Weekly Industry Brief: 10.16.2017

Here is a recap of news in the retail and ecommerce industry from the last two weeks week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. (P.S. Sorry I missed you last week.  I’m back after a reallyyyyyyy awesome week of vacation in Italy.  Work/life balance, work hard/play hard, etc.!)

Brands and Retailers

  • Holiday sales forecasts are rosy, but not for all retailers. The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon said to be testing its own delivery service. TechCrunch
  • Nordstrom no longer exploring going private. Fashionista
  • Ikea to test selling products via third-party websites. The Wall Street Journal
  • Ikea plans full-range town center showrooms. Reuters
  • S. retail sales rose 1.6% in September. The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon welcomes teens with new parent-controlled shopping allowance. The Wall Street Journal
  • Wal-Mart plans further cost cuts as competition with Amazon intensifies. The Wall Street Journal
  • How Macy’s is turning beauty store BlueMercury into its secret weapon. Fortune
  • Amazon’s luxury retail problem. Fox Business
  • Reformation is launching a jeans line with over 40 different pieces. Bustle
  • Gucci bans fur, joining others in seeking alternatives. Reuters
  • Amazon getting into private label sportswear. Bloomberg
  • Coach changes its name to Tapestry. The Wall Street Journal
  • Frambridge teamed up for Target to bring custom framing to more people. Fast Company
  • Rent the Runway chases the fast-fashion shopper. The Wall Street Journal
  • Third Love spent a year designing a bra you can sleep in. Fast Company
  • What goes into making Everlane’s earth-friendly $68 pair of jeans. Bloomberg
  • AIM, AOL’s iconic instant messenger service is shutting down after 20 years. Recode

Marketing and Social Media

  • Instagram adds polling stickers to stories. The Verge
  • Snap blows lid on its own surprise AR announcement. Gizmodo
  • Gap is selling subscription boxes for baby clothes. CNBC
  • Snap unveils brand partnerships and context cards. Reuters

Startup and Emerging Tech

  • Net-a-porter poised to launch AI picking service. Retail Gazette
  • Alibaba to spend $15B on innovation projects with new research lab. Bloomberg
  • Apple quietly acquires computer vision startup regaind. TechCrunch
  • Amazon’s Alexa can now recognize different voices and give personalized response. The Verge
  • Manufacturers are making devices increasingly difficult for consumers to fix. The Economist

International

  • Instacart is expanding to Canada in Amazon battle. The Wall Street Journal
  • American jewelry chain Alex and Ani to open first store in the UK. Retail Gazette
  • Ikea puts Latin America, Southeast Asia markets in its sights. Bloomberg
  • Near-record crowds push Uniqlo Canada sales above expectations. Bloomberg
  • JD.com launches luxury platform. Business of Fashion
  • How China’s shopping malls survive and thrive in the ecommerce age. Forbes
  • Mango opens first store in partnership with Myntra in India. Live Mint
  • Amazon gears up for greater presence in Brazil. Bloomberg
  • Amazon to open pop-up bar in Tokyo. Retail Dive
  • Sears Canada approves plan to liquidate most of retail chain’s assets. The Wall Street Journal
  • Flipkart launches private label large appliances category. Live Mint
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