PrimeTime: Amazon will open holiday pop-ups in Europe, launch a new delivery program for the season, mail its first printed toy catalog

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon will open electronic- and toy-centric pop-ups in Europe for the holiday season, deemed “Amazon Loft for Xmas.” The stores will be in operation from November 16 to 26 in Amsterdam, Berlin,…


The Grinds: Facebook opens pop-ups at Macy’s, Masse monetizes moms, Peloton threatens SoulCycle, Wayfair acquires new customers

Facebook opens pop-ups at Macy’s, bringing the shoppability of Instagram offline. What happened Facebook will debut pop-ups at nine Macy’s department stores for the holiday season. In operation until February 2019, the pop-ups will feature more…


The Grinds: Dollar Shave Club debuts fragrance, Dollar stores look to urban markets for expansion, Influencers become investors, Glossier opens flagship

Dollar Shave Club debuts fragrance in an attempt to differentiate from other digital-first men’s health brands. What happened Dollar Shave Club, the direct-to-consumer subscription razor brand founded in 2011, is expanding to a new category:…


PrimeTime: Amazon shoppers receive free shipping, Kohl’s collaborates with Amazon, Most Amazon Go stores close during the weekend, CVS and Uber create Prime-like memberships, HQ2 will allegedly be split in Arlington, Virigina and Queens, New York

The latest news on everything Amazon   All U.S. Amazon shoppers will receive free shipping for the holiday season, regardless of Prime membership. (Non-Prime members typically must spend $25 to get free shipping.) The company also…


Will the internet push consumer product margins to zero?

The internet opened the ecommerce floodgates, offering consumers exponentially more options. But with increased competition, retailers are attempting to gain market share in the short term by reducing prices—as their margins race toward zero.


PrimeTime: Amazon’s private-label apparel brands grow, but don’t sell, “Online Stores” business decelerates; Amazon launches new benefits for Business Prime, debuts two private-label home goods brands; Walmart opens tech-driven store to compete with Amazon

The latest news on everything Amazon   Apparel brands account for 88% of Amazon’s private labels, but only 1% of private-label sales, according to a report by Jungle Scout, an Amazon Product Finder and Research Tool. Largely womenswear,…


The Grinds: Sweetgreen aims for $1 billion valuation; Shopify courts larger vendors; Banana Republic launches Cos Bar shop-in-shop; End Clothing, The Line invent the new department store

Sweetgreen aims to become a $1 billion salad empire, but will have to scale sustainably to maintain its image. What happened Sweetgreen, the fast-casual salad chain founded in 2007, has grown to approximately 90 locations across California,…


Rent The Runway and the gift and curse of returns

Returns have always been a gift and a curse for ecommerce. To onlookers, they signify the shortcomings of the online shopping experience for consumers: the inability to try things on, to see items as they are in real life. Ecommerce can also…


PrimeTime: Amazon expands brick-and-mortar footprint, erases Instacart branding at Whole Foods, receives criticism for its Vine program

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon now operates approximately 629 brick-and-mortar stores, which includes Amazon Books, Amazon Go, Whole Foods and Treasure Trucks. The Whole Foods acquisition alone added 480 retail locations to…


The Grinds: Pinterest strives to make pins more shoppable, Sunday Riley receives criticism for fake reviews, RSE Ventures is creating an empire, Patagonia gets political

Pinterest strives to make pins more shoppable, and its advertising business more profitable. What happened Pinterest users that click on a home- or style-related pin—that is, an image with a description and link to the original online source, the…


Amazon, Stripe, Spring and the fallacy of the universal shopping cart

Companies and overzealous entrepreneurs have tried to create the “universal shopping cart” since the beginning of ecommerce. But none of them has ever been realized to the degree promised. It turns out that managing the front-end relationship with…


PrimeTime: Amazon grows its private-label and exclusive offering, will have to pay higher USPS prices, patented new Alexa technology; Twitch live sportscasting increases viewer engagement, Amazon Fashion will launch pop-up, Amazon Air debuts new CA location

The latest news on everything Amazon   As Amazon continues to grow its private-label and exclusive brand offering, it is finding success in the diaper and health categories. Sales have tripled since Amazon launched the exclusive diaper…


The Grinds: Harry’s debuts women’s razor brand, Shopify embraces customer service—for vendors, Walmart acquires Bare Necessities, Sephora extends the Museum of Ice Cream’s lifeline

Harry’s debuts women’s razor brand, Flamingo, in the quest to diversify its holding company and cater to female customers. What happened Harry’s, the direct-to-consumer subscription disposable razor brand that launched in 2011, debuted a women’s…


Revolve says it’s the anti-Amazon, but runs on the same fuel

Revolve, the digital retailer founded in 2003, recently filed to go public. Some would be surprised to know that the company has been around for 15 years, but still seems relevant today. The retailer’s S-1 filing reveals a large amount of…


PrimeTime: Amazon turbo-charges its private-label empire, terminates Instant Pickup, will bring 4-Star to Berkeley, will launch a free, ad-supported TV service; Stitch Fix saw stock price dip since Amazon Scout launched

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon is turbo-charging its private-label empire, launching new brands and debuting an accelerator program for third-party sellers to sell exclusively on Amazon. The company’s private-label business…


The Grinds: Walgreens partners with Birchbox, Grocery stores rethink their blueprints, Rotarity merges the rental model with streetwear, Netflix purchases studio

Walgreens refreshes its beauty aisle with Birchbox partnership, but it’s not the only mass retailer to embrace cosmetics. What happened Walgreens is launching a pilot partnership program with the online subscription beauty service Birchbox both…


PrimeTime: Amazon 4-star opens, AmazonBasics introduces private-label mattress, Amazon drives and takes advantage of growing smart speaker market, Amazon-native beauty brands are top performers

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon has expanded its brick-and-mortar footprint once again with Amazon 4-star, a physical store in New York City that features top-selling, new or trending products on its site. The store…


PrimeTime: Snapchat debuts visual product search in partnership with Amazon; Amazon launches 70 new products, debuts visual-centric shopping service, gains speed in its advertising business, plans to expand Amazon Go, launches exclusive diaper brand

The latest news on everything Amazon   Snapchat debuted a new visual product search feature that allows users to photograph an item or scan a barcode and scroll through similar items via Amazon. Each product includes an image, its name,…


The hypocrisy of philanthropy: Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos’ great fortunes and delayed charity

In today’s hyper-globalized and -politicized world, more consumer product companies are seeking to align with initiatives that ameliorate society and the world, either at inception or later in their life cycle. Whether environmental sustainability,…


PrimeTime: Amazon debuts Storefronts, French retailer Monoprix offers Prime delivery, Merch by Amazon revs up fast fashion, Amazon plans to launch more Alexa devices

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon debuted Storefronts, a section of its site that will feature products from approximately 20,000 small- and medium-sized businesses, shoppable via 25 product verticals. The page displays videos…


PrimeTime: Amazon launched Amazon Advertising, plans to open Amazon Go in New York; J.Crew will sell J.Crew Mercantile on Amazon, Amazon’s smaller vendors are beginning to divert products to other ecommerce platforms

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon launched Amazon Advertising, replacing Amazon Marketing Services, though the products and services offered remain the same. The rebrand emerges at a time when Amazon’s advertising business is…


The Grinds: Starbucks attempts to win over Italy, Ritual fails to live up to transparency claims, Mattel launches film division, Instagram may launch a separate shopping app

Starbucks attempts to win over Italy, opening a roastery in Milan. What happened Thirty-five years ago—long before becoming Starbucks’ CEO—Howard Schultz, then a marketing director for the brand, visited Milan and returned transfixed by the idea of…


The Grinds: FAO Schwarz makes a comeback, Hims takes on Hers, Zalando builds a brand with a music festival, Tiffany & Co. banks on flagship

FAO Schwarz will make its comeback in Rockefeller Center as toy retailers scrape up Toys R Us’ debris. What happened FAO Schwarz closed its Manhattan flagship back in 2015. This November, it’s returning with a 20,000 square foot location in…


Untangling the complexities of Farfetch’s business

This week Farfetch, the luxury platform that connects customers, brands and retailers around the world, filed its initial form to go public. The company is one of the few fashion/luxury technology companies to reach a large scale—second only to…


PrimeTime: Amazon plans to launch TiVo competitor, offer music streaming via Alexa, make voice shopping easier, debuted its first vans for its Delivery Service Program, may acquire Landmark Theaters

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon has plans to create a TiVo competitor, which will record live streamed video that can be played on smartphones. The device will connect to Amazon’s Fire TVs and would store video locally. At…


InvestorPlace: Forget $1 Trillion, AMZN Will Hit $2 Trillion by This Date

Press commentary on the nature of Amazon's business.


PrimeTime: Prime members gain curbside Whole Foods pickup; Alexa-enabled shopping hasn’t caught on; Walmart facilitates easier ecommerce returns; Amazon looks to expand sports content, experiments with video ads on mobile

The latest news on everything Amazon   Prime members now have access to curbside pickup at Whole Foods. To utilize the service, Prime members can shop Whole Foods on the Prime Now app or site and retrieve their order as early as an hour…


The Grinds: JCPenney banks on babies; Malls house digitally-native brands, coworking offices; Casper plans for 200 stores; VF ditches denim

JCPenney banks on babies, but seizing Toys R Us’ market share continues to ignore the company’s endemic problems. What happened JCPenney is opening 500 baby shops in its department stores, sweeping up market share from the liquidation of Toys R Us…


PrimeTime: Amazon is uniting its advertising business on a single platform, extends back-to-school season; Kroger debuts a new grocery delivery service

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon is uniting its advertising business on a single platform, regardless of whether advertisers seek to sell their products directly to Amazon or directly to shoppers as third-party sellers. The…


The Grinds: Walmart is incubating an Everlane-like private label, CVS embraces K-beauty, Equinox turns to employees for brand promotion, Van Leeuwen raises minority investment

Walmart is incubating an Everlane-like private-label brand—should Everlane worry? What happened Walmart’s new brand is allegedly inspired by Everlane—the minimalist “essentials” brand for women’s apparel and accessories—but will aim to reel in…


The Grinds: IKEA downsizes and digitizes, The RealReal raises $115 million, Disney and 21st Century Fox strike merger, A Ma Maniére fuses streetwear with hospitality

IKEA downsizes and digitizes to retain its hold on young clientele. What happened Since 2015, IKEA has opened 24 small format stores—an average of 9,700 square feet, compared to its traditional 82,000 square foot warehouses. Customers aren’t able…


PrimeTime: Prime Video will launch more personalized interface, Prime members are lapping up Whole Foods perks, Amazon’s Q2 2018 profit exceeds $2.5 billion, Amazon sellers are paying for fake positive reviews

The latest news on everything Amazon   Prime Video is launching a more personalized interface for Amazon streamers. While Netflix has built its brand on personalization down to the thumbnails for each show, Prime viewers neither have user…


The Grinds: Ipsy unveils members-only beauty ecommerce site, Boutique and vintage vendors turn to Instagram, Retailers invite brands to advertise with package inserts, MoviePass acquires Moviefone

Ipsy, queen of the beauty subscription box, unveils Shopper, a members-only, direct-to-consumer site. What happened Ipsy, a subscription service that began in 2011, sends members Glam Bags, which include a personalized bounty of five full- and/or…


PrimeTime: Amazon holds 49% of ecommerce market share, Target debuts one-day sale to compete with Prime Day, Walmart will use Microsoft’s cloud computing technology, Sonos is going public and highlighting partnership with Alexa

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon now holds 49% of the ecommerce market, miles away from eBay’s 6.6% and Walmart’s 3.7%. The company exercised this muscle on July 16-17 for Prime Day, which saw 54% more sales in the first four…


PrimeTime: Amazon partners with Snapchat on visual product search feature, uses Prime Day to highlight private labels, plans to launch holiday toy catalog, announces Delivery Service Partners program, acquires PillPack

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon is partnering with Snapchat on a visual product search that will live inside the social media app. The feature will allow users to identify songs, products and barcodes with the help of Shazam…


The Grinds: Disney and Muji launch immersive experiences, Aday grows “wear-testers” program, Peloton acquires Neurotic Media, WeWork debuts retail market

Disney brings Star Wars to Hollywood Studios and Muji opens more hotels, inviting visitors to live in their brands. What happened A little over a month after debuting Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios Park, Disney is bringing Star Wars: Galaxy’s…


Less is more: How companies are controlling supply while maximizing demand in a digital and physical world

Scarcity is a powerful psychological force. It compels consumers to change their behavior while simultaneously raising the value of products and services. However, putting locational, temporal or inventory limitations in place may seem contrarian at…


Going, going, gone: How Amazon, Hamilton and Supreme are navigating the hype that stems from time-based scarcity

Scarcity is a powerful psychological force. It compels consumers to change their behavior while simultaneously raising the value of products and services. However, putting locational, temporal or inventory limitations in place may seem contrarian at…


Here and now: Netflix and Amazon pioneered instantly released and long-lasting content, but are now exploring the opposite direction

Scarcity is a powerful psychological force. It compels consumers to change their behavior while simultaneously raising the value of products and services. However, putting locational, temporal or inventory limitations in place may seem contrarian at…


Organic Growth — with Holly McWhorter of PLANT Apothecary

#78. PLANT Apothecary is a fully organic skincare brand that has a big focus on environmental friendliness and bold design. We talk with co-founder Holly McWhorter about her research-minded process and how she’s scaling a company that nurtures her…


PrimeTime: Prime Wardrobe launches for all U.S. Prime members, Kroger reigns supreme in U.S. online grocery delivery, Sonos makes a comeback, Amazon Hub grows, Prime members enjoy discounts at all U.S. Whole Foods locations, American Express and Amazon team up with co-branded credit card for small businesses

The latest news on everything Amazon   All U.S. Prime members now have access to Prime Wardrobe, a service that allows customers to order apparel online, gives them a seven-day grace period to try on the items, and then charges them for…


The Grinds: Goop answers pseudoscience criticism, UPS looks to automation, #MeToo jeans reprise the accessible feminism debate, Disney launches attraction previews

Goop answers pseudoscience criticism by coming clean about its product benefits. What happened After growing a business by amassing a devoted following of customers who believed in product benefits not necessarily backed by science—and receiving…


PrimeTime: Amazon launches Alexa for Hospitality, strives to win over Brazilian cosmetics companies, sells from Treasure Trucks; Microsoft develops cashierless technology; Roku plans to launch Amazon-inspired channel subscription service; CVS expands pharmaceutical delivery service

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon launched Alexa for Hospitality at a number of hotels in the Marriott family and has invited other hotel chains to integrate with its echo speakers as well. The service will place Echo speakers…


PrimeTime: Amazon inks deal to stream the English Premier League, extends 10% Whole Foods discount for Prime members, rebrands its membership program, debuts the Fire TV Cube; Sears expands its auto partnership with Amazon; Mastercard seeks to integrate payment system into Google and Amazon voice assistants

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon inked a deal with the English Premier League, giving the platform exclusive rights to stream soccer on Prime Video. This means that, starting in 2019, UK-based Prime members can watch the 20…


The Grinds: JCPenney launches Fanatics shop-in-shops, Honest Company raises $200 million, Wish brings the dollar store online, Walmart opens ModCloth stores

JCPenney banks on shop-in-shops, this time with digitally-native sports manufacturer and retailer Fanatics. What happened JCPenney launched Fanatics shop-in-shops in 350 of its locations, and plans to open 300 more by the end of the summer. Each…


PrimeTime: Amazon extends Whole Foods discounts to Prime subscribers, makes Prime Pantry a monthly membership, announces partnerships between Amazon Dash and WePlenish, AmazonFresh and SideChef; Costco holds out with strong membership model; “Amazon’s Choice” label grows in significance

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon is extending its Whole Foods discounts to Prime customers who will now save 10% on featured items—marketed as Prime Member deals in store—and on on-sale products at the grocery store in a…


PrimeTime: Amazon’s hold over the beauty market grows, Google’s smart speaker sales surpass Amazon’s

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon’s hold over the beauty market is growing a minimum of 24% year over year in the U.S. in the top ten verticals. In Q1 2018, luxury cosmetics sales rose 57% and the company plans to capitalize on…


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…