COMMERCE NEWS BRIEF
New Retail / Venture Beat - "Cibo Express will be the first retailer to use Amazon’s Just Walk Out cashierless technology and has confirmed its first checkout-free store will land at Newark Liberty airport on March 16."
Why it matters - We were all thinking that no retailer in their right mind would partner with Amazon but it seems that we were wrong.
New Retail / The Economist - "Many tech companies are seeing surging demand. Small firms will suffer most: 54% in America are closed temporarily or expect to be in the next ten days. They lack access to capital markets. And without friends in high places, they will struggle to get government help."
Why it matters - Biggest impact on complete offline business will be tremendous. Those that have the ability to shift towards Ecommerce and integrated offline / online sales will win in the the long run. SBA loans will not be enough. Technology will be the largest winner.
D2C / A. Andjelic - "Like GMO food, GMO brands are the overgrown, monstrous, and tasteless versions of the real thing. They show up out of nowhere, grow rapidly thanks to the steroid VC money, and reach outsized proportions before imploding or rotting. There are a lot of GMO brands: Nasty Gal, Groupon, Away, Everlane, Brandless, Outdoor Voices, Greats, Honest Company, Modcloth, Harrys, Peloton, Blue Apron, Bonobos, WeWork."
Why it matters - Perhaps it seems that the larger well known and big box retailers are not sold because of their competitive position with online but smaller actors are ready to make a bet.
Retail / FastCompany - "Clothing-as-a-service pioneer CaaStle and secondhand marketplace ThredUp are part of a growing coterie of companies that are challenging the assumption that new is always better when it comes to buying clothes."
Why it matters - Sustainability is becoming a large piece of how technology and commerce are thinking about the future and it is now top of mind of many rankings.
D2C / Glossy - "The current strained retail environment has forced many DTC brands that normally avoid discounts at all costs to put products on sale. But to avoid diluting the brand or completely killing their margins, they’re offering sales on the sly.."
Why it matters - We've debated with many of our peers but it seems that high discounting in a period of crisis like Covid is highly detrimental to a brand. Rather playing up community and care are ways to grow your brand equity.
E-commerce / HBR - "The experience from China suggests that the most valuable contributions will come both from leveraging their digital logistics platforms and their high-tech last-mile delivery capabilities and from quickly engaging newly available workers with transferrable skills from other sectors."
Why it matters - China has proved to be a playbook on multiple fronts. This crisis will only increase their leadership on initiatives in the online world.