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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


Trading up or down: Ulta Beauty and Stitch Fix appeal to ever-growing consumer markets by giving customers a choice

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…


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…


Kidproof — with Rachel Blumenthal of Rockets of Awesome

#69. Rockets of Awesome creates modern children’s clothes, conveniently delivered to busy parents. We talk with Founder and CEO Rachel Blumenthal, who started the company after running a previous business that made mothers’ lives easier, and has…


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…


The Grinds: Ulta Beauty will begin selling Chanel Beauté, Nordstrom family ends buyout effort, ThredUp wants to create a consignment ecosystem, Google launches new advertising program online with its AI assistant

Ulta Beauty will begin selling Chanel Beauté—a coveted and surprising addition to the beauty retailer that mixes high and low. To-the-point analysis about one of the four important stories from the week.   What happened Ulta Beauty,…


The Grinds: Target opens small-format stores, BuzzFeed adds new beauty and style vertical, JAB Holding Company conquers coffee, Glossier launches new pop-up

Target is the latest mass retailer to open small-format stores, whose focus on private label could help it provide even more differentiated products. To-the-point analysis about one of the five important stories from the week.  …


The Exclusive Product and Collab Report

In today’s competitive retail landscape, selling the same products as everyone else—and especially Amazon—puts brands and retailers on the path to self-commoditization: the race to the bottom on price that is bankrupting some companies and seriously…


The Grinds: Amazon Go opens, Richemont buys Yoox Net-a-Porter, Young people prefer online shopping, Bankrupt retailers get rent concessions, Target unveils unique fragrance

Richemont buys Yoox Net-a-Porter, becoming the first major luxury holding company with a serious ecommerce operation To-the-point analysis about one of the five important stories from the week.   Why it’s interesting…


The Grinds: Beauty Pie’s pricing strategy, Amazon’s aesthetic, Target’s holiday sales, Amazon’s beauty business, Aural advertising increases

Beauty Pie, the membership-based beauty retailer sees success with its unconventional pricing strategy To-the-point analysis about one of the five important stories from the week.   Why it’s interesting Beauty Pie was started…


The Retail Revolution Report

What does physical retail look like in a world where tens of millions of products are readily available on the Internet? It no longer needs to be the only place where shoppers find, buy and receive products. This should free up companies to…


The Private Label Report

In the 19th century, merchants in the mail-order and wholesale business introduced their own private-label products. The goal was to provide valuable and cheaper alternatives to premium-priced national brands, who significantly marked up their…


Amazon is a catalyst, not a middleman, in a direct to consumer world

This May, Amazon is holding a summit for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, according to Bloomberg. The goal is to convince CPG brands to rethink everything from manufacturing to packaging for the ecommerce-driven world we live in. Producing…