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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