DELIVERY-ONLY GHOST RESTAURANTS ARE CHANGING TAKEOUT

Tech-backed delivery start-ups, in the form of UberEATS, AmazonGrubhub, Deliveroo, Foodora and other on-demand services, have long been changing the access to restaurants. Now, restaurant owners are tweaking the industry business model, moving away from brick-and-mortar dining rooms and trying their hand at delivery-only services, known as virtual restaurants. 

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SNEAKER RESALE HEATS UP

After the announcement of LVMH Luxury Ventures investing into Stadium GoodsGOAT, the world’s leading digital sneaker marketplace, today released a public statement revealing a merger with sneaker consignment pioneer Flight Club. The merger brings together two leading brands in the sneaker space that combined, will deliver unparalleled mobile, web and retail shopping experiences. 

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THE BIG BUSINESS OF SECOND-HAND CLOTHES

Depop was launched in 2011 when Simon Beckerman, an Italian entrepreneur, decided to make a new, hip online marketplace by creating an app that merged editorial and sales. He realised most of the decision-making in buying fashion was based on social references. So, his team designed the app with Instagram-style features, with “follow” and “like” buttons, comments and chat, already familiar to social media users.

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WHAT DREW AMAZON, ALIBABA & CO. TO BRICKS-AND-MORTAR

The world’s online shopping giants are following smaller web retailers into what might appear to be the merchandising past. Amazon, Alibaba and most recently JD.com, are operating brick-and-mortar stores, joining companies such as the formerly web-only Warby Parker and Outdoor Voices and reoccurring pop-up events by the likes of Gymshark and Aday. Even Tencent, the Chinese games and social media giant, is doing deals in retail.

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PERSONALIZATION IS KEY FOR RETAILERS AND E-COMMERCE ALIKE

Call it the brick-and-mortar versus e-commerce problem. However, merging the two offers an opportunity to create a truly personalised experience both online and offline, which is why personalization is a top priority for organizations in 2018. Research shows that nearly three out of four consumers responding to personalized offers, recommendations or experiences.

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SWEDE SUCCESS

Acne Studios is a thoroughly modern fashion brand that is based in Stockholm, where it was launched in 1997 by a media agency who made 100 pairs of jeans to gift to friends. Since then it has moved from a denim label to become a high-fashion brand that shows collections in Paris and has shops that look like art galleries.

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HIGHSNOBIETY RAISES USD 8.5 MILLION VENTURE ROUND

Investor interest in the streetwear space is growing rapidly. After Supreme joined forces with The Carlye Group, highly influential streetwear and youth culture title Highsnobiety has raised an USD 8.5 million Series A round led by London-based venture firm Felix Capital, with additional details on the deal remaining undisclosed. Highsnobiety plans to use the new funding to help scale its branded content, e-commerce and events businesses. 

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HOW VEGANISM HELPED THE F1 WORLD CHAMPION TO GLORY

It was in September last year that Hamilton revealed that for health and environmental reasons, he was to become a vegan, removing all animal-based products, such as meat, seafood, dairy, even honey, from his diet. Many people questioned this mid-season lifestyle change. They talked of the potential harm to his "racing edge," due to a possible drop in testosterone, the lack of protein, iron and Vitamin D deficiency. However, the dietary change did not do the 32-year-old any harm. Two months after announcing his switch, Hamilton won the world title, creating history in the process by becoming the first Briton to win four F1 world titles and made Hamilton feel "better than ever".

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A BREAKOUT BRANDING MASTER CLASS FROM GLOSSIER, SWEETGREEN, AWAY, AND WALKER & CO.

Salad. Suitcases. Razors. Face wash. None of these products typically race eyebrows and inspire enthusiasm. However, when associated with certain fast-growing ventures, the reactions may change. Sweetgreen’s Nicolas Jammet, Away’s Jen Rubio, Walker & Company’s Tristan Walker, and Glossier’s Emily Weiss talk to Fast Company about creating products that provoke passion.

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INSIDE THE FURNITURE STARTUP BELOVED BY INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, CASPER, AND EVERLANE

In 2005 Petrus Palmér co-founded the studio Form Us With Love straight out of design school in Sweden. By 2012, FUWL’s clients already included Ikea, Cappellini, and Muuto. It was hard to imagine how things could go better, but Palmér felt a nagging discontent in what he was doing. He was stuck between designing for the biggest mass market imaginable or for the 1% who could afford a USD 10.000 couch.

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HOW INSTAGRAM IS CREATING ITS OWN MARKETPLACE

An Instagrammer with over 1,000 followers can get paid upwards of GBP 130 for a single promotional post. Big social media stars with hundreds of thousands of followers can make thousands from one post. Being an Insta influencer is now a bona fide career. More so, as Instagram has started to allow its user to shop-as-you-scroll by adding a new level tools and nurture the Instagram’s billion-dollar influencer economy.

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BOOKSTORES MAY BE DYING BUT FASHION BRANDS ARE GIVING THEM NEW LIFE

The future of brick-and-mortar bookstores has been in peril for at least a decade. But whether you are actually shopping for a book or not, you might actually find yourself wandering into a bookstore by accident. Fashion brands, from French icon Sonia Rykiel to New York City-based Warby Parker, or concept stores like Colette and 10 Corso Como are curating books not as objects to read but as objects of décor.

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RAY DALIO - PRINCIPLES OF SUCCESS

Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, is known as much for his unique approach to corporate culture as he is his investment philosophies. After founding Bridgewater Associates in 1975 at the age of 26, Dalio began chronicling the reasons behind every business and leadership decision he made, a 40-year exercise that culminated in his recently released book Principles. In a recent discussion with Goldman Sachs, Dalio describes the two predominant themes that have framed these principles and thus shaped the culture at Bridgewater over the years – idea meritocracy and radical transparency.

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ALIBABA HAS AMBITIOUS, AMAZON-LIKE OFFLINE PLANS

Speaking of the death of retail and the end of physical shopping experiences, in late November Alibaba was investing announced that it invested nearly $3 billion for a 36% stake in China hypermart operator Sun Art Retail. It looked like the Chinese e-commerce titan was copying a page from Amazon’s strategy plan, after Jeff Bezos’ company stunned U.S. supermarket operators by acquiring high-end grocer Whole Foods for more than $13 billion.

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THE HIDDEN PLAYER SPURRING A WAVE OF CHEAP CONSUMER DEVICES: AMAZON

To understand Amazon’s role, let’s take a closer look at how WyzeCam leveraged the power of Amazon. Wyze’s device sells for $20 plus shipping if you buy directly from the company’s website or $30 on Amazon, where members of the company’s Prime service can get it delivered within two days. Nest’s and Netgear’s comparable indoor cameras sell for around $200 each. Similar to its branded competitors, Wyze Labs' gadget is a small, internet-connected video camera, which one might use for security or to keep an eye on your dog or your baby. The single biggest difference is that it is being sold for an unbelievably low price of $20.

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