Archive for May, 2013

The Digital Campus 2013

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment

 An Infographic of Major Players in the MOOC World

 Apr 30th at 1:38 pm 

Online learning has slowly, but surely garnered the support of countless universities across the nation with Americans realizing the advantageous aspects of MOOCs (massive open online courses). The possibilities seem endless with colleges now capable of reaching hundreds of thousands of students worldwide, but there are still skeptics who remain cautious. Some schools find the futuristic learning method threatening, unable to comprehend how the Internet and education can work together as one, nor how the physical structure of a higher education institution will be able to survive such progressive thinking. But regardless of the naysayers, support for MOOCs remains strong, evident by the millions of students who have signed up for MOOCs to date and the vast amount of money invested in such innovative educational fortresses. Don’t believe me? Check out an infographic of the major players in the MOOC world below:

The infographic, which was originally published on Chronicle and was created by Xarissa Holdaway and NIgel Hawtin, outlines the investors, donors, professors, alums, board members, among others who have helped foster the growth of MOOCs and make them what they are today. Udacity, Coursera, Khan Academy, and edX are all featured in the center of the chart with a series of intertwining lines showcasing how each MOOC came to be. Of course there are the expected schools like Harvard, MIT, and Stanford as well as the big names like Google and Pearson paving the way for online thinking, but then there are the more unexpected supporters from the nonprofit realm.

Overall, the infographic itself does not unveil any big surprises, it’s only a more succinct, easy way to view the more prominent MOOCs and their backers. What does this say about the future? MOOCs are becoming more and more prevalent, accepted alternative routes to an education that forward-thinkers are just on the verge of understanding. We don’t know what the future will hold, but I can say that MOOCs, they aren’t going anywhere.


edX Launch








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Retailing 2013: Fashion And Tech Trends To WatchEric

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Retailing 2013: Fashion And Tech Trends To Watch

Eric SavitzEric Savitz, Forbes Staff
Guest post written by Will Young

Will Young is a director at Zappos Labs, which is part of‘sZappos unit.

Will Young

At Zappos Labs we’re always looking ahead to create new experiences to wow our customers. As fashion and tech continue to merge in 2013, we’re excited about a few trends that we think will make life for brands and consumers more fun and interesting.

  • Clothes online? Why not!

Many technophiles are shocked to hear that only about 13 percent of clothing sales happen online. 2013 may be the year where we finally see buying apparel online become second nature. It’s easier than ever for a small or new brand to sell clothes online using a platform like Shopify or Magento. Existing online retailers are also stepping up their game with better photography, product videos, lookbooks and magazine quality content to help you decide what to wear. Mobile will continue to infiltrate how we shop for clothes as well. This can range from price comparison tools to mobile apps designed to help you shop otherpeople’s closets. This year I won’t be surprised to hear someone say her first online clothing purchase was a second hand item! We also have our fingers crossed that tools to help you figure out your perfect fit online finally break out of the “it’s a cute gimmick” space and really help people find the right size.

  • Big Data turns out to be a big deal, even in fashion

2012 was a year where everything was about Big Data. We believe we’ll see big strides around actionable big data in 2013 in the fashion world. Many companies already use their vast amounts of data for recommendation systems: e.g. people who bought this, also bought this. However, that is just scratching the surface. There are an incredible number of additional signals available to help match you up with the perfect outfit. What types of dresses are trending on Pinterest? What is the most popular hat in my city? You returned a pair of stone-washed 32×32 514 Levi’s jeans, what does that say about you? Did your friends on Facebook and Twitter recommend a great hiking shoe recently? How did the latest celebrity couple sighting impact the sale of fanny packs? So much data! We’re excited to see what the industry does with it all.

  •  A future where we make our own clothes?

Paper dolls democratized fashion for children. Will 3D printers do that for adults in 2013? Unfortunately, it’s probably a bit too early to expect that we’ll be printing our own clothes on 3D printers at home this year. Nonetheless, we’re excited and nerding out about the possibilities there. We’re keeping our eyes peeled for what bold designers will embrace this movement and how “makers” will impact the fashion-tech industry. 3D printed bikini anyone?

  •  Let’s get physical 

While we’re focused on e-commerce, there is a lot of innovation happening in brick-and-mortar shopping that will continue to evolve into more immersive experiences. Stores are doing a better job of integrating their online and physical channels. It’s definitely convenient to be able to buy online and return it in the store. But how would you feel being greeted by name walking into a store you have never been in before? What if they also already knew your fashion taste from your online purchase history? And knew from your tweets that you were in town for a wedding and might need something for it? And knew from your earlier foursquare check-in at the Ritz that it’s probably a fancy wedding? Creepy? Or fantastic? And who says a physical store is just for selling things? If Office Depot can open up a retail shop that is also acoworking space, what about a department store opening up space for you to create and customize your own clothing in stores? We think we’ll also see more online-only retailers experiment with more physical spaces such as pop-up shops (or trucks). As online retailers keep trying to get people to buy online, we need to remind ourselves why people love shopping at stores!

  • And finally: the trend that will reign supreme no matter the fashion tech innovations that emerge in 2013: Increased attention to service. By everyone.

It’s encouraging to see small and big companies continue to innovate in their level of service. We’re already seeing faster deliveries (eBay Now and Amazonsame day) and more personal support (i.e. welcome e-mails with the CEO’s personal e-mail address like Chris at Do you remember the first time a company provided customer support over Twitter or Facebook and that “wow” feeling you had? We’re looking forward to seeing a few more of those service innovations this year and excited to see who leads the way.


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Joe’s Jeans Takes a Bold Move into B&M

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment


Joe’s Jeans to Roll Out 70 Stores

By Andrew Asch | Thursday, May 30, 2013

For Joe’s Jeans Inc.’s Marc Crossman, the recent 2013 Recon Las Vegas convention was about making deals for an anticipated rollout of 70 full-price boutiques for the Los Angeles–headquartered premium-denim label.

Crossman, Joe’s chief executive officer, met with representatives of America’s biggest mall operators, including Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties,at the real estate convention, produced by the International Council of Shopping Centers, to talk over arapid expansionof mall-based, full-priced Joe’s Jeans boutiques. Until recently, the premium-denim label mostly opened its shops on exclusive, urban retail streets.

Joe’s Jeans’ retail push is coming during a time of mixed forecasts for retail real estate. Major retailers such as Urban Outfitters Inc. are expanding, and others, such as Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., are scaling back their fleets. Retailers, however, are still wary of expanding during a time when much of the economy is still in recovery.

“It’s not for play,” Crossman said of a bricks-and-mortar rollout. “It is to generate a profit. You’re not going to generate profits just out of e-commerce. There is a big, existing bricks-and-mortar business.”

Joe’s Jeans currently runs 12 full-price boutiques and 19 outlet shops. From 2008 to the present, Joe’s averaged opening six stores annually. Crossman said Joe’s is speeding up the rollout by opening 12 stores annually. By the time the domestic rollout is scheduled to finish in 2017, Joe’s will run a fleet of 100 U.S. stores. Crossman and other Joe’s executives feel the upcoming retail gamble will pay off because the market in premium denim is increasing.

At a recent presentation at the B. Riley & Co. Investor Conference, held May 20–22 in Santa Monica, Calif., Hamish Sandhu, Joe’s chief financial officer, said the customer base for Joe’s is growing.

The core Joe’s consumer is a woman in her 30s who earns a six-figure salary and typically buys a new pair of jeans every month. This stylish, well-to-do woman is not just a denizen of wealthy neighborhoods of America’s leading metropolises. Such women live all over the country, Sandhu said.

It’s a demographic gain also witnessed by Angelika Corrente, creative manager ofDenimhead/WGSN, a Los Angeles–headquartered market-research office devoted to the denim market. “It’s not just coastal anymore,” Corrente said of demand for premium denim. “It went global.”

Market-research company The NPD Group also confirmed that demand for premium denim increased this year. Sales increased 11 percent for the category of jeans priced above $75 during the period from April 2012 to March 2013 compared with the same time last year.

While Joe’s will focus on domestic boutique retail, growth for its other channels will remain crucial. The company recently added True Fit, a sizing program, to its e-commerce store ( True Fit will assist Joe’s e-commerce customers to find the jeans that will best fit them. Joe’s also will develop a mobile commerce store and an iPhone app to help build e-commerce sales.

The company will open outlet stores and full-price boutiques overseas opportunistically. However, the company will focus on overseas retail expansion after 2017.

During the B. Riley presentation, Sandhu said upcoming Joe’s bricks-and-mortar stores will feature a smaller footprint of 1,500 square feet or less, compared with Joe’s full-price stores of the past, which were bigger than 2,000 square feet. “Expect a smaller footprint and reduced capital investment without a loss of productivity,” Sandhu said.

The new stores will be inspired by the look of the Joe’s Jeans flagship, located at 8432 Melrose Place in West Hollywood, Calif. The store features crystal chandeliers, one-of-a-kind furniture and neutral colors.

Joe’s also hopes to solidify its gains for its line of Else jeans. The bridge line is sold exclusively at Macy’s Inc. and was intended for a juniors customer looking for an introduction to premium denim. Wholesale price points for Else range from $19 to $30.

Joe’s Jeans announced results for the first quarter of its 2013 financial year, which ended Feb. 28. Net sales increased 13 percent to $29.4 million, compared with $26 million in the same time last year. It had a net loss of $6.4 million for the recent first quarter, compared with a profit of $794,008 during the same period last year.

Its same-store sales for its retail stores declined 1 percent in the first quarter. In a statement, Crossman blamed the decrease on a tough comparison with the label’s successful “55 Colors” campaign, which ran in its stores during the same time last year.



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Why retailers must excel in the 4 Cs

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment
  • Why retailers must excel in the 4 Cs instead of just the 4 Ps

    May 29, 2013
Why retailers must excel in the 4 Cs instead of just the 4 Ps

This article was written by retail educator Dr. Chris Petersen, .

Anyone who has taken a marketing class or attended a business seminar can probably recite the 4 Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Prior to the Internet, consumers literally had to go shops to purchase anything. The best merchants in this product-centric world thrived if they mastered the 4 Ps. Today, the 4Ps are far less relevant in a consumer-centric world, where you can shop any place, anytime from anywhere. Traditional retailers clinging to the 4 Ps are in trouble. To thrive in today’s marketplace requires at least investing in the 4 Cs.

Origins of retail and the 4 Ps of Marketing

The term “retail” is derived from the French word “retaillier,” meaning to divide up and sell in small quantities across multiple locations. Consumers have always been required to go somewhere to get things, including essentials like food. Before organized retail stores, consumers went to markets. The merchants who thrived were the best at merchandising and promoting their products, resorting to price to close sales that day if needed.

Prior to e-commerce and the rise of e-tailers like Amazon, we as consumers did not, or were not allowed to buy wholesale direct from manufacturers. Big-box retailers thrived in a product-centric world by building bigger stores (one stop shopping PLACE) in the best PLACES to shop. They advertised and PROMOTED that they had the latest gadgets and the largest assortments of PRODUCTS. They also PROMOTED that they had low PRICES and you could get the best deal from them today through their PROMOTION bundles and offers.

Life was good in a product-centric world. The principles of the 4 Ps were well understood. The big-box retail stores came into being and thrived on executing the 4 Ps.

Why the 4 Ps of Marketing are no longer working for bricks and mortar

There are two major disruptive forces shaping the face of retail today. The first is the technology of being able to connect anytime anywhere. Technology has enabled the second and more significant force: consumers changing both their shopping behavior and what they value. In a consumer-centric world the 4 Ps of marketing are less relevant and far less effective:

Product: Consumers can purchase products anywhere, including direct from the manufacturer. Product information is an open book … you can read reviews online at Amazon, and the most trusted source of product information is family and friends.

Pricing: Before EDLP (Everyday Low Price) retailers used to manipulate pricing to drive traffic and sales. The majority of consumers are researching online, and willing to purchase online. Lowest price is no longer a competitive tool, even for Walmart. Competitive pricing is a prerequisite to be considered, but not sufficient to close a sale.

Promotions: US retailers, like JC Penney’s, established their brand through weekly promotions. In-store promotions have lost their impact … and they may not even be considered at all if the shopper doesn’t interact with the retailer online. If promotions have a significant impact at all, they are most effectively deployed in an omni-channel strategy.

Place: This is where bricks and mortar stores can be most vulnerable. They are locked into leases and invested in place. Consumers are increasingly “place agnostic.” They want choice of where and how they purchase. And, the “long-tail” of online assortments offers far more variety than what can be assorted in store.

Rise of the 4 Cs of consumer-centric marketing

The 4 Ps of marketing and retailing were relevant when product was king. Today, the consumer is queen and makes the rules of how, when, and where she shops. Are bricks and mortar retailers doomed? Yes, if they fall back only on their heritage of the 4 Ps. The successful retailers in this consumer-centric world are quickly finding that this has become an environment where omni-channel is the new normal. Big-box retailers will be especially challenged. They can’t dominate on their locations or size of their store assortment. In fact, large store assortments can be a disadvantage in terms of carrying costs. In this consumer-centric world, virtual shelf will be as important as physical shelf.



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Half of US Mobile Users to Play Games in 2013

May 30, 2013 Leave a comment
Half of US Mobile Users to Play Games in 2013
  • MAY 30, 2013
  • User growth to push US mobile gaming revenues to $1.78 billion in 2013

More than half of all US mobile phone users—about 125.9 million people or 39.8% of the total US population—will play games on their phones this year, as the ongoing explosion in usage pushes mobile gaming revenues to $1.78 billion in the US, according to new figures from eMarketer.

Mobile gaming has been a high-growth market in recent years, with revenues increasing at triple-digit rates in 2012 and 2011. But even as the market grows more mature, double-digit growth rates are anticipated in coming years, with revenues expected to reach $3.77 billion by 2017.

This year, the largest share of revenues will come from downloads of games themselves, with in-game purchases accounting for just slightly less. Ad revenues will be relatively low, at $297 million this year. Of all three types of mobile game revenues, ad revenues grew the fastest last year and will do the same again in 2013.

This will help boost the share of total mobile gaming revenues that come from ads, though in-game purchases will grow even more quickly between 2014 and 2017. By the end of eMarketer’s forecast period, in-game purchases will make up nearly half of all mobile gaming revenues in the US, with another 17.4% coming from ads. Revenues from game purchases will be about twice that coming from mobile gaming ads.

While eMarketer’s revenue figures include dollars from games played on both mobile phones and tablets, eMarketer believes mobile phones likely account for a more significant share of mobile gaming revenues. Mobile gaming on phones has grown enormously in recent years, and double-digit growth rates will continue into 2015, when half of all US residents are expected to play games via their mobile phone at least once per month.

Despite its already large size, the US mobile phone gaming audience is growing much more rapidly than audiences in the more mature categories of social, online casual and online console gaming. Most consumers have adopted mobile games effortlessly, given that the majority of them are available for free or at very little cost. They also offer convenient access through their inherent portability.

The rise in smartphone ownership has boosted and will continue to drive mobile gaming’s rapid growth. In 2013, 82.3% of all mobile phone gamers will be smartphone gamers, compared with 17.7% who will access games via feature phone. By 2017, smartphone gamers will account for 90% of all mobile phone gamers in the US.

In 2011 and 2012, the number of US smartphone gamers skyrocketed, fueled by the high gains in the number of smartphone owners combined with the spread of new viral games. Growth has slowed following these massive increases but will remain high through 2017 as the number of smartphone users continues to rise and developers continue to tailor their offerings to smartphone gamers.

eMarketer forms its estimates of mobile gaming revenues based on the analysis of reported revenues from company releases; estimates from other research firms; mobile content usage trends; and eMarketer interviews with executives at brands, publishers and other industry leaders. Estimates of the mobile phone gaming audience are based on the analysis of survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, historical trends, company-specific data, and demographic and socioeconomic factors.


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Small Retailer thinks BIG! Walt’s TV Takes On Showrooming

May 29, 2013 Leave a comment

By Alan Wolf On May 29 2013 – 12:30pm

Tempe, Ariz. – Walt’s TV, an independent specialty dealer based here, will tackle showrooming head on when it opens its second store here next month.

The new 10,000-square-foot superstore will provide both an Internet-connected kiosk where customers can check online prices, and a price-match guarantee.

The concept, said CEO Robert Hendley, will allow customers to leave the store with the TV they want at a price they like without the wait.

Hendley cited a recent study by Anderson Robbins Research for Linkable Networks which showed that 67 percent of brick-and-mortar shoppers check their smartphones in-store to find better pricing, and that the majority – 62 percent – ultimately buy online at a lower price.

“We are one of the few small companies facing showrooming head on by providing the service in our store,” Hendley noted. “Combining all of our services under one roof will allow us to operate more efficiently, and that, along with the new kiosk, will translate into greater savings for our customers.”

Besides checking competitors’ prices, Hendley will also invite customers to bring their own music and movies to demo the showroom’s A/V product displays, and will provide in-store pick-up for online purchases.

Walt’s also maintains online “storefronts” on eBay and the third-party marketplaces of, Best Buy, and Sears, and provides installation and repair services.

The 56-year-old business, which is a member of the Nationwide Marketing Group, will soft-open the new superstore in June and will hold a grand opening in August.

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How e-Marketers of Apparel Can Better Target Video Ads to Customers With RTB

May 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Real Time Bidding of Internet Media (RTB) 

The online video advertising market is on a steep upward climb, both in terms of viewer impressions and dollars spent on video ad inventory. The bright star of this market is real-time bidding (RTB), which stands out as a major segment of the market in terms of how ads are bought, accounting for 24.7% of video spending by 2014.

In January 2013, SpotXchange commissioned Forrester Consulting to size the online video RTB market between 2012 and 2014. Using Forrester Research Online Video Forecast, 2012 To 2017, Forrester Research, Inc., and interviews with online video buyers, sellers, and technology providers, Forrester found that RTB continues to grow rapidly as a percentage of the overall video market and as the definition of RTB continues to evolve from a bidding platform to a programmatic tool for buying based on multiple attributes.

Over the past year, RTB has been the fastest growing segment of the online video business, growing more than 100% from 2011 to 2012, and forecast to grow more than 70% in 2013.

Key Findings

Forrester’s study yielded these key findings:

  • Growth in online video continues unabated, and RTB growth exceeds the overall rate of increase in spending.
  • Buying online video inventory via RTB appeals to ad buyers who like paying for the value of the placement based on attributes like audience or context, rather than the more traditional fixed-price model of inventory buying.
  • RTB spending in 2012 edged out Forrester’s forecast by $15 million, reaching $402 million. As the volume of online video ad inventory grows, RTB’s popularity will continue to increase at a faster rate than the overall digital video business, particularly as the supply of video inventory begins to outstrip demand.
  • Premium publishers still withhold inventory with claims of sold-out status. Even as the quantity of premium content increases, premium publishers of video content remain hesitant to use automated platforms to sell their inventory in a public environment, due to the high e-CPMs they are able to sustain for the moment. Those that have tested automated platforms are doing so primarily in private marketplaces, where they are able to test the impact on pricing, fill rate, and targeting on a limited and controlled basis.
  • RTB will continue a shift to real-time buying in 2013. Concerns about protecting eCPM rates have kept premium publishers from adopting an auction-based open marketplace for their inventory. But the growth in inventory practically mandates an automated solution. RTB platforms will morph from bidding engines into realtime buying engines that base their decisioning on data such as audience targeting. We expect use of RTB tools to do automated placement of direct buys as the automated process gains popularity. Programmatic buying mechanisms will continue to grow but diversify. As the online video vocabulary has crystallized and more parties understand programmatic buying, its adoption will be significant as a replacement to manual insertions orders. 

Learn More at:

Accordant Media                            

FBX (Facebook)                                    



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A Repost of LuLulemon’s Fabric Problem

May 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Originally Posted on March 20, 2013 By : 

I always thought that most people I know don’t really care about the geeky, nerdy details of fabric that I care about.  I mean, for me fabric is my life and livelihood-  I am a textile and apparel consultant.  But most people don’t care so much about the gory details of fabric properties or testing as they do about  simply whether the fabric works or not.

So imagine my surprise Monday when I saw details of fabric faults plastered all over ReutersBloombergCBS, NBC, the morning shows, the evening news,  Twitter, etc.  Terms like  ”fabric too sheer”, “test specifications were not met”, “textile mill says it is not to blame” were being thrown around like the latest news on when Kate Middleton does stuff like trip in high heels or wear the same coat twice.  I couldn’t believe it.  Hello worlds, you’ve collided.


The latest news on this is that Lululemon’s customers have complained the fabric is too sheer, and in response, Lululemon is recalling up to 17% of all women’s pants in stores made with their Luon pants fabric manufactured at Eclat Textiles.  This recall has already impacted stock prices and fall out will likely continue until the new shipments of pants hit stores and consumer confidence is restored.

The technical question now is:  1) was the spec changed by the brand, or 2) did the fabric change at the supplier without Lululemon’s knowledge?  And an even bigger question is: how should both Lululemon and Eclat Textile respond now that the issue has been highlighted?

What Should Lululemon Do Now?

  1. Pull all fabric spec history on the product from the very beginning of the product’s life cycle.  It should be pretty simple to determine whether the brand changed the spec.
  2. Pull all 3rd party development testing conducted from when fabric was first developed.
  3. Pull all known samples of the fabric that exist in-house.  That covers all development testing cuts that still may be in testing documentation folders.  Pull all archived fabric samples if they exist.  Check your approved lab dips and first bulk and production submits to find samples there.
  4. Pull all these so that you can match up exact fabric samples with the fabric spec and test results corresponding to  those exact samples.  The goal here is to pinpoint exactly when your parameters like weight, yarn size,  stretch and recovery, and composition changed. You may need to have yarn size and composition tested on several samples to determine if that changed over time and,if so, by how much.
  5. Work cooperatively with Eclat to get this resolved as quickly as possible so you can back fill your orders and restore consumer confidence.  Consider giving away pants from the corrected shipments and create a PR campaign around it to turn this negative into a positive.

What Should Eclat Do?

  1. Pull all your production swatches and provide Lululemon a cut of each, keeping one for yourself to analyze.
  2. Contact ALL your raw material suppliers and require all their quality control documents for yarns, fabric, etc.  The fabric composition may have changed on you due to a change in your supply chain that you never even realized.
  3. Work cooperatively with Lululemon to get this resolved as quickly as possible so you can produce the correct fabric to back fill the orders that were pulled.

There is a way forward out of this, but it will require both companies to come together as the long-term partners that they truly are to figure out exactly what happened and make it right. I’ve personally worked with many people currently at Lululemon and I’ve developed and sourced material at Eclat Textile.  I know many of the players, and I’m sure they are on their way to sorting all this out right now.

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Retailers Use Attribution Modeling to Measure the

May 28, 2013 Leave a comment
Retailers Use Attribution Modeling to Measure the Touchpoints Driving Sales
  • MAY 28, 2013

Today’s digital consumer is exposed to a huge number of marketing messages via display ads, search, email, mobile, social media and other sources along the path to purchase. But until recently, many retailers mainly paid attention only to customers’ “last click”—an approach that ignores all other marketing touchpoints that lead to a transaction, according to a new eMarketer report, “Multichannel Attribution: What Retailers Need to Know.”

Now, however, some retailers are deploying complex multichannel attribution solutions, with Big Data power, to measure the performance of their marketing efforts. But the numbers are still small. According to an October 2012 survey conducted by Econsultancy and Adobe, only 26% of companies worldwide used advanced forms of marketing attribution—ones that go beyond simple last-click analysis.However, retailers are under extreme pressure to better understand which marketing tactics are driving sales, so it is not surprising that more companies consider attribution modeling to be a priority.

A January 2013 survey by MarketingSherpa found that some 28% of marketers worldwide indicated that measuring attribution across channels is an important analytic objective in 2013.

While sophisticated attribution modeling is complex, its potential benefits are relatively straightforward. Marketers can tap into advanced analytics to better understand the effects of top-of-funnel marketing activities; optimize their marketing mixes; gain insight into affiliate marketing effectiveness; and tune ad frequency.

Email and paid search are some of the easiest channels to include in attribution programs. But there are still a number of digital and offline channels that businesses are hardly tracking, such as TV, mobile and print media, according to the Econsultancy and Adobe survey.

The challenge is not only finding ways to track hard-to-measure channels but also how granular to get when defining them.

The dream of retailers and attribution solutions vendors alike is to know every single touchpoint that influences a consumer on the path to purchase. Vendors are working to incorporate mobile data and offline ads into their engines. They are also complementing their media-centric data with external data sets that provide insights into customer behavior and intent.


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California’s DENIM Manufacturing Industry AT RISK!

May 27, 2013 Leave a comment
California’s DENIM Manufacturing Industry AT RISK!!!

Effective May 1, 2013, the EU announced that tariffs on women’s denim trousers will jump from 12% percent to 38%. For many EU fashionistas, the resulting rise in cost is likely to put their favorite U.S.-made jeans out of financial reach, and the growth of California denim brands in EU markets is doubtful for the next full year.

The category of ‘women’s denim trousers’ had been dropped from the EU retaliation list several years ago; however the category is now hit with a 26% additional tariff, bringing the total import duty for the period May 1, 2013, through April 30, 2014, to 38%.

“Blue jeans were created in California!” says Tom Travis, managing partner of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. “Now, just as this traditionally American manufacturing sector makes its way back to home-grown profitability, the industry is facing a significant blow to an important and growing export market.”

The Retaliation Effect: This duty rate hike on jean exports is a continuation of sanctions authorized by the World Trade Organization in retaliation for the U.S. failure to fully comply with a WTO ruling against the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (the Byrd Amendment). The law allowing the U.S. to distribute the additional duties collected on imports of ‘unfairly traded’ goods to those U.S. industries affected was found to be a violation of WTO rules and was repealed. However, its effects were allowed to continue. As a result, the WTO allows other countries to raise tariffs on goods imported from the U.S.

(Source: Sandler Travis & Rosenberg P.A.)


“Denim is more than just a commodity. It is a way of life for consumers. It is one of the few passionate fashion items left for consumers to ‘invest’ in and one that they are willing to spend big bucks on and feel it is worth the pain in the pocket to get the perfect pair.”


The women’s ‘premium’ jeans business represents 22% of the entire global jean’s market; the global jeans market is projected to reach $56 billion by 2018, according to research firm Global Industry Analysts, Inc. In the U.S., shoppers spent nearly $16 billion on denim in 2011. The total dollar sales for women’s denim jeans have increased by 8% in the months ending November 2012.


“The recession is over for the luxury denim market. The category is growing at the higher end of the average price paid. ….and 75% of the premium denim market comes from Southern California


(Source: The NPD Group / Consumer Tracking Service)


The immediate issue for U.S. jeans manufacturers affected by this action is to figure out how to preserve their EU export business through this crisis, and how to plan for the future. The U.S. Department of Commerce, and California’s Export Initiative have focused on increasing domestic manufacturing, AND the development of increased exports!

With regard to local production of women’s jeans, both of these plans will be adversely affected.

Jobs – jobs – jobs! This ruling affects the export distribution plans for all made-in-California denim brand developers. If companies decide to change their sourcing production from the US to other countries not affected by the EU ruling, jobs will be affected for domestic sewing contractors, cutting services, dye and wash facilities, textile suppliers, and a myriad of other indirect employee-based companies working on US-made denim brands.

Even if the company does not yet have a significant export program, business planning has clearly put ‘export’ on the radar for U.S. brand development. The California Fashion Association will be asking California’s denim brands and suppliers to contact state and federal officials, defining the amount of employees (direct and indirect) that would be adversely affected if production planning would be focused off-shore for those categories currently still utilizing domestic manufacturing facilities.

CFA Banner

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RETAIL LA Denim Demand in London

May 26, 2013 Leave a comment


LA Denim Demand in London

By Alison A. Nieder |   CA Apparel News Sunday, May 19, 2013


On a recent trip to the United Kingdom, I dropped by theSelfridges & Co.flagship on London’s famed Oxford Street—and immediately felt at home in the denim department.

Hudson, J Brand, Mother, Paige Denim, Citizens of Humanity, 7 for All Mankind, Current/Elliot, Goldsign and Koral—all LA brands–were all prominently displayed.

The massive denim department is apparently bursting at the seams. Selfridges will unveil an expanded Denim Studio later this year. Clearly LA denim is in demand in London.

Perhaps that’s the real reason the European Union recently jacked up the duties on US-made denim.

And maybe–just maybe–that’s the real reason behind some U.K. politicians’ efforts to consider leaving the EU.

Fun fact: Selfridges was founded by an American businessman. For a behind the scenes look at the retail store’s history, I highly recommend Masterpiece’s “Mr. Selfridge,” airing on PBS in the US now.





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Bangladesh H&M victory!! 24 hrs to get Gap

May 20, 2013 Leave a comment

We’ve got em on the run — after our campaign caused a media storm in H&M’s home country Sweden, they’ve signed the Bangladesh worker safety agreement!!!

But GAP’s digging in their heels. If they don’t sign, many US companies could follow suit. Their shareholder meeting is in 24 hoursand the pressure’s building – let’s take this right to CEO Glenn Murphy’s door with phone calls, a massive petition delivery and ads in his hometown! 

Here is the original email

Dear friends, 

Hundreds of Bangladeshi women have been burned or crushed to death while making *our* clothes! In days, major fashion companies could sign an agreement that will either be a strong safety code or a weak PR ploy. If 1 million of us get the CEOs of GAP and H&M to back a life-saving code, the rest will follow:   

Sign the petition

We’ve all seen the horrific images of hundreds of innocent women burned or crushed to death in factories while making our clothes. In the next few days we can get companies to stop it happening again.

Big fashion brands source from hundreds of factories in Bangladesh. Two brands, including Calvin Klein, have signed a very strong building and fire safety pact. Others, led by Wal-Mart, have been trying to wriggle out of signing by creating a weak alternative that was pure PR. But the latest disaster has triggered crisis meetings and massive pressure to sign the strong version that can save lives.

Negotiations end in days. GAP and H&M are most likely to flip first to support a strong agreement, and the best way to press them is to go after their CEOs. If one million of us appeal directly to them in a petition, Facebook pages, tweets, and ads, their friends and families will all hear about it. They’ll know that their own and their companies’ reputations are on the line. People are being forced to make *our* clothing in outrageously dangerous buildings — sign on to make them safe, and forward this email widely:

The recent tragic collapse fits a pattern. In the last few years, fires and other disasters have claimed a thousand lives and left many others too injured to work. Bangladesh’s government turns a blind eye to dismal conditions, allowing suppliers to cut costs to make clothes at a pace and price that global fashion giants expect. The big brands say they check up, but workers saythe companies’ own audits can’t be trusted.

The worker-backed safety agreement calls for independent inspections, public reports about supplier factory conditions, and mandatory repairs. It’s even enforceable in courts of the companies’ home countries! Full details of which companies were buying from the factory that collapsed weeks ago aren’t yet known, and there’s no evidence GAP or H&M did so. But workers have died in other GAP and H&M supplier factories in Bangladesh and getting them onboard now would put tremendous pressure on other companies to follow.

The companies are making up their minds right now. Let’s call on the CEOs of GAP and H&M to lead the industry by signing the safety plan. Sign your name then share this email widely — once we reach 1 million we’ll take out ads that they can’t miss:

Time and time again, Avaaz members have come together to fight corporate greed and support human rights. Last year, we helped 100 Indian workers safely return home when a Bahraini corporation refused to let them leave. Let’s now take a stand to stop the deadly race to the bottom in factory safety.

With hope and determination, 

Jamie, Jeremy, Alice, Alex, Laura, Bissan, Ricken, Richard and the rest of the Avaaz Team 

Categories: Uncategorized

Personalized Web Experiences Prove Vital for Future Success

May 20, 2013 Leave a comment

By Anna Papachristos | Published 05/02/2013 in 1to1 Magazine

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The Internet has become an integral part of the average consumer’s day-to-day life. Whether it’s used for business or pleasure, nearly everyone uses the Web to interact with friends, family, colleagues, and their favorite brands. But, while we connect with others on a personal level, many brands have yet to master and implement effective personalized online experiences.

According to Econsultancy‘s recent “The Realities of Online Personalization” report, most marketers see Web personalization as a vital component for business success, but many fail to comprehend the processes behind integrating these engagement tools. The survey, conducted in association with Monetate, polled 1,107 digital and e-commerce professionals working for brands and agencies to explore how they perceive personalization and its impact on the digital customer experience. The study examines the top issues behind personalization, the tactics and types of data being used to shape online customer experiences, and the obstacles standing in the way of success.

The following statistics explore how companies currently view online personalization and how they are handling this increased need to engage on an individualized level:
  • Ninety-four percent of respondents believe that personalizing their Web experience is critical to current and future success. Those companies that have personalized their Web experience have measured an average 19 percent boost in sales.
  • Sixty-six percent of all client-side respondents cited improved business performance and customer experience as the main drivers behind personalization.
  • While the majority of respondents recognize the benefits of personalization, 56 percent haven’t personalized their Web experiences because many (72 percent) don’t know where to start.
  • When adopting or improving personalization, IT roadblocks (47 percent) and legacy technology (46 percent) present the biggest obstacles overall, with 32 percent of companies citing this lack of technology as the primary barrier against real-time personalized experiences.
  • For client-side respondents, lack of budget and lack of staff act as primary barriers (44 percent). For supply-side respondents, lack of knowledge (54 percent) and the inability to translate data into action (51 percent) are the main obstacles.
  • Though 43 percent of those polled currently deliver personalized desktop experiences, with 40 percent planning to implement such experiences in the next 12 months, few in-house marketers offer personalized experiences via tablets (14 percent) and mobile phones (13 percent).

Key takeaway: Though the Web has made an indelible mark on how companies do business, online strategies continue to leave marketers perplexed as technology rapidly evolves. Data has grown increasingly abundant, but companies still have yet to effectively manage and employ all the information that floods in. Most marketers understand that this data offers numerous opportunities for cultivating strong relationships, but personalized Web experiences remain elusive for many. Companies must look beyond the mere act of data collection by analyzing consumer information in ways that allow both parties to engage with each other swiftly and effectively. By doing so, companies will be able to establish constant connectivity with their client base, while also determining an effective method for continued reevaluation and improvement in the personalized experience space.

Categories: Uncategorized

Once an enigma, the digital luxury market has hit its stride

May 20, 2013 Leave a comment
Speaker Spotlight: Jennifer Sidary
Once an enigma, the digital luxury market has hit its stride, growing into a viable retail channel. Couture Connoisseur Jennifer Sidary of the Zappos Couture Brand, Zappos Merchandising, Inc. is one of the people leading the digital luxury revolution. In addition to optimizing the user experience across platforms through responsive design and offering celebrity-driven content on site, she is also exploring innovative ways to bring the excitement of digital into the physical world.

What new opportunities are right for your brand—and what is next? Find out through valuable insight from Jennifer Sidary and others at the WWD Digital Forum Spring Session in Los Angeles on June 12.

Additional speakers to date:

  • Diego Berdakin, President & Co-Founder, BeachMint
  • Josh Berman, CEO & Co-Founder, BeachMint
  • Steve Yankovich, Vice President, Innovation & New Ventures, eBay Inc.
  • Elton X. Graham, Vice President, E-Commerce, Kellwood
  • Chris Murphy, Director, Brand Communications & Digital Marketing, adidas US
  • Dan Obegi, CEO, DermStore Beauty Group
  • Rachel Tipograph, Global Director, Digital & Social Media, Gap Inc.
  • And more…

Request your invitation today. For more information on attendance and sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact patricia_reidy@fairchildfashion.com212.630.5926.

Categories: Uncategorized

Deadly Collapse in Cambodia Renews Apparel Factory Safety Concerns

May 20, 2013 Leave a comment

New York Times

May 17, 2013

TREAM TBAL, Cambodia — Survivors described a scene of panic Thursday after a raised storage area collapsed at a footwear factory in this Cambodian village, killing at least two workers, injuring a dozen more and underlining global worries about factory safety in poor countries.


Rescuers searched for survivors at a sneaker factory in a village southwest of the capital of Cambodia on Thursday.

Thomas Cristofoletti for The New York Times

The soles of shoes that were being produced at the factory.

“I don’t remember anything at all,” said Hey Sokheng, a 19-year-old factory worker who looked dazed in her hospital bed in Phnom Penh, the capital. “When I woke up, I was being dragged out of the rubble by someone.”

Multinational clothing retailers have been considering Cambodia as one of several countries that could be alternatives to Bangladesh for manufacturing after the disaster three weeks ago at a garment factory complex there that killed at least 1,127 people. The collapse and the grueling search for survivors prompted an international outcry for retailers to assume more responsibility for the safety of workers at their suppliers.

The accident at the sneaker factory in Tream Tbal, which is about an hour’s drive southwest of Phnom Penh, is a reminder that workplace accidents and shoddy construction are not confined to Bangladesh, worker advocates say.May 17, 2013

“The shoe and garment industry is built upon huge profits and little concern for the well-being of their workers,” said Tessel Pauli, a spokeswoman for the Clean Clothes Campaign, an anti-sweatshop group based in Amsterdam. “It is inherently unsafe and dangerous to work in. As long as workers are marginalized and deprived of their basic rights, the situation will not improve.”

A report by Better Factories Cambodia, a program of the International Labor Organization, highlighted concerns about workplace safety last month, including “a worrying increase in fire safety violations.”

Bradley Gordon, an American lawyer based in Phnom Penh, said that Cambodia had strong laws on safety and other issues, drafted partly with help from international advisers, but that enforcement was often weak.

The cause of the ceiling collapse Thursday was not immediately known. Ken Loo, the secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said that steel beams holding up a concrete-floored storage area at mezzanine height between two buildings had given way.

One of the workers injured in the collapse, Jonh Sokpheak, 29, said the mezzanine was “overloaded” with materials for sneakers.

Mr. Sokpheak said he avoided more serious injury because when the ceiling collapsed he fell under a table.

“I feel like I’ve been reincarnated; I didn’t think I would survive,” he said from his hospital bed. “I crawled and crawled and then made it outside.”

Other workers described a frantic rush to safety.

“People were screaming, ‘Get out! Get out!’ ” said Thinna Makara, a 40-year-old woman who sews fabrics for sneakers.

Workers at the factory, called Wing Star Shoes, were making shoes for Asics, an athletic shoe company based in Kobe, Japan, said a company spokesman, Naomichi Hatori. He could not immediately say which market the shoes were shipped to, or whether the plant also made shoes for other brands.

Mr. Hatori said that Asics “offered its deepest sympathies” to the victims and their families and that the company would consider measures to revamp safety at its overseas suppliers.

Popular with runners, Asics has been particularly successful in the United States, where it emphasizes corporate responsibility.

The factory, which opened about 18 months ago and was built on top of former rice paddies, employs about 8,000 people, workers say.

Employees have been asked to report to work on Monday, according to Komean Keang, a seamstress who on Thursday night was attending the wake of one of the workers killed, Ream Sa Roeun.

Mr. Sa Roeun’s mother was inconsolable and had not eaten all day, family members said. She was given compensation of $5,000 by the company.

Entry-level workers at the factory are paid around $75 a month, Cambodia’s minimum wage.

“It’s not enough, especially when your children get sick,” Ms. Makara, the seamstress, said. Workers have gone on strike three times since September, she said, and each time factory managers agreed to a monthly raise of $5.

Ms. Makara’s sister, Melia, a forewoman at the factory, said seamstresses sew about 450 pairs of sneakers in a typical day, including overtime.

Melia Makara, 26, said she was not afraid to return to work because the collapse occurred in a part of the factory far from where she works. Thursday’s collapse was the first fatal accident she had witnessed in four years in the shoe industry, she said.

Until asked about it, Ms. Makara was not aware of the factory collapse in Bangladesh.

Some workers said they were eager to return to work.

“Rice farming cannot support my family,” Mr. Sokpheak said. “I want to go back to work at the factory.”

Thomas Fuller reported from Tream Tbal, Cambodia, and Keith Bradsher from Hong Kong. Poypiti Amatatham contributed reporting from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Hiroko Tabuchi from Tokyo.


Categories: Uncategorized
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