This is issue no. 169 of 180. The last issue had a 🔥 46.01% open rate with 6.43% of you visiting this article on whether or not you can compete with Amazon. The answer is no, so I saved you a click. Issue 169 was the first to achieve 1,000 outbound clicks.
Headlining Issue 51 of Lean Luxe (Subscribe and Make Paul Munford happy):
Guys, Gear Patrol just launched a store yesterday. The team got in touch to let me know the new Gear Patrol Store was officially unveiled yesterday. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited by this. With so much talk of media companies faltering by believing they're only in the content game––and not the connections, commerce, or community building game––they've become over-reliant on dwindling digital ad rates. But it's clear to me, as it has been for a long time, that GP understands this. Their store is further proof that retail (be it physical or online) and publishing, can, when done correctly, be a winning combination. The smart publishers know that it's not enough to just rely on advertising, and it's abundantly clear GP gets this.
Now, back to the store. They described it to me as a corner store (rather than a general store), which certainly has my attention. And they're selecting all items by hand, and virtually everything in stock is a GP collaboration, whether it's a Travelteq x GP weekender...or a 1980 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser (special edition for GP!!), with most items pointing to adventure and travel. Which, in case you don't know anything about the site––and shame on you if that's true––is as 'Gear Patrol' as it gets. Time to update your christmas list.
MEDIA: Spectacles wisely targets the core Snapchat demo now (teen and millennial users) with its product launch and distribution strategy. With that said, Specatcles has room to grow into older demos with Memories (saved images or video called “Snaps”) linked to a “Specs” section in the app, making ephemerality optional. Spectacles’ ease of use and polished hardware provides a product experience that is potential more appealing to an older Snapchat user.
RETAIL: The Spanish retailer’s rivals might move production closer to home, but they “just don’t have an organization set up to react quickly to what is trending,” said Liz Dunn, founder of Talmage Advisors, a retail consulting firm. “Simply put, the reason for Inditex’s success is short lead times: the ability to offer designs to the customer that other retailers do not yet have,” Société Générale analyst Anne Critchlow said, adding that this allows the company to charge more than competitors.
ECOMMERCE:Mondelez created a dedicated e-commerce team last year with a goal of generating $1 billion in revenue by 2020. Most of that money will come from customers shifting their purchases online -- buying snacks like Triscuits and Toblerone chocolate on Amazon or Wal-Mart’s website, rather that visiting a store. Yet, Mondelez says it can also increase sales with limited-time and seasonal offers directly through its website, selling unique products that customers won’t find elsewhere.
BRANDS: The new flagship store gets closer to the consumer through an expansive, flashy ground floor with a “guest kiosk” that offers healthy juice and snacks, a concierge for NYC tips, and an eye-popping display based around NBA star James Harden (it can be swapped out to showcase any Adidas-sponsored athlete). Upstairs, the store has a custom “MiAdidas” area where customers can design their own sneakers.
ECOMMERCE: Basically: When you enter the store, you start up the Amazon Go app on your smartphone. The store then uses a a lot of cameras and LIDAR sensors (lasers) to track everything you do once inside the store. As well, through “deep learning,” sensors are trained to detect very specific movements and variations in weight, so that you can grab a cupcake from a shelf, and the store knows exactly what you took, and whether or not you put it back a second later.
ECOMMERCE: “What I find is that the new fashion is now health and wellness,” echoed Talib, a naturopathic doctor to a number of A-list clients, speaking alongside Bacon, the founder of Moon Juice, and Grimmer, the founder and chief executive officer of Habit, a health and wellness start-up that offers personalised, DNA-based diets. “People want experiences, they want to feel transformed — not to continue to collect more clutter or more things,” said Talib.
ECOMMERCE: Caviar entered the Philadelphia market two years ago, a few months after being acquired by Square. At the time, the company had 40 restaurants signed on in the region. Now, it has 300 on the app. Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Square had discussions to sell Caviar to Uber and GrubHub. The talks took place in late 2015 and early 2016 after Square received inbound interest from the companies about Caviar. But after receiving a "lowball" offer for Caviar, the talks ended.
ECOMMERCE: Wish sets itself apart from Amazon by focusing on discovery and treating its app more like a shopping mall that displays products the customer might want in a window instead of requiring people to type in a search query like on Amazon. “The consumers don’t actually need the product the next day or within three days,” said Szulczewski. Still, Wish does hope to improve wait times. The company recently launched a new service, Wish Express, which fulfills orders within six days.
RETAIL: But in today’s consumer-centric economy, shoppers are finding excellent luxury goods from specialist, digital-first upstarts. That these same brands are selling comparable (or better) items at similar price — and without the marketing overheads — makes the decision an easy one for the diffusion line’s core audience (the younger, aspirational shopper) to make. If you’re searching for a stylish pair of jeans, why would you shop at D&G when you know you can find something better at specialists like Industry Standard, DSTLD, or AYR?
BRAND: Can you remain loyal to skaters but also make money on a mainstream level? For the past 22 years, Supreme has been successfully and confidently answering that question with a resounding “hell yes.” Supreme has maintained its integrity and authenticity by pushing the brand forward with collaborations that distance it from competitors and copycats. Supreme also cuts out other retailers (besides its own stores, it’s only stocked at Dover Street Market) and sells directly to its customers.
Graphic: The New Wave of Luxe
A noteworthy map by CB Insights of the fashion world's onslaught of capable, well-capitalized, innovative "lean luxe" startups that have leaped the chasm into the mainstream. Disclaimer: I am shareholder in Mizzen + Main and a consultant to a number of brands on this list through Web Smith, LLC. I serve as the Director of eCommerce at Gear Patrol. As always, thank you for reading. - @web