Weekly Industry Brief: 12.4.2017

Happy December! Hope your holiday season is off to a great start.  Here is a recap of news from the last week.  Headlines can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

My favorite, worth a watch: Blast from the past: Watch Jeff Bezos describe Amazon’s business in 1999. Geek Wire

[Special Section!] Holiday Shopping

  • Shoppers hit the mall but more often tapped their phones. The New York Times
  • Cyber Monday becomes largest online shopping day in US history. CNBC
  • Shoppers say they hate Christmas in October but stats show they don’t. The Wall Street Journal
  • Amazon devoured 55% of Black Friday online orders. RetailDive
  • Echo Dot and Amazon Fire TV Stick outsold everything else on Amazon over Thanksgiving Weekend. Fortune
  • Black Friday weekend highlights from brick-and-mortar and online stores. Forbes

Brands and Retailers

  • Amazon may have patented the next big thing in online shopping. Quartz
  • Everlane’s first-ever brick-and-mortar store takes radical transparency literally. Fast Company
  • Home Depot shares hit all-time high as housing momentum swells, company advances mobile initiatives. CNBC
  • Ikea goes to down with new focus on city stores. Reuters
  • Nike will close its flagship NYC store in Spring, new one coming in 2019. Fortune
  • Alphabet will fold Nest back into Google to take on Amazon. Seeking Alpha
  • There’s a good chance your favorite clothes are made by a company you’ve never heard of. Bloomberg
  • How the mall business can reinvent itself for the digital age. McKinsey
  • Fruit of the Loom tries on subscription underwear. Bloomberg
  • Are Calvin Klein’s Amazon pop-ups dissing department stores? RetailDive
  • Established beauty companies are now turning to Kim Kardashian for business advice. Fashionista
  • StitchFix defies odds, soars over 50% since lackluster debut. TechCrunch
  • CVS to buy Aetna for $69B in a deal that may reshape the health industry. The New York Times

Marketing and Social Media

  • YouTube’s new Stories-like feature could make it a more social environment. Business Insider
  • These are the most-searched handbags, shoes and sneakers of 2017. Fashionista
  • Facebook built a version of Messenger specifically for children. Recode
  • Anastasia makes Stories shoppable. L2 Inc
  • How millennial and generation Z women shop when they want to splurge. AdWeek
  • Facebook expands feature letting businesses build Messenger into their websites. The Verge
  • How email fell behind in the race to personalize digital shopping. The Wall Street Journal
  • Spotify wraps up 2017 by making humorous goals for 2018 using its data and artists. The Drum
  • How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google manipulate our emotions. TED
  • Why retailers are rethinking their holiday ad strategies and moving away from storytelling. AdWeek

Startup and Emerging Tech

  • Inside Adidas’ robot-powered, on-demand sneaker factory. Wired
  • WeWork buys MeetUp, the service for bringing hobbyists together. The New York Times
  • eBay now lets you start shopping with a Google Assistant smart speaker and finish on your phone. Venture Beat
  • Predicting success in startup consumer brands. TechCrunch


  • Amazon reportedly mulls retail sales in Israel. Times of Israel
  • Wal-Mart already has a thriving online grocery business – in China. Bloomberg
  • Why Amazon orders in Mexico need cash and the corner store. Bloomberg

Weekly Industry Brief: 11.27.2017

Cyber Monday Edition! You’re probably still on conference calls, waiting for the final hours of sales to hit your constant flow of reports, hoping for the ultimate win of a glitch-free Cyber Monday (sorry, J.Crew!)…so while you are doing that, take a look at a recap of news from the last week.  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headlines.

[Special Section!] Holiday Shopping

  • Cyber Monday runs up $840M so far in US sales online. TechCrunch
  • Black Friday online sales surge to new records with mobile pushing fastest. Fortune
  • This Black Friday, some mall visitors came out for more than bargains. Washington Post
  • Thanksgiving ecommerce sales hit a record $2.87B, up 18.3% year-on-year. Techcrunch
  • At $1B a day or more, online shopping in the US has already set a new record this month. CNBC
  • Macy’s CEO sees strong start to holidays, helped by coat sales. Bloomberg
  • Inside the Wal Mart vs. Amazon battle over Black Friday. The Wall Street Journal
  • Nike, Macy’s suffer technical snafus on Black Friday. The Wall Street Journal
  • Soaring web sales continue to dominate holiday retail. CNBC
  • Millennials and the cosmetics boom. New York Times
  • Five digital stats that sum up Cyber Monday and Black Friday. AdWeek
  • Cyber Monday sales up 16% so far, even though best deals were already gone. AdAge

Brands and Retailers

  • Amazon wants you to buy an Echo next to that Whole Foods turkey. Bloomberg
  • Retailers offering delayed shipping options to avoid peak charges. The Wall Street Journal
  • Retailers experiment with a new philosophy: smaller is better. New York Times
  • Victoria Beckham scales up with $40M private equity investment. Fashionista
  • Crew to close more stores amid sinking sales. Fashionista
  • Everlane is opening its first brick and mortar stores, after years of swearing it wouldn’t. Washington Post
  • WeWork reportedly expanding into retail. Retail Dive
  • Inside the revolution at Etsy. New York Times
  • The future of retail in the age of Amazon. Fast Company
  • High-end stores that don’t actually sell anything are the future of retail. Quartz
  • Urban Outfitters surprises with strong Q3 earnings. Chain Store Age
  • Abercrombie same-store sales blow past estimates. Business Insider

Marketing and Social Media

  • Advertisers leaving YouTube due to ad placements. Seeking Alpha
  • Inside year three of REI’s #OptOutside campaign. AdWeek
  • How Sephora is quietly supporting female entrepreneurs. Glossy
  • Facebook debuts web-based VR experiences within standard newsfeed. Marketing Land
  • From collaborations to new stores to Paris Fashion Week, here’s how Lacoste is trying to stay relevant. Fashionista
  • Snapchat debuts two new advertising products. TechCrunch

Startup and Emerging Tech

  • Augmented reality will transform city life. Venture Beat
  • Meet the Everlane of skin care. The Cut
  • Robot makers raise funding in fight against Amazon. Bloomberg
  • Baidu unveils home robots and smart speakers. Venture Beat
  • Four futuristic features every retail store will have by 2025. Time


  • Amazon recruits Indian merchants on hunt for lower priced merchandise. New York Times
  • Amazon gears up to begin selling in Australia. Reuters
  • French shoppers to spend more online this holiday than last year.  Reuters
  • Demand for gold in China lifts profit at world’s largest jeweler.  Bloomberg
  • Amazon is selling its cloud services business in China to local firm.  Fortune



Weekly Industry Brief: 11.30.2015

Happy Cyber Monday!  Below are some industry highlights from the last week.  Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Note: I’ll be taking a short break with the weekly updates as I ramp up at my new job. More to come soon. Cheers!


  • When and where do Black Friday’s biggest crowds actually hit? Link
  • Black Friday shopping with thinner crowds as Americans spend more online. Link
  • Black Friday News: fewer people in stores, Everlane gives profits to factory workers. Link
  • US holiday sales on track amidst online boost. Link
  • US store sales down slightly for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Link
  • Online sales surge ahead of brick-and-mortar retailers’ big day. Link
  • Holiday shopping unlikely to cheer many investors. Link
  • Thanksgiving/Black Friday online sales hit $4.5B, 34% of purchases made on mobile. Link
  • Google shares Black Friday location data for marketers. Link


  • Neiman Marcus web site suffers outages for second straight day. Link
  • Burberry, Google launch interactive video experience at London flagship. Link
  • Wal-Mart revamps ecommerce technology as Amazon applies pressure. Link
  • Amazon touts new drone prototype, plans multiple designs. Link
  • Kate Spade’s CMO talks phone-charging purses, Pixar and dressing room selfies. Link


  • How Nordstrom and Sephora are nailing social media going into Black Friday. Link
  • J.Crew and American Girl embrace social commerce ads for the holidays. Link
  • Target’s big digital holiday campaign combines Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram. Link
  • Snapchat debuts Story Explorer, a more detailed approach to live events coverage. Link
  • Shopping app Spring proves to be an inexpensive asset for young brands. Link
  • Vine arrives on the Apple Watch. Link
  • These ecommerce companies are seeing lots of referral traffic from Pinterest. Link


  • Jet.com snags a fresh $350M in funding. Link
  • Deliveroo, an on-demand food delivery services, rasies $100M. Link
  • Rocket Internet’s latest company is ZenRooms, a budget hotel platform for Southeast Asia. Link


  • Facebook prepares for instant articles push in Asia. Link
  • Facebook expands free internet service in India. Link
  • Apple plans to launch Apple Pay in China by February. Link
  • China’s mobile payments war is going global. Link

Mobile/Emerging Tech:

  • Swatch to start selling mobile payment watch in US in 2016. Link
  • Smartphones overtake desktops for holiday shopping. Link
  • Swatch teams up with Visa for a watch that can make payments. Link

Weekly Industry Brief: 12.1.2014

Happy Cyber Monday! 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:


  • Black Friday ecommerce spending up 26%. Link
  • On Twitter, twice as many people talking about Black Friday this year. Link
  • Best Buy’s website down for about 90 minutes on Black Friday. Link
  • WalMart, Target report strong Thanksgiving Day traffic. Link
  • Kohl’s, Walmart, Apple see Black Friday social buzz. Link
  • Black Friday online sales up 8.5% over last year, 20% of sales from iOS. Link
  • Online sales set Black Friday record. Link
  • Yoox group posts record sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Link
  • Macy’s previews Cyber Monday on Sunday. Link
  • Mobile role in holiday shopping expected to grow. Link
  • Net-a-porter sale crashes part of site. Link

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Ebay Now pulled from App Store as company rethinks same-day delivery plans. Link
  • Gap sets deal with Germany’s Zalando. Link
  • NY Subway riders can now shop on Amazon while underground. Link
  • How Target identifies the hottest retail tech 18 months before it’s cool. Link
  • Nordstrom partners with eBay for smarter fitting rooms. Link
  • Zady to open three airport pop-up shops for the holidays. Link
  • These robots are processing Amazon orders. Link
  • Milennials to fuel growth of sporty brands. Link
  • Urban Outfitters, Nicole Miller in Wanelo “buy” button launch. Link
  • Nasty Gal’s first brick-and-mortar store encourages selfies. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Twitter now lets brands tweet deals to users with a new offer button. Link
  • American Girl pledges to give up to 1,000 dolls a day. Link
  • Facebook is intensifying its efforts to filter out status updates posted by businesses. Link
  • Twitter is tracking users’ installed apps for ad targeting. Link
  • Buzzfeed crosses $100M in revenue. Link
  • Twitter adds coupons to its commerce plans. Link
  • Vloggers paid for promotions urged to include clear labeling. Link
  • Twitter experiments with engagement stats directly in tweets. Link


  • Anonymous messaging app Yik Yak said to raise $62M. Link
  • Parcel aims to end missed packages after hours. Link
  • Pop-up shop startup, Appear Here, raises $7.5M. Link



  • Fitbit gears up for Asia expansion. Link
  • Lazada, Rocket Internet’s Amazon clone in Southeast Asia, raises $250M. Link


  • Macy’s Black Friday arrives in the UK as American retailer unveils online shopping deals. Link
  • Wired and Buzzfeed give Germany a try. Link
  • Black Friday takes hold in UK. Link


  • Amazon tipped to open Aussie warehouse. Link
  • H&M sister brand COS opens first Australian store. Link


  • Jumia raises $150M for its African ecommerce business. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Smartphones spur growth of Thanksgiving couch commerce. Link
  • Top 10 best Android fashion apps. Link
  • Xiaomi’s cheap smartphones make a splash in Indonesia. Link
  • Ralph Lauren introduces leather bag with internal LED and built-in USB charger. Link
  • Luxury watchmakers crack down on copycat Android Wear watch faces. Link
  • Neiman Marcus now in Apple Passbook. Link
  • Hammacher Schlemmer tests augmented reality catalog for holiday. Link


  • Girl Scouts to sell cookies online. Link