WEEKLY INDUSTRY BRIEF 3.2.2015

Hi there! Below is a recap of industry news over the last week that I’ve compiled.  You can find a source or read the full article by clicking the hyper-linked text after the headline. Have a great week!

Retailer + Brand News:

  • American Apparel names marketing, digital executives. Link
  • Macy’s shares drop on cautious outlook. Link
  • How Nordstrom plans to stay dominant in ecommerce. Link
  • Online convenience is the new face of retail disruption. Link
  • Target sales grow at fastest rate in three years. Link
  • Gap chooses PINK creator to revive its namesake stores, lead design team. Link
  • Urban Outfitters announces $20M share buyback. Link
  • NastyGal raises $16M. Link
  • Nordstrom launching collaboration with Piece & Co. Link
  • Analysts say Americans love sweatpants too much for athleisure to go away. Link
  • Best Buy opens a Seattle-based technology development center focused on mobile and ecommerce. Link
  • Ikea introduces furniture you can charge your smartphone on. Link
  • HTC and Under Armour are doing a fitness wearable. Link
  • Burberry takes digital innovation in stride at London Fashion Week. Link
  • Rebecca Minkoff’s store of the future. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Facebook, with over 2 million active advertisers, launches ads manager app for iOS. Link
  • Why the print catalog is back in style. Link
  • Snapchat’s Our Stories are generating tens of millions of views. Link
  • Conde Nast closes blog network NowManifest. Link
  • Apple Watch gets 12-page ad spread in Vogue. Link
  • Google puts ads in its app store to court mobile app marketers. Link
  • Pinterest scores highly in new eMarketer report. Link
  • Mobile ad spending not equal around the world. Link
  • Converse breaks ‘Made By You’ campaign for Chuck Taylors. Link
  • Victoria’s Secret runs ads on People Magazine’s Snapchat. Link

Start-ups:

  • Waffle House partners with “sharing economy” delivery service Roadie. Link
  • Magic is a start-up that will bring you anything if you’re willing to pay for it. Link
  • The Black Tux seeks to disrupt the tuxedo rental business. Link
  • Outfittery raises $20M for its curated shopping service for men’s clothing. Link
  • Rocket Internet’s latest company is a career listing sit called Everjobs. Link

International:

  • [APAC]
    • Amazon could be landing in South Korea soon. Link
    • China’s economy to grow about 7% this year. Link
    • Should luxury retailers give up on Hong Kong? Link
    • Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten may accept bitcoin. Link
    • Chinese rivals snap at Alibaba’s heels in cross-border ecommerce race. Link
  • [EU]
    • Wedding Wire acquires Spain-based Wedding Planner with plans to go global. Link
    • Turkey’s online retail market enjoys investment boom. Link
    • London designers pin hopes on next generation of online shoppers. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Target tests mobile loyalty app to drive in store purchases. Link
  • On the cusp of a mobile shopping revolution. Link
  • The Apple Watch is nearly ready but is the public? Link
  • HTC unveils new phone and wearable device. Link
  • Venmo was ordered in July to address security issues. Link
  • LG’s watch adds another player for the wearable platform wars. Link
  • Google strikes a deal with carriers for payments. Link
  • Samsung launches two new smartphones, mobile wallet. Link
  • Transactional flexibility is the future of payments. Link
  • Tinder launches Tinder Plus. Link
  • Samsung launches its own mobile money service called Pay. Link

Other

  • The opportunity in online luxury fashion. Link
  • Google unveils plans for new corporate campus. Link
  • Why physical stores and brands still matter. Link
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Weekly Industry Round Up: 10.27.2014

My recap of top industry news from last week.  All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer + Brand News:

  • Target eyes holiday turnaround on free shipping and faux fur. Link
  • Retail’s new battleground: The I want what I want when I want it generation. Link
  • Trunk Club to open first brick-and-mortar store on Madison Avenue. Link
  • Under Armour’s rising sneaker sales have yet to tread on Nike. Link
  • Gilt names former Starwood Hotels exec as chief marketing officer. Link
  • Etsy launches card reader for in-person payments. Link
  • Amazon posts largest quarterly loss in 14 years. Link
  • Macy’s links with Google to show mobile users what’s in stock nearby. Link
  • Rakuten, Japan’s Amazon, launches fashion site in the U.S. Link
  • Staples is the latest retailer to be hit by hackers. Link
  • Apple shutting down Beats Music app and rolling it into iTunes. Link
  • J.Crew says it will sit out athletic trend. Link
  • Sears said to be closing 77 stores. Link
  • Groupon’s site now has dedicated pages for 7 million businesses across the US. Link
  • Bloomingdale’s equips fitting rooms with iPads for smart shopping. Link
  • Anthropologie may open in AT&T’s former NYC headquarters. Link
  • Asos sees future payoff from 2014 investments. Link
  • FedEx, UPS make plans for better holiday season. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Ello bans advertising and raises $5.5M in new funding. Link
  • Facebook launches new Rooms app that harkens back to early days of Internet chatrooms. Link
  • Groupon channels Yelp with new listings service. Link
  • Behind Twitter’s move to become a mobile-services shop. Link
  • Tumblr to make over $100M in revenue next year. Link
  • How Facebook is changing the way its users consumer journalism. Link
  • New Target CEO makes mark on holiday efforts. Link
  • Pandora gives musicians a data dashboard to see where their fans are. Link
  • North America holds tight to world’s largest ad spending share. Link
  • Haul videos influence holiday shopping. Link
  • Snapchat rolls out first advertiser. Link

Start-ups:

  • Glamsquad raises $7M for on-demand styling and beauty services. Link
  • Tindr to take a swipe at monetization with new premium dating upgrade. Link
  • Digital lockers will take parcels and clean laundry. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • Zalora opens first offline shop. Link
  • India’s Snapdeal forays into premium designer segment. Link
  • China’s Alipay offers ePass payment service for U.S. retail websites. Link
  • Apple set to open 25 new stores in China by end of 2016. Link
  • Zara stumbes in India. Link
  • Taobao Marketplace launches click-and-collect in Singapore. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • Sydney’s Big Commerce takes on Amazon with Alibaba deal. Link

[EU]

  • American Eagle lands in UK. Link
  • Amazon web services to open German center. Link
  • Primark prepares to make entrance in U.S. Link

[CA]

  • Target Canada to experiment with overstocking in turnaround effort. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Urban Outfitters tackles in-app product search challenge. Link
  • Google wants to organize your life with new email app. Link
  • TestFlight Beta testing goes live for all iOS developers. Link
  • Amazon takes retail approach to push flagging Fire phone. Link
  • Google wants Inbox to be your email system for the next decade. Link
  • Amazon quietly launches app store within its main Android app. Link
  • Square launches app marketplace to make third-party integration painless for businesses. Link
  • Twitter unveils Fabric, a welcome gift to mobile developers. Link
  • Fitbit announces new fitness trackers, including its first smartwatch. Link
  • Microsoft makes progress with phone and tablet sales. Link
  • Nike sees brighter wearables future with Apple. Link

[Apple Pay coverage]:

  • Square encircled as Apple, Paypal aim for mobile payments. Link
  • Apple Pay threatens a competing approach to simplifying payments. Link
  • CVS and RiteAid disable Apple Pay. Link
  • CurrentC is the big retailers’ clunky attempt to kill Apple Pay and credit card fees. Link
  • Bank of America customers double-charged in Apple Pay snafu. Link
  • Jumio launches card-scanning mobile checkout for retailers’ iOS and Android apps. Link

Other:

  • How to turn your company into a movement. Link
  • The psychology of web design. Link
  • Roku could file for IPO soon, raises as much as $150M. 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: 7.28.2014

Industry brief  for the week of July 20th – July 26th 2014. All sources can be found in the hyperlink after the headline:

Retailer News:

  • Target launches In a Snap app, an image recognition/visual search app just in time for back to school. Link
  • Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom and The Gap among retail’s digital winners. Link
  • Lord & Taylor set to launch two concept shops to support emerging designers. Link
  • J.Crew’s first Williamsburg location teases with graffiti artist’s mural. Link
  • New stores feature food options to fuel shoppers. Link
  • JCPenny showcases real people-inspired mannequins in New York City. Link
  • Aeropostale teases AeroNow re-branding with social, text campaigns. Link
  • TargetExpress tests takes aim at Generation Y. Link
  • Will selling nostalgia work for Calvin Klein? Link
  • Under Armour to target women during football season. Link
  • BirchBox is using its retail space to track customers offline. Link
  • Spotlight on niche retail experience Wildfang, founded by three former Nike employees. Link
  • Essie vending machines are coming to an airport near you. Link
  • Wal-Mart’s Asia CEO takes charge of U.S. business. Link
  • Macy’s reveals 2015 sustainability initiatives. Link
  • Amazon’s Fire phone hits stores. Link
  • Amazon opens web store for customizable 3D printed products. Link
  • Dollar Tree to buy Family Dollar for $8.5B. Link
  • Cara Delevingne is new face of TopShop for Autumn/Winter 2014. Link
  • H&M opens its largest store on Fifth Avenue. Link
  • Uniqlo’s Boston pop-up is open for business. Link

Social Media + Marketing:

  • Forever21, Urban Outfitters among most popular retailers on Pinterest. Link
  • Facebook launches save, read-it-later for links, places and media pages. Link
  • Adidas, Champs Sports want you to watch their new web shows on Instagram. Link
  • Nike’s secret New York vending machine trades free swag for FuelBand points. Link
  • Line adds ‘hidden chat’ feature. Link
  • SnapChat may be working on secret peer-to-peer payment feature. Link
  • Facebook and Twitter aim to tap $300B eCommerce market. Link
  • Instagram’s “Bolt” leak could be a new Facebook app or an app install ad test. Link
  • Instagram seeks user feedback on its advertisers. Link
  • Facebook earnings: Instagram, mobile shift and other areas to watch. Link
  • Retailers outspend luxury brands on luxury keywords in paid search. Link
  • Veuve Clicquot travels to consumers with branded mail truck. Link

Start-ups:

  • Keep, a universal shopping cart for the web. Link
  • Apple confirms purchase of book recommendation maker BookLamp. Link
  • Paris Picnic is a service that delivers a French picnic anywhere within an hour. Link
  • Weave is a Tinder for LinkedIn. Link
  • Google buys game-livestreaming firm Twitch for $1B. Link
  • Application enables Etsy shop integration on Wix sites. Link

International:

[APAC]

  • More people in China go online using mobile devices than PCs. Link
  • Mulberry steps up digital game in China with new WeChat account. Link
  • McKinsey’s 2025 Luxury Forecast: China’s cities hold key to growth. Link
  • Yoox partners with WeChat to socialize mobile commerce. Link
  • Gartner says mobile connections in India will rise to 815M in 2014. Link
  • Amazon to open five new warehouses in India. Link

[AU/NZ]

  • Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and West Elm to open in Sydney on August 28th. Link
  • Missoni to collaborate with Target Australia. Link

[EU]

  • Gap opening stores in Austria and Slovenia. Link
  • Boohoo.com launches in Germany. Link
  • TopShop to launch on Zalando in September. Link
  • Nobody seems quite sure how Spain’s new Google tax will work. Link
  • Harrods builds footwear destination. Link

[A/ME]

  • SuitSupply opens in South Africa. Link
  • PayPal finds eager online shopping base in Nigeria. Link

Mobile, Tablet, + Wearables:

  • Amazon quietly launches consumer-facing mobile wallet app. Link
  • Retailers look to beacon to improve in-store experience and gather consumer data. Link
  • Big brands acquire mobile talent; smaller brands seek alternatives. Link
  • Foursquare re-brands, unveils new app and logo. Link
  • Apple granted patent for smartwatch device. Link
  • Yahoo buys mobile analytics firm Flurry. Link
  • For its first Google Glass effort, eBay adapts its RedLaser product finder app. Link
  • Michelob Ultra turns up volume on mobile music with dedicated player. Link
  • Unilever searches for Internet of Things partners. Link
  • iPads feeling pressure but ‘others’ are doing fine. Link
  • New Explore button on Google Maps instantly localizes user experience. Link

Other:

  • McDonald’s is re-branding to take on Chipotle. Link
  • Amazon will spend $100M on new, original shows in Q3. Link
  • Zillow to acquire Trulia for $3.5B. Link
  • Britney Spears launching her own lingerie line. Link
  • Virgin America files for IPO. Link