Weekly Industry Brief: 5.26.2015

Hope everyone in the US enjoyed a long weekend! Below is a recap of industry highlights over the last week.  Sources can be found in the hyper-linked text after the headline.

Brand/Retailer:

  • FAO Schwarz’s Manhattan store to close in July as rents rise. Link
  • Target to focus on fresh, healthy foods. Link
  • Etsy plunges 13% after reporting its first-quarter financial performance. Link
  • WordPress sets its sights on ecommerce. Link
  • Net-a-porter is still in the red but losing a lot less money. Link
  • eBay preps Amazon Prime competitor. Link
  • Kate Spade partners with startup Everpurse to sell iPhone-charging bags. Link
  • Amazon Prime Now adds local stores in Manhattan. Link
  • Gap’s brand revival may take a few more seasons. Link
  • Fast fashion has completely disrupted apparel retail. Link
  • Retailers digitize the fitting room experience. Link
  • Kohl’s to open off-price outlet. Link
  • Target goes upscale. Link
  • American Eagle launching new clothing brand to lure back teens. Link
  • Anthropologie’s dresses miss tests loyalty. Link
  • H&M to open biggest store yet in Herald Square. Link
  • Marissa Webb’s first designs for Banana Republic aren’t hitting the mark with shoppers. Link
  • Gap meets estimates as Old Navy helps prop up retailer. Link
  • Ann Inc. tops 1Q profit forecasts. Link

Marketing/Social:

  • Google adds tweets to mobile search results. Link
  • Pinterest unveils its first video-like ad and new ad pricing models. Link
  • Spotify launches video streaming. Link
  • Mondelez bets big on ecommerce with shoppable ads and ‘buy now’ buttons. Link
  • Bitly launches audience intel to give marketers more data on how content is shared. Link
  • Google’s mobile buy button is an Instant Articles for retailers. Link
  • Google wants YouTube viewers to shop while they watch. Link
  • Pinterest bolsters ads with cinematic pins. Link
  • Instagram’s cool questioned as it starts emailing users with ‘highlights.’ Link

Start-ups:

  • Flipkart is valued at $15B after latest funding. Link
  • Booze on-demand service Drizly lands $13M to expand. Link
  • Izberg marketplace turns any website into an ecommerce marketplace. Link
  • Mode Media (formerly Glam Media) raises $30M for lifestyle media publishing platform. Link
  • 6Tribes is a social networking app that wants to make tribes of ‘foodies’ and ‘coffee geeks.’ Link

International:

  • Singapore’s postal service reinvents itself for the digital age. Link
  • Expedia sells majority stake in Chinese partner eLong for $671M. Link
  • eBay plots European growth with click-and-collect expansion. Link
  • China cuts import tax on clothes and other goods. Link
  • Alibaba’s latest gambit in fighting fakes: foster local brands. Link

Mobile/Emerging Tech:

  • Messaging app Line is testing a music streaming service. Link
  • PayPal’s instant checkout now works with bigcommerce, no longer requires app. Link
  • Target will roll out RFID price tags to improve inventory management. Link
  • Fetch offers AI-powered Apple Watch app. Link
  • Apple’s new streaming service might cause delay in Apple TV launch. Link
  • Montblanc to Apple: Our Swiss smartwatch will outlast yours. Link

Misc.:

  • Conde Nast launches fellowship program in the wake of internships. Link
  • Disney’s research lab figures out how to put words in your mouth. Link
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