This is issue no. 213. The last issue had a ⚡️54.91% open rate with a 8.8% of you checking out just how Warby Parker runs their $1,000,000,000+ brand. To all new subscribers, welcome. To the 2 PM loyal, apologies but last week I was defeated by flu symptoms. I didn't even have the energy to debate folks over Linkedin.
Did a colleague forward this email to you? Thank them and subscribe here.
One could imagine the potential for similar deals with other e-commerce platforms such as BigCommerce or perhaps marketplaces like Etsy. Kaufman joined BuzzFeed last year when the company acquired his e-commerce startup Scroll. He previously founded and ran an invention startup called Quirky, which has struggled, and also started the successful smartphone accessory company Mophie. Kaufman reports directly to BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti.
LOGISTICS: Amazon is exploring what role autonomous-vehicle technology could have in its business, the Wall Street Journal reported today (paywall). The research is still in an early, exploratory phase, the Journal said, but hints at a larger plan of Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos: to own the delivery and logistics chain for its packages, and make it as efficient as possible.
DATA: The wearable tech space remains a largely blank canvas in the NFL. But no one expects it to remain that way forever, and on Monday, the NFLPA took a seat at the table. We shall see where it goes from here.
BRAND: We asked ourselves, what do we mean by a truly iconic brand? The first characteristic is that they are instantly recognizable visually: You look at a Coca-Cola, at a Starbucks, you recognize that brand wherever you see it. One of the first things my kid said was “Starbucks,” pointing at a logo. The second ingredient is a universal value proposition. The third is that they genuinely play a role in culture.
ECOMMERCE: The mission is to be the force driving commerce forward at a time when emerging technologies influence all aspects of consumers’ lives. We recognize that one of the most crucial parts of this mission is developing a team that will allow us to achieve these goals and finding the talent with the proven track record to drive innovation forward in both concept and practice.
LOGISTICS: The world must change education systems and establish how to work with robots to help soften the blow caused by automation and the internet economy, Ma said in a speech to an entrepreneurship conference in Zhengzhou, China. “In the next 30 years, the world will see much more pain than happiness,” Ma said of job disruptions caused by the internet. “Social conflicts in the next three decades will have an impact on all sorts of industries and walks of life.”
RETAIL BLOODBATH: Jim Elder, S&P Global Market Intelligence’s director of risk services, wrote that first quarter results suggest there’s no quick recovery in sight. Sears Holdings Corp., Bon-Ton Stores Inc., and Perfumania Holdings Inc. are among the most vulnerable in the coming year, according to an S&P analysis of public retail companies.
BRAND: The Business of Fashion — the independent resource for the global fashion community — surveyed over 2,600 industry professionals, representing more than 190 leading fashion companies from around the world, for our first annual report on The Best Companies To Work For In Fashion. The 16 companies listed are the industry’s leading employers in 2017.
BRAND: The brand, launched in 2008, doesn’t sell direct-to-consumer, relying entirely on wholesale partners like Neiman Marcus and Net-a-Porter. “We wanted to capitalize on that live-stream traffic,” said Jodie Chan, head of marketing and communications at Altuzarra. Since Altuzarra hasn’t adopted an in-season fashion calendar schedule, it had to multitask: Customers watching the live stream for spring 2017 were directed to shop the fall 2016 collection on its partner sites.
MEDIA: Amazon on Monday created a single spot for people to sign up to digital subscriptions from companies including the Los Angeles Times and digital file cabinet Dropbox. For the hundreds of millions of customers who have Amazon accounts tied to their credit cards, it's easier to buy from Amazon than handing over their personal information multiple times to sign up individually for Dropbox, the New Yorker and SlingTV.
BRAND: For brands and retailers, not only does Instagram offer greater exposure (Rent the Runway’s 141,000 followers can see its Story), but it also lets them link out to a landing page, something that was previously only available through the link-in-bio feature. Instagram’s analytics tools are also better fleshed out than Snapchat’s, which have always been more opaque for brands trying to see if their posts are getting traction.
I DON'T EVEN KNOW: Let the malls implode. Young retailers will remake them in their own image, gutting the old Gap stores and putting in a coffee shop. Large buildings will be repurposed into markets and micro-retail will replace maxi-retail. And the process will repeat – small becomes big which topples and the small rise again. While the seismic effects of retail death are real and dangerous in the short term I’m optimistic enough to bet on the small scale in the long term.