Ripcord

Ripcord is a weekly newsletter from Loose Threads that highlights one timely and important insight about the new consumer economy. The newsletter arrives every Thursday morning and it also features updates on Loose Threads Membership and the Loose Threads Podcast.

Is Groupon the next customer acquisition channel?


Groupon faced issues in the past that drove merchants away from the platform. But today, Groupon poses as a potential avenue for customer acquisition—currently the biggest existential threat to consumer brands.

The Grinds: FaceGym, experience-based beauty brands grow their footprints; Nike takes on Lululemon; Venture capital reaches zenith; Netflix raises prices to fund original content


FaceGym and other experience-based beauty brands grow their footprints while others shut their doors. WHAT HAPPENED: Between 1990-2017, the number of nail salon storefronts in the U.S. rose 247%, cosmetics stores increased by 95% and gyms grew by 46%—and brands like FaceGym, a facial workout…

PrimeTime: Whole Foods 365 will not expand, Men are more likely than women to price compare on Amazon, IMDb launches free streaming service, Amazon brings Prime Day look-alike to India


The latest news on everything Amazon   365 by Whole Foods Market—once upheld as the cheaper version of Whole Foods—will not add to its current roster of 12 locations, given the lack in price distinction between the brands. 365 first opened in 2016 and operates a smaller storefront of…

The RealReal’s reliance on discount-driven messaging and its threat to luxury


On the surface, sites like The RealReal seem like a problem for luxury brands, since they encourage the trading of their products. One could argue that full-price Gucci products versus secondhand Gucci products attract separate customers, but cannibalization is inevitable. Still, the biggest, less…

PrimeTime: Amazon expands Whole Foods, sends free product samples, strengthens sports contracts, reduces third-party seller fees, debuts new Amazon Key services, receives criticism for copying West Elm furniture


The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon is growing Whole Foods’ footprint in order to expose more grocery shoppers to the store and two-hour delivery via Prime Now. As it expands, some new Whole Foods locations will account for delivery and pickup logistics with a larger square…

The Grinds: Hotels abandon convenience stores in favor of branded destination retail, Starbucks turns to premium coffee bar concept to raise revenues, Beauty brands embrace the Consumer Electronics Show, Stitch Fix retains strong gross margin as it prepares to enter UK market


Hotels abandon convenience stores in favor of branded destination retail. WHAT HAPPENED: Higher-end hospitality companies like W Hotels, the Line Hotel and Shinola are opening their doors to boutiques, upending the traditional toothbrush-and-soda hotel convenience stores. Why it matters During a…

Walker & Company, Facebook, and the resuscitation of the CPG conglomerate


Last week, the founder of Walker & Company sold the holding company to Procter & Gamble, reportedly for under $40 million—less than the amount of money he raised. Despite the significant upside for Walker and his team, who are now part of P&G and can grow the brand many times over under its…

PrimeTime: Whole Foods and Instacart break up, Amazon cuts its losses on low-margin products, AmazonBasics teases private-label toys, Small-format Amazon Go opens at one of Amazon’s Seattle offices


The latest news on everything Amazon   Whole Foods and Instacart are breaking up—an inevitable move ever since Amazon acquired the grocery chain in 2017. The breakup is mostly about Amazon tightening its reins on Whole Foods, so that it can enforce Prime delivery, which offers free…

The Grinds: Starbucks expands U.S. delivery; Saks shutters standalone women’s shop; Warby Parker, Everlane offer installment payment plans; CGI influencer Lil Miquela announces apparel brand


Starbucks will expand U.S. delivery, combating falling foot traffic by meeting customers where they already are. WHAT HAPPENED: Starbucks will expand delivery via UberEats in the U.S. after testing the service in Miami and China. Why it matters Since the company has noticed fewer…