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.

The Grinds: Comme des Garçons names direct-to-consumer brand, Walmart and eBay personalize shopping, Saks and Barneys strive to stay relevant, Target adds new digital beauty services


Comme des Garçons launches CDG, taking on a new challenge: direct-to-consumer ecommerce. What happened In the lead up to the launch of CDG in July, Comme des Garçons is launching CDG Breaking News this May as a capsule collection teaser. The CDG brand will offer a range of SKUs and various…

The Niche Paradox: The difference between underserved and niche markets


While many of the newest crop of digitally-native, direct-to-consumer brands attempt to democratize luxury in one way or another, they still overwhelmingly attend to young professionals in urban centers like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. But in their quest to become the next…

PrimeTime: Amazon Channels reigns over television subscriptions; Amazon upgrades its beauty shopping experience, will launch the Marketplace Appstore for sellers, is closing customer accounts because of returns; Whole Foods tests a store-in-a-store housewares concept, Acer’s new laptops are integrated with Alexa


The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon Channels continues to take more of the television subscriptions pie from TV networks. The service, which allows Prime customers to purchase streaming subscriptions to television channels is now 55% of à la carte video subscriptions: 53% of HBO…

Actors, like brands, rise and fall based on performance


As more businesses strive to be defensible, competitive and long-lasting, the vast majority nevertheless lose relevance, fall prey to better-managed copycats, or fail to evolve to meet changing consumer needs—evidence that a brand’s status is never cemented in time. Like consumer brands, actors…

The Grinds: Bulletin opens its third New York store, Aesop expands its retail footprint, Shopify moves offline, Walmart will sell Harry’s razors


1) Bulletin is opening its third New York store, continuing its quest to champion women in business. Bulletin, which began as an online magazine in 2014 featuring digitally-native women-led brands, will open its third flagship store in the historic Ladies’ Mile District in New York City this June.…

The Grinds: Instagram launches in-app payments, Sephora opens its second Studio, Online returns are hurting landlords, Birchbox sells a majority stake to one of its investors


Instagram launches in-app payments for select brands, which could substantially increase its share of commerce. What happened For the in-app payments, an extension of Facebook Payments, Instagram allows users to create a profile that includes their debit or credit card information and a security…

PrimeTime: Amazon is using 3D body scanning to collect data to grow its apparel business, halted its expansion in Seattle, added a children’s book subscription to Prime, launched a new private-label pet brand called Wag


The latest news on everything Amazon   As its apparel retail business grows, Amazon’s 3D body scanning department will collect data on how body size and shape changes over time. The company acquired a startup called Body Labs in 2017 that it is working with to create “statistical 3D…

The promises and perils of digital waitlists


Last week I wrote about the authenticity of long lines, using Supreme and Everlane as contrasting examples. Long lines and limited scarcity are part of Supreme’s DNA, while they are out of place for a basics brand like Everlane. Either way, I noted that the line itself—like supply and demand—is…