Weekly Industry Brief: 11.13.2017

Happy Monday! This week I have a special section of headlines about Alibaba’s Double 11/Singles Day event from the weekend.  Next week is Black Friday here in the US, which means we have one more Monday before Cyber Monday.  Cheers to a successful holiday!

As always, sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Alibaba’s Singles Day Event

  • Alibaba’s Singles Day racks up $8.6B in first hour. Bloomberg
  • Alibaba’s Singles Day sales smash record with $25B haul. Fortune
  • Alibaba lets AI, robots and drones do heavy lifting for Singles Day. South China Morning Post
  • Alibaba’s Singles Day sales hit record. New York Times
  • Alibaba tests 60 futuristic pop-up stores across China for Singles Day. Digiday
  • Lessons from Alibaba’s $25B shopping event. AdAge
  • Singles Day 2017 highlights Alibaba’s intent to become a global leader. Forbes
  • Alibaba and JD.com squabble over Singles Day sales calculations. Women’s Wear Daily
  • Singles Day faces fatigue in China. The Wall Street Journal
  • JD.com generated $19B in sales at its rival event. Fortune
  • Black Friday, Prime Day and Singles Day: When do people spend the most? Fortune

Brands and Retailers

  • CVS will offer next day delivery of prescriptions. New York Times
  • Amazon Cash, the service that lets you use cash to shop Amazon online, arrives at 7-Eleven. TechCrunch
  • Burberry shares are plunging as investors flee new CEO’s expensive plans. Fortune
  • Online retailers are desperate to stem a surging tide of returns. Bloomberg
  • Amazon developing a free, ad-supported version of Prime. AdAge
  • Nordstrom is launching 24/7 curbside pickup for the holidays. Fashionista
  • Victoria Beckham to collaborate with Reebok in 2018. Fashionista

Marketing and Social Media

  • How Vimeo is preparing for the future of video storytelling. Fast Company
  • Snapchat’s programmatic ads fetch $3-$8 CPMs. Digiday
  • Tencent could play a role redesigning Snapchat following $2B investment. Techcrunch
  • Instagram might let you follow hashtags. Fast Company
  • How Kith built its brand in niche streetwear. New York Times
  • Facebook relaunches Events app as Facebook Local, adds bars and food. Techcrunch
  • Spotify expands merch to beauty products, sells out tickets for Who We Be. Techcrunch
  • Women-only social club The Wing launches a bi-annual print magazine. AdWeek
  • At Tiffany, the Fifth Avenue face-lift starts at home. New York Times
  • Crew cast seven ‘real people’ in its 2017 holiday gift guide. Fashionista
  • Amazon expands its influencer program to include Twitter and Instagram, in addition to YouTube. Techcrunch

Startup and Emerging Tech

  • Music.ly, a Chinese app big in the U.S. sells for $1B. New York Times
  • Tinder wants to spice up your love life with AI and location services. Android Authority
  • Stitch Fix gets a close look from consumer VC firm ahead of IPO. Techcrunch
  • Heyday raises $3M for personalized skincare and facials. Techcrunch
  • Apple has acquired imaging sensor startup InVisage Technologies. Techcrunch
  • Voice-enabled smart speakers to reach 55% of U.S. households by 2022. Techcrunch


  • Costco to expand internationally; will launch in France. Bloomberg
  • Birchbox opens first UK standalone store. Vogue
  • Amazon says Australia launch imminent. Business of Fashion
  • PayPal launches domestic payments in India. Business Line



Weekly Industry Brief: 9.26.2016

HERE YOU GO and YOU’RE WELCOME! Sources can be found in the hyperlinked text after the headline.


  • Alexander Wang partners with Adidas on new unisex collection. Link
  • Ralph Lauren shut down Madison Avenue to reveal first ‘see-now-buy-now’ collection. Link
  • Kate Spade does ‘see-now-buy-now’ with a new video starting Zosia Mamet. Link
  • Aeropostale to live on at malls. Link
  • Etsy buys Blackbird to bring AI to it’s search platform. Link
  • Zara’s success shrouded in ecommerce secrecy. Link
  • Saks revamps personal shopping experience. Link
  • Macy’s teams up with grooming services provider in beauty push. Link
  • Frank and Oak launch womenswear. Link
  • Saving the big box: inside Toys R Us’ plan to revive its stores. Link
  • Target shakes up online leadership with eye on rivals. Link
  • Aritzia may raise up to $400CAD in IPO. Link
  • CVS is hoping to change the way you buy beauty products in the grocery store. Link
  • 500 Million Yahoo accounts breached. Link


  • Disney said to be considering bid for Twitter. Link
  • Canada Goose ads tell a global brand story. Link
  • Susie Bubble and BryanBoy respond to Vouge’s criticism of fashion bloggers. Link
  • Nielsen says mainstream consumers really are interested in virtual reality. Link
  • Retailers can now run Facebook ads based on if products are in stock. Link
  • Nieman Marcus blames fashion bloggers for down sales. Link

Startup/Emerging Tech

  • Google shows up late to the crowded AI-based personal assistant field. Link
  • Messaging apps are changing how companies talk with customers. Link
  • Fully autonomous robots: the warehouse workers of the near future. Link
  • Burberry launches ‘see-now-buy-now’ chatbot. Link
  • Why fashion brands are gaga over chat bots. Link
  • Stitchfix expands to menswear. Link
  • Why successful m-commerce needs to work at the speed of light. Link
  • Amazon swats at Shutterfly with photo printing service. Link
  • How Rebecca Minkoff uses technology to create a better shopping experience. Link


  • K. retail sales resilient in August as shoppers unfazed by Brexit. Link
  • Nike shuts 35% of stores in India. Link
  • Zara and Lululemon to open at Abu Dhabi’s new mall. Link
  • Apple expands Latin America presence, opens first store in Mexico. Link
  • Amazon quietly raises free shipping threshold in Canada. Link
  • Handmade at Amazon expands to five European countries. Link
  • Martha Stewart has sights on China via Alibaba. Link
  • Plus sized fashion show scores big in Japan. Link
  • China’s millennials are redefining luxury in search for more originality. Link
  • With thriving maker culture, how Shenzhen is becoming the creative capital of China. Link
  • Target launches on Tmall to sell in China. Link