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.

2017 Year in Review: 8 Fundamental Shifts Reshaping the Consumer Economy


2017 was yet another transformative year for the consumer economy. There were a range of new developments and trends from the last few years that continued accelerating. What follows is a recap of 2017, along with some predictions and recommendations for 2018. The highlights: Traditional Sales…

The internet was supposed to eliminate sales associates. Then it revitalized them.


As online sales rapidly increase, Amazon takes a bigger piece of the ecommerce pie, voice commerce and virtual reality appear imminent and subscription models are revitalized, why do sales associates need to be part of the shopping journey at all? It’s a fair question to ask.

As gifting moves online, digital media is the new gatekeeper.


In yet another triumph for the rapid ascent of ecommerce, 2017 is the first year that the majority of gifting purchases will happen online instead of in stores, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday survey. Throughout the 20th century, third-party retailers and large department stores reigned…

Brands think wholesale is the problem. Is it actually the solution?


How did wholesale end up as the enemy? It’s a question I frequently ponder when looking back at the last five years of the digitally-native gold rush, which has created a new crop of brands—Warby Parker, Bonobos, Outdoor Voices, Glossier, Away and hundreds of others—that sought to redefine retail.…

Malls give Apple special treatment. Is it paying off?


For the past few years, various government and media publications have pointed a spotlight on Apple's tax-minimization efforts, which allow it to park over $111 billion dollars offshore. The New York Times published another big piece this week detailing more of the company’s efforts to keep its tax…

What is Stitch Fix? A platform, a retailer or something new?


Stitch Fix recently filed to go public, giving people the first look at the company’s health, unique characteristics and competitive advantages. While many consider Stitch Fix yet another subscription box company, it is much more complicated—and fascinating—than that. By looking at how Stitch Fix…

What does private label even mean anymore?


What makes a private label a private label? Is it the products sold under the label, the brand built around it, or the distribution it has access to? In a retail landscape where direct to consumer brands are making a limited number of simple products, where platforms such as Amazon and media…

From a digitally-native gold rush to an impending bloodbath


Will any digitally-native brands out-scale and outlast the 20th century heritage brands that came before them? This is the most pressing question for the digitally-native gold rush, which has led investors to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into fledgeling brands. To answer it, one has to…

Why invest in Supreme when its secondary market is more valuable?


This week the Carlyle Group, a big private equity firm, bought a stake in the one-of-a-kind brand Supreme for $500 million, valuing it at over $1 billion, making it the most valuable privately-held streetwear brand. Industry sources say Supreme has around $100 million EBITA, and…