Weekly Industry Brief: 7.9.2018

And just like that – we are more than halfway through 2018 – WOW!  Might be time for a quick pulse check on the year.

In the meantime, here is a recap of industry headlines from the last two weeks. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Sonos files for IPO with plans to raise $100M.  Fast Company
  • How Wharton launched Warby Parker and dozens of tore companies just like it.  Inc
  • Groupon stock surged this morning on news that it wants a buyer.  Fast Company
  • Luxury retail is making a comeback thanks to China, Millennials and men.  Forbes
  • Colgate takes minority stake in Hubble.  The Wall Street Journal
  • A bigger Amazon Prime Day 2018 arrives July 16 with more deals, devices and longer hours.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon makes big push with in-house brands ahead of Prime Day.  CNBC
  • Amazon Prime Day and a Half expected to set record at $3.4B.  WWD
  • Walmart hires CMO from outside the organization.  AdAge
  • Macy’s plans 60 new BlueMercury stores.  Business of Fashion
  • Amazon reveals a new plan to deliver more packages: recruit people to run small-scale delivery services.  CNBC
  • Xiaomi’s IPO raises $4.7B after pricing on low end.  Bloomberg
  • Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie launch new installment payment program online.  Business Insider
  • How specialty food retailers are fighting back against Amazon.  FoodDive
  • 27% of apparel sales are now online.  Retail Dive
  • The American beauty industry is thriving – thanks to these 6 visionary brands.  Fashionista
  • Starbucks will stop distributing plastic straws by 2020.  AdWeek
  • Kroger is launching its own fashion brand.  Fortune
  • How Michael Mente took Revolve from an ecommerce startup to a global powerhouse.  Fashionista
  • Net-a-porter launches kids’ wear with Gucci.  WWD
  • How Netflix became a billion-dollar titan.  The Economist

Marketing and Social Media

  • Snap and Amazon are reportedly working on a visual search feature for Snapchat.  Fortune
  • Facebook is shuttering three of its apps, including Moves.  Fast Company
  • Dedicated Amazon teams are helping brands develop platform-specific marketing tactics.  AdWeek
  • How live events can boost digital marketing.  AdWeek
  • How Benefit Cosmetics is home-growing its own influencers on Instagram.  Glossy
  • Amazon may send holiday toy catalogs in the mail.  Engadget
  • How Frank and Oak is building a data driven subscription service. Glossy
  • Instagram Stories is twice as popular as Snapchat.  CNN Money
  • Adidas Originals surprised influencers with personalized billboards for the drop of a new shoe. AdWeek
  • Tiffany is giving cool a try and it’s working.  CNN Money
  • How packaging is helping launch indie brands on social media.  Glossy
  • WhatsApp copies Telegram to add one-way ‘broadcast’ mode to group chats.  TechCrunch
  • From Muji to Ikea: why the best retailers think like UX designers.  Fast Company
  • Inside Instagram’s social shopping master class.  Business of Fashion
  • Timehop suffered a data breach that affected 21M users.  The Verge
  • Jaden Smith’s latest album is only available on Instagram.  Engadget

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • How L’Occitane uses AI to improve customer experience online.  Glossy
  • The luggage upstart Away is taking on industry giants.  Fast Company
  • Kroger plans to introduce driverless grocery deliveries.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Walmart-led blockchain effort seeks farm-to-grocery-aisle view of food supply chain.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Walmart offers a 3D tour to get shoppers to look, click and buy.  USA Today
  • Amazon buys PillPack, an online pharmacy for just under $1B.  TechCrunch
  • Uber and Lyft eyeing crowdsourced bus startup Skedaddle.  The Drive

International

  • Instagram Lite quietly launches to find a billion more users abroad.  TechCrunch
  • Inside JD.com, the giant Chinese firm that could eat Amazon alive.  Wired
  • Tencent seeks to list online music unit in US.  Reuters
  • The factors behind China’s growing strength in innovation.  Harvard Business Review
  • 37% of luxury brands with active WeChat accounts introduced a mini program.  L2 Think Tank
  • Siemens inks deal with Alibaba to launch digital products in China.  Reuters
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