Weekly Industry Brief 12.15.2014

Hi there! Below is a recap of news in fashion, retail, and technology over the last week. All sources can be found in the hyper-linked text after each headline:

Holiday:

  • Behind the holiday trend of self-gifting. Link
  • Best Buy offers free two-day shipping to lure holiday shoppers. Link
  • Retailers grapple with shifting holiday patterns. Link
  • Meet the secret army of meteorologists who keep your holiday deliveries on time. Link
  • Amazon drives more holiday web retail traffic than biggest TV ad spender. Link

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Amazon introduces “Make an Offer” option. Link
  • Gucci, Coach tie for top spot in L2 digital study. Link
  • Amazon launches Surprise!, a Facebook-powered app for sending personalized e-cards. Link
  • The buzziest beauty brands of 2014. Link
  • ASOS sales soar in the UK, not so much everywhere else. Link
  • In the next few weeks, U.S. retailers can add the Shop Now button to their pages. Link
  • Online retailer Frank & Oak opens Canadian flagship. Link
  • Digital kiosks fuse in-store and online shopping. Link
  • Gucci CEO and Creative Director step down. Link
  • H&M taps Olivia Wilde as conscious ambassador. Link
  • Nordstrom partnering with eBay for smart fitting rooms. Link
  • Marriott debuts hotel brand for millennials in New Orleans. Link
  • How Tommy Hilfiger had its biggest year ever. Link
  • Bloomingdale’s social shopping experiment, Zoomingdales. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Instagram hits 300 Million users. Link
  • JC Penny has store shoppers surprise complete strangers with gifts. Link
  • The new co-op isn’t retail ad budgets, it’s audience data. Link
  • LinkedIn rolls out a simplified homepage with analytics and news feed front and center. Link
  • Polyvore reveals the most searched fashion brands. Link
  • The worst corporate tweets of 2014. Link
  • Lowe’s explores native tools on Vine and Instagram. Link
  • YouTube’s most popular ads of 2014. Link
  • The most discussed topics on Facebook in 2014. Link
  • Snapchat poaches start tech banker from Credit Suisse. Link
  • Facebook search can now find specific posts. Link
  • The most viral tweets of 2014. Link
  • Brands can now turn positive reviews into native ads and only pay when people share them. Link
  • How Hendrick’s gin has found creative ways to fluently speak to hard-to-reach hipsters. Link
  • Facebook dumps Bing, will introduce its own search tool. Link
  • Apple store online now accepts PayPal in US and UK. Link
  • Google Plus lets you define your own gender. Link
  • Under Armour is Ad Age’s marketer of the year. Link

Start-ups:

  • Tinder competitor Hinge raises $12M to bring its friends-of-friends dating app abroad. Link
  • Chef’d uses crowdfunding to roll out recipe-and-ingredient delivery service for gourmet meals. Link
  • Facebook’s Oculus buys two startups for virtual reality gestures, 3D. Link
  • Change.org raises $25 M from big names to go global and mobile. Link
  • Guy-oriented web content startup Woven Digital raises $18M in funding. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • India’s SnapDeal acquires Wishpicker to deliver better product recommendations. Link
  • Southeast Asia gets own online shopping festival. Link
  • Apple to open research site in Japan. Link
  • China’s Baidu set to partner with Uber and reportedly invest up to $600M. Link
  • Is Asia setting the trend on selfies? Link

[EU]

  • Google News shut down in Spain. Link
  • Amazon UK glitch sells thousands of products for a penny. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Android Wear adds customizable faces to its smartwatches. Link
  • eBay draws inspiration from Pinterest for iPad commerce app. Link
  • Iowa is building the nation’s first smartphone driver’s license. Link
  • Shazam launches new version of mobile app. Link
  • Chicago and New York officials look to build Uber-like apps for taxis. Link
  • Invasion of wearable in the workforce. Link
  • Snap Fashion extends its visual search engine app into men’s clothing. Link
  • App detects when your friends are nearby and immediately silences your phone. Link
  • Hulu offers free streaming on Android over the holidays. Link
  • Whatsapp may be working on a web version of its popular messaging app. Link
  • Venmo lets users sign in using bank account log in. Link

Other:

  • 2015 technology trends to watch. Link
  • McDonald’s seeks help wooing millennials. Link
  • TV disruption on display as Netflix and Amazon go head-to-head at Golden Globes. Link
  • Analysts claim teens still prefer print books. Link
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WEEKLY INDUSTRY ROUND UP: 9.22.2014

Top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Zara builds its business around RFID, learns from others’ mistakes. Link
  • Nordstrom employs New York Instagrammers to personalize fall accessories. Link
  • Amazon touts reduced shopping cart abandonment with newly expanded “login and pay” service. Link
  • Amazon purchases buy.com domain for $4.6M. Link
  • Lululemon inks two corner deals in Soho, will open first Men’s store. Link
  • Uniqlo expects profits at U.S. stores in couple of years. Link
  • Yahoo’s core business value cut in half after Alibaba IPO. Link
  • Prada profit down 21% due to weak demand in Asia and Europe. Link
  • Packaged goods marketers wade warily in ecommerce. Link
  • Apple and Amazon take baby steps toward digital sharing. Link
  • Asos facing backlash from leading fashion brands over discounting. Link
  • Rue La La debuts its first exclusive collection on its ecommerce site. Link
  • Versace embeds instant ecommerce in runway show livestream. Link
  • Zulily keeps it simple and masters ecommerce fundamentals over gimmicky marketing tactics. Link
  • Macy’s, Bloomingdales adding same-day delivery. Link
  • Stronger U.S. demand and ecommerce sales boost H&M. Link
  • Target selects 16 brand partners for sustainability push. Link
  • Rebecca Minkoff launches maternity capsule. Link
  • Home Depot’s data breach bigger than Target’s at 56 Million cards compromised. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Ralph Lauren launches creative initiative and campaign ‘Project Warehouse.’ Link
  • How Ikea brings design ideas to life in social. Link
  • Twitter redesigns profiles for iPhone app. Link
  • Facebook is convincing advertisers to spend. Link
  • Puma returns to roots in new campaign. Link
  • A look at Lilly Pulitzer’s social media marketing. Link
  • Pinterest plans to help advertisers track performance; serve ads based on pinned brands. Link
  • YouTube adds real-time analytics with minute-by-minute view counts for videos. Link
  • Facebook now shows real-time events higher in your feed. Link

Start-ups:

  • com founder raises new funds for Amazon rival. Link
  • Shippo gets $2M funding for its shipping API for small businesses. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • H&M begins selling online in China. Link
  • Alibaba’s IPO world record. Link
  • WeChat launches mobile payment service. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • Brooks Brothers continues Australian rollout. Link

[CA]

  • Hudson’s Bay to open first Saks in Canada in Spring 2016. Link
  • Nordstrom joins rush to Canada. Link

[EU]

  • Click and Collect shoppers predicted to pick up £6.5B of goods by 2019. Link
  • Sweden’s Klarna: With U.S. launch, it’s all about online payment friction. Link

[LATAM]

  • Zara sells online in Mexico. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Macy’s to roll out beacon technology to all stores this fall. Link
  • Subway to use Softcard NFC for mobile payments. Link
  • Photos shot with Goolge Glass will now sync with your iPhone immediately. Link
  • Sqaure’s Cash App lets you text or email money for free. Link
  • Apple’s iBeacons are going to transform much more than advertising. Link
  • Three reasons Apple Pay is going to work. Link
  • The big picture on digital receipts. Link
  • Fartfetch launches discover app. Link
  • iPhone’s NFC tech will only work with Apple Pay. Link
  • Oculus announces mobile SDK and platform for developers. Link
  • The best iOS8 features you may not know about. Link
  • Apple sells 10M iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units in launch weekend. Link
  • Why the U.S. lags the world in mobile payments. Link
  • Amazon, Lowe’s and E*Trade embrace iOS8’s Touch ID to reduce mobile commerce friction. Link
  • Beacons land on retailers’ holiday wish lists. Link

Other:

  • Whole Foods to test rewards program as competition grows. Link
  • Digital innovation is in the spotlight at London Fashion Week. Link
  • Apple TV is now armed and ready to be the centerpiece for Apple’s smart home takeover plans. Link
  • The slow death of the no-logo movement. Link

WEEKLY INDUSTRY ROUND UP: 9.15.2014

Top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer News:

  • Home Depot confirms data breach and says investigation goes back to April. Link
  • Opening Ceremony takes wraps off Intel-powered smart bracelet. Link
  • PayPal gambles on Bitcoin and One-touch payments. Link
  • DVF focuses on retail growth. Link
  • Ikea to resume online rollout after yearlong pause. Link
  • Rent the Runway to open DC store in Georgetown. Link
  • Anthropologie launches home catalogue and registry. Link
  • Rebecca Minkoff’s smart bracelets place emphasis on style and luxury. Link
  • Apple hires Gap’s number two marketer. Link
  • Target links with Toms. Link
  • Burberry’s scrolling website for its new fragrance is a thing of beauty. Link
  • Retailers give themselves makeover as millennials follow own beat. Link
  • Urban Outfitters to open first Asian store in Hong Kong. Link
  • London Fashion Week: Why technology is in fashion. Link
  • Behind the Vans boom. Link
  • Rocket Internet kicks off $970M IPO. Link
  • LVMH’s TAG Heuer has plans for smartwatch. Link
  • LuLuLemon stock spikes on Q2 gain. Link
  • Foot Locker partners with Deliv for same-day sneaker delivery. Link
  • H&M third quarter sales exceed estimates after strong August. Link
  • Uniqlo to reissue its greatest hits from Jil Sander collaboration. Link
  • Target hopes for a hit with Altuzarra collection. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • There is now an agency dedicated to your favorite Instagram models. Link
  • You can now buy things directly on Twitter. Link
  • How one fashion blogger is on track to earn almost $8M this year. Link
  • Twitter announces Flight, an annual mobile developer conference. Link
  • eBay prepping new mobile ad network. Link
  • Converse aims to turn ‘boring parts of the internet fun’ with Sneakers Would campaign. Link
  • Turning celebrities into branded cultural currency. Link
  • Yahoo sees mobile ads following search business. Link
  • Canon partners with Stella McCartney for camera bag collection. Link
  • Facebook is cracking down on ads users hate. Link
  • Five brands using data to generate blog content. Link
  • Facebook autoplay ads cause surge in mobile data use. Link

Start-ups:

  • Uber pilots on-demand product delivery in Sweden. Link
  • Everlane to deliver clothes to your door in less than 60 minutes. Link
  • Festival travel site Festicket raises $2.7M. Link
  • Kanzee makes sharing clothes with friends a breeze. Link
  • Google buys popular polling service Polar for Google+. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • Uniqlo launches Malaysian online store. Link
  • Alibaba brings luxury to China’s middle class. Link
  • This is the $100 Android phone that Google is hoping will dominate India. Link
  • China is Ikea’s fastest growing market. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • Forever 21 heads to Sydney. Link

[CA]

  • How Nordstrom plans to conquer Canada. Link

[EU]

  • Neiman Marcus acquires MyTheresa.com. Link
  • Crew opens fourth London unit. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Tech and fashion designers put the wear in wearables. Link
  • Apple coverage:
    • A smartwatch, iPhone 6 and more: Highlights and analysis from Apple’s keynote. Link
    • Apple launches mobile payment platform Apple Pay. Link
    • Apple smartwatch launch boost to wearables. Link
    • Apple Pay poses dilemma for Telco’s mobile wallets. Link
    • Will stores warm up to Apple Pay? Link
    • Six core beliefs behind the new Apple Watch. Link
    • Larger iPhone 6 Plus sells out. Link
    • Three cool things the iPhone 6 camera can do. Link
    • How Apple pushes entire industries forward. Link
  • BBC goes local – and mobile – with experimental ‘popup’ bureaus. Link

Other:

  • New York Fashion Week explores technology’s role in fashion. Link

Ready for wearables to be fashionable?

Technology and fashion.  What better topic to cover on this blog? This week there is no shortage of coverage to review, from Fashion Week to Apple’s big iWatch reveal on Tuesday.

Starting with Fashion Week, we saw two designers present smart jewelry as part of their  Spring/Summer 2015 collections. First, Rebecca Minkoff (with help from Case-Mate) unveiled a smart bracelet as an introduction to a collection of accessories that sync with phones to provide call and message alerts as well as double as a USB device. The bracelets communicate with your phone via a Bluetooth signal. There is also a mini charger in the collection, designed to fit in a small clutch. These accessories will be available at Rebecca Minkoff and Nordstrom stores just in time for holiday and range in price from $40 – $120.

Opening Ceremony Wearable Bracelet

Opening Ceremony x Intel via Fast Company

Another newsworthy designer wearable came from Opening Ceremony, who collaborated with Intel to make fashionable bracelets dubbed MICA (or, My Intelligent Communication Accessory).   At start, the features of the bracelet include SMS messages, meeting alerts and so-called “general notifications.”  Unlike Minkoff’s BlueTooth enabled bracelet, the MICA is 3G enabled and does not rely on a phone for connectivity. The bracelets charge wirelessly and feature “premium finishes” like pearls and water snakeskin. These accessories will be sold at Barneys and Opening Ceremony stores this holiday season.  No reports on price just yet.

Apple iWatch

Apple iWatch via Engadget

Lastly is, of course, the Apple iWatch. Early next year, you can spend $350 to purchase a watch that syncs with your iPhone 5 or above.  Features include Apple Pay, a slew of sensors, and six different bands to choose from.

Now we’ll watch as the public warms up to wearables that serve purposes beyond fitness tracking.

Lots of good coverage to check out around the web, including:

Quantifying the Runways at New York Fashion Week (Inc Magazine)

Tech Companies and Fashion Designers Try to Put the Wear in Wearables (Wall Street Journal)

Designers are Jumping Into the Wearable Tech Space This New York Fashion Week – Should We Care? (Forbes)

Apple Smartwatch Boost to Wearables (Women’s Wear Daily)

Opening Ceremony and Intel Reveal MICA – My Intelligent Communication Accessory (BusinessWire)

WEEKLY INDUSTRY ROUND UP: 9.8.2014

Top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer News:

  • eBay makes New York Fashion Week instantly shopable. Link
  • Nordstrom said to be first retailer to accept Apple mobile payments. Link
  • Neiman Marcus to open first NYC store. Link
  • Saks introduces user-generated content hub to propel purchases. Link
  • Opening Ceremony reveals Intel-powered smart bracelet. Link
  • Digital driving growth at Belk department stores. Link
  • eBay attracts top fashion brands to sell direct. Link
  • NastyGal lays off up to 10% of its workforce. Link
  • Saks Fifth Avenue takes steps ot build on its legacy. Link
  • Staples adds buy online, pick up in store. Link
  • Yahoo Style, a new digital magazine, arrives just in time for fashion week. Link
  • UPS plans to offer pickup points for online orders in New York City and Chicago. Link
  • Google pledges to fight the sale of fake Luis Vuitton bags online. Link
  • Starbucks to launch express stores. Link
  • Amazon taps USPS to deliver groceries in San Francisco. Link
  • Saks CMO explains sweeping changes. Link
  • DVF’s tech-savvy style. Link
  • Visa rolls out online payments campaign for NFL opening day. Link
  • Joe Zee is Old Navy’s fall style ambassador. Link
  • Crew’s sales picked up last quarter. Link
  • PayPal expands further into offline retail and mobile payments with new PayPal Here SDK. Link
  • It’s Uniqlo vs. Uniqlo at the US Open. Link
  • Path of stolen credit cards leads back to Home Depot stores. Link
  • ASOS seeks CIO. Link
  • Six ways competitors are trying to kill Amazon. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Social activism becomes a thing for brands, thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge. Link
  • Ikea pitches its 2015 catalog as the coolest gadget ever. Link
  • American Apparel ad banned in UK for sexualizing schoolgirls. Link
  • In social advertising, YouTube converts more customers than anyone else. Link
  • Photo app Twitpic shuts down over trademark spat with Twitter. Link
  • Facebook rolls out privacy checkups to all 1.3B users. Link
  • Hyperlapse is doing well so far. Link
  • How Venmo is turning into a hilarious social network. Link

Start-ups:

  • This startup aims to give everyone the shipping power of Amazon. Link
  • Yahoo buys photo ad network Luminate, shuts it down. Link
  • Food start up adds tech talent as Silicon Valley shakes up the food business. Link
  • Diageo looks to pour new tech into liquor with venture unit. Link
  • Uber strikes deal to build new headquarters in large expansion. Link
  • ASOS founder funds London expansion of New York-style blow dry bars. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • Fans form lines in Tokyo for expected iPhone launch. Link
  • Rakuten to buy eBates. Link
  • Baidu Eye prototype unveiled to rival Google Glass. Link
  • Emerging Asian designers hit New York Fashion Week. Link
  • House of Fraser completes sale to Chinese department store. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • The Iconic joins other fashion pureplays in international fashion merger. Link
  • H&M confirms two Sydney stores. Link

[EU]

  • Online shopping on mobile devices overtakes desktop in UK. Link
  • How Yoox turned the lucury-goods industry onto digital. Link

[A/ME]

  • Africa now has 100M Facebook users, 9% of the total population. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Apple courts fashionistas as smartwatch expectations mount. Link
  • Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch arrives just days before Apple’s expected smartwatch announcement. Link
  • Apple’s big event on September 9th. Here’s what to expect. Link
  • Millennials are the largest group of smartphone owners and adoption is still growing. Link
  • Inside look at the Starbucks app, the most successful mobile payments system in the US. Link
  • Apple adds another high-profile hire with industrial designer Marc Newson. Link
  • The Galaxy Note Edge is Samsung’s new phablet with a new kind of curved display. Link
  • How beacons are changing the shopping experience. Link
  • Apple teaming up with Visa, MasterCard on iPhone wallet. Link
  • Rue La La anticipates bigger-than-ever mobile surge during upcoming holiday season. Link
  • Microsoft woos cost-conscious with new smartphones. Link
  • Why Apple’s iBeacon hasn’t taken off – yet. Link
  • Designers debut wearables at New York Fashion Week. Link

Other:

  • Following purge of tobacco products, CVS renames itself to CVS Health. Link
  • Starbucks announces two new store designs. Link
  • Millennials are saying no to credit cards. Link
  • Two Googlers take top White House tech jobs. Link

Tory Burch x FitBit

This news couldn’t be more timely for my first “real” post on the new blog. Tory Burch’s new jewelry line for FitBit has hit the press. Talk about the intersection between fashion and tech, right? I need to get this bracelet ASAP.

Tory Burch x Fit Bit

Image from The Verge

Checkout some of today’s coverage from around the web:

Hide your Fitbit in this new Tory Burch jewelry (The Verge)

Tory Burch, Fitbit Team for Accessories Line (Women’s Wear Daily)

Here Are The First Products From Fitbit’s Partnership With Tory Burch (TechCrunch)