This is issue no. 116 of 180. The last issue saw a 42.43% open rate with 6.72% going to this article on the GOAT app's pivot to eCommerce. Olympic gold turns into money green. Abercrombie to close 60+ stores as alukewarm heritage rebrand fails to provide brand lift.
INNOVATION: Uber is shifting decision-making away from local teams in individual cities to managers at its headquarters while bulking up engineers in order to be more of a technology-driven company. That’s caused a power shift on Travis Kalanick’s executive team—and on its board of directors. Mr. Baker and Mr. Pham have taken over teams that previously reported to Mr. Holden.
ECOMMERCE: As retailers increasingly merge their online and offline fulfillment processes, warehousing optimization is more important and complex than ever. Amazon has been at the forefront of warehouse automation for the past few years, an effort bolstered by its $775M purchase of warehouse robot maker Kiva in 2012. According to company leadership, the robots reduce warehouse operating expenses by roughly 20%.
ECOMMERCE: Online furniture shop Wayfair has acquired a Boston-based mobile messaging application called Trumpit, with the aim of utilizing its technology in order to expand its customer service offerings. So yes, that means messaging will be a part of the mobile Wayfair application in the future. Today, the app only offers users the ability to email or call the company when they click into the app’s “Contact Us” section. Trumpit, which offers a Snapchat-like group chat experience using both photos and videos.
MEDIA: This is not the first time that Gatorade brought its ongoing sponsorship with Williams to Snapchat, although it hasn’t yet had an official account on the platform. During Super Bowl in February, the company came out with an animated sponsored lens to let Snapchat users dunk a virtual Gatorade cooler over people’s video selfies — of course, Williams got virtually doused. This marketing ploy garnered around 160 million impressions on Snapchat. Mitchell didn’t specify how Gatorade planned to measure the new video game.
BRAND: J. Crew Group Inc.’s flagship chain will start selling an assortment of women’s clothes at Nordstrom Inc. stores, part of a push to revive growth at the moribund brand. J. Crew will introduce the collection on Sept. 12 in 16 Nordstrom locations, as well as the department store’s website, according to a statement Monday. The agreement builds on an existing partnership with Nordstrom, which already sells J. Crew’s Madewell brand in 76 stores and online. Nordstrom operates one department store in Charlotte in SouthPark mall. The move bucks a trend among many apparel brands, which are decreasing their reliance on department stores.
BRAND: Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, says the company has sought to “fuse” its marketing efforts with its on-the-ground operations and also to find an executive with a “strong storytelling ethos” and the experience of managing a global brand. “We haven’t had a deep marketing expertise in house,” Kalanick said in an interview with Fortune in San Francisco on Monday. He referred to Uber’s ride-sharing service as a $20-billion entity—referring to approximate global bookings on an annualized basis—that represents “essentially 99% of Uber’s business.”
BRAND: He also said he didn’t see price as a factor that needs “wholesale revision.” While he acknowledged consumers are more price-sensitive than ever, he thinks the quality of Abercrombie & Fitch products helps the price-value perception. The new stores will help emphasize that message of different. The company continues to be pleased with the Hollister remodels, the most established of which are generating double-digit gains in shoppers and sales.
MEDIA: Snapchat will offer customizable templates to design Geofilters for birthdays, weddings and other celebrations, with up to 6 offerings per category. Geofilters, which some have called the “new hashtag,” are a way to personalize your images, and make them stand out. Many Snapchat users have been using them for weddings, birthday and anniversaries, and the like. But unlike hashtags, geofilters are not searchable--they are visible only to people within a specific area known as a "geofence."
MEDIA: “Ever since I started taking two @sugarbearhair a day, my hair has been fuller and stronger than ever!! Even with all the heat and bleaching I do to it!” Khloé Kardashian posted on Instagram this month. But in the last week, close watchers of the sisters’ accounts may have noticed a small addition to those laudatory messages about the latest miracle product: “#ad.” For marketers contending with consumers who use ad blockers online and have cut the cord to their TVs in favor of streaming services, social media has become a way to reach an elusive audience.
MEDIA: The program will provide “approved creators in the U.S. with the ability to monetize their videos, which is as simple as ‘checking a box’ prior to Tweeting,” read a blog post published Tuesday by Guy Snir, a product manager at Twitter. Creators will keep 70% of the revenue generated from ads sold against their content, with Twitter taking a 30% cut, according to a person familiar with the matter. That’s the same revenue split that Twitter has had in place with major publishers already participating in the Amplify Publisher Program.
Graphic: Best Performing Retailers (Total Return YTD)
Surprising, but JC Penney is en route to $1B in profit for the first time since 2012. But to no surprise, Dick's Sporting Goods (bullish on their brick & mortar) is the best performing retail front of the year. Read Bloomberg's Shelly Banjo's latest for more.