Weekly Industry Brief: 12.13.2016

Here is your weekly industry brief over the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline. Cheers!


  • Cyber Monday drives $52B in online sales. Link
  • Aerie opens concept store in New York. Link
  • LA City Attorney suing Sears, Kohl’s, Macy’s, JC Penney for alleged pricing scheme. Link
  • Starbucks’ Schultz sees sweeping retail consolidation. Link
  • Millennials making bigger investments in makeup. Link
  • Revolve launches beauty. Link
  • Ikea adapts to growing urban populations. Link
  • American Apparel to close nine stores by end of December. Link
  • Museums rethink retail. Link
  • Sports bras are making Lululemon a lot of money. Link
  • Kylie Jenner and Shopify prepare for what may be the most hyped pop-up ever. Link
  • Starbucks 5-year plan: lots of stores, food and cold drinks. Link
  • Google signs deal with Cuba’s state-run telecommunications company. Link
  • Nordstrom turns to electronic gifting service amid shift online. Link
  • There’s a Crossfit war being fought over your feet. Link
  • Net loss grows at Neiman Marcus. Link


  • Ikea renamed products after frequently Googled problems that those products solve. Link
  • How Costco appeals to millennials and Gen Z without specifically targeting them. Link
  • Snapchat adds four new features including much-requested group chat. Link
  • Weibo’s comeback lures luxury brands. Link
  • Selena Gomez inks $10M deal with Coach. Link
  • How Revolve is leveraging user-generated content for its beauty business. Link
  • Kylie Cosmetics sidelines journalists at store opening. Link
  • Instagram brings live video broadcasts to all U.S. users. Link
  • Facebook Live will spin up 360-degree streaming to match YouTube. Link

Startup/Emerging Tech

  • Job cuts at Honest Co. could mean deal, IPO are tabled. Link
  • Prada uses video, virtual reality to market fragrance. Link
  • Why AR will be bigger than VR. Link
  • L’Occitane ups technology with smart beauty fitting room. Link
  • Retail chatbots show the power of artificial intelligence, just in time for the holidays. Link
  • Adidas to sell 3-D shoes to public. Link


  • Starbucks becomes first retail brand to use WeChat’s gift card product. Link
  • Mexico overtakes Canada as No. 2 U.S. exporter ahead of Trump. Link
  • China Consumers Association cites ‘Misleading’ Singles’ Day promotions. Link
  • China’s retail sales climb 10.8% in November. Link
  • ASOS boosts U.K. sourcing after pound’s Brexit fall. Link
  • Wal-Mart to invest $1.3B in Mexico. Link
  • Hong Kong loses Ralph Lauren flagship, braces for more closures. Link
  • Staples agrees to sell European operations to Cerberus Capital. Link
  • Marks & Spencer to shutter its 10 stores in China. Link
  • Uniqlo targets 100 more stores in China expansion. Link

Quick Hits: What Revolve is Doing SO Right, Right Now

If you haven’t been seeing content from Revolve lately, then I’ll assume you aren’t in or interested in this industry because it’s otherwise unavoidable.

Revolve has been doing things so, so right, hitting on every consumer trend in an authentic way. The experience economy, check. Travel, check. Exclusivity, check. Influencers, big and small, check. On-trend products, check. Content, check, check, check.

All of that and it’s still providing a solid website experience too. Which is, after all, Revolve’s only store.

Here are 6 ways I see Revolve killing it these days.

Revolve Social Club

  • Invite-only, members-only
  • Some are pop-up (Shanghai), some are permanent (LA)
  • According to Racked, the entire store can be curated into a personalized shopping experience using Revolve’s data-driven merchandising algorithims combined with its world-class styling team.
  • Exclusive events, meals, parties (collab launch parties, for example)
  • Also serves as a place for influencers to pick out clothes before events


Revolve Social Club

Revolve Social Club LA [photo from Racked]


  • In this experience economy world, travel is pretty much a non-negotiable line item in the budget of a millennial. Revolve’s been taking their squad around the world, so to speak, staying in amazing houses in places like Croatia, Hawaii, and Miami. They invite all the top bloggers and influencers who come together (wearing looks from Revolve) to create a content gold mine. They also got a house for Coachella this year, inviting people like Kendall Jenner to their numerous parties.  Below are some ‘grams shared on Revolve trips from Jessica Stein, aka @tuulavintage who has 2.3M Instagram followers and, even more impressively, Chiara Ferragni aka @theblondesalad who has over 6M followers. Content magic, shared with way more than Revolve’s own 1.2M followers.


  • A location-specific version of #RevolveAroundtheWorld
  • This summer, Revolve has staged a huge, beautiful house in the Hamptons, as the setting for a constant flow of parties. Key bloggers and influencers frolic about the parties decked out in Revolve apparel at the parties that are typically co-sponsored with another brand and occasionally hosted by big names like Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigan.
  • Revolve ties it all together with a shop on its website to buy what the influencers wore in the Hamptons.

Dinners, Brunches

…all the time. Usually co-hosted with a brand or a collab and always at a swoon-worthy venue because…. more content!


Shipping and Returns Wars

Revolve shuts this down real quick. Free Shipping. Free Returns.

Their Store, the Website

Revolve Website


  • New Arrivals Every. Damn. Day.
    • You can shop the new arrivals by DATE.
    • This is the best way to get people to visit your website more often, even more relevant for a mobile site or an app. I love this feature so much.
  • Content is ACTUALLY integrated into the site. Most companies struggle with this. They keep their blog separate; they don’t know how to monetize Instagram without just a shoppable feed; they work with influencers but don’t feature their pics in the shopping path. On Revolve’s site, it use actual images from events or influencers that are shoppable. Check out the festival section here where you can pick a celeb from Revolve’s Coachella event and shop her look. Duh.
storytelling on website

Seamless integration of content in the shopping path…look, it’s The Blonde Salad in a product image!

  • Product Tagging. In addition to all the things you’d expect to see on a product detail page (recommendations, related looks, social content, etc.) Revolve also has an easy-to-use tagging feature that lets users “Discover” more mini dresses, for example. This means all of the products are smartly tagged with shopping-relevant attributes beyond just the brand name.
  • Wedding Shop….for the bride, bridesmaid and guest. Because, we all have ten plus weddings per year right now.
  • Super relevant shops and storytelling – something every retailer is trying to be and to do…but Revolve is nailing it. They use the same language as their customer and provide solid “complete this look” and “shop this look” experiences.Examples: “Brunch Life”, 20 Outfits to Beat the Heat (today’s high in NYC is 96 degrees, so), etc.  There is also the Hot List which is the first section in the top nav (prime real estate!) with tons of stories to shop, from festivals to collabs to trends.
  • International in general–
    • Shipping and returns rates are super competitive
    • Language and currency options
    • Localized customer support for a variety of countries, including China, Korea and Russia
revolve shanghai

Revolve incorporated an international shipping announcement in a #RevolveAroundtheWorld Instagram post. Nice.


A quick note on the app – a behemoth of a topic. This is one spot where I’m not AS impressed. I expect more from Revolve with the app – more innovation, more content— so there seems to be lots of opportunity here. But to end on a positive, I do love the “quiet time” preferences for push notifications. And, I signed up for emails and I’ve gotten none but when I signed up for push notifications I got two in one day.

revolve push.png

The second push notification I received from Revolve. The first was a promo code to use in the app.


Excited to see where they go next…figuratively and literally.

P.S. Revolve is profitable.