Weekly Industry Brief: 1.28.2019

Happy Monday! Here is a recap of industry news from the last week. As always, sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands + Retailers

  • Amazon to introduce virtual changing room app.  Telegraph
  • Apple plans gaming subscription service.  Cheddar
  • Amazon is trying to take down the last bastion of brick-and-mortar: beauty. Quartz
  • Amazon, Alphabet and Walmart were top IT spenders in 2019.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Under Armour partners with Virgin Atlantic to build spacesuit.  USA Today
  • Starbucks is expanding its Uber delivery to more cities.  Bloomberg
  • Mickey Drexler to depart from J.Crew.  Business Insider
  • You can rent a desk by the minute at WeWork’s first public location.  Fast Company 
  • A coalition of giant brands is about to change how we shop forever, with a new zero-waste platform.  Fast Company 
  • Brands invent new lines for only Amazon to sell.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Net-a-porter unveils try-before-you-buy service for big spenders.  Retail Gazette

Marketing + Social Media

  • Amazon knows what you buy and is building a big ad business from it.  The New York Times 
  • CMO’s are allocating nearly 30% of their budgets to marketing technology.  Deloitte
  • The secret life of Amazon’s Vine reviewers.  The New York Times 
  • Zuckerberg plans to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.  The New York Times 
  • LinkedIn is debuting interest targeting based on content users share and engage with.  AdWeek
  • Zuckerberg in WSJ op-ed: Facebook doesn’t sell your data! Fast Company 
  • Facebook to create independent board to monitor content.  AdAge
  • American Eagle surrendered creative control for its latest marketing effort to Gen Z.  AdWeek
  • How publishers use influencers to grow commerce businesses.  DIgiday
  • Amazon unveils celebrity beta-testing program for Super Bowl.  AdAge
  • Hilton and Netflix partnering for in-room personalized streaming.  Fortune

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Kustomer nabs $35M to take on Zendesk and Salesforce with its Slack-like approach to CRM.  TechCrunch
  • Go-Jek makes first close of $2B round at $9.5B valuation.  TechCrunch
  • Airbnb acquires Denmark’s Gaest to expand in bookings for meetings and offsites.  TechCrunch
  • The RealReal founder, Julie Wainwright is the Tycon of the pre-owned. The New York Times 
  • Rosetta Stone for iPhone adds AI to identify objects for live translations.  Venture Beat
  • Stop & Shop is testing self-driving mini grocery stores.  The Verge


  • Amazon starts selling in Brazil.  Reuters
  • Google and IAB ad category lists show ‘massive leakage of highly intimate data,’ according to GDPR complaint claims.  TechCrunch
  • Starbucks CEO says they are playing the long game in China.  CNBC
  • Alibaba shows signs of strain as China’s economy shudders.  Bloomberg
  • Dyson will move its head office from Britain to Singapore.  The New York Times 

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