Weekly Industry Brief: 1.14.2019

I’m back! I hope your 2019 is off to a great start. Here is a recap of news from the last couple of weeks.  As always, sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Cheers!

Brands and Retailers

  • Amazon claims a record-breaking holiday season by items sold.  CNBC
  • Winning in an era of unprecedented disruption: a perspective on US retail.  McKinsey
  • How Shopify built an $800M partner ecosystem. Digiday
  • Walmart to add 2,000 tech hires.  Fortune 
  • ASOS CEO on the next ecommerce frontier.  Business of Fashion
  • Refillable packaging is the trend quietly taking over luxury beauty.  Fashionista
  • Nail and waxing salons are among the few that will survive the retail apocolypse.  Axios
  • Will 2019 be the year that clothing subscriptions take over? Forbes
  • Seven social issues that CEO’s will prioritize in 2019.  Fast Company
  • Kroger and Microsoft build a futuristic grocery store.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon Go could generation $4.5B with plan for 3,000 stores.  Retail Dive
  • Target hints at larger wellness ambitions.  Glossy 
  • Target is on track to have its best full year of sales growth in 13 years.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon offers product sampling program to brands.  Forbes 
  • Despite setbacks, Nike is soaring with direct-to-consumer offense. Business of Fashion
  • Ulta has cracked beauty’s secret in the Amazon era.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon, Lego and Wayfair join the pop-up store boom.  Bloomberg
  • Walgreens to shed $1B in annual costs.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Gap plans to shutter one of it’s major New York retail stores.  Bloomberg
  • Gymboree shops for bankruptcy financing as it prepares filing. The Wall Street Journal 

Marketing and Social Media

  • Instagram’s ecommerce success is building with Stories.  MarketingLand
  • Facebook has a new Stories feature for event sharing.  The Verge
  • Amazon will win advertising dollars away from Facebook admid privacy concerns. ReCode
  • WeWork rebranding as The We Company.  Business Insider
  • YouTube makes it easier to navigate through videos in its app.  TechCrunch
  • Brands dish out $200M on fake influencers a year.  Retail Gazette
  • Skittles’ big play on Super Bowl Sunday will be…an actual play.  AdWeek
  • Facebook, cryptocurrency and the future of mobile commerce.  Forbes
  • Is 2019 the year of paid loyalty? Lululemon, CVS and Loblaw are game to find out.  Forbes
  • NBCUniversal announces streaming service that will be free to paid TV subscribers.  TechCrunch
  • An egg has dethroned Kylie Jenner for the most Instagram likes ever.  Fast Company 
  • Instagram’s digital ad share to double despite Facebook issues.  AdAge
  • Tiffany’s gets serious about diamond sourcing.  AdAge

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Adidas can now make specialized shoes for runners in different cities thanks to robots.  Quartz
  • How retail changes when algorithms curate everything we buy.  Harvard Business Review
  • The future of beauty was on display at CES. CNN
  • American Eagle Outfitters launches interactive fitting rooms at flagships nationwide.  MarketWatch
  • These companies want to fix the trillion dollar returns problem.  CNBC
  • WeWork is investing in super foods.  Fast Company
  • Report says that Slack is planing an IPO in 2019.  Fast Company
  • Banking startup N26 raises $300M in $2.7B valuation.  TechCrunch

International

  • As Walmart takes on China’s booming delivery market, it’s going for a smaller store.  CNBC
  • Germany outlaws Amazon’s one-click Dash buttons.  Engadget
  • How Europe’s Zalando is fighting off Amazon and building the Spotify of fashion.  Business of Fashion 
  • Chinese tech giant Baidu will help Walmart deliver groceries in America.  Motley Fool
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