WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 4.13.2015

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

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Modcloth test drives offline retail, starting with an LA pop-up. Link
  • Millennials say Amazon provides the best customer service. Link
  • American Apparel hires new menswear designer. Link
  • Apple stores (and workers) get makeover ahead of Apple Watch launch. Link
  • Oyster launches e-bookstore with a la carte service. Link
  • Farfetch’s global platform play. Link
  • Chanel finally admits that its future includes ecommerce. Link
  • Fast Retailing lifts profit forecast 20% on strong Uniqlo sales. Link
  • Amazon gets green light from US regulators for new drone test. Link
  • Woolworths hires Pharrell to ‘make sustainability cool.’ Link
  • Amazon seeks to shut down paid reviewed sites. Link
  • Walmart and Target being crowded out online by Amazon Prime. Link
  • Even Etsy’s IPO process is artisanal. Link
  • eBay, PayPal offer new details about split. Link
  • Missguided unveils plans to sell through Nordstrom. Link
  • Lululemon’s kids store may be a sign we have reached ‘peak yoga pants.’ Link
  • Walgreens closing 200 stores. Link
  • Nordstrom tests in-store partnership with online shoe seller. Link
  • Victoria’s Secret is getting into fast fashion. Link
  • Coach enters exclusive fragrance agreement with Interparfums. Link
  • Crate and Barrel takes comprehensive approach to ecommerce. Link
  • Craigslist faces demise as vertical marketplaces rise. Link
  • Instacart is quietly working with third parties to outsource some of its deliveries. Link
  • Uniqlo, H&M, Zara, Forever 21 take over malls as retail’s old guard fades. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Study says consumers join more loyalty programs but activity is down. Link
  • Did Lord & Taylor’s Instagram influence campaign not follow FTC guidelines? Link
  • U.S. teens’ social media activity is diversifying. Link
  • Youtube confirms plans for ad-free, subscription based service. Link
  • Facebook launches dedicated web interface for Messenger. Link
  • Twitter is testing the ability to pin apps to brand profiles. Link
  • Twitter replaces ‘Discover’ tool with detailed trending topics. Link
  • LinkedIn raises its game in social media with Elevate, an app to suggest and share stories. Link
  • Facebook is testing a new trending section with five news categories. Link
  • Twitter’s evolving plans to make money from its data stream. Link
  • See the first brands to use Instagram’s carousel ads. Link
  • Growth of ad blocking adds to publishers’ worries. Link

Start-ups:

  • Lobster wants to be Google of user generated content. Link
  • Online consignment firm The RealReal secures $40M in funding. Link
  • Amazon acquired Shoefitr to improve how it sells footwear online. Link
  • Bedrock Venture is betting big on tech-enabled early stage startups. Link
  • The ‘Netflix of books’ hopes to open up the e-book market. Link

International:

  • [APAC]
    • JD.com sees growth in warehouse services after Uniqlo agreement. Link
    • Uber launches auto rickshaw service in India, allows cash payments for first time. Link
    • HotelQuickly beats HotelTonight to Asian market. Link
    • US overtakes China as world’s best place for ecommerce. Link
    • Indian ecommerce sites altering returns policies. Link
    • China’s export numbers miss expectations. Link
  • [CA]
    • Michael Kors launches Canadian ecommerce website. Link
    • Saks’ ecommerce, outlets, and Canada roll-out set to lift Hudson’s Bay. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Apple’s iOS 8.3 rolls out with a new world of emoji and bug fixes. Link
  • Google Wallet adds new integrations with Shopify, Seamless, Dunkin Donuts and more. Link
  • Macy’s app boosts omni-channel prowess with nearby pickup push. Link
  • Apple Watch and Selfridges: a timely partnership. Link
  • American Express lab is testing facial recognition technology. Link
  • Flipkart’s move to dump mobile site could hit Google. Link
  • Apple Watch pre-orders hit almost 1 Million on first day. Link

Other:

  • Isabel Murant talks high-waisted jeans and why she doesn’t have a muse. Link
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