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Industry News — The unicorns of retail

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“Unicorns are having a moment — and not just on the children’s bedroom walls. The mythically impressive valuations graced a number of retail businesses this year, three within days of each other, and the coveted title seems to be alighting most frequently on direct-to-consumer (DTC) startups.”

“Since March, Away, Casper, Glossier and Rent the Runway have all earned the title. That’s in part because of the strong following they’re building, Glenn Kaufman, managing director at investment firm D Cubed Group, told Retail Dive in an interview.”

We love to hear positive retail industry stories!

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Industry News — Truck drivers, port workers call on Lowe’s to ‘clean up’ supply chain

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“Truck drivers and warehouse workers from the Port of Los Angeles, along with Teamsters Local 391 from North Carolina, are calling on Lowe’s to “clean up [its] broken supply chain” and break ties with NFI Industries, which they say is misclassifying workers and violating labor laws, according to a press release from Justice for Port Drivers. Lowe’s contracts NFI Industries for supply chain work.”

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Tech Talk — LVMH creates blockchain platform to track luxury goods

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“LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has developed the AURA platform, a blockchain system for authenticating luxury goods, with Microsoft and blockchain software company ConsenSys. The retailer will begin implementing its technology for Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior brands, ConsenSys said in a press release.

While the platform was developed to help consumers trace the origins of their products, LVMH also told Women’s Wear Daily that the technology could also be used to safeguard creative intellectual property and curb advertising fraud. The process to develop the blockchain platform using Ethereum began more than three years ago, according to ConsenSys’ release.”

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Industry News — New Sears to acquire Hometown

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“The holding company that owns the remaining Sears and Kmart stores has agreed to acquire Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores for $2.25 a share. Transform Holdco said in a press release that rejoining Hometown would “accelerate Transform’s strategy of growing its smaller store format.” With 491 Hometown stores and 126 Outlet stores, Sears Hometown would make the new Sears the third-largest U.S. appliance retailer, according to Transform, which is controlled by former Sears Holdings CEO Eddie Lampert. Under the merger agreement, Sears Hometown can try to sell itself to third parties for at least $97.5 million.”

Maybe there is a turn-around in store for Sears? Let’s hope so. We want to see the industry soar again.

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Customer Experience — Klarna’s new app lets users shop at any store, pay later

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“With the app, consumers can pay down purchases in four installments with no interest or added fees. The app also allows users to create wishlists across various platforms, receive notifications when prices drop and view editorial and influencer-created content, the company said.”

“Though the company already has a network of merchants, Klarna said that it is opening its service to consumers across all merchants, including those that have competitor alternative payments programs.”

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>

Tech Talk — Wearables in the warehouse bring privacy concerns to the forefront

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“From smart watches and glasses to biometric clothing, wearables offer great potential in the supply chain as they enable workers to access information, identify tasks and make their jobs easier and safer.”

“But as many of these devices track movement, location and even biometric data, there’s a growing discussion about privacy and how employers should manage and use the information they collect.”

Read more from Retail Dive’s artice here >>

Customer Experience — Warren Buffett’s model for aspiring business managers — a retail legend known as ‘Mrs. B’

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“Blumkin, known as “Mrs. B.,” was in her mid-40s when started Nebraska Furniture Mart in the basement of her husband’s shop in downtown Omaha in 1937 with $500.

Over the next four-plus decades, she turned NFM into a juggernaut that drew Buffett’s attention. In 1983, he bought Blumkin’s store in a $60 million deal that made it part of Berkshire Hathaway.”

Tech Talk — Laws of Motion uses algorithms to offer apparel ‘microsizes’

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We have been in retail for a long time and the issue of having the right amount of sizes to fit the demand has been an ongoing-challenge.

It sounds like Laws of Motion, a direct-to-consumer womenswear brand, may have figured out how to solve this problem. “The company uses machine learning algorithms to match customers with 99 “microsizes” within sizes 00 through 24, according to a company…”

Read more from Retail Dive’s article here >>