AMAZON'S NEWEST VENTURE
How is it possible to become both the jack and master of all trades? Amazon pulls yet another trick out of its venture hat, and now we can expect to see a new UPS and FedEx rival.
Shipping with Amazon, SWA, will offer delivery for sellers on its marketplace and is set to expand the services to outside entities. "We’re always innovating and experimenting on behalf of customers and the businesses that sell and grow on Amazon to create faster, lower-cost delivery choices," the company said.
Operations in shipping will give existing third-party companies like UPS, FedEx and DHL a run for their money by undercutting prices. Ultimately, the shipping service could also solve Amazon's rising fulfillment costs.
WILL RESALE LAST?
If you can't beat 'em, join em. Streetwear is attracting more than hypebeasts and indie resellers. The rise of resale marketplaces is drawing interest from venture capitalists, as they realize the new breed of resellers has surpassed its eBay pioneer.
The global merging trends of luxury and streetwear are pretty appealing indeed. Goat, (who recently acquired Fight Club) raised a $60 million investment round from VC firm Index Ventures, while LMVH acquired a stake in Stadium Goods. Still, marketplace business models are questionable in long-term sustainability and scalability. With little wiggle room for customer acquisition due to lack of budget after operational costs, consignment shops and apps rely heavily on word-of-mouth marketing.
Nevertheless, a LVMH spokesperson points out the partnership will be a "groundbreaking partnership", elevating Stadium Goods to an unprecedented industry status.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
J.C. Penney is closing another eight stores, carrying out its ongoing plan to downsize stores with little sales growth, especially as sales migrate online.
After shuttering almost 140 locations in 2017, the department store has announced the closing of one of its Wisconsin fulfillment centers, resulting in the elimination of over 600 jobs to be finalized by summer 2018. To offset the terminations, Penney's will be bringing in 6,500 stylists to focus on its top competitive advantage - salon and beauty services.
RETAILERS DABBLE IN CREDIT
In a new attempt to solidify brand loyalty, retailers are working to sign up customers for branded store cards, (often during checkout).
Credit programs generally benefit retailers over the long run, as 62% of consumers carry store cards in their wallets, and in an Ipsos Retail Survey from Vyze, 40% say they are more likely to shop because of it.
Amazon has set the store card (gold) standard for targeting millennials, since nearly half of those surveyed (48%) have its branded card. Fortunately for companies like Lucky Brand, who partnered with Alliance Data Systems Corporation to offer tempting cardmember incentives, 60% of millennials claim their shopping loyalty to the store they are cardholder.
THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT
Project Runway's sweetheart, Christian Siriano, is celebrating his 10th anniversary show this year, this time by making an impact.
Models including Ashley Graham and actress Selma Blair (a whistle blower in the #MeToo movement), graced the runway, giving glamour its true glow back with a potent mix of diversity, empowerment, and sultriness. The designer's dedication to celebrating people didn't stop with the models. His signature mantra "People are People" could be seen on tote bags.
It's amazing to see Sirano's success and rise from reality television. "I think after this show today I'm just proud of what we have done," Siriano told Vogue after his New York Fashion Week show. "I'm proud to celebrate people from all walks of life on the runway and bring the world of glamour back."