Weekly Industry Brief: 5.6.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • Online retailer Sense opens brick-and-mortar.  Glossy
  • Amazon studies body sizes to get that perfect clothing fit.  Wall Street Journal
  • Blue Apron turns to Costco as customer growth slows.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Apple has already built its next big business.  Fortune
  • Sale spikes continue for Estee Lauder.  WWD
  • Vitamins are trendy.  Vitamin stores are not.  Racked
  • Birchbox has sold majority ownership to one of its hedge fund investors after sale talks with QVC fell through.  Recode
  • Pandora and Spotify surprise investors.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon launches Prime Book Box, a $23 kids’ book selection.  TechCrunch
  • Nestle bets $7B on Starbucks to revive coffee sales.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon’s share of all retail sales could reach nearly 10% in two years.  CNBC
  • Online spending passes $100B for the first time.  RetailDive

Marketing and Social Media

  • Under Armour launches real-time Steph Curry trivia game.  Fast Company
  • Instagram is starting to take payments – but not for products just yet.  Fortune
  • Hulu surpasses 20M subscribers, grows engagement by over 60%.  The Drum
  • Snap stock plunges 15% on disappointing earnings that it partly blamed on redesign.  Fortune
  • Cambridge Analytica shuts all operations after Facebook scandal.  Fortune
  • Facebook is considering a paid, ad-free version of its social network.  Fast Company
  • Twitter advising all users to change passwords after bug exposed them in plain text.  The Verge
  • Facebook announces dating feature for meeting non-friends.   TechCrunch
  • Twitter shares spike after Disney announces it will make shows specifically for the platform.  CNBC
  • Instagram code reveals up-coming music feature.  TechCrunch
  • WhatsApp new lets you play Facebook and Instagram videos within the app.  The Verge
  • Microsoft and Amazon show off their Alexa-Cortana collaboration.  AdAge
  • Bonobos showcases 172 kinds of diversity in priciest campaign to date.  AdAge

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • J.P. Morgan files patent for blockchain powered payments.  Fortune
  • The $1B company that’s building wearable AI for blind people.  Fast Company
  • Macy’s acquires New York concept shop, Story.  CNBC
  • For all the hype about VR, advertisers are more excited by AR (for now).  Digiday
  • Oculus aims for the masses with a new $200 VR headset.  Fast Company
  • How beauty brands like Coty and Shiseido are using voice assistants.  Glossy
  • Goldman Sachs to open a bitcoin trading operation.  The New York Times


  • Walmart buys 75% share of Flipkart, India’s largest commerce platform.  AdWeek
  • Why Walmart and Amazon are battling so fiercely over India.  Fortune
  • Alibaba beats forecasts with 61% growth and predicts more of the same for the next year.  TechCrunch
  • Impulsive, addictive social commerce is China’s latest craze.  Business of Fashion

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