Industry Brief: 2.25.2020

Hi! Here is a quick round-up of some news from around the industry over the last few weeks. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headlines.

Brands + Retailers

  • Victoria’s Secret to go private at $1.1B valuation.  The Wall Street Journal
  • As DTC brands move into wholesale, analytics platforms follow.  Vogue
  • How brands are battling knock-offs on Amazon.  AdWeek
  • Apple stores reopen in China despite coronavirus outbreak.  Fast Company
  • As Walmart grows in ecommerce, investors look for a plan to stem the losses.  CNBC
  • Nevermind the internet, here’s what’s killing malls. The New York Times
  • How Amazon is causing us to drown in trademarks.  The New York Times
  • Inside the fall of Softbank-backed Brandless.  Axios
  • Pier 1 declares bankruptcy.  CBS News
  • Bed Bath & Beyond to sell gift unit in Turnaround bid. Bloomberg
  • Amazon opens its first cashier-less grocery store.  TechCrunch
  • Target moves up among ecommerce players.  Forbes
  • Forever 21 will live on with new owners.  NPR

Marketing + Social

  • Amazon’s new web TV series merges content and commerce.  LA Times
  • Unilever will stop targeting kids in advertising. Digiday
  • Inside Glossier’s fight to trademark its iconic bubble wrap bags.  Fast Company
  • How brands are using TikTok to go after a new age group with huge spending power.  Inc
  • Facebook blocks device-level phone data.  AdAge
  • How Gen Z is using Instagram to shop.  Glossy
  • Inside RxBar’s new influencer strategy. Digiday
  • Beyond subway ads, how startups are investing in out of home.  Modern Retail
  • Instagram prototypes letting IGTV creators monetize with ads.  TechCrunch
  • Google ends its free Wifi program.  TechCrunch
  • Disney Plus has over 28M subscribers. The New York Times
  • Toy industry looks to YouTube talent for next generation of merchandise.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Is technology subsuming marketing? Harvard Business Review

Emerging Tech

  • New tool aims to track whether influencers and other digital ads actually drive online sales.  AdAge
  • Goodyear finds uses for AI and IoT in tires, tools.  Forbes
  • Salesforce buys Vlocity for over $1B.  TechCrunch
  • Apple is teaming up with Johnson & Johnson to see if the Apple Watch can reduce the risk of stroke.  Fast Company

2.4.2020 Industry Brief

Hi! This is a big week for me. This week, I go back to work the day before my daughter turns three months old. It’s crazy to think about all that has happened over the last 13 weeks and I’m here with mixed emotions of extreme gratitude (wow, I got 13 amazing weeks to be home with my baby) but also anxiety (wow, how is maternity leave already over?).  I’m about to start a new routine, learn how to be away from her all day, make room in my brain for work-mode…plus a start a new commute to a new office with new team members (note: start-up life means constant change – you miss a lot in 13 weeks!).  And because I’m apparently a glutton for change, we also moved last week so there’s a new apartment in the mix, too!

But life is meant to be lived so I need to embrace these changes. I went to a yoga class recently and the instructor ended class with something that I can’t stop thinking about: “Blessed me or poor me. Every day it is your choice.” It really stuck with me. Perspective, the narrative in our heads – this is our reality.  Today I choose blessed. I’m grateful for the time I had with her, grateful for my village – because we know it takes a village – and grateful for the opportunities I have to live life fully.

WISH ME LUCK (or whatever all you wise working mamas who have gone before me know I’ll need).

So, ANYWAY aside from all THAT, I thought it’d be a good time to catch up this week 🙂 Here is some industry news from the last few weeks. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headlines.

Brands + Retailers

Alphabet breaks down revenue by business division for the first time.  Fast Company

Coronoavirus quarantine will ripple through global manufacturing.  The Wall Street Journal

Is the consumer goods industry ready for the new world of work? McKinsey

Get ready for a DTC shakeup in 2020.  VentureBeat

How Under Armour lost its edge.  The New York Times

The CEO of Ralph Lauren is surprisingly excited about people not owning their clothes.  Fast Company 

How Ganni used tech-world tricks to grow from cult fashion table to a global brand. Fortune 

In Paris, ecommerce warehouses get a chic makeover.  Wired

Forever 21 reaches $81M deal to sell its retail business to US mall owners and Authentic Brands. CNBC

Amazon Prime’s numbers and influence continue to grow.  Fortune

Dying malls? This one has found a way to thrive.  The New York Times 

Ikea offers data controls for consumers.  The Wall Street Journal

Consumer goods maker Reynolds raises $1.2B in IPO.  MarketWatch

Apple closes Chinese stores. The Wall Street Journal

Nordstrom to launch secondhand fashion sales.  Washington Post

Retailers get serious about sustainability.  Forbes

Marketing Stuff 

When community becomes your competitive advantage.  HBR

These five brands saw biggest boost on Amazon during and after the Super Bowl.  AdWeek

What the death of third party cookies means for retailers.  Modern Retail

Netflix’s ‘The Goop Lab’ is branded content and maybe the future of media.  Fast Company

Aerie has become the go-to brand partner for celebrities with a mission.  Fashionista

TIkTok was just pulled into a years-long fight between Snap and Facebook.  CNBC

Inside Prada’s pop-up private club.  The New York Times

In a new milestone, the internet will account for half of ad spend in 2020. AdAge

Estee Lauder, Sephora debut shoppable makeup try-ons on Pinterest.  RetailDive

Innovation + Emerging Tech

How to run a business in 2020.  The New York Times

The new business of garbage.  HBR

ASOS trials AR tool that allows you to see dresses on models sized 4 to 18.  Evening Standard 

The gym of the future will be virtual, gamified and totally immersive.  Fast Company

This startup wants to help indie booksellers combat Amazon.  Wired

Streaming services entertain pets, distract pet parents.  The New York Times

Google tests photo printing subscription service.  Fortune

Other Fun Stuff 

Benedict Evan’s “Tech in 2020” Deck  – Really interesting overview of Benedict Evan’s predictions and point of view. It’s also very easy to digest which is a plus for my current state of mom brain.