Weekly Industry Brief: 4.30.2018

And just like that, it’s the last day of April. Here is your brief of industry news from the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • T-Mobile and Sprint to merge.  Fast Company
  • Old Navy to open 60 stores this year, driving Gap’s growth.  CNBC
  • Amazon’s fiscal discipline pays off as it more than doubles profit.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Apple poised to move further into media.  The Guardian
  • Amazon will now deliver packages to the trunk of your car.  The Verge
  • Ford cuts sedans and marketing spend.  AdAge
  • Amazon breaks $50B in revenues in Q1.  WWD
  • Coach, Fenty and Nike cut the middle man and sell straight to consumer.  USA Today
  • How private equity is boosting some brands and crushing others.  Fortune
  • Adidas is testing how to mass-produce custom shoes like those it makes for elite athletes.  Quartz
  • 12 retailers on the brink of bankruptcy in 2018.  Retail Dive
  • Can online retail solve its packaging problem? Fast Company
  • Gen Z is about to kill cash.  Retail Dive
  • WalMart sells its UK supermarket business in $10B deal.  CNN
  • Retailers benefiting the most from the tax cut.  Forbes
  • GNC is closing 200 stores.  Bloomberg
  • Abercrombie CEO details the brand’s global growth plans.  Business Insider
  • American Apparel relaunches online globally.  Fashionista

Marketing and Social Media

  • Is video the future of online shopping? Business of Fashion
  • Amazon now has a multi-billion dollar advertising business.  CNBC
  • Twitter sold Cambridge Analytica researcher public data access.  AdAge
  • Facebook is conquering commerce in the developing world.  Bloomberg
  • Why retailers are trading points for experiences when it comes to loyalty programs.  AdWeek
  • The mad dash to buy vintage clothes on Instagram.  Bloomberg
  • Pepsi eyes investors for Creators League Studio.  AdAge
  • Four ways sneaker brands successfully build hype.  High Snobiety
  • In fashion’s hype-driven era, Hermes is doing its own thing.  Dazed
  • Why Instagram managed to remain unscathed amid Facebook scandals.  Digiday

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Pinterest is using AI to filter beauty searches by skin tone.  Glossy
  • The makers of AI influencer Lil Miquela receive $6M in funding.  Hypebeast
  • Alexa will soon gain a memory, converse more naturally and automatically launch skills.  TechCrunch
  • Tile and Comcast now let you find lost items through voice search on your TV.  Venture Beat
  • Adobe acquires Uru, an AI startup that embeds ads in videos.  Venture Beat
  • Domino’s adds AI to phoned-in orders.  MediaPost
  • BigCommerce raises $64M to power commerce sites.  TechCrunch

International

  • Amazon plays catch-up in Brazil as local rivals thrive.  Reuters
  • How China leapfrogged ahead of the United States in the finch race.  PIIE
  • Muslim fashion is a $254B market – but big brands can’t crack it.  Fast Company
  • Alibaba launches blockchain technology to improve supply chain integrity and enhance trust in platform.  The Drum
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WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 4.23.2018

Happy Monday! Here is a recap of articles I’ve been reading over the last week.  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headlines.

Brands and Retailers

  • AT&T is launching a $15 TV streaming subscription.  The Verge
  • Glossier is officially opening up shop in Los Angeles.  Fashionista
  • Former Nike designer launches Wone, a minimalist luxury activewear label to watch.  Fashionista
  • Amazon’s next conquest will be apparel.  TechCrunch
  • The retail industry is focusing on customer experience and convenience to win in ecommerce.  AdWeek
  • The dawn of micro-merch.  The New York Times
  • Best Buy to sell Amazon’s new Fire TV Edition smart TVs in stores. Retail Dive
  • Starbucks to close nationwide for facia-bias training.  The New York Times
  • WalMart to launch redesigned website in May.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Net-a-Porter founder launches venture capital investment fund.  The New York Times
  • Packaged foods boost Amazon’s grocery sales.  Bloomberg
  • Facebook is forming a team to design its own chips.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon eyes a move into home shopping TV with possible Evine buy.  TechCrunch
  • As customers turn cold, Victoria’s Secret faces a reckoning.  Glossy
  • Hasbro bets on Walmart, Target and Alibaba as sales implode in wake of Toys R Us closure.  Fortune

Marketing and Social Media

  • Google beats expectations again with $31.15B in revenue.  TechCrunch
  • Snapchat introduces three new capabilities of its augmented reality lenses with ‘Shoppable AR.’  AdWeek
  • Amazon now has 100M paid Prime subscriptions.  AdAge
  • How three brands brought tech to life at Coachella.  AdWeek
  • P&G ends its year-long YouTube ban.  AdAge
  • Facebook to show pre-roll video ads in more places.  AdAge
  • Revolve’s co-founder on why Coachella and influencers are central to the firm’s $1B revenue.  Forbes
  • Social media use is increasing despite privacy fears.  The Next Web
  • How Teen Vogue is reinventing traditional magazine covers in a digital-only landscape.  Glossy
  • Twitter’s rise from the ashes.  Seeking Alpha
  • How Juicy Couture and sister brands are automating their in-house influencer campaigns.  Glossy

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Meet 9 startups investors have lit up to take the cannabis industry higher.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon is reportedly working on its first home robot.  The Verge
  • How Apple will use AR to reinvent the human-computer interface.  Fast Company 
  • The beginner’s guide to how blockchain could change the ethical fashion game.  Fashionista
  • McKinsey’s latest AI research predicts it could create trillions worth of value someday.  Recode
  • You can now buy drinks, snacks and even hangover cures in the back of your Uber.  CNBC

International

  • Online retailers go offline in China.  The Economist
  • The journey to an agile organization at Zalando.  McKinsey
  • Alibaba’s TMall woos luxury brands to sell to its invite-only loyalty club for big spenders.  Glossy
  • Mantra acquires wearables maker Witworks.  LiveMint
  • Casper plans brick-and-mortar push into Canada. Retail Dive
  • WalMart in advanced talks to acquire Amazon’s India rival, Flipkart.  Recode

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 4.16.2018

Happy Monday! Here is your quick scan of industry news from the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Nordstrom opening a New York store as other retailers close theirs.  The New York Times
  • H&M announces Moschino collaboration.  Vogue
  • Amazon expands Prime Wardrobe.  RetailDive
  • What beauty players can teach the consumer sector about digital disruption.  McKinsey
  • Toys ‘R’ Us gets 11th hour bid from Little Tikes’ Larian.  Bloomberg
  • Levi’s CFO turns to robots to help keep the books.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Gap follows J.Crew in giving up on the bridal-wear industry.  Bloomberg
  • At Lands’ End, gone are the stilettos and trendy clothes that didn’t fit the brand’s customers.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Apple’s business is now being powered with clean energy.  Bloomberg
  • Domino’s will now delivery to 150,000 parks, pools and other non-traditional locations.  TechCrunch
  • Why Sephora merged its digital and physical retail teams into one department.  Glossy
  • Estee Lauder adds two women CEOs to its board as it nears gender parity.  Fortune
  • Walmart recruits Postdates to help grocery delivery push.  Fortune
  • The retail industry is focusing on customer experience and convenience to win in ecommerce.  AdWeek
  • Netflix stock skyrockets on yet another subscriber growth spurt.  Fast Company
  • Target brings same-day delivery of in-store purchases to five cities.  Engadget
  • T-Mobile fined $40M by FTC for inserting fake ring tones.  Fast Company
  • Sears to close more stores.  Business Insider

Marketing and Social Media

  • Netflix may spend $300M to buy a billboard company.  AdWeek
  • Hermes plays a hipster tune.  The New York Times
  • Go young, go digital: Gucci and Louis Vuitton have similarly successful playbooks.  Glossy
  • HighSnobiety experiments with a multimedia vertical stories format.  Digiday
  • Bumble ditches Facebook login requirement.  Fortune
  • Women use their phones for way more than just communicating.  AdWeek
  • Pandora vs. Spotify: ad tech streams into audio.  AdAge
  • Snap is testing commerce with Snapchat Discover publishers.  Digiday
  • Abercrombie & Fitch is digging into its archives to gain ground with Gen Z.  Glossy
  • How a teen and Wendy’s proved that social superfine work.  Digiday

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • LVMH backs luxury startups.  Reuters
  • Colgate unveils smart toothbrush.  The Wall Street Journal
  • General Assembly sells to Adecco for $413M.  TechCrunch
  • The RealReal hunts for more funding amid IPO buzz.  RetailDive
  • Startup subscription service Billie raises $6M.  RetailDive
  • Adobe acquires voice interface platform Sayspring.  TechCrunch
  • US early-stage investment share shrinks as China surges.  TechCrunch
  • Google’s new VR tours let you experience imperiled cultural sites around the world.  Fast Company
  • How JetBlue is defining the future of travel and hospitality through JetBlue Technology Ventures.  Fast Company

International

  • Saudi Arabia just had its first Fashion Week.  The New York Times
  • Gap to open 3-4 new stores in India this year.  Economic Times
  • Alibaba is the latest Chinese internet giant to test self-driving cars.  Engadget

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 4.10.2018

Happy TUESDAY! Start your day with some industry news. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Spotify’s Wall Street debut is a success.  The New York Times
  • Why the QVC model still works for beauty brands.  Glossy
  • ASOS has ambitions for big expansion.  The Guardian
  • Designer brands are joining the direct-to-consumer fray.  Glossy
  • Nine West may be heading for bankruptcy.  Fast Company
  • Cult men’s brief brand Tommy John just launched a line of women’s undies.  Fast Company
  • Warehouses are now worth more than offices, thanks to Amazon.  Bloomberg
  • Resale is expected to be bigger than fast fashion within 10 years.  Fashionista
  • How InStyle is cashing in on beauty ecommerce.  Glossy
  • Some Amazon Key features including keyless entry, go nationwide.  CNet
  • Amazon now sells more than 70 of its own private-label brands.  Recode
  • Anthropologie CEO leaving this month.  WWD
  • Nine West files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  USA Today
  • Nordstrom opening a New York store as other retailers close theirs.  New York Times 
  • Amazon spent nearly $23B on R&D last year – more than any other U.S. company.  Recode
  • Paypal rolling out banking products.  TechCrunch

Marketing and Social Media

  • Google and Target issue first voice-activated coupon.  AdWeek
  • Bricks and clicks: How Instagram is changing physical retail.  Forbes
  • Amazon could lead in search ad business by 2020.  Mediapost
  • How Tumi is using AI in marketing campaigns, online and in stores.  Glossy
  • Polyvore acquired by global fashion platform SSENSE.  Fashionista
  • Snapchat cashes Houseparty group video chat app.  Adage
  • Adobe releases State of Digital Advertising 2018 research. Forbes
  • More targeted ads are coming to your TV.  AdWeek
  • Facebook really wants people to use Stories.  AdWeek

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Tradesy acquired a closet service to compete with The RealReal.  Glossy
  • Virtual reality, now with the sense of touch.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Walmart in takeover talks with pharmacy startup.  Bloomberg
  • Postdates launching pickup feature.  TechCrunch
  • 2.1B consumers will use mobile payments by 2019.  RetailDive
  • How Mobike’s founder turned a crazy idea into a $3B startup.  Bloomberg
  • Instacart raises another $150M.  TechCrunch
  • Alibaba is becoming a major investor in facial recognition technology.  Quartz

International

  • ShopShops aims at Chinese consumers via live streaming.  The Wall Street Journal
  • In China, the sharing economy stretches to fashion for millennials.  SCMP
  • These seven international retailers want to make a splash in the US.  CNBC
  • Tencent shows off their vision for the future of unmanned retail.  Jing Daily
  • Southeast Asia fashion startup Zilingo continues meteoric rise with $54M Series C  TechCrunch
  • Hong Kong money to help online fashion disrupter Moda Operandi break into the Asian market.  SCMP
  • Taco Bell plans explosive Australian growth as sales jump.  AdAge

WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF: 4.2.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • AdoreMe to expand brick-and-mortar presence in challenge to Victoria’s Secret.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Bobbi Brown is ready to slay the wellness industry.  The New York Times
  • eBay Fashion aims to reposition in the face of competition.  Glossy
  • Here is who is winning the retail race, and it’s not inside the mall.  CNBC
  • H&M has a problem: $4.3B in unsold clothes.  The New York Times
  • Kohl’s bets on smaller stores to fuel its growth.  CNBC
  • Walmart may be acquiring health insurer Humana.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon may launch a bank account aimed at teens.  TechCrunch
  • Bumble is suing Match Group for $400M for fraudulently obtaining trade secrets.  TechCrunch
  • Rite Aid bid for Albertsons wins U.S. approval.  Bloomberg
  • The Sephora effect: How the retailer wields its power to boost new beauty brands.  Glossy
  • Ikea’s plan to leave the big blue box store behind.  Fast Company
  • Apple insists the iPhone is built in the U.S.  Recode
  • Lululemon stretches its digital marketing wings.  AdAge
  • Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren betting on denim revival.  Business of Fashion
  • Saks, Lord & Taylor report data breach affecting 5 million cards.   CNN Money
  • Toys ‘R’ Us shuts down web operations.  Fortune

Marketing and Social Media

  • Snapchat tests ‘Connected Apps’ as people choose to delete Facebook.  Mashable
  • As fallout from Cambridge Analytica hits Facebook, marketers shrug.  AdAge
  • Warby Parker and Arby’s team up to create WArby’s this April Fools’ Day.  AdWeek
  • IoT devices could be the next customer data frontier.  TechCrunch
  • LinkedIn is introducing auto-playing video ads.  TechCrunch
  • Facebook will cut off access to third party data for ad targeting.  TechCrunch
  • The number of OTT-only U.S. homes has tripled over the last five years.  AdWeek
  • Waze officially launches its ad program for small businesses.  TechCrunch
  • Instagram GIFs are back to Stories with stricter moderation.  The Verge
  • Facebook is investing $1B in small-business initiatives this year.  Inc
  • Amazon Spark is not taking off with brands, agencies.  Digiday
  • Influencers are getting long-term contracts that treat them more like traditional talent.  Digiday
  • The six new companies in the Twitter official partner program.  AdWeek
  • Social commerce is here, but is it ready for the mainstream consumer? AdWeek
  • Publicis Media launches global commerce practice.  AdWeek
  • TV’s share of ad spend expected to continue its decline this year.  AdWeek
  • Adobe announces it’s helping companies track people across devices to result in better ad quality.  Time
  • Shorter, skip-able ads coming to YouTube.  TechCrunch

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Google Home drops prices.  Forbes
  • Nike acquires customer data analytics company Zodiac.  MarketWatch
  • A new wave of beauty apps is coming for your skin-care routine.  Fashionista
  • Why Walmart is testing robots in its stores.  Fortune
  • How Shyp sunk: the rise and fall of an on-demand startup.  Fast Company
  • Goop raises $50M in series C round.  TechCrunch
  • New Apple Watch is coming this fall with larger displays, analyst says.  Fast Company

International

  • Farfetched CEO on the Chinese partners catapulting them ahead.  Jing Daily
  • Alibaba bets big on local delivery in a $9.5B deal.  Fortune
  • Alipay tempts Europe’s retailers with Chinese tourists’ massive spending power.  Quartz
  • Alibaba’s auto vending machine.  L2 Inc