The surprise split followed discord about how to reinvigorate the 50-year-old brand, which was a standard bearer for preppy style in the ’80s and ’90s. In recent years, the company has suffered from heavy discounting and an overreliance on the beleaguered department-store industry. It also has an aging customer base and no clear way to appeal to more millennial shoppers. - Bloomberg
MEDIA: While the slowing user growth might raise concerns similar to those that have dogged Twitter, the good news for Snapchat is it has about double the number of daily users as Twitter and its advertising is a lot more valuable because it is overwhelmingly video-driven. Still, Snap is no Facebook, which has at least 150 million daily active users in the U.S. who spend at least double the amount of time across its core apps, excluding WhatsApp, as users do on Snapchat.
MEDIA: Mr Lévy, who will become chairman of the supervisory board of Publicis, and rivals Sir Martin Sorrell at WPP, John Wren at Omnicom and Michael Roth at Interpublic boast a combined total of 92 years at the top. Between them, and their many satellite agencies around the world, they have a strong claim to have shaped what people eat, watch and wear. David Kershaw, who has run London agency M&C Saatchi since 1994, says Mr Lévy’s move has renewed the focus on what rivals do next when it comes to leadership.
ECOMMERCE: From delivery drones to Alexa devices, Amazon’s commitment to innovation is helping the company maintain its e-commerce dominance. New data from Slice Intelligence shows this innovation is paying off as spending with Amazon – including sales from first and third party sales, Amazon.com and Prime Now – accounts for 43 percent of all the revenue generated in the U.S. online market in 2016. Even more astonishing, Amazon accounted for 53 percent of all online sales growth in the United States. No small feat as e-commerce grew by 24 percent last year.
BRAND: The move to invest in activewear and athleisure (the New Balance collab has been called both) came as a surprise to those in the industry who follow J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler — he decried activewear in 2014, telling Racked “We don’t have the expertise to do that.” Likewise, creative director Jenna Lyons had previously stated that J.Crew had no plans to dabble in athleisure. “I just don’t think it is the right thing for us to do, but it is out there. I think it is super-important, [but] we’re not planning on taking over the active world,” Lyons told The Cut in 2014.
BRAND: Beyond that, Larsson was up against the company’s history, which had Lauren, with his signature American classic style — a classy cowboy vibe that reflects supreme taste, an exquisite knack for spotting trends and an outsized respect for quality — with financial gurus at his side who kept a close watch on manufacturing and the supply chain while also carefully balancing the books.
BRAND: Additionally, North America and Western Europe were the only two markets that Nike reported falling futures orders, both were down 4%. Investors will be looking for guidance on potential international headwinds when the company reports its fourth quarter results in March. In the meantime, Nike continues to show signs that 2017 will be a bounce-back year.
CAPSTONE: But retailers argue the tax isn’t just about them: It’s about consumers. For example, retailers would no longer be able to deduct the cost of merchandise they import under such a plan, hiking taxes three to five times higher for some merchants and driving up the price of imported goods, according to the NRF. Even many retailers that don’t import directly would experience higher costs as wholesalers pass on their own inflated costs, and it would be difficult for retailers to substitute American-made goods because so much of their merchandise is made overseas, the NRF says.
ECOMMERCE: Over the past five years, Amazon has made a series of moves aimed at the fashion market that go far beyond print advertising. Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos has long seen a presence in the fashion industry as critical to the company’s long-term ambition to surpass $200 billion in sales. There was the company’s Met Gala sponsorship in 2012 and the subsequent opening of large photo studios in New York and London in 2013 and 2015, respectively, which Amazon said would help the company add more than 500,000 images of apparel to its e-commerce sites every year.
MEDIA: Media companies haven’t historically been tech companies. Their technology teams largely grew out of IT departments. They weren’t product and tech teams in the sense of Facebook or Google. It takes time, but the way we’ve been changing this is, first of all, creating a culture where engineers want to be. You have to make a real commitment to the value of technology that is consistent with the companies who are competing with you for talent.
DATA: Promotions aren’t dead, but they aren’t in the commanding position they once were. Retailers are now tasked to find a way to break through the noise with powerful products and experiences that make the consumer want to act, and act now! If Holiday 2016 taught us one thing, it is that retail needs to make a change and find a way to compete with all the other things that are gaining the consumer’s share of mind and wallet. Retail needs to show consumers something they don’t want to miss out on.
MALL RETAIL: For those monitoring the demise of American shopping malls, David Simon has some choice words for you. On Simon Property Group's fourth-quarter earnings call, the CEO of the country's largest mall owner said he would not bore analysts with a lecture about the misunderstood mall industry — right before launching into a diatribe on that very topic.
ECOMMERCE: Stitch Fix's new ads highlight the company's highly personalized services—a voiceover from a brand stylist says, "I learn what you like, and send you clothes you'll love." With 80 data scientists, the company learns from every purchase and return and is able to send more custom-built assortments over time. Its business model is a combination of human touch and technology, said Ms. Jones.