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

Weekly Industry Brief: 2.4.2019

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

Brands + Retailers

  • DTC women’s hair-removal brand Flamingo moves offline with Target.  Glossy
  • Toy industry sales fell 2% in 2018, thanks to Toys R Us closure.  CNBC
  • Walmart scores big against Amazon with Fanatics sports gear deal.  Fortune 
  • Walgreens and CVS are offering ways to fix your teeth in their stores.  CNBC
  • Kohl’s is putting a Weight Watchers studio in one of its stores as part of wellness push.  CNBC
  • Alphabet earnings: why Google stock is tumbling despite profit spike  Fast Company 
  • Goop is coming to Netflix.  TechCrunch
  • Charlotte Russe files for bankruptcy.  Fortune
  • Why H&M hired the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower.  Fortune

Marketing + Social Media

  • Google’s bid to battle Amazon suffers blow as Walmart withdraws.  Bloomberg
  • Zara changes its logo.  Hypebeast
  • Equinox debuts campaign for new hotels biz.  AdAge
  • The Top 10 Super Bowl commercials by digital share of voice.  AdAge
  • The biggest advertising trends of the Super Bowl.  AdWeek
  • How TikTok is climbing the download charts, taking on Snapchat and Twitter.  CNBC
  • Hulu is the first brand to sponsor the record-breaking egg account on Instagram.  The Verge
  • The rise of the new male power shopper.  Forbes
  • Why fashion brands are launching podcasts.  The Business of Fashion
  • Nike turns its SNKRS app into a pop-up shop.  Engadget
  • Google+ will officially shut down on April 2.  Fortune 
  • 15 years of Facebook in four charts.  Wired

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Warby Parker is using augmented reality to help people find frames that fit.  AdWeek
  • Artificial intelligence is chaining Kroger, Walgreens and others.  Forbes
  • McCormick and IBM team up to add AI-fueled flavors.  Fast Company
  • Slack just confidentially filed to go public.  Fast Company 
  • Amazon’s 2018 acquisitions totaled $1.65B, led by PillPack and Ring.  TechCrunch
  • How blockchain will change marketing in 2019.  CMO Magazine

International

  • Amazon and Flipkart pull 100,000’s of products to comply with new Indian law.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon reportedly eyes Middle East expansion.  Geek Wire 

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

International

  • 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 

Weekly Industry Brief: 1.21.2019

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

Brands + Retailers

  • New York’s lost department stores.  The New York Times 
  • Patagonia’s CEO on how saving the planet has been good for business.  Fashionista
  • Boosting mall revenues through advanced analytics.  McKinsey
  • Net-a-porter launches kidswear.  Vogue
  • Netflix stock tanks despite record Q4 subscriber growth.  Fast Company 
  • Tesla is laying off 7% of its full-time employees.  Fast Company
  • Rihanna said to be readying luxury house with LVMH.  WWD
  • Amazon rewrites book industry by marching into publishing.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Fossil to sell smartwatch IP to Google for $40M.  ZDNet
  • Walmart adds four grocery delivery partners.  TechCrunch
  • Target is making a bigger bet on baby.  CNBC
  • Chico’s will close at least 250 stores to better compete in the age of Amazon.  USA Today
  • Gymboree files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again. The Wall Street Journal
  • L’occitane adds Elemis for $900M as luxury skincare booms.  Bloomberg
  • The Fenty effect comes to skincare.  Business of Fashion
  • How WeWork’s CEO also acts as a landlord for his company.  Inc
  • Comfy shoes helped Allbirds become a $1.4B company but it’s never been just about shoes.  Inc

Marketing + Social Media

  • Facebook is secretly building LOL, a cringe teen meme hub.  TechCrunch
  • Facebook launches petition feature, its next battlefield.  TechCrunch
  • Consumers say brands shouldn’t bring politics to the Super Bowl.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Luke Wilson gets close in Colgate’s Super Bowl ad.  AdWeek
  • Pew published a study of how Facebook users feel about targeting.  Pew
  • Snap’s user growth still seems to be sputtering.  Fast Company 
  • Amazon is a looming giant in influencer marketing.  Digiday
  • Fortnite’s digital goods are a key to the future of global trade.  Bloomberg

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Walmart and VC firms see two paths for DTC brands.  Retail Dive
  • Nike’s big bet on the future of connected shoes.  Fast Company 
  • Investment dollars continue to pour into DTC brands.  AdAge
  • Squad is the new screen-sharing chat app everyone will copy.  TechCrunch
  • How three legacy brands are using tech to personalize beauty.  AdWeek

International

  • Google gets a $57M fine from France for GDPR violations.  AdAge

Weekly Industry Brief: 1.14.2019

I’m back! I hope your 2019 is off to a great start. Here is a recap of news from the last couple of weeks.  As always, sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Cheers!

Brands and Retailers

  • Amazon claims a record-breaking holiday season by items sold.  CNBC
  • Winning in an era of unprecedented disruption: a perspective on US retail.  McKinsey
  • How Shopify built an $800M partner ecosystem. Digiday
  • Walmart to add 2,000 tech hires.  Fortune 
  • ASOS CEO on the next ecommerce frontier.  Business of Fashion
  • Refillable packaging is the trend quietly taking over luxury beauty.  Fashionista
  • Nail and waxing salons are among the few that will survive the retail apocolypse.  Axios
  • Will 2019 be the year that clothing subscriptions take over? Forbes
  • Seven social issues that CEO’s will prioritize in 2019.  Fast Company
  • Kroger and Microsoft build a futuristic grocery store.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon Go could generation $4.5B with plan for 3,000 stores.  Retail Dive
  • Target hints at larger wellness ambitions.  Glossy 
  • Target is on track to have its best full year of sales growth in 13 years.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon offers product sampling program to brands.  Forbes 
  • Despite setbacks, Nike is soaring with direct-to-consumer offense. Business of Fashion
  • Ulta has cracked beauty’s secret in the Amazon era.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon, Lego and Wayfair join the pop-up store boom.  Bloomberg
  • Walgreens to shed $1B in annual costs.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Gap plans to shutter one of it’s major New York retail stores.  Bloomberg
  • Gymboree shops for bankruptcy financing as it prepares filing. The Wall Street Journal 

Marketing and Social Media

  • Instagram’s ecommerce success is building with Stories.  MarketingLand
  • Facebook has a new Stories feature for event sharing.  The Verge
  • Amazon will win advertising dollars away from Facebook admid privacy concerns. ReCode
  • WeWork rebranding as The We Company.  Business Insider
  • YouTube makes it easier to navigate through videos in its app.  TechCrunch
  • Brands dish out $200M on fake influencers a year.  Retail Gazette
  • Skittles’ big play on Super Bowl Sunday will be…an actual play.  AdWeek
  • Facebook, cryptocurrency and the future of mobile commerce.  Forbes
  • Is 2019 the year of paid loyalty? Lululemon, CVS and Loblaw are game to find out.  Forbes
  • NBCUniversal announces streaming service that will be free to paid TV subscribers.  TechCrunch
  • An egg has dethroned Kylie Jenner for the most Instagram likes ever.  Fast Company 
  • Instagram’s digital ad share to double despite Facebook issues.  AdAge
  • Tiffany’s gets serious about diamond sourcing.  AdAge

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Adidas can now make specialized shoes for runners in different cities thanks to robots.  Quartz
  • How retail changes when algorithms curate everything we buy.  Harvard Business Review
  • The future of beauty was on display at CES. CNN
  • American Eagle Outfitters launches interactive fitting rooms at flagships nationwide.  MarketWatch
  • These companies want to fix the trillion dollar returns problem.  CNBC
  • WeWork is investing in super foods.  Fast Company
  • Report says that Slack is planing an IPO in 2019.  Fast Company
  • Banking startup N26 raises $300M in $2.7B valuation.  TechCrunch

International

  • As Walmart takes on China’s booming delivery market, it’s going for a smaller store.  CNBC
  • Germany outlaws Amazon’s one-click Dash buttons.  Engadget
  • How Europe’s Zalando is fighting off Amazon and building the Spotify of fashion.  Business of Fashion 
  • Chinese tech giant Baidu will help Walmart deliver groceries in America.  Motley Fool

Weekly Industry Brief: 12.17.2018

And just like that, we’re on my last post for the year!

Back in the beginning of 2018, Amazon had just announced 20 finalists for their second headquarters and Toys ‘R’ Us was still a store. A lot has happened since then and I’m proud to have archived it here.

I am wishing all of you a wonderful holiday and a happy new year.  Hopefully you are closing out the year by spending with family, friends, and loved ones, taking time to reflect on this year and planting seeds for all of the potential of the year ahead.

(P.S. If you want a quick cry, check out the Google Year in Search video.)

With Love, Carolann

Brands + Retailers

  • Google will open a new $1B campus in NYC.  Fast Company
  • Report says Johnson & Johnson knew its baby powder had asbestos for decades.  Fast Company
  • Starbucks opens first east coast reserve roastery.  AdAge
  • Facebook discloses bug that opened private photos to apps.  AdAge
  • The data New York gave to Amazon.  The New York Times
  • Here’s how Nike, Alibaba and Walmart are reinventing retail.  Wired
  • A look inside Macy’s new retail strategy.  Retail Dive
  • Dollar General has suddenly become one of the biggest retailers in the US by store count.  Business Insider
  • Retailers embrace payment apps to sidestep $90B in swipe fees.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon looks to limit products that don’t drive profit.  Forbes
  • Amazon eyes private label toys.  Retail Dive
  • Starbucks adding delivery services to more than 2,000 stores via Uber Eats.  TechCrunch
  • Instacart and Amazon-owned Whole Foods are parting ways.  TechCrunch
  • Aerie momentum continues for American Eagle.  Forbes
  • What every direct-to-consumer brand can learn from Nike.  Forbes
  • How Barney’s, Saks and Neiman Marcus are tackling luxury beauty.  Glossy

Marketing + Social Media

  • The making of a computer-generated influencer.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Why beauty and wellness brands like New York City subway ads.  Glossy
  • Facebook’s version of YouTube takes shape with pranksters, magicians and cartoons.  The New York Times 
  • Stories from inside the $9B Instagram economy.  Fast Company
  • Instagram is testing creator accounts for high-profile influencers.  The Verge
  • Hulu introduces new programmatic marketplace.  AdAge
  • Facebook rolls out search ads and they’re currently free.  AdAge
  • Rookie cataloged a generation of girlhood.  The New York Times
  • Instagram will start telling brands which products users bookmark which could be used for ad targeting.  CNBC

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Walmart will soon use hundreds of AI robot janitors to scrub the floors of US stores.  CNBC
  • Procter & Gamble buys Walker & Co.  AdAge
  • Headspace vs. Calm: the meditation battle that’s anything but zen.  The Wall Street Journal
  • How “brick-and-mobile” is transforming in-store shopping.  Retail Dive
  • Powerful pricing: the next frontier in apparel and fashion advanced analytics.  McKinsey

International

  • eCommerce is thriving in Africa despite hurdles to the “last mile.”  Quartz
  • Walmart partners with Rakuten to open its first ecommerce store in Japan.  TechCrunch

Weekly Industry Brief: 12.10.2018

Happy Monday! Here is a quick recap of news from around the industry in the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Hope your holidays have been successful so far 🙂

Brands + Retailers

  • Marlboro maker buys $1.8B stake in cannabis company.  Adage
  • Amazon tests its cashier-less technology for bigger stores.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon’s cashier-free Go stores may be coming to airports.  TechCrunch
  • What big consumer brands can do to compete in a digital economy.  Harvard Business Review
  • Walgreens launches next-day drug delivery with FedEx.  Forbes
  • Chanel is showing the first signs of evolving into a more flexible, millennial-oriented company.  Glossy
  • Walmart to acquire home decor site Art.com. CNBC
  • Stella McCartney, Burberry among brands uniting against climate change.  CNN
  • How digitally native brands are changing the American mall.  Glossy
  • Verizon trims 7% of staff in preparation for a 5G future.  TechCrunch

Marketing + Social Media

  • Google’s search data shows YouTube’s influence over this season’s hottest toys.  TechCrunch
  • Why the New York Times is going all in on march.  Fashionista
  • Lyft drops ‘L’ in solidarity with screwed Brooklyn commuters.  AdAge
  • Lululemon expands test loyalty program with annual fee.  CNBC
  • How Adidas is evolving dark social to stay ahead of the game.  Marketing Week
  • TV can now complete the attribution puzzle.  AdAge
  • Will ad dollars continue shifting from Facebook to Instagram in 2019?  AdWeek
  • Pringles returns to the Super Bowl.  AdAge
  • Social media tops newspapers as a top source for adults.  TechCrunch
  • Instagram adds voice messaging feature to Instagram Direct.  Fast Company

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Wearables are pivoting from fitness to wellness.  Glossy
  • Target’s Christmas tree sales aided by augmented-reality feature.  Bloomberg
  • Google has acquired one of India’s most popular train-tracking apps.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon Music customers can now talk to Alexa more naturally.  TechCrunch
  • Target replaces startup accelerator program, partners with German retailer.  Biz Journals
  • VR headset market grew 8.3% in Q3.  VentureBeat
  • American Airlines is offering biometric boarding at LAX terminal.  Fast Company

International

  • China’s Alibaba takes on Amazon in European cloud.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Macy’s fully exits China after closing its last online shop.  ZDNet
  • Amazon is planning to open a flagship Go store in London.  Fast Company 

Weekly Industry Brief: 12.3.2018

Happy Monday! Here is a quick recap of industry news from the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Have a great week!!

Brands + Retailers

Marketing + Social Media

  • Marketing through smart speakers? Brands don’t need to be asked twice.  The New York Times 
  • Retailers test Facebook-style shopper profiles to battle Amazon.  AdAge
  • Samsung overtakes P&G as world’s largest advertiser.  AdAge
  • Intel guts its high-profile internal agency.  AdAge
  • Amazon emerges as an advertising giant.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon Teen targets kids on Snapchat.  Fast Company
  • For Birchbox and Glamsquad, it’s all about clicks and mortar.  Fortune
  • Apple launches online store with 10% discount for active military and veterans.  TechCrunch
  • DTC brand Parachute plans to have 20 retail stores by 2020.  Digiday
  • How this 7-year-old made $22M playing with toys.  Forbes
  • YouTube rolls out Stories to creators with over 10K subscribers.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon is letting Apple Musica onto its Alexa speakers.  AdAge
  • Facebook adds free TV shows to redefine Watch.  TechCrunch

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • L’oreal’s Modifiche brings AR to nail care.  Glossy
  • Startup incubator Betaworks signs exclusive partnership with WPP’s Grey.  AdWeek
  • Payless opened a fake luxury store to see how much people would pay for $20 shoes.  AdWeek
  • YouTube lets European creators add a march store to their channels.  Engadget
  • This is the ultimate no-frills shopping site.  Fast Company
  • Bustle buys Mic.  Forbes

International

  • Amazon under fire in Europe as Germany adds antitrust probe.  AdAge
  • El Corte Ingles ties up with Alibaba.  Alizila
  • Toys ‘R’ Us Asia maps regional growth plan.  The Wall Street Journal

Weekly Industry Brief: 11.26.2018

This is my first Cyber Monday away from brand-side commerce in many years. I hope you are all swimming in positive (profitable) comps! In the meantime, you can checkout headlines from the last week here.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text.

Brands and Retailers

  • Walmart passes Apple to become No. 3 online retailer in the U.S. TechCrunch
  • Black Friday is now retail’s digital stress test.  Bloomberg
  • Black Friday sales were the best they have been in years – but companies lost out because they weren’t ready for success.  Business Insider
  • Amazon, Apple and Facebook once led the market. Now they are driving it down.  The New York Times 
  • Victoria’s Secret is bringing back swimwear after abandoning it nearly 3 years ago.  Business Insider
  • Amazon reports customer data snafu as holiday shopping heats up.  AdAge
  • Thanksgiving online spend hits a record $3,7B, mobile accounted for one-third of sales.  TechCrunch
  • Kohl’s cracks the retail code.  Fortune
  • A new wave of beauty brands are catering to the post-Glossier customer.  Fashionista
  • Former Toys ‘R’ Us employees get a long overdue severance payout.  Fast Company 
  • Columbia Sportswear says the president’s new wave of levies will not bring jobs back to the US.  The New York Times
  • Walmart, J.Crew, Lululemon: Retailers’ websites struggle to handle the Black Friday bonanza.  Fortune
  • Neiman Marcus is exploring options that include a sale.  StocksBeat
  • The new trend in luxury retail? Not selling anything.  Fashionista
  • Gap considers closing hundreds of stores with urgency.  Fortune
  • Walmart is finding ways to be nimble and thinking like a startup.  AdWeek
  • Ikea to slash thousands of jobs in restructuring.  The Wall Street Journal
  • GM plans to cut 14,000 jobs, close factories as downturn looms.  TechCrunch
  • Amazon exec tapped to lead Airbnb to the public market.  TechCrunch
  • US Postal Service exposed data of 60 million users.  TechCrunch

Marketing and Social Media

  • LinkedIn violated data protection by using 18M email addresses of non-members to buy targeted ads on Facebook.  TechCrunch
  • Cards Against Humanity sold diamond and TVs for 99% off on Black Friday.  TechCrunch
  • Why holiday windows still matter.  The New York Times 
  • Ticketmaster and Fanatics link up to sell march and tickets on each others’ platforms.  TechCrunch
  • Instagram is purging fake followers from the app.  Fortune
  • Apple’s gorgeously detailed holiday ad has a moral that all creatives should take to heart.  AdWeek
  • Coca-Cola wiped its social media accounts and relaunched with a positive, happy new look.  AdWeek
  • Facebook Watch pivots to an older audience.  CNBC

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Google Home Hub is a makeup how-to machine for your vanity.  Fast Company
  • For retailers and brands, sustainability needs good tech.  Forbes
  • Neo banks are finally having their moment.  The New York Times
  • Amazon aims to put digital wallet in brick-and-mortar stores.  The Wall Street Journal

International

  • Alibaba vs. Amazon reveals China’s digital commerce edge.  AdAge
  • Dolce & Gabbana in China storm over videos seen as racist.  AdAge
  • How Farfetch leverages its WeChat strategy.  Jing Daily
  • Lowe’s to exit Mexico retail business.  The Wall Street Journal

Weekly Industry Brief 11.19.2019

Happy Thanksgiving week slash one-week-til-Cyber-Monday! This year marks my first year in many years that I won’t be on the phone every other hour for war room check-ins over the holiday weekend.  Wishing everyone positive comps and no website crashes!

In the meantime, do a quick skim of the industry news from the last week here. Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands + Retailers

  • Walmart passes Apple to become No. 3 online retailer in U.S. TechCrunch 
  • Levi’s plans IPO that values the company at up to $5B.  CNBC
  • Ticketmaster and Fanatics link up to sell march and tickets on each others’ platforms.  TechCrunch
  • J.Crew CEO steps down.  Fast Company
  • Get ready for the first-ever trillion-dollar shopping season.  Fast Company
  • Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription to make its service more affordable.  TechCrunch
  • Rent more than the runway: why soon you won’t own any clothes at all.  Fast Company 
  • Why JP Morgan’s top internet analyst expects breakout growth for Facebook and Amazon shares in 2019.  CNBC
  • In the era of online shopping, the retail store is immersive theater.  Quartz
  • How Amazon now shapes what our stuff looks like.  Gizmodo
  • Nike’s huge new flagship looks like the future of retail.  Fast Company
  • FAO Schwarz puts a new spin on its dance-on piano as part of comeback.  CNBC
  • Starbucks to lay off 5% of corporate workforce. The Wall Street Journal

Marketing + Social Media

  • GirlBoss is launching a Linkedin-like platform that’s exclusively for women.  AdWeek
  • YouTube is now showing ad-supported Hollywood movies.  AdAge
  • ThirdLove CEO had perfect response to Victoria’s Secret shade.  Fast Company
  • Advertisers are giving people with 1,000 Instagram followers endorsement deals.  Fortune
  • Buzzfeed will tell you want millennials want, for a fee.  Bloomberg
  • Making YouTube videos stoppable just got a lot easier for influencers.  AdWeek
  • Facebook is shutting down its connected-TV ad network.  Digiday
  • Snapchat’s new commerce channel lets consumers shop without leaving the app.  AdWeek
  • Spotify, Pandora turn to podcasts for listeners, profits.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Saks launches holiday gift guide chatbot on Messenger.  AdWeek
  • Snapchat launches Bitmoji march and comic strips starring your avatar.  TechCrunch

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • iHeartMedia is acquiring ad ad-tech startup to expand programmatic audio advertising.  AdWeek
  • Ford and Walmart join forces for driverless delivery pilot in Miami.  AdAge
  • Walmart is using virtual reality simulation to train employees for Black Friday.  Vox
  • Facial recognition’s growing adoption spurs privacy concerns.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Fashion’s infatuation with AR continues.  Glossy

International

  • Disney receives Chinese approval for purchase of Fox assets.  AdAge
  • The great promise of China.  The New York Times
  • How Allbirds plots international growth.  Digiday
  • How Michael Kors is driving Chinese tourists to US stores.  Glossy
  • Another foreign furniture giant is following IKEA to India.  Quartz