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…


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…


Kylie Cosmetics and the industry’s quest to decipher its growth

In Part II of our ongoing series on Kylie Cosmetics, we wrote about the recent announcement that the brand would start selling in Ulta this holiday season. We concluded that while the move is clearly beneficial for Ulta, it exposes the potential…


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…


The Grinds: Brands diversify ad spend; Nordstrom launches influencer-driven, private-label brand; Gap will debut men’s activewear brand; Bumble goes into beauty

Billboards, stickers and other non-traditional ads grow in popularity as more brands diversify. What happened “Out of home” advertising—billboards, ads on public transportation and in other public venues like sports stadiums—now comprise 7% of…


Small Footprint, Big Steps — with Barry Beck of Bluemercury

#83. Bluemercury took cosmetics out of department stores, pioneering small-format beauty retail. We talk with co-founder Barry Beck about starting the company with his wife Marla and navigating through various retail cycles to grow their business to…


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…


Circle of Life — with Ariane Goldman of HATCH

#79. HATCH is a maternity brand that serves women before, during and after pregnancy. We talk with founder Ariane Goldman about creating apparel that celebrates fashion and comfort equally and how HATCH is forging a community for women in its retail…


The Grinds: Nike debuts training pop-up, Rimowa tries out direct-to-consumer, YouTube reacts to IGTV, SoulCycle embraces media

Nike’s training pop-up gives customers the tools to “Just Do It.” What happened Nike Plus members and those with the Nike Training Club app can now visit a training pop-up in Los Angeles until mid-August and workout with professional athletes.…


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…


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…


All for one or one for all? How brands and retailers are embracing inclusivity

Though the number of brands has mushroomed since the digital boom, the vast majority of new brands are founded in coastal urban areas like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The specificity of their geography and the values and ideas that…


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…


Kardashian Kryptonite: From selling out to stocking products

When Kylie Jenner launched Kylie Lip Kits—her first beauty product—in 2015, she made only 15,000 units, which sold out in 20 minutes and grossed around $1 million. In June 2017, her sister Kim Kardashian launched KKW Beauty with one product: Contour…


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…


Joy Bomb — with Natalie Mackey of Winky Lux

#73. Winky Lux is a quickly growing beauty brand built around accessible and fun products. We talk with co-founder Natalie Mackey, who started the company after realizing the mass market opportunity around drugstore-priced cosmetics that embody…


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…


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…


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

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…


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…


The Grinds: Toy retailers seek gains from Toys R Us’ bankruptcy, Fraud-detecting services vet online shoppers, The Wing ushers in a new era of retail real estate, Beauty buffs and sneakerheads form social channels

Big toy retailers like Hasbro and Mattel and independent toy stores hope to gain market share from Toys R Us’ bankruptcy, but Amazon and its competitors may beat them to it. What happened In the wake of Toys R Us’ bankruptcy, toy manufacturers…


Vertical Touring: Inside the brands that are translating the concert and festival experience into fashion and beauty products

Today, album tours and merch are the biggest sources of income for artists, while music festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo have morphed into widely shoppable events where brands and retailers come to showcase their most experience-driven retail.…


What can the direct-to-consumer explosion learn from the farm-to-table movement?

In the mid-2000s, the farm-to-table movement transformed the food industry. Though the food industry is often ahead of others because it sells products that people physically consume, the consumer goods space—fashion, apparel, beauty, CPG and…


Baggage Claim: Inside the airports and private aviation companies making air travel a shoppable and personalized event

Airports boast some of the most high density foot traffic each day—in 2017, an average of 213,668 flyers passed through London Heathrow each day, totalling 78 million over the course of the year. As mall foot traffic decreases, brands and retailers…


Trending and Timeless — with Alex Fogelson of Taste Beauty

#62. Taste Beauty is a manufacturing company working at the forefront of the quickly evolving beauty industry. We talk with Co-Founder Alex Fogelson about how his company is bringing trend-driven products to more than 50,000 beauty retailers…


The Gold Standard — with Karen Young of Oui Shave

#55. Oui Shave is a direct-to-consumer shaving brand for women. We talk with Founder Karen Young who started the company after she grew tired of using products built for men. Notably, Karen started with the product, working to bring the best…


Courier: Emily Weiss: Glossier’s architect of content, community and commerce

Press commentary on Glossier's explosive growth in the beauty and cosmetics space. Read the full article. 


Challenging Unrealistic Standards of Beauty — with Carrie Hammer

When you listen to Carrie Hammer talk about everything that came before Role Models Not Runway Models, it’s easy to see why she known for so much more than just designing clothes. On the 27th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, Hammer talked…


What happens when beauty, health and wellness products move from standardized to personalized?

Right now, if you walk into your nearest grocery store, drug store or department store, you'll find at least thirty different types of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, mouthwash, sunscreen, moisturizer, makeup, lipstick, foundation and a…