Weekly Industry Brief: 12.17.2018

And just like that, we’re on my last post for the year!

Back in the beginning of 2018, Amazon had just announced 20 finalists for their second headquarters and Toys ‘R’ Us was still a store. A lot has happened since then and I’m proud to have archived it here.

I am wishing all of you a wonderful holiday and a happy new year.  Hopefully you are closing out the year by spending with family, friends, and loved ones, taking time to reflect on this year and planting seeds for all of the potential of the year ahead.

(P.S. If you want a quick cry, check out the Google Year in Search video.)

With Love, Carolann

Brands + Retailers

  • Google will open a new $1B campus in NYC.  Fast Company
  • Report says Johnson & Johnson knew its baby powder had asbestos for decades.  Fast Company
  • Starbucks opens first east coast reserve roastery.  AdAge
  • Facebook discloses bug that opened private photos to apps.  AdAge
  • The data New York gave to Amazon.  The New York Times
  • Here’s how Nike, Alibaba and Walmart are reinventing retail.  Wired
  • A look inside Macy’s new retail strategy.  Retail Dive
  • Dollar General has suddenly become one of the biggest retailers in the US by store count.  Business Insider
  • Retailers embrace payment apps to sidestep $90B in swipe fees.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon looks to limit products that don’t drive profit.  Forbes
  • Amazon eyes private label toys.  Retail Dive
  • Starbucks adding delivery services to more than 2,000 stores via Uber Eats.  TechCrunch
  • Instacart and Amazon-owned Whole Foods are parting ways.  TechCrunch
  • Aerie momentum continues for American Eagle.  Forbes
  • What every direct-to-consumer brand can learn from Nike.  Forbes
  • How Barney’s, Saks and Neiman Marcus are tackling luxury beauty.  Glossy

Marketing + Social Media

  • The making of a computer-generated influencer.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Why beauty and wellness brands like New York City subway ads.  Glossy
  • Facebook’s version of YouTube takes shape with pranksters, magicians and cartoons.  The New York Times 
  • Stories from inside the $9B Instagram economy.  Fast Company
  • Instagram is testing creator accounts for high-profile influencers.  The Verge
  • Hulu introduces new programmatic marketplace.  AdAge
  • Facebook rolls out search ads and they’re currently free.  AdAge
  • Rookie cataloged a generation of girlhood.  The New York Times
  • Instagram will start telling brands which products users bookmark which could be used for ad targeting.  CNBC

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Walmart will soon use hundreds of AI robot janitors to scrub the floors of US stores.  CNBC
  • Procter & Gamble buys Walker & Co.  AdAge
  • Headspace vs. Calm: the meditation battle that’s anything but zen.  The Wall Street Journal
  • How “brick-and-mobile” is transforming in-store shopping.  Retail Dive
  • Powerful pricing: the next frontier in apparel and fashion advanced analytics.  McKinsey


  • eCommerce is thriving in Africa despite hurdles to the “last mile.”  Quartz
  • Walmart partners with Rakuten to open its first ecommerce store in Japan.  TechCrunch

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