Sales Activation

(Author : Zack Palm)
Clothing retailer Gap officially launches its new subscription boxes designed for newborns called BabyGap OutfitBox. Gap first started testing the program with select customers earlier this year in May.

Gap Has Rolled Out A Subscription Clothing Service For Babies

When a customer signs up for the program they list their child’s gender, size, and choose from one of four different themes for their box: classic, newborn essentials, fun, or surprise. The box arrives every three months and the customer may change the theme of their box prior to the delivery. Inside the OutfitBox a customer receives six different clothing items for their child. The style of clothing is determined by the quarter the customer receives their box, with warmer choices for winter and more comfortable ones for summer.

The BabyGap OutfitBox subscription costs $70 every three months.

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(Author : Lauren Kirkwood)
Retail pharmacy Walgreens has partnered with a community of customers to create YourGoodSkin, a new skin care line made up of products that seek to eliminate skin problems before they occur.

The products are available at, select U.S. Walgreens stores, and Boots stores in the U.K. and Ireland. An online community at provides a forum for consumers to seek and offer skincare advice.

Collaborating with consumers is a new and unique venture on the part of Walgreens. In an interview with Drug Store News, Kristof Neirynck, VP and global brand director of skin care for Walgreens Boots Alliance said, “This is the first time we’ve codeveloped a brand with a community and are leveraging a community as part of marketing a brand.”

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(Author : Zac Estrada)
Porsche will start a “subscription service” for customers that could give them access to a number of their sports cars and SUVs, from $2,000 per month.

Porsche launches a car subscription service

Porsche Passport will start in November in Atlanta, the German company’s North American affiliate announced Tuesday. The automaker calls it a “white-glove” service intended to give users app-driven access to a different Porsche on a flexible schedule.

The pilot program being rolled out in metro Atlanta first is made possible through Clutch Technologies, LLC, which is part of the company’s Strategy 2025 that wants to cater to, “customers’ desire to experience our sports cars,” Porsche Cars North America president and CEO Klaus Zellmer said in a news release. Expansion into other markets will be determined after feedback from Atlanta customers, a company spokesperson told The Vergeon Tuesday.

A $2,000-per-month Porsche Passport membership would give customers access to models such as the 718 Boxster, the 718 Cayman S, and six other Porsche models; the more expensive $3,000-per-month plan gives a user the ability to drive one of 22 models, such as a Cayenne E-Hybrid.

A subscription to Porsche Passport covers vehicle tax and registration, insurance, maintenance, and detailing. There is a $500 activation fee at first and a credit check, but Apple iOS and Android users can then download the app and schedule same-day or future vehicle exchanges through the Porsche Passport app.

Porsche Passport now stands between fellow Volkswagen Group’s Audi on Demand service that currently operates in San Francisco as sort of a concierge rental service, as well as the subscription plan Care By Volvo. The Swedish automaker plans to debut that early next year with the new XC40 SUV, which will bundle insurance, maintenance, and washing into one flat fee with the car. And for Porsche’s well-heeled customers, jumping into a different Porsche every day may seem like a perfect fit.

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(Author : Matt Vitone)
Uniquely J promises higher-end products with quality ingredients targeted at urban consumers.

Walmart’s Has Developed A Grocery Service Just For Millennials

Walmart thinks it knows the secret to getting inside the elusive Millennial wallet, and is using its property as a testing ground for a new online delivery service specifically catered towards the young demographic. Uniquely J, set to launch in the next two months, is a new private label brand under that promises to deliver on things that Millennials supposedly care about, including daily essentials and organic items with high-quality ingredients. The site’s offerings will reportedly cross “dozens” of different product categories, and will eventually arrive on in their second year.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the whole deal is the packaging, which is intended to attract younger buyers with “bold, edgy” designs that differentiate the products from other similar offerings. Words like “organic” and “fair trade” are displayed prominently on the front, while the products themselves boast names like “badass expresso.”

Uniquely J is yet another way is innovating for the metro millennial,” said PR Director Meredith Klein in a statement to TechCrunch. “From the boldly designed packaging, to the fun, witty label copy and quality ingredients — everything was designed with this metro consumer in mind.”

Though it’s not exactly clear who this “metro millennial” is, or if they are in the market for “badass expresso,” Uniquely J is just another way Walmart is trying to compete with Amazon and grab a different segment of the market. Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods has significantly ramped up competition in the grocery space, and Walmart has been trying several strategies to differentiate its offerings.

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(Author : Kati Chitrakorn)
The Chinese e-commerce giant has launched a luxury-specific platform to tap affluent consumers in the country’s booming online space. Launches Luxury Platform, China’s second largest online retailer, has launched Toplife, a luxury-focused online platform that aims to bring the personalised shopping experience of luxury brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce. Launching Tuesday, Toplife offers products across a range of categories, from clothes and beauty to watches, jewellery and home furnishing, from brands like Trussardi, Rimowa, Emporio Armani and La Perla. Additional brands will be revealed in the coming weeks — for some it will be their first ever online presence in China.

“Luxury brands understand that the entire retail game in China is online, but they’ve been late to enter,” Xia Ding, president of’s fashion division, tells BoF. “They’ve been waiting for a luxury-branded site that can give the full experience of going into their offline stores — and that’s what we’ve built.”

Chinese shoppers buy more luxury products than those in any other country, accounting for about one-third of global sales, according to London-based consultancy firm Bain & Company. However, the challenge for global retailers lies in the final leg of delivery, known in logistics circles as “the last mile,” when poor infrastructure makes shipping and delivery slow and expensive.

Through Toplife, brands not only control and customise all aspects of their store on the platform, but also have access to’s sophisticated local logistics network — manned by more than 70,000 employees operating out of 250 warehouses — and can leverage the retailer’s premium white-glove delivery service, currently available in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu.

“Working with Toplife, luxury brands are able to directly provide customers throughout China with a true luxury shopping experience previously only associated with high-end offline stores,” says Richard Liu, chairman and chief executive officer of “[Toplife] is a luxury e-commerce ecosystem that provides a truly premium shopping experience, and helps [our] partners tell their brand story to local consumers.”

This isn’t’s first move into luxury. Earlier in June, the e-commerce giant invested $350 million in billion-dollar fashion “unicorn” Farfetch. “[] really provides us with a last-mile service, which is unrivalled. No Western company has, so far, had access to that,” Farfetch founder and CEO José Neves told BoF.

“We understand what brands want, from protecting their IP to offering a truly luxury service, including specialised delivery and expert consultants. This is not simply carving out a corner of our existing platform — it’s building out an entirely new online luxury experience,” says Ding.

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(Author : Ellen Smith)
More often than not, homeowners are left sacrificing their interior aesthetic to incorporate pet-friendly furniture, which is why IKEA recently launched the ‘LURVIG’ pet product range — a new line of gorgeous pet products for cats and dogs that homeowners can display with pride. 

IKEA's 'LURVIG' Pet Product Range Boasts Furniture and Accessories

The line ranges from beautifully minimalist cat scratching posts, to relaxing pet abodes that can be hidden in cabinets that come complete with everything a furry friend needs to thrive. The collection demonstrates a thorough understanding of pet ownership, retailing stylish feeding bowls, traveling cases and even wall hooks designed specifically to hold the multiple leashes and accessories one might have laying around. Each product is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, ensuring each item can properly reflect the functional and aesthetic requirements of a homeowner.

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(Author : Marianne Wilson)
Nordstrom opened the doors on Tuesday to its newest full-line store, one that includes new store design concepts and services.

Nordstrom unveils updated store concept

In addition to its new store, which is located at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles (a relocation from Westside Pavilion), the retailer also opened its newest retail concept, Nordstrom Local, in Los Angeles. The 3,000-sq.-ft. format, which has no inventory, is designed as a neighborhood hub where customers can access the company’s best services,

The three-level, 154,000-sq.ft. Century City Nordstrom boasts the company’s latest store design concept, which includes more windows to incorporate natural light. It houses several different merchandise concepts, including the fifth ‘Nordstrom x Nike’ sneaker boutique in the company a women’s-only lifestyle concept that blurs the lines of fitness and fashion, and two shops curated by Olivia Kim, Nordstrom VP of creative projects.

It also features Nordstrom’s new “extended sizing” initiative, which launched in the denim department. Mannequins in varying sizes – rather than the typical size 2 – are featured, and all denim sizes are displayed side-by-side in one department rather than separating the petite and plus sizes.

The store houses the first West Coast MAC Makeup Studio, a shop concept dedicated to applications and lessons by licensed professionals. Other features include ‘Style Bar,’ a drop-in area where customers can meet with complimentary personal stylists; ‘Nordstrom to You,’ a personal stylist service on wheels; and Bar Verde, a full-service, seasonally-focused restaurant and bar. An expanded range of delivery options are available, including buy online and pick up in-store, curbside pickup and two-hour delivery.

In related news, Nordstrom announced plans to open its tenth Nordstrom Rack location in Los Angeles, at the FIGat7thshopping center downtown on Oct. 26.

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(Author Paul Sawer)
Walmart has acquired Brooklyn-based delivery startup Parcel, representing the fifth technology startup acquisition by the retail giant in the past 14 months.

Walmart acquires NYC delivery startup Parcel as Amazon battle heats up

Founded in 2013, Parcel is a so-called “last-mile” delivery platform designed to help e-commerce companies get their goods from their premises to customers’ doors. It operates around-the-clock too, delivering packages in scheduled two-hour windows, overnight, or the same day an order is placed.

The offline / online retail war has taken an interesting turn over the past few years. Internet giant Amazon has increasingly edged into groceries and other household goods, and earlier this year Amazon really laid down the gauntlet to brick-and-mortar rivals such as Walmart when it announced it was buying supermarket chain Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal.

Walmart, for its part, has been investing heavily in bolstering its e-commerce credentials too, and acquisitions are playing a key part of its strategy — last August, Walmart confirmed it was buying online retailer for $3 billion in cash. In the intervening months, Walmart has snapped up online clothing retailer Shoebuy for $70 million; active outdoor retailer Moosejaw for $51 million; and mens clothing brand Bonobos for $310 million.

Parcel launched initially in New York back in 2014, it hasn’t expanded into other markets yet, and it had only raised around $2 million in seed funding — so Walmart is unlikely to have paid crazy money for the startup. Indeed, Walmart did state that the acquisition price was “smaller than previous acquisitions we’ve made this year,” which suggests it was less than $50 million, and in reality it was likely significantly less than that figure.

In terms of what Walmart has in store for Parcel, well, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that it plans to use Parcel’s platform for last-mile deliveries in New York City, covering “general merchandise” as well as “fresh and frozen groceries” from both Walmart and Jet.

However, Walmart is seemingly keen to continue serving Parcel’s existing clients as well. “Parcel has partnerships with several meal kit, grocery and e-commerce companies, and has delivered more than 1 million meals in the past two years,” Walmart said in a blog post. “So our immediate plan is for Parcel to continue serving its existing clients and growing its customer base.”

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(Author : Retail in Asia)
Contemplating buying a new phone? You have probably already extensively researched your options and watched a few product demo videos before even entering the store.

JD’s “Take” technology empowers offline shopping

But, what if you did not have to? Enter “Take,” JD’s latest advanced technology, which leverages big data to bring the precision of online shopping offline. With “Take,” when a customer enters a store and picks up a product on display, a video on an attached tablet introducing the product, its features and its specifications will automatically start to play. If two products are picked up at once, the screen will prompt the customer to choose which of the two products’ video demos he or she wants. Using sensors attached to the devices on display, the technology can track how many times a product has been picked up.

The unique data obtained will directly help improve the offline shopping experience by providing insight into product selection and ideal product placement within stores. It will also optimize marketing and enable JD to more accurately calculate offline conversion rates. Through its JD Y technology unit, the company is using AI and big data to define the future of retail by providing new smart solutions, both online and offline.

“We are constantly looking for unique ways to use our technology to improve our customers’ experience,” said Cao Xuechao, Director of retail innovation at supply chain R&D for

JD is the industry leader in using big data to provide online shoppers with customized search results taking into account their unique situations and preferences. In August, the company rolled out JD Retail Experience Shops across China, giving customers a chance to touch and try a range of products, all sourced from

“With ‘Take’ and other advanced technologies, we’ll be able to better understand what our customers want when they shop offline,” said Zhang Bing, Head of Retail Innovation at JD Electronics. “We can then deliver that to them in store with the same precision they’re used to when they shop online.”

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(Author : Marianne Wilson)
Target Corp. is using technology to make it easier for online shoppers to search for exactly what they are looking for — be it a sweater that was worn by a co-worker or nursey decor as seen in a magazine.

Target in new deal with Pinterest

The discounter announced it will integrate Pinterest’s visual search technology, Lens, into Target’s mobile app and desktop website.

Instead of typing “modern crib” into a text search bar, shoppers can snap a picture of what they are looking for, click on it and, in seconds, a curated set of Target items that resemble or complement the photo will appear on screen. Target is the first — and exclusive — U.S. retailer to bring Pinterest Lens directly into its apps.

Target plans to bring Pinterest Lens — along with insights from its massive catalog — into the chain’s registry experience. From there, it will add the visual search tech into its Target app.

“This Pinterest partnership quite literally helps us shorten the distance from when our guests have an idea to when they’re ready to make a purchase,” says Rick Gomez, chief marketing officer, Target. “It’s another way we’re making it easy and fun for our guests to explore and find new products. Plus, as we start to understand what shoppers are really looking for, it’ll help us better anticipate — and plan for — the latest styles and trends. We look forward to unlocking new potential, together.”

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