Happy Monday! Here is the industry news round-up from the last week. Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Walmart is about to open a technology research center in Plano’s Granite Park.  Dallas News 
  • Nordstrom will start selling Anthropologie home products.  Architectural Digest
  • Sizzling Aerie brand lifts American Eagle.  Seeking Alpha
  • Abercombie’s flagship brand is bouncing back.  Bloomberg
  • L’oreal launches men’s brand with David Beckham.  Bloomberg
  • Blue Apron stock suffers as Weight Watchers gets into meal kits.  TechCrunch
  • Tommy Hilfiger’s bet on instant gratification is paying off.  Business of Fashion
  • At Target, it’s the year of acceleration.  Retail Dive
  • Zara turns to robots as in-store pickups surge. The Wall Street Journal
  • Abercrombie to close 60 more stores.  CNBC
  • Why the toy industry would suffer if Toys ‘R’ Us disappears.  Fortune
  • Netflix eyeing total of about 700 original series in 2018.  Variety

Marketing and Social Media

  • The company that’s taking stoppable video seriously – and driving results.  AdWeek
  • Branded podcasts are the ads people actually want to listen to.  Fast Company
  • Lorde and other US musicians can now start posting on Google.  TechCrunch
  • Google promises publishers an alternative to AMP.  TechCrunch
  • Decoding Chanel’s Gen-Z strategy.  Business of Fashion
  • Twitter might verify everybody to stop bots and fake news.  Fast Company
  • Google is selling off Zagat to restaurant review site The Infatuation.  The Verge
  • The big potential of micro-influencers.  Women’s Wear Daily
  • Facebook’s new tool allows travel brands to shape vacationers’ plans from the start. AdWeek
  • Netflix to introduce mobile previews with vertical video in April.  Variety
  • Snap is reportedly laying off around 100 employees.  TechCrunch
  • 74% of Facebook users visit the site daily and 51% go several times a day.  Marketing Land 
  • Snapchat and Instagram remove Giphy feature due to racial slur GIF.  TechCrunch
  • Facebook has signed a deal to stream 25 afternoon MLB games.  TechCrunch
  • Snapchat’s tagging test could help brands and influencers build their follower numbers.  MarketingLand

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Nordstrom snaps up tech startups to fuel mobile shopping.  Retail Dive
  • Bose is carving out $50M for startups using its new audio-focused AR tech.  TechCrunch
  • Dropbox announces deeper integration with Salesforce ahead of IPO.  TechCrunch
  • Boxed reportedly rejected $400M buyout offer from Kroger. TechCrunch
  • Amazon adds photo confirmation for deliveries.  Retail Dive
  • Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Joe Tsai invest $20M in Rent the Runway.  TechCrunch
  • Now you can have a conversation with Alexa without screaming “Hey, Alexa” for every request.  TechCrunch
  • How L’oreal is using tech to make thousands of custom skin shades.  AdWeek
  • Why Blockchain will survive even if Bitcoin doesn’t.  Wall Street Journal
  • Brands are finally embracing augmented reality, but not without speed bumps.  AdWeek
  • DVF is bringing customization and VR to its flagship store.  Glossy
  • The men’s alternative to Rent the Runway is plotting a $30M expansion to make weddings and job interviews way easier.  Business Insider
  • ASOS’s visual search tool is now available to all of its shoppers.  Engadget


  • Zara to launch New Zealand online store in March.  Business Day
  • Amazon to enter Vietnam in challenge to Alibaba.  Nikkei Asian Review
  • Amazon to expand in India by adding original regional content.  Nasdaq

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