Weekly Industry Brief: 2.18.2019

Hey! I’m back after a hectic Monday prevented me from posting last week.  Here is a recap of industry news from the last two weeks.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Have a great week!

Brands + Retailers

  • Levi’s to return to stock exchange after strong comeback.  Fortune
  • Luxury retailer Barney’s jumps on the cannabis train with fancy head shop in Beverly Hills.  The New York Times 
  • PayLess is closing all its 2,100 US stores.  CNN
  • Walgreens to add mobile payment app Alipay.  AdWeek
  • Amazon pulls out of planned New York City headquarters.  The New York Times 
  • Amazon launches a home shopping channel.  Forbes 
  • Subscription ecommerce startups show resilience.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Google to invest $13B in US data centers and offices this year.  CNN
  • Crate & Barrel partners with home services site Handy for furniture assembly deal.  Reuters
  • AirBnB just hired Virgin America’s former CEO as chief transportation officer.  Fast Company 
  • Most U.S. companies say they are planning to transition to a circular economy.  Fast Company 
  • Hermes’ refusal to change is its most radical gesture yet.  The New York Times 
  • Victoria Beckham launches own-brand beauty.  Vogue
  • Amazon aims to make half of its shipments carbon neutral by 2030. TechCrunch
  • Angela Ahrendts is leaving Apple.  Fortune
  • Apple’s executive shake-up readies company for life after iPhone.  The Wall Street Journal
  • CVS’s new HealthHub concept aims to reinvent the corner drugstore.  The Motley Fool

Marketing + Social Media

  • Instagram purges fake followers.  Fast Company
  • Facebook tests empowering publishers to deliver ads to Watch.  AdAge
  • What brands are doing to be more inclusive for people with disabilities. Marketing Week
  • Lego partners with Snapchap to sell clothing.  Forbes
  • US digital ad revenues up 22% to reach $26.2B reports IAB.  The Drum
  • Pinterest is bringing skin tone ranges to its iOS app.  AdWeek
  • Target is taking its new loyalty program to more cities.  CNBC
  • Amazon debuts rewards programme on Washington Post and TikTok apps.  The Drum
  • Amazon has a big advertising business and Walmart wants one too.  Bloomberg

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Apple buys UK-based digital marketing startup, DataTiger.  AdAge
  • JP Morgan is launching its own cryptocurrency.  The Verge
  • Amazon opens up Alexa store for anyone to create and publish custom skills.  The Verge
  • Facebook acquires visual search business GrokStyle.  Essential Retail
  • Apple hires ex-Microsoft exec to revamp its smart home business.  CNBC
  • Walmart is putting VR-equipped trailers in its parking lots with plans to bring it to stores.  CNBC
  • Joor raises $16M to expand its online fashion marketplace for wholesalers.  VentureBeat
  • Foot Locker pours $100M into sneaker resale startup GOAT.  Fast Company 

International

  • Estee Lauder sales rise as Chinese consumer spend big on beauty.  The Wall Street Journal
  • UK retail sales jump the most in six months on clothing discounts.  Bloomberg
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