WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF 2.23.2015

Hello! Below is a recap I compiled of industry news over the last week.  All sources can be found in the hyper-linked text after the headline.

Retailer + Brand News:

  • H&M rings up sales growth thanks to aggressive store opening program. Link
  • Forever 21 has reorganized its retail division workforce. Link
  • Amazon Prime 1-hour deliveries now available in Manhattan. Link
  • Wal-Mart CEO supports $1B investment in wages. Link
  • Tom’s founder on the future of retail showrooms. Link
  • Ann Taylor parent said to be working with JP Morgan on sale. Link
  • Nordstrom aims for $20B in sales by 2020. Link
  • Saint Laurent has doubled its business since hiring model Hedi Slimane. Link
  • Nordstrom’s income took a hit in 2014, thanks to tech investments. Link
  • Global ecommerce sales climb 22% at WalMart. Link
  • US annual ecommerce sales surpass $300B for first time. Link
  • Target lowers free shipping minimum to $25. Link
  • SNKRS app gaining traction for Nike. Link
  • For online retailers, fast shipping is becoming as important as price. Link
  • Amazon preparing to battle Netflix on original content. Link
  • Canada Goose prepares to launch US ecommerce site. Link 
  • Best Buy opening tech office in Seattle. Link 

Social Media + Marketing:

  • At New York Fashion Week, brands focus on social media’s ROI. Link
  • Oakley unveils brand push. Link
  • Snapchat said to seek up to $19B value in funding. Link
  • Sperry goes back to basics with campaign for adventurous millennials. Link
  • YouTube is launching a kid-friendly video app. Link
  • Pinterest reportedly eyes $11B in valuation. Link
  • Facebook says it only sells viewable ads. Link
  • Facebook challenges Google with product ads. Link
  • Twitter is latest to boost FCC’s net neutrality plan. Link
  • Google fits more search results on mobile screens. Link

Start-ups:

  • Xiaomi becomes world’s most valuable tech startup with latest $1.1B funding round. Link
  • Grabble closes $1.8M angel round for its Tindr-like fashion shopping app. Link
  • Like AirBnB, Plate Culture turns your kitchen into a restaurant. Link
  • Social shopping app Shopa secures $11M to scale internationally. Link
  • Jet.com looks to give small merchants a leg up. Link

International:

  • Navigating a storm of currency volatility. Link
  • Visa expands its online payments service Checkout to 16 countries. Link
  • [APAC]
    • Lowe’s opens India innovation center. Link
    • Tiffany & Co is now the number one American luxury brand for Chinese shoppers. Link 
  • [A/ME] Lululemon to open stores in Middle East. Link
  •  [EU]
    • J.Crew pushes further into Europe. Link
    • Apple unveils $2B plans for Irish and Danish data centers. Link
  •  [AU]
  • ASOS on Campus launches in Australia to woo university students. Link
  • Etsy lanches gift cards in Australia. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Buzzfeed expands mobile team by acquiring visual conversation startup GoPop. Link
  • Virtual reality comes to New York Fashion Week. Link
  • Starbucks’ Apple Pay integration will brew up in-app revenue. Link
  • Apple orders more than 5 million watches for initial run. Link
  • Apple Pay gets a big vote of confidence from the U.S. government. Link
  • Yahoo courts mobile app makers with new tools. Link
  • Samsung buys LoopPay, a competitor to Apple Pay. Link

Other

  • Apple wants to start producing cars as soon as 2020. Link
  • Google and Apple fight for the car dashboard. Link
  • Starbucks offers smallholder subscription coffee service. Link
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WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 2.16.2015

Happy Monday and Presidents’ Day.  If you have off today, enjoy it. Below is a recap I compiled of industry news over the last week.  All sources can be found in the hyper-linked text after the headline.

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Gap profit tops estimates as Old Navy holiday sales increase. Link
  • Moda Operandi raises another $60M. Link
  • Michael Kors opens largest store in Soho. Link
  • Yelp buys Eat24, an online food-ordering service for $134M. Link
  • Urban Outfitters climbs on strong Q4 sales. Link
  • Louis Vuitton shows logo isn’t dead as bags fly off shelves. Link
  • Amazon’s newest tool lets anyone host giveaways online. Link
  • Best Buy launches its first wedding registry. Link
  • Adore Me takes on Victoria’s Secret and other bigger lingerie rivals. Link
  • Jet.com raises $140M in new funding. Link
  • Barney’s New York launches a print magazine. Link
  • US retail sales decreased more than forecast in January. Link
  • Banana Republic makes its fashion week debut. Link
  • Timo Weiland eyes growth with first outside investment. Link
  • Inside Levi’s comeback plans. Link
  • Banana Republic, J.Crew invade fashion week to build cachet. Link
  • Walmart expands online grocery shopping efforts after strong repeat business. Link
  • Forever 21 arrives on Fifth Ave. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Pinterest cuts off style bloggers by removing affiliate links. Link
  • Twitter to buy Niche, where social media stars meet advertisers. Link
  • Netflix House of Cards leak wasn’t a marketing ploy. Link
  • How style bloggers earn sales commissions one click at a time. Link
  • Facebook adding relevance scores so marketers know how good their ads are. Link
  • Marketing world says “meh” to Twitter’s ad syndication initiative. Link
  • YouTube content networks preparing for a more programmatic ad world. Link
  • Snapchat tries Our Stories for locals only. Link
  • Forbes puts native ad for Fidelity on its actual cover. Link
  • Pinterest working on a plan to introduce a buy button this year. Link

Start-ups:

  • Social shopping app Depop raises $8M, plans to break into US market. Link
  • Bucketfeet, a startup founded by a pair of backpackers, raises $7.5M. Link
  • Clothing rental startup Le Tote lands $8.8M in funding. Link
  • Bringg lets any business offer Uber-like experiences to their customers. Link
  • Wedding planning startup Loverly launches its own dress collection based on user search data. Link
  • Xiaomi becomes world’s most valuable tech startup. Link

International:

  • [APAC]
    • India may become Launchpad for Amazon’s fashion label. Link
    • eCommerce sales in China will reach $1 Trillion by 2019. Link
    • Kate Spade to shut brand stores while forming China venture. Link
    • Alibaba’s AliExpress sets its sights on Indonesia’s promising ecommerce market. Link
    • Alibaba’s TMall global site stumbles. Link
  • [EU]
    • British Fashion Council and eBay reprise London Fashion Week pop-up shop partnership. Link
    • European online retailer Zalando posts first annual operating profit. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Kanye West Adidas campaign lives on with in-store, app-dependent concert tickets. Link
  • Placed wants to be the standard for measuring mobile ads and in-store visits. Link
  • Aiming to ease app discovery, Apple pairs with Pinterest. Link
  • First Dibs launches app. Link
  • Swatch plans smartwatch to compete with Apple. Link
  • Yahoo says mobile is key to new business sales goals. Link
  • Visa’s new fraud protection software will track customers’ smartphones. Link

Other

  • High-tech fashion redefines meaning of revealing clothing. Link
  • Merchandise blended in digital and physical showcase. Link

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 2.10.2015

Hello! Was taking a break in Vermont over the weekend, so apologies for the delay. Below is a recap I compiled of industry news over the last week.  All sources can be found in the hyper-linked text after the headline.

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Wallpaper Magazine dives into ecommerce. Link
  • Lululemon founder steps down from board. Link
  • Target to open 15 Target Express stores this year. Link
  • Macy’s buys Bluemercury. Link
  • Amazon opens brick-and-mortar campus store. Link
  • Madewell inks deal with Nordstrom. Link
  • Under Armour releases 2014 results, acquires two more fitness apps. Link
  • Ralph Lauren plans new global band management structure. Link
  • Kate Spade Saturday: A downmarket move goes bust. Link
  • Zulily to hit one billion dollars in sales in 2014. Link
  • Gap merges ecommerce and marketing in new executive position. Link
  • Macy’s program helps cultivate retail entrepreneurs. Link
  • Change for the better at Neiman Marcus. Link
  • Lucky Magazine launches shops, its new ecommerce venture. Link
  • Fab.com’s fire sale should close this month. Link
  • Lifestyle brands are acquiring their way to becoming tech companies. Link
  • Frank & Oak expands personal stylist feature. Link
  • Gap, Aeropostale raise outlook for holiday period. Link
  • Old Navy teams with Current Elliott. Link
  • BCBG gets $135M in cash infusion. Link
  • eBay’s innovation and new ventures group hit hard by layoffs in restructuring. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Tinder shuts down Gap’s pants party campaign because it violated terms of service. Link
  • Imgur unleashes subscription-only pro editing tool for all users. Link
  • Burberry joins with Line to live stream show in Japan. Link
  • Four video startups looking to challenge YouTube’s dominance. Link
  • Twitter to sell ads on Flipboard and Yahoo Japan. Link
  • American Express Apple Pay ad turns out to be a fun trip through time. Link
  • Tumblr ad executive stepping down as Yahoo combines teams. Link
  • Revenue at Twitter rises but user growth slows. Link
  • Twitter and Google said to reach deal on Search. Link
  • Twitter user growth falls below Facebook’s for the first time. Link

Start-ups:

  • These companies are trying to disrupt Men’s Wearhouse. Link
  • Trellie is launching a smart jewelry starter kit this spring with dozens of accessories. Link
  • Andreessen Horowitz taps into thriving world of programmers. Link

International:

  • [APAC]
    • TopShop to close all Japanese stores. Link
    • FedEx express to increase ground fleet capacity in India. Link
    • Alibaba tries out drone delivery in China. Link
    • Line buys Stripe-like Japanese startup WebPay to boost its payments service. Link
    • Qualcomm fined $975M by China. Link
  • [CA]
    • Target and landlords in court battle over sale of leases. Link
  • [EU]
    • Hem acquires online design portal, Discipline.eu. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • ApplePay and JetBlue strike first airline deal. Link
  • Adidas gets ready for Kanye collaboration with new sneaker reservation app. Link
  • iOS 9 leak reveals Apple’s new focus. Link
  • Eight out of ten retailers increasing mobile budgets in 2015. Link
  • Michael Kors to join wearable tech movement. Link
  • Apple’s iOS9 pegged as a stability update, which is way better than a feature frenzy. Link
  • Apple grabs 93% of the handset industry’s profit. Link
  • Samsung to launch a new Galaxy smartphone on March 1st. Link

Other

  • Uber opening robotics research facility in Pittsburgh to build self-driving cars. Link
  • Apple to open giant data center in Arizona. Link
  • Q&A with Amazon Prime boss on the program’s 10th Link

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 2.2.2015

Hi there! Below is a recap I compiled of industry news over the last week.  All sources can be found in the hyper-linked text after the headline.

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Kate Spade Saturday and Jack Spade to shut down all stores. Link
  • Crew loses 2nd major exec in three weeks. Link
  • H&M profit rises 12% in Q4. Link
  • Yahoo spins off $40B stake in Alibaba. Link
  • H&M is opening 400 stores this year and launching a new beauty range. Link
  • Why Target’s new plus-sized line could redefine $17.5B underserved market. Link
  • Amazon rewards sellers who offer free shipping. Link
  • Google’s BrandLab wants to save businesses (and Google). Link
  • Gap’s creative director Rebekka Bay exits. Link
  • Forever 21 coming to Fifth Avenue. Link
  • Rachel Zoe to launch maternity line. Link
  • Apple reigns supreme when it comes to making money, but now faces even greater expectations. Link
  • Coach shuffles execs, sales fall again. Link
  • Under Armour taps former Nike exec to head footwear business. Link
  • Adobe is suing Forever 21 for pirating Photoshop. Link
  • Amazon’s latest foray: back end email systems. Link
  • AOL lays off 150 staffers. Link
  • Conde Nast unveils branded content shop powered by editors. Link
  • com co-founder to launch artsy online marketplace. Link
  • Jones New York to close stores, end wholesale business. Link
  • Ikea looks to catch up with online retail. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Lyft rolls out national marketing campaign. Link
  • Snapchat’s new Discover feature puts news and entertainment a swipe away from your stories. Link
  • Starbucks, Match want you to have your first date at Starbucks. Link
  • Twitter adds group messaging and video recording. Link
  • Pinterest pushes ads further toward users’ personal spaces. Link
  • TMobile, Macy’s among first advertisers on Snapchat Discover. Link
  • McDonald’s gives away every product advertised during Super Bowl. Link
  • The average Super Bowl commercial could generate as much as $10M in ad value. Link
  • Why Nordstrom’s digital strategy works. Link
  • Twitter displays its value with instant timeline for new users. Link
  • P&G’s #LikeAGirl ad scored the most social buzz during the Super Bowl. Link
  • Vine introduces Vine Kids. Link

Start-ups:

  • Fresh Monk secures new funding round for crowdfunded tshirts. Link
  • ClosetSpace digitizes your closet, builds outfits and offers fashion tips. Link
  • With $40M in recent funding, Classpass hires execs. Link
  • Mobile loyalty startup Lootsie raises $3.5M. Link
  • Minibar offers on-demand booze delivery in 13 cities. Link

International:

  • [APAC]
    • Apple China sales top $16B in Q1. Link
    • H&M to launch in three new Asian markets. Link
    • Free Shipping is the default for Korea. Link
    • Alibaba to launch fund for Hong Kong startups. Link
    • Apple ranks as China’s most desirable luxury brand. Link
    • com follows its own path. Link
  •  [CA]
    • Uniqlo to open Canadian stores. Link
    • Sears Canada names acting president – CEO to top management job. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Facebook tests beacons to feed users local content. Link
  • Apple Watch to ship in April. Link
  • The next step for the mobile wallet? Loyalty programs. Link
  • FTC says internet-connected devices pose big risks. Link
  • Google Now will suck in outside app data. Link
  • Loyalty programs see boost as they go mobile. Link
  • Apple stores to act more like jewelry stores for upcoming gold Apple Watch. Link
  • iPad experiences 18% drop in sales, 22% fall in revenue. Link
  • Android breaks 1B mark for 2014, 81% of all 1.3B smartphones shipped. Link