Into The Black
There were some extraordinary deals on Black Friday, not least Nasty Gal, up to 80% off, and Lulu’s, up to 90% off! Zappos opted out but they did create an algorithm to update prices in real-time to match market rates. H&M designed a dedicated collection, available from the Friday, in an attempt to drive people in store. They leaked the range beforehand on Snapchat. Patagonia stole the show by announcing that they would donate 100% of all Black Friday sales to “grassroots organizations working in local communities to protect our air, water and soil for future generations.”

Tech Corner
Snap Inc. opened a pop-up store in New York where customers can buy their $130 glasses via vending machine! Talking of which, here are some examples of brands utilising the specs. Next, Snap has filed for IPO with an estimated valuation of $20bn. At last! Netflixcontent can be viewed offline! Facebook is urging people to spend more time in their Messenger app by adding 17 retro-inspired games. Instagram has introduced live video broadcasting and disappearing photos (to take on Periscope / Snapchat)! They have also developed a new shopping feature, which presents product details to a viewer when they tap an image – plus an option to click through to the retailer’s app (to buy). Only 20 brands have been given the option to utilise it. Twitter continues its strategy of providing exclusive content, this time partnering with Disney for unseen Star Wars footage. News also that the little bird has rolled-out neat multiple choice options on DM so that people can ask things like ‘Where is my order?’; bots will answer the initial questions before a human steps-in. (Note: This machine-to-person process is the near future of customer services.)
Amazon wants to team-up with the major sports leagues with a view to live stream matches. The giant is also creating a limit of 5 reviews for items that it cannot verify were by bought by customers on its site – in an attempt to reduce ‘paid for’ comments. In a smart move, Pinterest have added new options to pins so you can now see if other people have tried, say, a recipe, and ask them how it went. Heard of Mercari? Well, the Japanese company have just raised $75m to take on eBay and Craigslist. These are the foremost brands ‘bringing’ tech to fashion, apparently. Eyefitu actually sounds pretty useful…

Small But Important

  • Boohoo have allegedly entered the race to buy Nasty Gal. The British retailer are looking to expand in the US and this could be an effective way to increase brand awareness andcross-sell.
  • Lord & Taylor are taking aim at fast fashion with weekly drops across three labels: ‘IMNYC Isaac Mizrahi’, ‘H Halston’, and ‘Highline Collective’.
  • Rumours abound that J. Crew are preparing to sell Madewell. (An Amazon Fashion target?) They are also discontinuing their bridal line.
  • “When did Revolve become a thing?”
  • Meijer has patted itself on the back for no longer having a plus size section in its stores; nor will they charge more for plus items: the question has to be asked, why were they doing so in the first place?
  • H&M kicked off the month with a Kenzo collection. They then turned to Wes Anderson for their Holiday ad.
  • McDonald’s is modernising with self-service kiosks and mobile payments.
  • adidas has reclaimed its spot as the second biggest sportswear brand, overtaking Under Armour. It attributes this to the strength of its ‘Originals’ line and giving brand managers more autonomy. This comes hot on the heels of news that the group will split-out Reebok, moving it to Boston. (The brand accounts for 10% of sales.) Lastly, the German company have followed G-Star’s lead and are making trainers – and even soccer kits – from plastic found in the ocean.
  • Conversely, Bank of America has downgraded Nike owing to a lack of ‘innovation’
  • Toms has produced a strap for the Apple Watch: they will donate a year of solar light for each one sold.
  • This is a great HBR article on the future of predictive shopping and how data should be used to inspire customers.
  • This fantastic presentation by ‘Sparks & Honey’ outlines some future trends. In it they discuss ‘AI Morality’, an interesting concept – should machines have morals?
  • Also, this is a fascinating piece on tech integration – such as clothes communicating with a washer to ensure that the correct spin-cycle is set.
  • JetBlue is partnering with Lyft letting riders earn loyalty points as well as a designated pick-up / drop-off zone at JFK!
  • Tiffany’s have blamed Trump’s election victory – and the security around Trump Tower – for declining 5th Avenue store sales. Similarly, customers are threatening to boycottNordstrom for selling Ivanka Trump’s shoes.
  • Teetering somewhere between absurd and terrifying, teens are attempting to out-do each other with ‘Promposals’. These are elaborate stunts aimed at securing a date whilst gaining maximum social media kudos.
  • And finally, Coca-Cola have invented a ‘selfie bottle’ that lets people take a photo of themselves whilst drinking. It’s a real thing.