Weekly Industry Brief: 1.31.2017

Here is your industry brief of news I’ve collected from around the web over the last week.  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Busy week – lots of highlights as many retailers wrapped up another fiscal year.  Cheers!


  • ASOS introduces Big and Tall lines for men. Link
  • Drop shipping looks set to go mainstream as more retailers get on board. Link
  • Retailers haven’t perfected buy online, pick up in store yet. Link
  • Coach plans on expanding its footwear business. Link
  • Ikea’s open source sofa invites customization. Link
  • Why Nordstrom is experimenting with in-store pop-ups. Link
  • Why the online marketplace revolution keeps gaining momentum. Link
  • Coach and Rodarte team up for collaboration. Link
  • How Skin Inc. became one of the most innovative beauty brands. Link
  • How retailers should think about online versus in-store pricing. Link
  • DKNY taps Farfetch to revitalize ecommerce strategy. Link
  • Footwear company Birkenstock jumps into bed business. Link
  • com shutters operations. Link
  • Amazon to build air hub for Prime Air cargo planes. Link
  • iPhone and Apple Watch set sales records. Link
  • Abercrombie & Fitch continues to rebuild with revival of Gilly Hicks. Link
  • WalMart takes on Amazon Prime with new, cheaper, two-day shipping option. Link
  • Target sets sights on higher jewelry sales with SugarFix by BaubleBar. Link
  • How Warby Parker collaborations drive the brand’s social impact. Link
  • Plus size retailers are shifting focus to in-store experience. Link
  • Opening Ceremony swaps the runway for the ballet stage. Link
  • Banana Republic’s president is out as the Gap brand struggles to find footing. Link
  • The demise of the department store experience. Link
  • Under Armour debuts ‘made in the U.S.’ gear. Link
  • H&M rolls back on new store openings. Link


  • Facebook, Snapchat deals produce meager results for news outlets. Link
  • How millennials are changing retail patterns. Link
  • Facebook launches a marketing mix modeling portal for comparing Facebook ads to TV, print & more. Link
  • Snapchat is in talks for big ad deals ahead of IPO. Link
  • Lady Gaga is the face of Tiffany & Co’s latest campaign. Link
  • The 14-year-olds spending thousands on streetwear. Link
  • Inside Instagram’s reinvention. Link
  • Step inside the YouTube-fueled, teenaged extravaganza that is Beautycon. Link
  • Superstar influencers: China’s Internet celebrities at heart of Alibaba’s growth. Link
  • Facebook is changing its trending topics section again, removing personalization. Link
  • Facebook is copying yet another popular Snapchat feature: Stories. Link

Startup/Emerging Tech

  • Starbucks can now take your order via voice or message through its iOS app and Amazon Alexa. Link
  • How your customer service strategy will change beginning in 2017. Link
  • Gap envisions a future with augmented-reality ‘dressing rooms.’ Link


  • Facebook is trying everything to re-enter China – and it’s not working. Link
  • How high-end denim brand Evisu finds a fit with web shoppers outside Asia. Link
  • Xiaomi sold 250,000 smartphones in 10 minutes in India. Link
  • This man is covertly bringing streetwear to China. Link
  • UK consumer confidence remains high. Link
  • Lagging behind Zara and H&M in India, Gap finally looks to cut prices by 10-15%. Link
  • Uniqlo to go solo in India, first store likely by 2018. Link
  • Amazon has an India problem. Link
  • Alibaba’s million-job boast reflects slower China outlook. Link
  • Chinese New Year shoppers expand their horizons. Link
  • Is this the Chinese luxury mall of the future? Link




Quick Hits: The Year of the Rooster

On Saturday January 28th, the Year of the Rooster officially began.  The fashion and (mostly luxury) retail set took to Instagram and 5th Avenue this weekend to celebrate the Chinese New Year in beautiful campaigns featuring, what else? Roosters and lots of red. It was hard to miss this year and I have a hunch that next year we’ll see even more, with similar campaigns popping up in the mainstream (and on Main Street).

David Yurman and Coach delivered holistic campaigns by putting the Chinese New Year features on the homepage of their websites as well as in dedicated emails and in the case of Coach, a mini animated film made just for the festival.  Michael Kors nailed its Instagram posts by enlisting Leaf Greener, a Chinese fashion influencer.  And the best window displays on 5th Avenue? I’d say a tie between Saks and Cartier. And by the way, Saks took this as an opportunity to co-market to the new movie The Great Wall. Smart.

Here is a recap:


David Yurman started featuring content on its global website a few weeks before the festival began.



Coach.com mixed product and animations in its campaign.









Michael Kors smartly enlisted a Chinese influencer to help celebrate.






Lord & Taylor featured the festival campaign in windows and in the main entrance.


Even the NBA Store wanted in on the Chinese New Year celebrations.


Saks Fifth Avenue delivered this chic campaign window.


Other windows at Saks showcased co-op ads for the upcoming Matt Damon movie, The Great Wall.

Weekly Industry Brief: 1.23.2017

Hi! Happy Monday. Here is your recap of news I’ve collected over the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.


  • To win back customers, Fendi thinks small. Link
  • Mall owners are finding relief from an unlikely source: online retailers. Link
  • Microsoft making late entry in ebooks to take on Amazon. Link
  • BCBG to close stores, restructure as online shift takes toll. Link
  • Five trends that will change the way your customers will shop in 2017. Link
  • Why Amazon has launched a new credit card for Prime users. Link
  • Kate Spade attracts interest from Coach, Michael Kors. Link
  • Victoria’s Secret looks to uncover supply chain issues. Link
  • Amazon to add three more fulfillment centers. Link
  • Sprint buys 33% of Jay Z’s music streaming service Tidal. Link
  • Cassette tape sales rise 74% in 2016. Link
  • Yahoo sale to Verizon pushed back. Link
  • Louis Vuitton unveiled collaboration with Supreme at Men’s Fall Show. Link
  • Apple sues Qualcomm. Link
  • Retail malaise puts pressure on chains to shut more stores. Link
  • Nike and Ford caught in crossfire of Trump’s free trade overhaul. Link


  • How fashion brands are using Whatsapp. Link
  • The rise of chatbots and their implication on social media. Link
  • Alibaba to sponsor Olympics and provide official ecommerce platform. Link
  • WeChat’s hot new feature will take time for marketers to figure out. Link
  • Snapchat advertisers can now target users based on offline sales data. Link
  • A+E to build Lifetime as digital women’s brand under ex-Refinery29 editor. Link

Startup/Emerging Tech

  • L’oreal to invest in these five beauty tech startups. Link
  • More photos emerge of Under Armor’s smartwatch with HTC. Link
  • Rocket Internet closes $1B fund, the largest out of Europe to date. Link
  • Rebecca Minkoff announces fashion tech venture capital fund. Link
  • Packaging deals bring Internet of Things to crackers, hairspray and tomato paste. Link
  • Sears turns to AI to help sell tires. Link
  • Robot cards to descend on 10 sites U.S. names as proving grounds. Link


  • Amazon reportedly ends talks to acquire stake in Middle East ecommerce marketplace Souq.com. Link
  • Newegg plans to launch online marketplace in China. Link
  • Chinese are celebrating Lunar New Year by escaping China. Link

Weekly Industry Brief: 1.17.2017

Hi! Here is some industry news I’ve collected over the last week. Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.


  • Top 7 retailers to watch in 2017. Link
  • L’oreal to acquire three U.S. skin-care brands for $1.3B. Link
  • Cult backpack brand Herschel gets into apparel. Link
  • Gildan buys American Apparel at bankruptcy auction. Link
  • Amazon is planning to hire 100,000 full-time employees. Link
  • Cole Haan collaborates with Mountain Hardware, prAna and more for a women’s lifestyle collection. Link
  • Apple takes first step to expanding its US manufacturing footprint. Link
  • American Apparel to close L.A. headquarters and close all 110 U.S. stores. Link
  • Nordstrom names Innovation Chief to bring digital tech to full-line stores. Link
  • How Yoox and Net-a-porter is supporting fashion tech education. Link
  • Holiday season sales grew eight times faster online than in stores. Link
  • Cadillac unveils ultimate upscale car sharing program. Link
  • Pandora is laying off 7% of its US workforce. Link
  • J.C. Penney to open Nike outlets in more than 600 stores. Link
  • Apple said to be seriously pursuing Netflix-style scripted TV and movies. Link
  • Tiffany’s feels the Trump effect on 5th Link
  • Online consignment shops clean up after the holidays. Link
  • Michael Kors, Prada skimp on new handbag designs. Link


  • Soulcycle, Casper and Drybar reveal the secrets to their cult brands’ success. Link
  • Instagram accounts for 92% of brand social interactions. Link
  • Snapchat will make London its new international HQ. Link
  • DVF rebrands with new logo, monogram and brand colors and relaunches website in time for Spring. Link
  • YouTube launches “Super Chat,” a way for creators to make money from their live streams. Link
  • Adidas voted the most relevant brand of 2016. Link
  • Here’s how the new vertical video ads will look inside Instagram Stories. Link
  • Why Snapchat’s new search bar is a welcome sign for brands. Link
  • Twitter is phasing out the “buy” button, will continue to offer donations. Link
  • Vine shuts off sharing, launches Vine Camera. Link

Startup/Emerging Tech

  • LetGo raises $175M to finance its used goods marketplace. Link
  • Intel launches new IoT retail platform, plans $100M retail tech investment. Link
  • Stadium Goods raises $4.6M to sell sought-after sneakers and streetwear. Link
  • Richard Branson’s next big idea: sports festivals. Link
  • Fabletics launches a free Daily Burn-like workout and other perks for members. Link
  • Baidu opens augmented reality lab, begins integrating AR into search. Link


  • Lululemon expands its European presences with a London flagship. Link
  • Alibaba takes big step offline with $2.6B Intime deal. Link
  • Alibaba launches ‘big data anti-counterfeiting alliance’ with Louis Vuitton, Swarovski and more. Link
  • App downloads up 15% in 2016, revenue up 40% thanks to China. Link
  • Apple is increasing the price of apps in the UK by 25% because of Brexit. Link


Weekly Industry Brief: 1.9.2017

Hi! I’m back from holiday (and honeymoon!) and so excited to start this new year. Here is some industry news I’ve collected from the last few weeks. Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.


  • Band of Outsiders is relaunching with a new team and only menswear. Link
  • Boohoo bids $20M for Nasty Gal’s intellectual property. Link
  • How Nike and Adidas are pushing the future of retail. Link
  • Amazon sells out of Echo speakers in midst of holiday rush. Link
  • Yahoo and other breaches drive surge in corporate hacking insurance. Link
  • Kate Spade said to kick off formal sale process next month. Link
  • Zalando looks to China for inspiration. Link
  • Bobbi Brown will leave her namesake makeup brand. Link
  • How H&M is trying to counteract fast fashion with revolutionary recycling. Link
  • Inside the multi-million dollar ugly Christmas sweater industry. Link
  • As last minute shoppers go online, retailers brace for trouble. Link
  • Times Square landlords seek tenants wishing to offer experiences like food and entertainment. Link
  • Macy’s to cut over 10K jobs. Link
  • Amazon’s brick-and-mortar bookstore is coming to Manhattan. Link
  • Modcloth opens brick-and-mortar shop. Link
  • Amazon plans to sell its own line of athletic clothing. Link
  • For the first time, Alibaba sues Taobao merchants over fakes. Link
  • The human cost of next day delivery. Link
  • Sweetgreen going fully cashless in 2017. Link
  • Neiman Marcus withdraws IPO registration. Link
  • The Limited to close all 250 stores. Link
  • Amazon starts flexing muscle in new space: air cargo. Link
  • Sears and Kmart announce store closures. Link
  • Amazon, Forever 21 vying for bankrupt American Apparel. Link
  • Drugs, guns and fake kicks: inside the counterfeit economy. Link


  • Periscope sunk without Twitter’s wings. Link
  • Coach confirms partnership with Selena Gomez. Link
  • The EU has slapped Facebook with an antitrust complaint over its WhatsApp acquisition. Link
  • Who is winning the social media shopping race? Link
  • Neiman Marcus’ powerful personal shopper. Link
  • Snapchat opens research center in China even though it’s banned there. Link
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond tests a membership program. Link

Startup/Emerging Tech

  • How Google used AI to transform Google Translate. Link
  • Rockets of Awesome raises $12.5M. Link
  • Google, Gap test augmented reality shopping. Link
  • Rent-the-Runway raises $60M. Link
  • Amazon flies package to customer in England. Link
  • Apple begins selling AirPod wireless headphones after two months of delays. Link
  • 5 bleeding-edge brands that are infusing retail with artificial intelligence. Link
  • L’Oreal debuts smart brush at CES. Link
  • Samsung’s Gear VR browser gets improved WebVR content support. Link
  • 7-Eleven beats Google and Amazon to the first regular commercial drone delivery service in the U.S. Link
  • Mattel is building an Alexa for kids. Link


  • Reliance forms joint venture with Bally in India. Link
  • Amazon Prime video expands to 200 countries. Link
  • Estee Lauder lower China prices by up to 30%. Link
  • Apple plans first retail store in South Korea. Link
  • American Apparel shuts 12 of its 13 UK stores. Link
  • China faces rising retail vacancy rate. Link
  • Adidas has taken the concept store battle to Stockholm with Europe’s first interactive virtual reality store. Link
  • Amazon plans to add more sellers in key categories in bid to boost market share in India. Link
  • How Unilever reaches rural consumers in emerging markets. Link
  • Apple in discussion to manufacture some of its products in India. Link
  • Prada to close boutique at Peninsula hotel as Hong Kong’s retail slump bites. Link
  • TopShop to open 80 standalone shops in China. Link
  • 12/12 even breaks records in China. Link