Posts in commerce
OUTDOOR VOICES BLURS THE LINES BETWEEN WORKING OUT AND EVERYTHING ELSE

Outdoor Voices is one of a few highly visible, female-centered, life-style-adjacent, digital-savvy millennial brands built around a charismatic founder and her story. Other such companies include the cosmetics outfit Glossier, the fashion retailer Nasty Gal or the dating app Bumble. Outdoor Voices (“OV”) is frequently described as an athleisure brand, although Tayler Haney, the founder who was a serious athlete in her teens, hates the term, associating it with clothes that were made for watching TV while occasionally thinking about the gym. “Every product that we make is made to sweat in,” she has said. Yet, OV, similar to Lululemon, appeal to the desire to wear workout clothes around the clock, as Athleisure means different things for different people.

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FARFETCH ACQUIRED STADIUM GOODS FOR USD 250 MILLION

Farfetch announced that it is acquiring sneaker and streetwear marketplace Stadium Goods in a deal that values the business at USD 250 million. The London-based fashion e-commerce platform is aiming to extend its reach in the growing luxury sneakers and streetwear market, as millennials account for a growing percentage of luxury sales and competitors are engaged in a digital land grab.

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THE BILLION-DOLLAR GREY MARKET IN WATCHES UPSETS BIG BRANDS

No one is immune to a bargain — not even those who can spend GBP 30,000 on a watch. At Watches of Switzerland, an authorised dealer, an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak automatic in rose gold sells for GBP 42,600, but the same watch is on offer at "grey market" website Chrono24 from US dealer Watch My Diamonds for USD 34,850 (GBP 27,227). It is impossible to ignore that the grey market is becoming a powerful force in the watch industry, which is worth USD 62.5bn, according to Euromonitor.

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HOW GLOBAL BRANDS ARE THINKING LOCAL

Today’s world is unmistakably and increasingly interconnected, as growing Internet access, travel and trade accelerate the integration of global markets and the worldwide exchange of ideas, information, people and products. But with globalisation comes an opposite, if not equal, reaction. “In a globalised world, there will inevitably be many similar trends across the globe. And these, in turn, will generate opposition in the form of localisation, as people try to assert their own identity, which is only natural,” observed Mr Yanai, chairman, president and chief executive of Fast Retailing, the parent company of Uniqlo. “In order to do business anywhere, we need to have a firm grasp of what it means to be global and what it means to be local.”

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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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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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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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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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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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EUROPE'S BIGGEST MALL OWNER BUYS WESTFIELD FOR $25 BILLION

Europe’s biggest commercial property company is to buy Westfield, the Australian company behind the UK’s two highest-earning shopping centres, in a $25 billion deal that will create the world’s largest mall operator. French Unibail-Rodamco  plans to roll out Westfield centres in Europe and the US. The planned tie-up comes as the growing number of people buying items online, fuelled by Amazon, forces shopping centre operators to focus on their best assets.

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