Weekly Industry Brief: 6.4.2018

And just like that, it’s JUNE! Here is a recap of industry news over the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • WalMart’s personal shopper service launches in New York.  Fortune
  • Microsoft is now more valuable than Google.  The Verge
  • Improvement seen across the board for Urban Outfitters in the first quarter.  Forbes
  • Howard Shultz to exit Starbucks.  The New York Times
  • Sears Holdings closing 72 more stores after another terrible quarter.  Fortune
  • Madewell continues to help J.Crew, with sales up 39%.  Fashionista
  • How today’s newest underwear brands are changing the game by focusing on inclusivity.  Fashionista
  • American Eagle beats earnings, Aerie sales on fire.  Reuters
  • Coca Cola just started selling its first alcoholic drink ever.  Fortune
  • Valentino and L’Oreal are joining forces to create a new beauty collection.  Harper’s Bazaar
  • Etsy to close wholesale market to focus on main website.  Bloomberg
  • 20 Takeaways from Mary Meeker’s 294-page Internet Trends report.  TechCrunch
  • WalMart CEO highlights innovation, performance.  CNBC
  • Lululemon climbs as sales pick up pace.  Bloomberg
  • Ikea rethinks US expansion, invests in online.  USA Today

Marketing and Social Media

  • Pinterest 2017 sales rise 58%.  Bloomberg
  • Facebook nears deals on new shows for video platform.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Kanye skips Tidal exclusivity, drops new album on Spotify and Apple Music.  TechCrunch
  • TV ads on AMC networks will be able to deliver offers directly to viewers’ smartphones.  AdWeek
  • Facebook pulling plug on Trending feature.  AdWeek
  • Abercrombie’s comeback traced to marketing.  AdAge
  • Teens dump Facebook for YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat.  TechCrunch
  • Why wellness brands are betting on podcast ads.  Glossy
  • Snapchat preps Snapkit platform to bring camera, login to other apps.  TechCrunch
  • Pinterest unveils new video ad format.  Mediapost

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Hello Alfred, the in-home assistant service snags $40M.  Fast Company
  • Warren Buffet offered Uber a $3B investment but the talks fell apart.  The Wall Street Journal
  • WalMart’s future may include in-store drones and smart shopping carts.  CNBC
  • Alibaba’s new autonomous robot delivers packages at a modest pace.  Engadget
  • HelloFresh takes meal kits to Giant, Stop & Shop.  The Wall Street Journal
  • The number of smartphone driven retailers is growing.  Bloomberg
  • L’Oreal says AR beauty is just the beginning.  Forbes
  • Softbank to invest $2.25B in GM’s self-driving car division.  Fortune

International

  • Amazon India rebrands, expands online groceries service.  LiveMint
  • Canada goose to expand in China.  Financial Post
  • Amazon geo-blocks Australia from US website as tax change kicks in.  Reuters
  • Apple’s HomePod launches in Canada, France and Germany.  The Verge
  • Alibaba to invest $15.5B in logistics network.  ZDNet
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