Weekly Industry Brief: 8.28.2018

Happy Tuesday. Here is your weekly industry brief – a day late per vacay!  As always, sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Why Target’s private label brands are so essential to its comeback. Fortune
  • How analytics and digital will drive next-generation retail merchandising.  McKinsey
  • How Kendra Scott became a $1B business built on direct retail.  Glossy
  • The Row is launching menswear.  Fashionista
  • Nature Valley drops ‘100% Natural’ claim.  AdAge
  • Gap brand remains a drag on namesake company.  Forbes
  • Walmart shoppers won’t have to hang their own TVs anymore.  AdAge
  • Walmart takes another jab at Amazon as it begins selling ebooks for the first time.  USA Today
  • Videogame developers are making it harder to stop playing.  The Wall Street Journal 
  • L.L. Bean donating $3M to National Parks Foundation.  Seattle Times
  • Walmart adds Moosejaw to its website.  CNBC
  • Nordstrom is using Los Angeles as testing ground for new retail strategies.  Glossy
  • Bose takes on HomePod with a $400 Alexa smart speaker.  TechCrunch
  • Ipsy’s new subscription delivers full-size beauty products, not samples.  TechCrunch

Marketing and Social Media

  • How direct-to-consumer brans are using social to scale.  Marketing Week
  • Instagram and Tinder go back to school with features just for college kids.  CNN Money
  • People spent 85B hours in WhatsApp in the past three months versus 31B in Facebook.  Forbes
  • The NYC Library is now posting books to Instagram.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Can P&G literally trademark “LOL”? AdWeek
  • Influencer Marketing sector reacts to Instagram’s new ‘about this account’ feature.  AdWeek
  • Facebook hires HP’s Antonio Lucio as new CMO.  AdAge
  • Amazon on the prowl for movies from Sony, Paramount.  AdAge
  • Giphy is launching its own take on stories with curated GIFs throughout the day.  The Verge
  • When digital platforms become censors.  The Wall Street Journal
  • How Nordstrom tapped into a century’s worth of customer data.  Venture Beat
  • Disney’s streaming service doesn’t have a name but it does have a strategy.  The Verge
  • Buzzfeed quietly tests a membership program.  Digiday
  • YouTube will now tell you how much of your life you spend watching videos.  Mashable

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • AR tops list of future retail shopping experiences. Retail Dive
  • Boxed raises $111M to take on Costco in bulk shopping.  TechCrunch
  • The most innovative retail concepts are being tested now.  Forbes
  • Welcome to checkout-free retail.  Wired
  • Fast-fashion brands are launching visual search to gain a competitive edge.  Glossy
  • Facebook has committed to using 100% renewable power for global operations by 2020.  TechCrunch
  • Toyota invests $500M into Uber.  TechCrunch

International

  • Alibaba shows resilience and posts blowout revenue growth of 61% YoY.  Forbes
  • Walmart closes 77% stake in India’s Flipkart. Barrons
  • The 10 best WeChat marketing campaigns for Chinese Valentine’s Day.  Jing Daily
  • Google partners with Indian banks to provide online loans.  Fast Company
Advertisements

Weekly Industry Brief: 8.20.2018

Happy Monday! Here is a quick rundown of industry news from the last week.  As always, sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands and Retailers

  • Farfetch files for IPO on NYSE.  CNBC
  • Everlane is launching clean silk in move toward greater sustainability.  Fashionista
  • Beyond procurement: transforming indirect spending in retail.  McKinsey
  • Walmart’s ecommerce tactics against Amazon look to be paying off.  Forbes
  • US retail sales rose in July.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Sears CEO offers to buy Kenmore brand for $400M.  USA Today
  • Google is poised to open its first permanent retail store.  AdAge
  • McDonald’s reveals new tech-focused flagship store in Chicago.  MarketingDive
  • J.C. Penney outlines plan to boost sales amid poor results.  CNN Money
  • Big tech companies are finding new ways to warn of overuse.  The Wall Street Journal

Marketing and Social Media

  • Google created a fake pizza brand to test out creative strategies for YouTube ads.  TechCrunch
  • You now have a chance to help run an Old Spice marketing meeting.  AdWeek
  • HSN and QVC get an image makeover to appeal to younger audience.  Reuters
  • Is the Museum of Ice Cream the future of retail?  Bloomberg
  • The New York Post partnered with Supreme for special edition.  AdWeek 
  • Ad-supported Netflix could be around the corner.  AdAge
  • Amazon reportedly wants to buy a movie theater chain.  Engadget
  • Google outgrows its youthful ideals.  The Wall Street Journal
  • How Buzzfeed’s experiment in Tasty turned into a stand-alone star.  AdWeek

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Thread raises $20M for its luxury goods boutique that exists only in messaging apps.  TechCrunch
  • Best Buy to acquire Jitterbug parent Great Call for $800M.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon is working on a recorder for live TV.  Fast Company
  • Smart speaker sales on pace to increase 50% by 2019.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon researchers develop complex voice recognition models that work offline.  VentureBeat
  • Facebook buys Vidpresso’s team and tech to make video interactive.  TechCrunch
  • PepsiCo buys SodaStream for $3.2B.  AdAge
  • Walmart eyes virtual reality shopping system. AdAge
  • FitBit wants to get in your bed.  Fast Company
  • Facebook wants to use AI to speed up MRI scans.  MIT Technology Review

International

Weekly Industry Brief: 8.13.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • VF Corp considers sale or spin off of denim businesses Lee and Wangler.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Samsung unveils new Galaxy Note smartphone amid slowing sales.  The New York Times
  • Party City joins parade of brands looking to grow via Amazon.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon captures 5% of America retail spending.  Bloomberg
  • Spotify’s $30B playlist for global domination.  Fast Company
  • WeWork’s first financial report shows off growing revenues and $1B SoftBank deal.  Fast Company
  • Playing catch up with Walmart, Amazon offers digital grocery pickup at Whole Foods.  The New York Times
  • Four women sue Nike for violating equal pay acts.  Fast Company
  • Casper to open 200 stores.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Tesla stock sinks as reality sinks in.  Fast Company
  • Sports Direct buys House of Fraser for 90M GBP.  Business of Fashion
  • Jimmy Choo sales help Michael Kors beat estimates.  Business of Fashion
  • Shopify battles the scammers behind fake web stores.  AdAge
  • Online retailers are using empty mall spaces to test products.  Digiday
  • Move over millennials, it’s Gen Z’s turn to kill industries.  Bloomberg
  • Rite Aid and Albertsons terminate merger talks.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Wayfair opening its first store.  Forbes
  • Nestle’s plan to bring customers back to big food.  The Washington Post
  • Pet pampering surges as millennials practice parenting.  AdAge

Marketing and Social Media

  • The flourishing business of fake YouTube views.  The New York Times
  • Why Snapchat is shrinking.  Recode
  • YouTube is about to pass Facebook as the second biggest website in US.  CNBC
  • L’oreal adds to Facebook sales push with virtual make-up tests.  Reuters
  • Google still stores location data even if users opt out, report shows.  AdWeek
  • Google launches Cameos, a video Q&A app aimed at celebs at public figures.  TechCrunch
  • Snapchat expands stoppable AR to its top creators.  Digiday
  • Facebook builds its own AR games for Messenger video chat.  TechCrunch
  • Inside the hyper-targeted world of alcohol influencers.  Vinepair
  • Spotify tests letting listeners skip ads.  AdAge
  • Walmart to sell Gobble Meal Kits in new partnership.  Fortune
  • Snapchat Storytellers is the app’s new way of connecting brands and influencers.  AdWeek

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Inside Store No. 8, Walmart’s incubator that is testing VR and conversational commerce.  Digiday
  • Uber hit with cap as New York City leads in crackdown.  The New York Times
  • Amazon launches an Alexa auto SDK to bring its voice assistant to more cars.  TechCrunch
  • How H&M is betting on AI and big data to regain profitability.  Forbes
  • Wayfair unleashes mixed-reality shopping.  RetailDive
  • Unmade raises $4M to help fashion brands make customizable clothes and cut waste.  VentureBeat
  • How L’oreal’s tech incubator is transforming in-house product development.  Glossy
  • New supply chain jobs are emerging as AI takes hold.  Harvard Business Review

International

  • Inside Google’s effort to develop a censored search engine in China.  The Intercept 
  • Google’s path back into China includes a host of local partners.  Fortune
  • Music.ly investor bets on internet radio with $17M deal for Korea’s Spoon Radio. TechCrunch
  • Walmart and JD.com invest $500M in a Chinese online delivery company.  CNBC
  • Urban Outfitters expands in UK and Europe.  Drapers
  • There’s only one way to break into China’s crowded retail market.  Harvard Business Review

Weekly Industry Brief: 8.6.2018

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

Brands and Retailers

  • Sephora, Ulta and the battle for the $56B US beauty retail market.  Forbes
  • Brookstone files for bankruptcy and will close all of its mall stores.  CNN
  • Apple’s value hits $1 Trillion.  The New York Times
  • Wrigley billionaire moves from chewing gum to medical marijuana.  AdAge
  • Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi to step down in October.  Fast Company
  • Gumps, a 157-year old retailer, files for bankruptcy protection.  SF Chronicle
  • Mattress Firm explores US bankruptcy to close stores.  CNBC
  • Speaker maker Sonos goes public but acknowledges vulnerability.  The Guardian
  • Amazon’s health and beauty sales soar.  eMarketer
  • Apple looks to services to move beyond iPhone price ceiling.  Bloomberg
  • Subscription startup Kidbox launches its own clothing lines.  TechCrunch
  • Zara uses downtown stores to shop online orders.  The Wall Street Journal
  • From Amazon to Alibaba, grocers’ agony is endless.  Bloomberg
  • Inside Levi’s ambitious plan to cut its carbon footprint.  Fast Company

Marketing and Social Media

  • Facebook taps banks, but for chatbots not purchase data like Google.  TechCrunch
  • Facebook is now a major mobile browser in the US, with 10% market share in many states.  TechCrunch
  • Forget photo shoots.  Why GQ and Gucci are betting on cult podcasts.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Burberry changes logo for first time in two decades.  AdAge
  • The bizarre new way people are finding jobs: Tinder.  MarketWatch
  • Best Buy targets youth in new campaign promoting teen tech centers.  AdAge
  • Kylie Jenner launched her own Instagram face filter.  Harpers Bazaar
  • Snapchat quietly launched sticker packs to win over creators.  Digiday
  • WhatsApp finally earns money by charging businesses for slow replies.  TechCrunch
  • Snapchat launches its first speech recognition lenses.  TechCrunch
  • Ikea attempts to co-opt Ikea hacking.  Fast Company
  • Twitter elevates executives in restricting aimed at more engaging content.  USA Today
  • Google reveals Android P is named Pie. The Verge
  • How Estee Lauder is rethinking consumer engagement to drive innovation.  Business of Fashion

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Peloton snags $550MM in new financing, valued at $4B ahead of expected IPO.  Fast Company
  • The startup behind New York’s retail reawakening.  Business of Fashion
  • Lessons CPG brands can learn from startups.  AdWeek
  • Walmart testing robots to fill grocery orders more quickly.  PYMNTS
  • Uniqlo launches is own digital shopping assistant.  VentureBeat
  • Zillow gets into the mortgage business, acquires Mortgage Lenders of America.  TechCrunch
  • AirBnB for Work now accounts for 15% of all bookings.  TechCrunch
  • How Poshmark’s sellers made $1B off the ‘social mall.’ RetailDive

International

  • LemonBox brings US vitamins and health products to consumers in China.  TechCrunch
  • China’s online shopping giants open thousands of brick-and-mortar stores.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Malls are making a surprising come back in southern India. Quartz