Retailers have been trying for years to escape more than $90 billion in swipe fees levied by credit-card companies.
Some believe the answer lies in payment apps, with also allow retailers to collect consumer data and may provide “stickiness” with their loyalty programs.
While shoppers have largely shunned mobile payments offered by third-party providers like Apple, Google and PayPal, retailers are trying to persuade customers to embrace the technology by dangling discounts and other perks.
Several chains, including Walmart, Starbucks & Kohl’s , have had some success by baking the apps into their own loyalty programs—and more than half of companies surveyed recently by the National Retail Federation said they’ve implemented “branded digital wallets” or are considering it.
Ralph Lauren’s barber, Clemente Dimonda, used to work on Jamaica Ave., in Queens.
Dimonda said. “One day, this man grab me by the jacket, and he say, ‘Look at me!’ I say, ‘I look at you!’ He say, ‘You’re too qualified for this area. You got to go to New York. You make a lot of money.’ Mr. Dimonda raised his finger and poked the air to finish: “I never forget.”
That was 50 years ago. Mr. Dimonda still wields scissors at age 85. He gives a “gentleman cut, no crazy look, high class, clean,” and uses old-fashioned supplies like witch hazel & cotton necklaces to catch loose hair.
After years located on 5th Avenue & 46th St., Mr. Dimonda now works from a shop designed by Mr. Lauren and tucked into the Polo headquarters at 650 Madison Ave. The operation looks like “the sort of a barbershop you’d expect to see on an ocean liner in the ’30s.”
Tommy Hilfiger “used to come here for an excuse,” Dimonda suggested that Mr. Hilfiger was less interested in a haircut than a look around the Polo offices. “He used to come at night. One night I show him out, ‘Tommy, let’s go.’ He say, ‘No, go ahead, I follow you.’ I say, ‘No. You follow me.’ Since then, no more Tommy.” Mr. Hilfiger did not return a request for comment.
Miquela Sousa, who recently graced billboards from London to Japan as part of an UGG ad campaign, ticks off all the boxes for a fashion model of the moment: She is exotic, attractive and huge on Instagram.
She is also entirely fake news, a computer-generated character who—despite her Instagram posts—can’t feel the pain of a hangover or appreciate how hard it is to walk in stilettos.
Miquela was created by LA startup, Brud, which is betting that it can turn her, and other CGI social-media personalities, into a cast of characters that is one part Marvel Entertainment and one part Kardashian.
Like comic-book characters or even Barbie, they can evolve with the times without aging. And, unlike real-life characters, their drama can be managed. Brud launched Miquela on Instagram in 2016. With carefully composed images, she appeared lifelike and didn’t identify herself as CGI until recently, as part of a staged drama that played out over a series of posts. On Instagram, she (it?) professed to be angry at Brud for lying to her about her true origin. Yoree Koh & Georgia Wells – The Wall Street Journalh
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery opened its doors today in New York City. A further example of mortar & brick retail expansion.
The 23,000 sq. ft. flagship showcases coffee’s journey from bean to cup and joins locations in Seattle, Shanghai & Milan, with future openings coming to Tokyo & Chicago.
The store is a fully working coffee roastery, where small-batch and rare single-origin coffees and blends are created. “We designed the Roastery as the pinnacle experience around all-things-coffee, there is nothing else like it in the world…
It serves as a Starbucks brand amplifier and a platform for future innovation,” said Kevin Johnson, Starbuck’s new ceo.
The Roastery will debut the Arriviamo (aperitivo) Bar, where mixologists will serve cocktails and “spiritfrees” featuring coffee and tea, Drinks will include the Nocino Notte, made with cold brew coffee, barrel-aged gin and black truffle salt, and the Triomphe, made with Teavana Darjeeling Tea, gin, dry Riesling, aquavit, passionfruit sparkling water & orange saffron bitters.
Customers will also discover the Milanese bakery Princi with on-site baking of fresh breads, Pizzas, cornetti, focaccias, desserts and more.
If young customers are no longer hanging out at shopping malls, where are they hanging out?
Owen Williams of char.gd may have it figured out. Fortnite replaces the mall, Starbucks or just loitering in the city, it’s become the coveted ‘third place’ for millions of people around the world.
“Fortnite is a different kind of video game, because it’s not about the game, it’s a place. A place where we hang out together, regardless of whether we’re playing.”
“Fortnite, for anyone not a teen-ager or a parent or educator of teens, is the third-person shooter game that has taken over the hearts and minds—and the time, both discretionary and otherwise—of adolescent and collegiate America. Released last September, it is right now by many measures the most popular video game in the world. At times, there have been more than three million people playing it at once.” – The New Yorker
Fortnite is influencing American culture, shopping, and fashion. Its effects on streetwear are clearly visible on the runway. Oh, and the goal of the game is simple. 100 people parachute onto an island together and search for weapons. The winner will be the sole survivor, everyone else must die.
Five Below, Inc., which sells everything from basketballs to yoga mats for $5 or less, might be the most successful retail chain you’ve never heard of.
Five Below’s store count has quadrupled to 750 since its 2012 IPO, with its first NYC location opening Friday. Sales have tripled to $1.3 billion and profits are up. Preteens and teens are Five Below’s core customers. They are encouraged to bounce balls, test-drive RC cars and participate in slime-making—anything that will help them spend their allowance money.
Five Below has items for grown-ups, including cucumber face-masks, storage bins and vintage candy. The company focuses on the treasure-hunt for unique items, not essentials.
SEATTLE — After a search for a new location lasting more than a year, a massive dome was seen descending from the sky and enclosing the whole nation as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced to a horrified American populace that it was now living inside his company’s second headquarters.
The impenetrable steel dome, which reportedly stretches from coast to coast and from the Mexican to the Canadian border, will house a state-of-the-art campus that serves as the online retailer’s long-awaited new base of operations.
Amazon executives said that while they were impressed with the many proposals they received from cities across the country, they ultimately decided the location best suited to their ever-growing needs was the entirety of the continental United States.
“For the sake of convenience, your Prime membership fees will be automatically deducted each pay period, and all wages will be paid in the form of Amazon gift cards. What’s more, every employee in good standing will receive one free Audible download per month!”
– The Onion
In reality… sort of: After conducting a yearlong search for a second home, Amazon has switched gears and is now finalizing plans to have a total of 50,000 employees in two locations.
The company is nearing a deal to move to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, AND the Crystal City area of Arlington, Va., a Washington suburb.
Amazon already has more employees in those two areas than anywhere else outside of Seattle, its home base, and the Bay Area.
The e-commerce giant is on course to rake in over $25.5 billion in online retail sales today during Singles Day 2018, already ahead of last year, with a few hours to go. That’s more sales than the U.S. Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. And, it’s greater than Macy’s or Kohl’s annual sales volume.
Celebrating “bachelors” and others not in committed relationships, Singles Day occurs annually on November 11th (11/11) or “double eleven,” because the four numerals “1” represent single people.
Singles Day has already generated 1.5 billion transactions, at a peak rate of 350,000 orders per second. Over 90 percent of sales came from mobile devices.
This year’s event may provide insight into consumer sentiment as a slowing Chinese economy and tariff trade war threaten to dampen the world’s second largest economy. Alibaba reduced its revenue forecast by 6% earlier this month.