This is issue no. 241. The last issue had a 44.91% open rate with 🔥 13.26% of you reading up on how fashion's most talked-about DNVB's and marketplaces are actually performing. Elon Musk's space suit touches down. And here are the Juicero patents that were just dropped. 

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Today's Top Intelligence (16 Reads)
Watch Site Hodinkee Launches Print Magazine
Since its launch in 2008, Hodinkee has been something of an industry trailblazer: initially conceived as a blog covering the watch industry with a mix of news and in-depth features, it launched at a time when“the entire watch industry seemed almost afraid of the internet," says Pulvirent. Today, investors include John Mayer, Ashton Kutcher and Google Ventures. In 2012, it added an e-commerce platform in order to amplify commercial opportunities, and the site now collaborates on limited edition pieces with brands such as Vacheron Constantin and TAG Heuer. Hodinkee reported year-on-year growth of 60 percent last year, with 75 percent year-to-date growth for 2017.
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Brand: Rihanna was there to launch her Fenty Beauty collection, a range two years in the making. She gave a short speech to the crowd, then proceeded to circulate among us peasants wearing gold powder (from her collection) all over her eyes, a yellow Oscar de la Renta ball skirt slit up one side, and a thin yellow sweater sans bra. 

Media: Those figures explain why it is that every agency, platform and digital media player has been on high alert since Procter & Gamble chief brand officer Marc Pritchard, who holds the strings to the conglomerate’s $2.4 billion annual U.S. advertising purse, threatened to yank his company’s spend if they fail to address the growing mess of issues in digital advertising like fraud, brand safety and transparency.

DNVB: Boll & Branch now belongs to a group of e-commerce, direct-t0-consumer brands that have opened their own brick-and-mortar stores in the past year. Allbirds, Away, ModCloth, Glossier and Madison Reed, for instance, have all opened their own physical stores in the past year. And as of last week, Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce player, now controls 460 Whole Foods locations across the U.S.

Retail: But it’s also about giving consumers a taste of the Amazon experience when it comes to full-service grocery, including the purchase of prepared foods, yoga mats, natural personal products and flowers in the physical grocery store. And the  trusted and recognizable yellow Amazon logo and messaging that they’ll likely see when they walk through the doors.

Retail: In its blog, Target emphasized its lower prices as a new normal and said it is making it simpler to figure out deals. This approach to pricing is known as "everyday low pricing" and is the standard practice at Walmart and others. The idea is not to make customers confused by a special offer or cheated when they see a lower price later.

eCommerce: In explaining the campaign’s historic references, she described the ridesharing industry as “the third transportation revolution.” And while the act of following the Oregon Trail might at first seem unrelated to a decidedly modern business like Lyft, “we liked the creative device of the iconic ride,” she added. “It is really helpful to us because it speaks to the relationship between passenger and driver.” 

Retail: The Minneapolis-based retailer last month debuted its new in-house womenswear label, A New Day, composed of versatile prints and patterns in modern aesthetics. But New Day is only part of the $69.5 billion chain's aggressive strategy to return to growth by producing a dozen new private brands, the first of which are just now hitting stores.
Capstone: The result is a rising network of fulfillment centers that enables e-commerce retailers such as Amazon and Walmart to deliver quickly. Hence the jobs created by e-commerce. Dr. Michael Mendel, chief economic strategist for PPI and author of the report, said, “E-commerce is telling us is that what people care about is not what we thought. Turns out, (people) are willing to buy online if they can get it tomorrow.”

Media: Wes “Wuz Good” Armstrong has almost 700,000 followers on Instagram, enough to get paid six figures a year to promote Lexus cars and Axe body spray there. It’s easy, he says, to put products in his comedy and stunt videos for an audience that will still like and comment on the posts as long as they’re entertained.

eCommerce: The Wall Street Journal had reported early last month that Fanatics would soon be closing the round and that SoftBank was leading the charge. In a new interview on CNBC, the company’s executive chairman, serial entrepreneur Michael Rubin, suggested that his longstanding relationship with SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Sun, and longtime SoftBank executive Ron Fisher, helped.

Brand: Nike owns enough of the sneaker market that it can afford some stumbles without falling from the top spot, and that’s especially true in the US. Data from the research firm NPD Group puts Nike’s US market share, including the Jordan brand, at about 44%. Adidas, its closest competitor, has roughly 11%.

Retail Real Estate: They’re all hoping to become the next Seattle, home to Amazon’s only North American headquarters at the moment. The company’s massive presence there has lifted wages and lowered unemployment (though it has also brought gridlocked roads and pricey housing).

Retail: Certainly, some of J.Crew’s woes were self-inflicted. For a while, consumers ate up the company’s pencil skirts, patterned fabrics and ankle-baring pants. But the company got flack for becoming too high fashion, alienating core customers with more directional styles and higher prices. Together with quality concerns, this created the perception amongst some consumers that J.Crew was no longer good value for money. As full-price sales fell, the company became over-reliant on discounting. Then there was the company’s bloated retail network.

Retail Real Estate: Amazon is interestingly making a lot of how it plans to let people choose which HQ they would like to work out of, if not both. And it’s setting out some of the parameters that it wants to follow: a city must have a population of more than 1 million people, be a “stable and business-friendly environment”, be “urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent,” and “communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.”

eCommerce: While it's worth noting that 14% of its digital growth stemmed from an online warehouse sale in the quarter, even without this bump, the retailer’s online sales grew 15% YoY. This marks the strongest e-commerce growth Lululemon has seen since Q3 2016, and a significant improvement from its flat online performance in Q1.

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