Weekly Industry Brief: 11.26.2018

This is my first Cyber Monday away from brand-side commerce in many years. I hope you are all swimming in positive (profitable) comps! In the meantime, you can checkout headlines from the last week here.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text.

Brands and Retailers

  • Walmart passes Apple to become No. 3 online retailer in the U.S. TechCrunch
  • Black Friday is now retail’s digital stress test.  Bloomberg
  • Black Friday sales were the best they have been in years – but companies lost out because they weren’t ready for success.  Business Insider
  • Amazon, Apple and Facebook once led the market. Now they are driving it down.  The New York Times 
  • Victoria’s Secret is bringing back swimwear after abandoning it nearly 3 years ago.  Business Insider
  • Amazon reports customer data snafu as holiday shopping heats up.  AdAge
  • Thanksgiving online spend hits a record $3,7B, mobile accounted for one-third of sales.  TechCrunch
  • Kohl’s cracks the retail code.  Fortune
  • A new wave of beauty brands are catering to the post-Glossier customer.  Fashionista
  • Former Toys ‘R’ Us employees get a long overdue severance payout.  Fast Company 
  • Columbia Sportswear says the president’s new wave of levies will not bring jobs back to the US.  The New York Times
  • Walmart, J.Crew, Lululemon: Retailers’ websites struggle to handle the Black Friday bonanza.  Fortune
  • Neiman Marcus is exploring options that include a sale.  StocksBeat
  • The new trend in luxury retail? Not selling anything.  Fashionista
  • Gap considers closing hundreds of stores with urgency.  Fortune
  • Walmart is finding ways to be nimble and thinking like a startup.  AdWeek
  • Ikea to slash thousands of jobs in restructuring.  The Wall Street Journal
  • GM plans to cut 14,000 jobs, close factories as downturn looms.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon exec tapped to lead Airbnb to the public market.  TechCrunch
  • US Postal Service exposed data of 60 million users.  TechCrunch

Marketing and Social Media

  • LinkedIn violated data protection by using 18M email addresses of non-members to buy targeted ads on Facebook.  TechCrunch
  • Cards Against Humanity sold diamond and TVs for 99% off on Black Friday.  TechCrunch
  • Why holiday windows still matter.  The New York Times 
  • Ticketmaster and Fanatics link up to sell march and tickets on each others’ platforms.  TechCrunch
  • Instagram is purging fake followers from the app.  Fortune
  • Apple’s gorgeously detailed holiday ad has a moral that all creatives should take to heart.  AdWeek
  • Coca-Cola wiped its social media accounts and relaunched with a positive, happy new look.  AdWeek
  • Facebook Watch pivots to an older audience.  CNBC

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Google Home Hub is a makeup how-to machine for your vanity.  Fast Company
  • For retailers and brands, sustainability needs good tech.  Forbes
  • Neo banks are finally having their moment.  The New York Times
  • Amazon aims to put digital wallet in brick-and-mortar stores.  The Wall Street Journal


  • Alibaba vs. Amazon reveals China’s digital commerce edge.  AdAge
  • Dolce & Gabbana in China storm over videos seen as racist.  AdAge
  • How Farfetch leverages its WeChat strategy.  Jing Daily
  • Lowe’s to exit Mexico retail business.  The Wall Street Journal

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