Oct
 04
 2017



Ulrike

Hello,

Happy Wednesday and welcome back to The Spin! Today we take a look at Walmart's latest move in its race against Amazon. We also check out how two very different retailers use a very similar approach to bringing clicks to bricks. And then there is the well-funded Californian start-up intending to disrupt the global sock market. Enjoy the read and as always, feel free to share! Best, Ulrike



tech

A parcel for Walmart. US discounter Walmart has acquired the Brooklyn-based same-day and last-mile delivery company Parcel for an undisclosed amount. The retail giant plans to continue serving Parcel's existing clients including Walmart-owned online menswear merchant Bonobos while growing the total customer base. According to Walmart, New York City is a top market for both Jet.com and Walmart.com, and the companies intend to leverage Parcel for both their food and general merchandise deliveries.


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About face. According to experts, biometrics will soon be the norm in smartphones and other devices. Most customers already prefer biometric fingerprints to PIN numbers, but facial recognition is a lot more controversial. Many consumers consider it one of the creepiest technologies, with women especially uncomfortable with it.





brands

Sock success. With socks for skateboarders, motocrossers and stars like Rihanna, fashion start-up Stance is looking to disrupt the hosiery market. The Californian company has already attracted $100 million in funding from venture capitalists. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a fan, having sported mismatched Star Wars themed socks at a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. Stance's sales are projected to hit $100 million this year.





retail

On its feet. To increase its share in European high-end footwear, Chinese retailer Secoo signed a deal with Brussels-based European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC) which represents about 87 percent of the European footwear production. Under the agreement, the China-based etailer will be able to directly sell (press release) luxury shoe brands from more than dozen European countries including Italy, France, Spain and Britain to its 15 million customers. Secco just raised about $140 million in an IPO.



Bringing clicks to bricks. At her Reformation fashion stores, former model Yael Aflalo merges sustainability and hi-tech. Shoppers can select sustainable and vintage items on touch-screens, and the dressing rooms offer phone charging, music and different lighting options cleverly named "Sexy Time" or "Golden". Store attendants can be pinged from the dressing room screens. With fans like Rihanna, Reformation (image gallery) is on track to reach $140 million in sales next year, about 80 percent from eCommerce.



The next big thing. In an attempt to meld eCommerce with brick-and-mortar retail, US luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is testing a similar hi-tech approach at a new pop-up store in New York's Soho neighborhood. Named The Next Big Thing (image gallery), the shop is sponsored by Marie Claire and MasterCard and carries Neiman Marcus merchandise. Shoppers can make purchases 24/7 via an outdoor touch-screen display that is accessible both day and night.





markets

Fashion fallout. As a result of the recent earthquake in Mexico City, many department stores and fashion shops in the region are still fully or partially shut. As residents focus on rebuilding their homes, analysts estimate (paywall) that fashion retailers are on track to lose about $3.6 billion in sales.





people

Outdoor enthusiast. Designer Tim Hamilton has joined VFC-owned outdoor brand The North Face as Head of Global Creative, effective immediately. In addition to his own label which he launched in 2007, Hamilton has previously worked for J. Crew, Madewell, Gap and Polo Ralph Lauren. At The North Face he is supposed to bring new design inspirations and perspectives as well as innovative partnerships to the brand. He replaces Peter Valles and reports to Global Brand President Arne Arens.







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