subscription service Billie raises $6M.  RetailDive
  • Adobe acquires voice interface platform Sayspring.  TechCrunch
  • US early-stage investment share shrinks as China surges.  TechCrunch
  • Google’s new VR tours let you experience imperiled cultural sites around the world.  Fast Company
  • How JetBlue is defining the future of travel and hospitality through JetBlue Technology Ventures.  Fast Company

International

  • Saudi Arabia just had its first Fashion Week.  The New York Times
  • Gap to open 3-4 new stores in India this year.  Economic Times
  • Alibaba is the latest Chinese internet giant to test self-driving cars.  Engadget

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 4.10.2018

Happy TUESDAY! Start your day with some industry news. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Spotify’s Wall Street debut is a success.  The New York Times
  • Why the QVC model still works for beauty brands.  Glossy
  • ASOS has ambitions for big expansion.  The Guardian
  • Designer brands are joining the direct-to-consumer fray.  Glossy
  • Nine West may be heading for bankruptcy.  Fast Company
  • Cult men’s brief brand Tommy John just launched a line of women’s undies.  Fast Company
  • Warehouses are now worth more than offices, thanks to Amazon.  Bloomberg
  • Resale is expected to be bigger than fast fashion within 10 years.  Fashionista
  • How InStyle is cashing in on beauty ecommerce.  Glossy
  • Some Amazon Key features including keyless entry, go nationwide.  CNet
  • Amazon now sells more than 70 of its own private-label brands.  Recode
  • Anthropologie CEO leaving this month.  WWD
  • Nine West files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  USA Today
  • Nordstrom opening a New York store as other retailers close theirs.  New York Times 
  • Amazon spent nearly $23B on R&D last year – more than any other U.S. company.  Recode
  • Paypal rolling out banking products.  TechCrunch

Marketing and Social Media

  • Google and Target issue first voice-activated coupon.  AdWeek
  • Bricks and clicks: How Instagram is changing physical retail.  Forbes
  • Amazon could lead in search ad business by 2020.  Mediapost
  • How Tumi is using AI in marketing campaigns, online and in stores.  Glossy
  • Polyvore acquired by global fashion platform SSENSE.  Fashionista
  • Snapchat cashes Houseparty group video chat app.  Adage
  • Adobe releases State of Digital Advertising 2018 research. Forbes
  • More targeted ads are coming to your TV.  AdWeek
  • Facebook really wants people to use Stories.  AdWeek

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Tradesy acquired a closet service to compete with The RealReal.  Glossy
  • Virtual reality, now with the sense of touch.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Walmart in takeover talks with pharmacy startup.  Bloomberg
  • Postdates launching pickup feature.  TechCrunch
  • 2.1B consumers will use mobile payments by 2019.  RetailDive
  • How Mobike’s founder turned a crazy idea into a $3B startup.  Bloomberg
  • Instacart raises another $150M.  TechCrunch
  • Alibaba is becoming a major investor in facial recognition technology.  Quartz

International

  • ShopShops aims at Chinese consumers via live streaming.  The Wall Street Journal
  • In China, the sharing economy stretches to fashion for millennials.  SCMP
  • These seven international retailers want to make a splash in the US.  CNBC
  • Tencent shows off their vision for the future of unmanned retail.  Jing Daily
  • Southeast Asia fashion startup Zilingo continues meteoric rise with $54M Series C  TechCrunch
  • Hong Kong money to help online fashion disrupter Moda Operandi break into the Asian market.  SCMP
  • Taco Bell plans explosive Australian growth as sales jump.  AdAge

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 4.2.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • AdoreMe to expand brick-and-mortar presence in challenge to Victoria’s Secret.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Bobbi Brown is ready to slay the wellness industry.  The New York Times
  • eBay Fashion aims to reposition in the face of competition.  Glossy
  • Here is who is winning the retail race, and it’s not inside the mall.  CNBC
  • H&M has a problem: $4.3B in unsold clothes.  The New York Times
  • Kohl’s bets on smaller stores to fuel its growth.  CNBC
  • Walmart may be acquiring health insurer Humana.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon may launch a bank account aimed at teens.  TechCrunch
  • Bumble is suing Match Group for $400M for fraudulently obtaining trade secrets.  TechCrunch
  • Rite Aid bid for Albertsons wins U.S. approval.  Bloomberg
  • The Sephora effect: How the retailer wields its power to boost new beauty brands.  Glossy
  • Ikea’s plan to leave the big blue box store behind.  Fast Company
  • Apple insists the iPhone is built in the U.S.  Recode
  • Lululemon stretches its digital marketing wings.  AdAge
  • Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren betting on denim revival.  Business of Fashion
  • Saks, Lord & Taylor report data breach affecting 5 million cards.   CNN Money
  • Toys ‘R’ Us shuts down web operations.  Fortune

Marketing and Social Media

  • Snapchat tests ‘Connected Apps’ as people choose to delete Facebook.  Mashable
  • As fallout from Cambridge Analytica hits Facebook, marketers shrug.  AdAge
  • Warby Parker and Arby’s team up to create WArby’s this April Fools’ Day.  AdWeek
  • IoT devices could be the next customer data frontier.  TechCrunch
  • LinkedIn is introducing auto-playing video ads.  TechCrunch
  • Facebook will cut off access to third party data for ad targeting.  TechCrunch
  • The number of OTT-only U.S. homes has tripled over the last five years.  AdWeek
  • Waze officially launches its ad program for small businesses.  TechCrunch
  • Instagram GIFs are back to Stories with stricter moderation.  The Verge
  • Facebook is investing $1B in small-business initiatives this year.  Inc
  • Amazon Spark is not taking off with brands, agencies.  Digiday
  • Influencers are getting long-term contracts that treat them more like traditional talent.  Digiday
  • The six new companies in the Twitter official partner program.  AdWeek
  • Social commerce is here, but is it ready for the mainstream consumer? AdWeek
  • Publicis Media launches global commerce practice.  AdWeek
  • TV’s share of ad spend expected to continue its decline this year.  AdWeek
  • Adobe announces it’s helping companies track people across devices to result in better ad quality.  Time
  • Shorter, skip-able ads coming to YouTube.  TechCrunch

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Google Home drops prices.  Forbes
  • Nike acquires customer data analytics company Zodiac.  MarketWatch
  • A new wave of beauty apps is coming for your skin-care routine.  Fashionista
  • Why Walmart is testing robots in its stores.  Fortune
  • How Shyp sunk: the rise and fall of an on-demand startup.  Fast Company
  • Goop raises $50M in series C round.  TechCrunch
  • New Apple Watch is coming this fall with larger displays, analyst says.  Fast Company

International

  • Farfetched CEO on the Chinese partners catapulting them ahead.  Jing Daily
  • Alibaba bets big on local delivery in a $9.5B deal.  Fortune
  • Alipay tempts Europe’s retailers with Chinese tourists’ massive spending power.  Quartz
  • Alibaba’s auto vending machine.  L2 Inc

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 3.26.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • Amazon has considered buying some Toys ‘R’ Us stores.  Bloomberg
  • WalMart’s ecommerce CEO explains why its many acquisitions will help it reach millennials.  AdWeek
  • WalMart to start selling cars at 250 stores.  AdAge
  • Everlane launches underwear basics.  Fast Company
  • Billionaire CEO wants to launch GoFundMe to buy Toys R Us.  The Washington Post
  • Best Buy to stop selling Huawei.  CNet
  • Ulta, Gap, Target and more: these retailers are still opening stores in 2018.  CNBC
  • Sephora is capitalizing on limited edition by commissioning exclusive products from brands.  Glossy
  • Nordstrom to partner with sneaker marketplace Stadium Goods at its stand-alone men’s store.  CNBC
  • Gap Inc. pledges to conserve 10B liters of water by 2020.  Fashionista
  • Chanel Beauty is expanding distribution in an effort to talk directly to customers.  Glossy
  • How retailers are defending their reason for existing in the Amazon age.  Glossy
  • New Look to close 60 stores.  Telegraph
  • Amazon just passed Alphabet to become the world’s second most valuable company.  CNBC
  • FedEx to add 500 new locations in Walmart stores in two years.  Business Insider
  • Everlane’s five tactics for winning at physical retail.  Business of Fashion

Marketing and Social Media

  • Facebook and Google face emboldened antagonists: big advertisers.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Rivals chip away at Google’s and Facebook’s US digital ad dominance.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Instagram tweaks its feed to show newer posts first again.  Fortune
  • Home Depot expands partnership with Pinterest.  Retail Dive
  • Sonos is yanking its Facebook ads in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.  Fast Company
  • As Instagram Shopping goes global, brands look to optimize mobile commerce strategies.  Glossy
  • Elon Musk just deleted the Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX.  Fast Company
  • Facebook debuted 3 new ad products for retailers at ShopTalk.  AdWeek
  • YouTube just become the top grossing iPhone app of the first time.  TechCrunch
  • Glossier’s customer obsession is about stirring up conversation.  RetailDive
  • Hulu has started to address advertisers’ inventory frustration.  Digiday
  • YouTube to increase ad inventory.  The Verge
  • Snapchat launches Map Explore feature to highlight breaking news.  The Verge

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Amazon has patented a drone that reacts to people shouting and waving at it.  USA Today
  • Salesforce is buying MuleSoft at enterprise value of $6.5B.  TechCrunch
  • This sneaker startup’s explosive growth comes from creative partnerships.  Fast Company
  • Dropbox pops in IPO.  CNN Money
  • Google may acquire light-field tech company Lytro for VR/AR.  CNet
  • Cheddar raises $22M for international expansion.  The Wall Street Journal
  • WalMart’s future could include drone assistants and smart cars.  Engadget
  • Tech’s next big wave: big data meets biology.  Fortune

International

  • India’s commerce market is exploding. Quartz
  • Uber exiting Southeast Asia.  TechCrunch
  • How to chase the next half-billion internet addicts in China.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Alibaba is doubling down on Southeast Asia as its rivals are moving in.  Quartz

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 3.19.2018

Here is your weekly scan of industry news to keep you relevant in your meetings.  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Cheers!

Brands and Retailers

  • How Adidas is using apps to fuel its commerce ambitions.  Digiday
  • A Manhattan landlord connects with online retail upstarts.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Warby Parker raises $75M.  New York Times
  • Toy makers stare at $11B hole with death of Toys R Us. The Wall Street Journal
  • Linkedin’s $27B challenge: get people to use it more.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Tinder owner Match is suing Bumble over patents.  TechCrunch
  • Retail’s middle ground is a dangerous place.  Bloomberg
  • Blue Apron will start selling its meal kits in stores.  TechCrunch
  • L’oreal enters next phase of digital evolution strategy with acquisition of ModiFace.  Glossy
  • Why data is the most important currency used in commerce today.  Forbes
  • Glossier CEO: Brands of the future will be co-created.  CNN Money
  • Nike president to leave as company reviews improper conduct.  AdAge
  • Chanel’s beauty line is coming to Ulta.  Racked
  • Claire’s files for bankruptcy.  New York Times 

Marketing and Social Media

  • Uncovering Instagram bots with a new kind of detective work. New York Times
  • Google makes new push to turn retailers’ product searches into cash.  CNBC
  • Pinterest expands shopping ads for retailers.  AdAge
  • Rivals chip away at Google’s and Facebook’s U.S. digital ad dominance.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Twitter is working on a camera-first feature that could threaten Snap.  CNBC
  • Amazon preps new attribution tools and courts ad buyers.  Digiday
  • Macy’s launches TV and Instagram in push for women.  AdWeek
  • Adidas designed the silhouette of its latest show with Instagram in mind.  Quartz
  • How a beauty brand raised an army of 30,000 political activists.  Fast Company
  • Rihanna tells fans to throw Snapchat away; shares fall.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Leaked Amazon figures show TV drives millions of Prime signups.  Engadget
  • How Fitbit is trying to reboot its smartwatch effort to appeal to more women.  Fortune
  • The Urban Outfitters guide to winning social media.  Glossy

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Zara to lure millennials with augmented reality displays.  Reuters
  • Outdoor Voices raises $34M in latest funding round.  CNBC
  • Say hello to Cora, the new flying taxi from a secretive startup funded by Google’s Larry Page.  Fortune
  • The Skimm raises $12M for its newsletter.  TechCrunch
  • LL Bean cancels Internet of Things project.  The Wall Street Journal
  • VW just gave Tesla a $25B battery shock.  Bloomberg
  • Made.com raises $56M.  TechCrunch

International

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 3.12.2018

Happy Monday! Here is the industry news round-up from the last week. Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Walmart is about to open a technology research center in Plano’s Granite Park.  Dallas News 
  • Nordstrom will start selling Anthropologie home products.  Architectural Digest
  • Sizzling Aerie brand lifts American Eagle.  Seeking Alpha
  • Abercombie’s flagship brand is bouncing back.  Bloomberg
  • L’oreal launches men’s brand with David Beckham.  Bloomberg
  • Blue Apron stock suffers as Weight Watchers gets into meal kits.  TechCrunch
  • Tommy Hilfiger’s bet on instant gratification is paying off.  Business of Fashion
  • At Target, it’s the year of acceleration.  Retail Dive
  • Zara turns to robots as in-store pickups surge. The Wall Street Journal
  • Abercrombie to close 60 more stores.  CNBC
  • Why the toy industry would suffer if Toys ‘R’ Us disappears.  Fortune
  • Netflix eyeing total of about 700 original series in 2018.  Variety

Marketing and Social Media

  • The company that’s taking stoppable video seriously – and driving results.  AdWeek
  • Branded podcasts are the ads people actually want to listen to.  Fast Company
  • Lorde and other US musicians can now start posting on Google.  TechCrunch
  • Google promises publishers an alternative to AMP.  TechCrunch
  • Decoding Chanel’s Gen-Z strategy.  Business of Fashion
  • Twitter might verify everybody to stop bots and fake news.  Fast Company
  • Google is selling off Zagat to restaurant review site The Infatuation.  The Verge
  • The big potential of micro-influencers.  Women’s Wear Daily
  • Facebook’s new tool allows travel brands to shape vacationers’ plans from the start. AdWeek
  • Netflix to introduce mobile previews with vertical video in April.  Variety
  • Snap is reportedly laying off around 100 employees.  TechCrunch
  • 74% of Facebook users visit the site daily and 51% go several times a day.  Marketing Land 
  • Snapchat and Instagram remove Giphy feature due to racial slur GIF.  TechCrunch
  • Facebook has signed a deal to stream 25 afternoon MLB games.  TechCrunch
  • Snapchat’s tagging test could help brands and influencers build their follower numbers.  MarketingLand

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Nordstrom snaps up tech startups to fuel mobile shopping.  Retail Dive
  • Bose is carving out $50M for startups using its new audio-focused AR tech.  TechCrunch
  • Dropbox announces deeper integration with Salesforce ahead of IPO.  TechCrunch
  • Boxed reportedly rejected $400M buyout offer from Kroger. TechCrunch
  • Amazon adds photo confirmation for deliveries.  Retail Dive
  • Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Joe Tsai invest $20M in Rent the Runway.  TechCrunch
  • Now you can have a conversation with Alexa without screaming “Hey, Alexa” for every request.  TechCrunch
  • How L’oreal is using tech to make thousands of custom skin shades.  AdWeek
  • Why Blockchain will survive even if Bitcoin doesn’t.  Wall Street Journal
  • Brands are finally embracing augmented reality, but not without speed bumps.  AdWeek
  • DVF is bringing customization and VR to its flagship store.  Glossy
  • The men’s alternative to Rent the Runway is plotting a $30M expansion to make weddings and job interviews way easier.  Business Insider
  • ASOS’s visual search tool is now available to all of its shoppers.  Engadget

International

  • Zara to launch New Zealand online store in March.  Business Day
  • Amazon to enter Vietnam in challenge to Alibaba.  Nikkei Asian Review
  • Amazon to expand in India by adding original regional content.  Nasdaq