Archive for May, 2017

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May 31, 2017 Leave a comment
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Retailers need to get personal this Father’s Day

May 30, 2017 Leave a comment



May 30, 2017
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Today’s Rundown

  1. Retailers need to get personal this Father’s Day
  2. Ulta Beauty’s winning quarter
  3. Retail Roundup—Target pays for breach, Macy’s offers self-service shoes

Featured Story

Retailers need to get personal this Father’s Day

When it comes to the challenges facing retailers around gift-giving holidays, the biggest one around Father’s Day is the growing trend to gift experiences rather than products. Therefore, retailers need to shift the way they promote the sale of gifts, according to Elaine Kwon, founder of e-commerce management firm Kwontified.

Top Stories

Ulta Beauty’s winning quarter

Ulta Beauty kicked off the first quarter of the year with comp sales up 14.3% on top of a 15.2% rise the same quarter in 2016.

Retail Roundup—Target pays for breach, Macy’s offers self-service shoes

Target has agreed to pay $18.5 million for its 2013 data breach, Macy’s is offering self-service in the shoe department, Ikea promoted a longtime executive to CEO, plus more need-to-know news from the world of retail.


[eBook] Creating a Unified, Personalized Shopping Experience with Live Data

Tracking shoppers across channels and serving up useful products and solutions in real time is within reach. Download this eBook to learn how to successfully compile data from all available sources into actionable information.

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Activewear Brands Emphasize Quality in an Oversaturated Market

May 30, 2017 Leave a comment



With so much activewear flooding the market as consumers pursue wellness beyond their wardrobes, brands are working to combat this dilemma and stay relevant by touting quality in their branding and supply chain initiatives.(Read More) 
Though some consumers do care about sustainability, it isn’t the first thing they think of. (Read More)
It’s official. Coach, Inc. is snapping up shares of handbag brand Kate Spade.(Read More)
The Latest in Financial News

Abercrombie & Fitch, which had been rumored to be weighing takeover bids, may have a new owner in the next 30 days, if new speculation can be believed. And the front runner in the race to snap up the former logo-heavy teen retailer and its sister brand Hollister is American Eagle. In the meantime the company continues to try to turn around its namesake brand. See what its Q1 results reveal. (Read More: Abercrombie Losses In Line With Expectations, American Eagle Readies Takeover Bid)
Selling off assets and cutting costs lead Sears to an income gain in the first quarter while sales and revenue continue to drop. More cutting measures are scheduled to help the flailing retailer reach its goal of $1.25 billion cost reduction this year. Meanwhile, PVH and Guess are reaping the rewards of having brands that are popular internationally.(Read More: Financial Roundup: Sears Sees Cost Cutting Benefits, PVH Raises Guidance, Guess Boosted by International Gains)
As Christopher Bailey, Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer, gets set to exit his CEO duties, the brand continues to struggle. Under Marco Gobbetti, the brand hopes to steady the foundation for a turnaround. New York & Co. finds some success for Q1 thanks in part to high profile celebrity collaborations. (Read More: Financial Roundup: Burberry Struggles as Reins Set to Pass, New York and Company Banks on E-Commerce)
Perry Ellis sharpened its delivery and inventory in a quest to boost margins leading to a drop in revenue, while the Bon Ton continues to push its omnichannel agenda as comp store sales sag and ecommerce traffic grows. The Gap rides Old Navy’s sales success to an increase in income. (Read More: Financial Roundup: Perry Ellis Revenues Gain, Gap Inc. Shapes Up, Ralph Lauren Beats the Street and Omnichannel Boosts Bon-Ton)

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Building a Cyberresilient Organization

May 24, 2017 Leave a comment


BCG The Boston Consulting Group
Building a Cyberresilient Organization
Because no organization’s cyberdefenses are 100% impenetrable, companies need to develop the ability to weather and recover gracefully from the almost inevitable breaches. This entails understanding and preparing for the three phases of a successful cyberattack: the before, the during, and the after.
How to Prepare for the Cyberattack That Is Coming to Your Company - image
How to Prepare for the Cyberattack That Is Coming to Your Company
Simulating cybersecurity events is one of the best ways for companies to both prevent attacks and prepare for attacks that do occur, according to research by BCG and MIT.
Our Critical Infrastructure Is More Vulnerable Than Ever—It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way - image
Our Critical Infrastructure Is More Vulnerable Than Ever—It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way
At a time of unprecedented exposure, organizations that integrate cybersecurity into their culture and strategic planning will be the most resilient.
Report from Davos: Board Oversight of Cyberresilience - image
Report from Davos: Board Oversight of Cyberresilience
Boards can play a critical role in maximizing an organization’s cyberresilience—its ability to weather and recover gracefully from almost inevitable security breaches.
The Digital Imperative
Winning at digital transformation requires deep insight into business fundamentals and the dynamics of competitive advantage.
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Fierce Retail News

May 23, 2017 Leave a comment


May 23, 2017 Subscribe Our Team Contact Us

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 Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today’s Rundown

  1. Retailers closing physical stores see online traffic decline
  2. 50% of retailers not ready to support IoT
  3. Retail Roundup—E-commerce boosts Walmart’s sales, Ahold to shutter Martin’s

Featured Story

Retailers closing physical stores see online traffic decline

The first half of 2017 has seen many traditional physical stores shut their doors. SimilarWeb has collected data on how these closures have affected the online presence of these same brands.

Top Stories

50% of retailers not ready to support IoT

In a recent benchmark report from Retail Systems Research, 50% of retailers said that their existing infrastructure is not capable of supporting the internet of things.

Retail Roundup—E-commerce boosts Walmart’s sales, Ahold to shutter Martin’s

E-commerce raised Walmart’s quarterly sales, Ahold is preparing to close Martin’s Food Market, retailers oppose the consumption tax, plus more need-to-know news from the world of retail.


[eBook] Creating a Unified, Personalized Shopping Experience with Live Data

Tracking shoppers across channels and serving up useful products and solutions in real time is within reach. Download this eBook to learn how to successfully compile data from all available sources into actionable information.


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Miroslava Duma Launches Fashion Tech Lab with $50 Million to Invest

May 14, 2017 Leave a comment



The founder of Buro 24/7 is setting up a hybrid venture that is part investment fund, accelerator and experimental laboratory to commercialise new technologies and sustainable innovation for the fashion industry.

Miroslava Duma, the founder of Buro 24/7 and Fashion Tech Lab | Source: Courtesy
Miroslava Duma, the founder of Buro 24/7 and Fashion Tech Lab | Source: Courtesy

LONDON, United Kingdom — BoF can exclusively reveal that Miroslava Duma has launched a new venture that funds, connects and develops cutting-edge technologies and sustainable innovation with the aim of transforming the fashion industry. Investment targets will focus on the fields of materials science, biotech, nanotechnology, wearable electronics and high–performance fibres and fabrics.

The new company, Fashion Tech Lab (FTL), forms part of Duma’s rapidly expanding empire which includes Russia-based fashion and lifestyle digital platform Buro 24/7, currently published in 11 international editions, and The Tot, a US-based online shop for mothers and their children, adding yet another layer to her many business interests that span across fashion, media and technology.

The decision to set up FTL follows Duma’s previous investments in tech- and sustainability-focused fashion companies such as ethical fashion brand Reformation, Finery, an online wardrobe-operating system, and RewardStyle, a monetisation service for fashion influencers.

“Millennials and Gen Z, those are the ones who demand sustainability in every single area of their lives,” Duma told BoF, who added that part of her decision to set up FTL was driven by a personal quest to find environmental and sustainable solutions for the fashion industry, something she feels passionately about.

“The fashion and apparel industry is the second-largest polluter in the world… I was shocked [when I found out] and started to think what we could actually do about it,” she continued. “It really had a huge impact on me. And having two kids at home, I was also looking at what I was doing, and I thought: Am I really helping anyone? Am I really making a change?”

The result was FTL, which is split into three arms. “What we are doing, first of all, is socially responsible investing. Then we are connecting technologies with the fashion industry, and third we have an experimental lab, which develops the technology [and applies it to] products or garments that will be innovative and solve customers’ problems – but at the same time will have modern design.”

FTL is what Duma calls a hybrid of a venture capital fund, accelerator and an experimental laboratory, where companies can receive funding, meet with those in the industry and experiment with the latest technologies to accelerate the fashion industries’ efforts to be more innovative and sustainable.

Orange Fiber and Ferragamo collaboration

The company’s investment arm has secured at least $50 million to invest in sustainable companies like Diamond Foundry and Orange Fiber, both of which are looking at ways to create sustainable materials that the fashion industry can use like man-made diamonds and fabrics made from orange peelings. FTL has also invested in a start-up based in San Francisco exploring the production of lab-growth leathers.

Last month, Orange Fiber announced a capsule collaboration with Italian fashion house Ferragamo made with fabric from repurposed orange. “It’s anything from dresses to scarves,” said Duma, who launched into great detail about the benefits of the recycled fabric. “It’s a zero-waste situation, no chemicals on your body, no pesticides … With Orange Fiber, the funny thing is they work with the biggest juice producing companies in Italy, so they get that garbage for free. It’s a win-win situation.

“The future of our industry is the garments that will solve customers’ problems,” she continued. “If you think of basically what’s happening in the world and all those amazing companies like Uber, AirBnB, Amazon and many others … it’s because those platforms’ algorithms are solving people’s problems everyday.

“Some of the scientists and engineers we work with at FTL have been hidden away in these venerable institutes and specialist laboratories for decades so their innovations were available exclusively for the defence and space industries — until now.”

FTL is a privately-owned company that generates funding from private and institutional investors and has people like fashion-tech entrepreneur Carmen Busquets, fashion designer and CFDA chairwoman Diane Von Furstenberg and Livia Firth, eco-fashion activist and founder of EcoAge on its advisory board. It has access to a pipeline of more than 1,000 technologies that include wearable electronics, materials science innovations and high-performance fibres and fabrics, around 50 of which it currently plans to invest in.

So far, Duma has built up a team of 15 people, split between five countries including Russia, China, Britain, Italy and the United States. FTL has named Amanda Parkes, a fashion technologist with more than 12 years experience in wearable technology, interaction design, smart materials and fashion innovation, as its chief innovation officer.

“FTL Ventures will fill a void in the current landscape of fashion technology funding and product development,” Parkes told BoF. “Our focus will be on enabling technologies for the future of fashion… There are so many amazing scientific advances being developed in labs and small companies across the globe that can have a transformative effect across all parts of the fashion chain.

“We are convinced that technology does not have to be at odds with sustainability. In fact, quite the opposite — science should be seen as a tool and resource to help transform fashion into a truly 21st century industry,” she added.

Late last year, Duma travelled across the United States, where she met with executives at tech companies including Google, Facebook and Snapchat, to soak up the lessons from its tech sector to apply them to her own portfolio of businesses.

One of Duma’s 2016 projects was the Buro Tech Forward Initiative (BTFI) which is a partnership between the Russian edition of Buro 24/7, Global Venture Alliance, Russia’s Internet Initiatives Development Fund and the Skolkovo Innovation Centre, often dubbed the Silicon Valley of Russia. The initiative supports young tech and innovation specialists to secure investment and realise their digital initiatives in Russia.

Unlike BTFI, the newly launched FTL has a global remit and is a completely independent venture of Duma’s.  The agency division of FTL is aimed at helping companies in the global fashion industry like LVMH and Keringto connect with engineers and scientists developing cutting-edge technologies and to integrate these new innovations into the product offer.

“The most important thing for us is to actually get in, get started, and make the industry embrace and collaborate with people in that world. Our main goal is to try and bring those innovations out of laboratories and into to market,” said Duma, who just spoke at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit on investing in sustainable growth.

FTL’s launch was welcomed by Carole Collet, professor at Central St Martins (CSM) and newly appointed director to lead the CSM LVMH Sustainable Innovation programme announced earlier this month.

“There are a number of great recent and new initiatives in this field, and I am glad to see that we are finally gaining a global momentum to transition towards a more sustainable and smart economy,” Collet told BoF.

“Creating and financing opportunities to interface emerging technologies with entrepreneurship and fashion design can be a catalyst for sustainable innovation, but only if sustainability is at the core of the business ambition; it cannot be added as a plug in, or an afterthought,” she added.

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Premium Fibers Defy the Race to the Bottom

May 14, 2017 Leave a comment



Supima and Brooks Brothers’ most recent co-branded assortment

It’s tough out there in the retail landscape. Thanks to the Internet there are more competitors than ever, creating a consumer base that’s more fractured and less loyal. But not all ills facing the industry are external; some were self inflicted, namely racks of uninspiring product and seemingly endless promotions.

The result has been a sea of sameness and an unprecedented escalation in the price wars.

“There’s been a great lessening of the quality of so many fashion products because they’re trying to cut costs and be competitive with discounters,” said Pam Danziger of Unity Marketing, a consulting firm focused on affluent consumers. “That’s hurt the whole industry.”

But while everyone else is going low, some brands have chosen to go high, opting for quality ingredients that they hope speak for themselves. By co-branding with premium fibers, retailers are finding a way to connect with those consumers who can see past the sale signs in search of true value.

Through the softness and longevity of Supima, the stain resistance and moisture wicking of Nanotex or the comfort and sustainability of Tencel, stores are creating a draw that—unlike 1-day sales—boost rather than eat into margins.

“Retailers need to be more clever. We are not in Kansas anymore,” said Randy Rubin, CEO of Crypton, makers of Nanotex. The only way for merchants to rebuild after the disaster that’s hit the apparel category especially hard, she said, is to give consumers a reason to buy. “If you don’t have a point of difference, you really are shooting yourself in the foot.”

That’s more than just opinion, recent findings from Deloitte Consulting illustrated Rubin’s point. The company’s Retail Volatility Index showed that differentiation, whether its through experiences or product, pays off. Retailers that manage to do both benefit the most, though even stores that only execute one of the two reap rewards.

“Our data shows the companies that have differentiated on product—[without] any differentiation with experience in store and online—are able to get a 6 percent revenue growth and a 2.5% EBITDA growth versus those that don’t differentiate based on product [which] are only getting a 3.5% revenue growth and negative EBITDA growth,” said Paul Reiner, Deloitte Consulting managing director.

While Deloitte doesn’t have data to indicate the impact fibers specifically might have on buying decisions, Reiner said the Internet has intensified the need for unique assortments in general. “Now there’s significantly more transparency via e-commerce, the web and social that consumers can immediately understand materials, the comparative pricing so as a result, you have to find specific reasons to differentiate the product,” he said.

These have made brands more receptive to adopting a premium fiber story today than they had been when registers were ringing more regularly, according to Buxton Midyette, vice president of product and promotions at Supima. “It’s a very challenging time for many of our retailers so to sell at a higher price point you can’t just put [product] on the shelf and hope it sells,” he said.

Promoting value

With branded fibers, consumers receive tangible benefits that separate ordinary products from those with special attributes. But with higher quality comes higher prices, which could be a challenge in a time when our collective favorite pastime as consumers seems to be price shopping.

But our discount-obsessed mentality is a symptom of the sameness plaguing the industry, Reiner said, and not an indication that we won’t pay more. And fiber companies and retailers agree: premium fibers provide a reason for consumers to invest.

“Prices have been dropping at least 1 percent a year because brands have been engineering out product quality and you see the results of that. The product doesn’t last,” Midyette said, adding that consumers are starting to catch on that you get what you pay for. “People have learned that being ‘smart’ shopper doesn’t always work out.”

Ultimately, it’s up to retailers to convey the product attributes to consumers so they understand the price difference.

“Consumers will pay more if they know why they should pay more,” confirmed Tricia Carey, director of business development for Lenzing, makers of Tencel, Modal and Viscose. “They want fashion and function with a distinct story.”

The popularity of activewear and its performance characteristics is driving this expectation across all categories, according to Rubin. “There are so many technologies with athletic wear and athleisure wear,” she said. “Then you get to a pair of pants in the men’s department, and it doesn’t have any bells and whistles on it.”

And the benefits of the fibers helps set the tone in stores as well, Rubin added. “There is a degree to which technology can be added to clothing that brings excitement to not only the consumer, but the salesperson.”

Raising awareness

And energizing store employees is often an important part of leveraging the advantages of premium fibers. The more they know, the better they’ll be able to sell.

“We live in the age of research so people really want to know the story of something, of how it’s made. People do want to have as much information as possible,” said Arthur Wayne, vice president of global public relations for Brooks Brothers.

Wayne said Supima is especially good at creating training programs and materials to educate sales people and consumers about the benefits of its cobranded Brooks Brothers and Supima products.

Even in low-touch environments, the branded fiber message can move merchandise, according to Midyette, who credits Uniqlo with using store signage to tell the Supima story effectively.

And while store visits allow shoppers to touch and feel, the web allows them to dive more deeply into product details.

“We have enough stuff. We really need a reason to buy more,” Danziger said. “People are hungry for details and understanding how [clothes are] made. That adds value.”

To bolster the research consumers might undertake on their own, fiber companies also actively promote their products at the consumer level as well.

Lenzing recently hosted a Denim Shop on ShopStyle featuring collections that use Tencel with the theme “Know What You Are Made Of – Comfort Starts Inside” to help educate consumers. Events like those, along with outreach to bloggers and via social media, provide ongoing visibility.

Similarly, Supima actively markets in the trade and consumer spaces. “We’re most understandable and interesting when our advertising is done in association with one of our brands,” Midyette explained. For its upcoming marketing campaign, Supima will focus on the new wave of retailers that are adopting the fiber, like Everlane, Stance and Casper.

The bottom line is consumers will spend, these companies said, they just don’t want to feel like they’re being taken advantage of.  “[People] really want to feel like they made a smart purchase and that they are educated on it and that the purchase is going to bring value,” Rubin said.

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Social Media EXAMINER News

May 10, 2017 1 comment


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LinkedIn Matched Audiences: A Remarketing Guide for LinkedIn
Wondering how to retarget your website visitors on LinkedIn? Want to use LinkedIn ads to reach your non-responsive email contacts? Learn how to use LinkedIn Matched Audiences to deliver marketing messages based on website retargeting, account targeting, and email contact targeting.

Social Media Marketing Society: Live Monthly Professional Development
The Social Media Marketing Society provides you three live workshop-style training sessions each month–fully online. You also get access to 70+ on-demand workshops. Leading pros who practice, experiment with, and teach social media marketing show you how to speed your path to success–all live from the comfort of your office chair. ENDING FRIDAY: Save $300 on your membership.

How to Research Your Competitors on Instagram
Wondering what your competitors are up to on Instagram? Want to compare their marketing efforts to yours? Discover how to research how your competitors market on Instagram to find new ways to reach your shared customer base.

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Sourcing Journal Weekly News

May 6, 2017 Leave a comment




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Fast Fashion Is the Second Dirtiest Industry in the World, Next to Big Oil

May 1, 2017 Leave a comment


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Amazon Scales Up Its Ambitions for Fashion Sales 

May 1, 2017 Leave a comment



Fashion brands can no longer ignore the platform

Author: Andria Cheng

April 27, 2017

On Amazon’s jobs site, nearly 450 positions containing the keyword fashion are currently open, for positions from brand managers for its private label or plus size categories to fashion features editor or merchant manager.

Amazon is serious about fashion and the job postings are only one indicator of that. When Amazon reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales on Thursday, it also referenced the introduction of seven private-label apparel lines, from the Paris Sunday women’s line to the Buttoned Down men’s label, just for its Prime members.

Its newly released $199 Alexa-powered Echo Look allows users to take full-length pictures and videos hands free, a feature that is fashion-focused: It not only allows users to create a look book and share their outfits, it also can recommend brands and styles and act as a de-facto personal stylist offering style recommendations from a combination of machine learning and fashion specialists.

“Amazon management has called out its apparel business as a key growth driver multiple times over the past few years,” said a Morgan Stanley report. “It’s hard to deny the success the company has had to date…. Amazon is quickly gaining traction in apparel.”

Amazon is now the No. 2 US apparel retailer, generating $20.3 billion in clothing gross merchandise value and garnering a 7.4% share of the overall 2016 US apparel market, according to the Morgan Stanley study. Only Walmart had a bigger share, at 8.1%. The study also showed that Amazon’s growing share came at the expense of Target and department stores including Macy’s, Kohl’s Corp., JC Penney and Sears, many of which have announced store closing plans following declining comparable sales. (Walmart’s share also grew albeit just slightly.)

Apparel sales by internet retailers, led by Amazon, rose $6.1 billion in 2016, an increase of nearly 17%, the report said, citing Euromonitor data. Department stores saw their sales decline by 5.5%, or $1.6 billion last year.

For Amazon, apparel alone is set to drive about 18% of its US forward gross merchandise value growth, the study finds. (Gross merchandise value measures total sales volume sold through the entire Amazon marketplace and includes third-party sales.)

The study included an online survey of 1,000 consumers that indicated Amazon is improving in terms of being perceived as fashionable. “We think that speaks to how Amazon’s fashion efforts are having an impact on consumer behavior and increasing their willingness to shop for fashion on the site, which over time could lead to even faster apparel growth,” Morgan Stanley analysts said.

Amazon promotes fashion brands on social media.

Amazon has been aggressive upping its fashion quotient, including making presence in Fashion Week runway shows, advertising on TV, and offering a live-streaming fashion show. Meanwhile, it has hired staffers from publications including Vogue and People StyleWatch. On social sites, Amazon prominently promotes upscale items, including a $395 black dress from actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s SJP Collection.


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Learn More

In another sign of increased consumer acceptance, 46% of respondents in the study, Morgan Stanley’s second annual consumer survey, said they bought clothing on Amazon the past 12 months, the second highest in the survey, following 60% who said they bought at Walmart. More than a third, or 36% of respondents said they bought clothing on Amazon a few times the past year, up from 31% in last year’s survey.

With the importance of Prime members to Amazon’s growth, it’s not surprising that the study found Prime members are 1.5 times more likely than non-Prime shoppers to buy clothes on the site.

Despite Amazon’s various women’s fashion moves, the survey found that so far its apparel shoppers still skew more toward men, but they tend to come from higher income households and are younger: Nearly 60% of consumers surveyed in the coveted 18-34-age group said they are likely to buy clothes on Amazon.

Many luxury fashion houses remain skeptical about selling on Amazon for fear of cheapening their brand, but many others have jumped on board. Other upscale brands such as Coach-owned Stuart Weitzman also is selling on Amazon.

“Amazon’s online pure-play model becomes increasingly critical for many brands to maintain overall market share,” according to Morgan Stanley.

Indeed, the following comment from the top executive at parent company of Ugg boot, which is selling on Amazon, sums it all up.

“We need to shift our distribution strategy,” said Dave Powers, president and CEO of Deckers, which also owns such brands as Teva sandals, in an earnings call earlier this year. “The consumer is going to continue to migrate to the Amazon platform. In order for us to, again, control our distribution, we think it’s important to be on there, to be visible to that consumer in a positive way….We’d be foolish to think that Amazon is not going to be a major player in the future. The younger consumer is migrating there quickly, and we think it’s important for us to show up with all of our brands in a positive way on that platform.”

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