Retail Rundown

 E-commerce

Walmart announced on Monday that it had formed Store No. 8, an internal venture meant to hatch new online retail businesses. It is the latest sign that Walmart is trying to revamp its e-commerce playbook. That effort began in earnest last year, with the acquisition of Jet. And last week, Walmart struck a deal to buy ModCloth, an online purveyor of trendy women’s clothing.

Behind the strategic shift has been a recognition that Walmart, long dominant in the world of physical retailing, has fallen far behind in the business of selling goods online — and particularly far behind Amazon.

Store No. 8 is somewhat like corporate venture arms at other companies and will be charged with identifying emerging technologies that could prove useful. But rather than simply taking stakes in existing ventures, the new division is intended to help create new start-ups. It will also strike strategic partnerships with other promising young e-commerce companies.

Walmart Expands Its E-Commerce Ambitions


Sustainability

There’s no doubt that the fashion industry is changing. While, for some of us, it may not be changing as quickly as we’d like, there is proof that consumer behavior is shifting, the role of the designer is growing and technology is at the forefront. There are some exciting fashion projects to watch for in 2017.

Experts are really looking forward to growing collaboration with The Renewal Workshop, a company that collects old clothes, renews them to be resold. Levi, Patagonia and other companies are teaming up with multiple brands to present new ways of thinking about the lifecycle of the clothes we wear.

“From yeast-based synthetic spider silk to hybrid fabrics that convert solar power and movement into electricity, fashion innovation will continue to soar to new heights in the new year. But I think that more low-tech pursuits such as knitting, crocheting, and sewing will also see a resurgence, particularly in these uncertain political times, when getting down to brass tacks and working with our hands will bring a more visceral level of comfort.”Jasmin Malik Chua, Managing Editor of Ecouterre 

“Some of the companies that stand out right now are Girlfriend Collective that opted out of traditional advertising and used their budget to get their product into the hands of their customers. Peche Lingerie is pushing the boundaries of the lingerie industry by making undergarments for every “body” and defying gender norms. And then there’s mompreneur brand SproutFit that is challenging traditional sizing for infants and toddlers by making garments adjust as the baby grows.” –Shannon Lohr, Founder of Factory45

Sustainable Fashion Projects to Watch in 2017


Technology

Counterfeiters have sold faulty or discounted versions of authentic goods on Amazon, prompting lawsuits, including one from Apple Inc., against merchants on the site. Shoppers, brands or Amazon itself can flag counterfeit goods via the brand registry, which the company developed in 2016. Amazon is also offering brands a program called “Transparency,” which lets them label packages with a code so shoppers can cross-check their purchase against official information.

Amazon is now expanding the process to remove counter fit goods from their website to assure brand owners that online retailers are of benefit to the company’s success, not a threat.

As early as next month, any brand can register its logo and intellectual property with Amazon so the e-commerce company can take down listings and potentially seller accounts when counterfeits are flagged, Peter Faricy, vice president of Amazon Marketplace, said in an interview on Monday.

Amazon Expands Counterfeit Removal Program


Marketing

Instagram is unveiling new features to prove how often its app drives sales.In a few months, Facebook-owned Instagram will let users directly book services like haircuts. Not only will the transactions occur on the platform, it will show companies how much business is deriving from their presence on the app.

Additional in-app profile features will also allow people to find directions, call and email the businesses. The company is also adding new insights to its business dashboard so brands can see the physical actions people are taking after seeing their Instagram ads. Companies are taking advantage of social media advertising, but Snapchat is still experimental. Business’ are using snapchat to target the younger audience, but Snapchat does not provide ROI. By offering these tools to help advertisers measure ROI, Instagram could steal some ad dollars away from Snap.

Competition For Digital Advertising Dollars Heats Up


 

I am currently a senior majoring in Retailing and Consumer Sciences while minoring in e-commerce. I hold the position of Social Media Manager for the Terry J. Lundgren Center For Retailing at the University of Arizona, where I am responsible for creating social media platforms that not only enhance our brand but also educate the world about retail trends. I am what you call a Retail Enthusiast, I am intrigued by the way the retail industry is evolving and what it has to offer. In my free time, I enjoy the outdoors, yoga, good music, and good company.