Weekly Industry Brief: 8.12.2019

Happy Monday! Here is a rundown of news from the last week. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands + Retailers

  • H&M and Zara are closing stores to stay ahead.  Fortune
  • Nike’s first shoe subscription, two years in the making, is here.  Fast Company
  • Prime Day and the broad reach of Amazon’s ecosystem.  McKinsey
  • Uber stock falls after $5.2B loss.  AdAge
  • Nike, Foot Locker plan 50 large-format, high-tech stores.  CNBC
  • Steve Madden buys DTC brand Greats.  AdAge
  • The North Face focuses on experience with new store format.  Glossy
  • Arizona is moving away from tea to THC with vape pens and gummies.  Fast Company
  • FedEx-Amazon split will provide a shipment windfall for rivals.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Levi’s Red Tab merchandise now sold at Target.  MarketWatch
  • New Sears parent to shutter 21 namesake and 5 Kmart stores.  USA Today
  • Walgreens adds 200 stores to growing global closure list.  Forbes
  • Amazon tries new pricing model for 3rd party sellers.  CNBC
  • Bloomingdales launching a rental subscription service this fall.  PureWow
  • Amazon’s next foray into fashion is a personalized shopping service.  Engadget
  • Apple suspends listening to Alexa queries amid privacy concerns.  AdAge

Marketing + Social Media

  • Acknowledge, apologize, investigate: how big brands combat online outrage.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Snapchat launches ‘instant’ tool for creating vertical ads.  TechCrunch
  • Pinterest rolls out improved product recommendations.  VentureBeat
  • Facebook goes after Amazon, Hulu with ad-free video subscription channels.  AdAge
  • Nike’s app powers Foot Locker’s new NYC store.  Engadget
  • Quaker Oats gains consumer insights from Messenger chatbot.  The Drum
  • How Facebook is attempting to target ads without personal data.  AdAge
  • Twitter drops third party data providers.  AdAge
  • Instagram users may soon be able to communicate with those using Facebook Messenger.  AdAge
  • Current YouTube shopping-related trends marketers should know.  AdWeek

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Amazon requests FAA approval of delivery-drone plans.  CNN
  • Five apps that you’ve never heard of that teens are using to shop.  CNBC
  • Target incubator takes aim at Gen Z innovators.  Chain Store Age
  • Postmates to drop IPO filling next month.  TechCrunch
  • Verizon is selling Tumblr to WordPress parent company.  TechCrunch


  • Adidas boss warns currency war will hurt more than tariffs.  Fortune
  • Canadian Tire buys Party City’s Canada business for $174.4M.  Financial Post
  • Luxury brands use video games to speak to Chinese millennials.  Jing Daily
  • Germany’s online retailers look to reduce costly returns.  Bloomberg

Weekly Industry Brief: 8.5.2019

And just like that, it’s August! Here is a recap of industry news from the last week.  As always, sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brand + Retailer

  • Uber cut a third of its marketing staff.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Summary of recent earnings from Facebook to Netflix to Amazon. eMarketer
  • Barney’s nears bankruptcy filing with plans to close most stores.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Why Airbnb, Target and Walmart are betting on the experience economy.  Fast Company
  • Apple and Goldman Sachs are planning to launch their credit card in August.  AdAge
  • Shake Shack launches delivery. Fast Company
  • CVS targets millennials with Prime-like membership.  CNBC
  • Whole Foods wants to help decorate your next party. Fast Company
  • Inside Nuuly, Urban Outfitters’ attempt to take on the rental market.  Modern Retail
  • Amazon adds a styling service to Prime Wardrobe.  RetailDive
  • Levi’s is moving away from off-price retailers.  Fortune
  • Amazon quietly launches private-label CPG products for commercial clients.  AdAge
  • 3M invents an ingenious way to ship packages without cardboard boxes.  Fast Company
  • Amazon wants to rule the grocery aisle, not just at Whole Foods.  The New York Times
  • CapitalOne reports data breach affecting 100M customers and applicants.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Brandless’ new CEO is dumping it’s $3 price point, hitting the stores and going big on CBD.  Forbes
  • L’Oreal says sluggish US makeup market has hit sales.  CNBC
  • How multi-billion dollar brand Carters became a staple while competitors shutter.  Washington Post
  • Textile waste has increased 811% since 1960.  Supply Chain Dive
  • Kroger is upping its advertising game.  Fortune

Social Media + Marketing

  • Victoria’s Secret hires transgender model.  Fast Company
  • Beauty brands are setting their sights on TikTok.  Glossy
  • Pinterest rolls out new shopping features.  VentureBeat
  • A rebrand will soon remind people that WhatsApp and Instagram are from Facebook. AdWeek
  • Streetwear subscription company ThreadBeat now spending half of its media budget on Instagram.  Digiday
  • General Mills’ Boxtops for Education goes digital.  Biz Journals
  • Pinterest reports strong demand for advertising on its platform.  AdAge
  • Twitter adds 5 million users, tops sales estimates.  AdAge
  • Amazon tests audio ads for Alexa Music.  AdAge

Start-ups + Emerging Tech

  • London is exploring facial recognition in security cameras.  Financial Times
  • Doubling down on business travel, Airbnb acquires Urbandoor.  TechCrunch
  • New Media buys Gannett for $1.4B to form local news giant.  AdAge
  • This startup wants to democratize custom sneaker ownership.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon to kill the Dash button.  CNN
  • How Walmart, Kroger are investing in AI and robots.  Forbes
  • Ikea creates six homes of the future.  Fast Company


  • Google will allow EU users to choose their default search engine when setting up Android devices.  Fast Company
  • India proposes user safeguard rules fro ecommerce platforms.  Bloomberg
  • AI as the way to win Chinese millennials and GenZ.  Jing Daily
  • The shadowy internet industry of click farms are booming in China.  Yahoo