Weekly Round-Up

A round-up of the past week’s industry news and insight that got SoundOut HQ talking

Boohoo wants to beat Zara at its own game

Boohoo is building an empire. The UK-based company is already among the most successful among a new breed of ultra-fast online brands challenging retailers like Zara and H&M. Its latest acquisition of British brands Karen Millen and Coast signals broader ambitions.


Farfetch CEO says Influencers will run the future of fashion

“The brands of the future will have three core elements,” Farfetch chief executive José Neves said in a statement. “First, a creative tastemaker able to leverage digital channels to engage a global community; second, best-in-class design, planning and manufacturing; and third, direct-to-consumer global online distribution, complemented by a connected wholesale presence in the most prestigious physical boutiques.”


Virtual reality shopping centre with 19 stores launches in the US

A new virtual and augmented reality shopping mall featuring virtual stores you can only visit digitally has been launched in the US.

Obsess is a new ecommerce site which acts as a virtual shopping centre, allowing users to visit numerous stores selling the latest fashion, beauty and fitness products and view photo-realistic 3D models of the products using their smartphones.


The five most popular shopping apps you’ve never heard of.

GOAT. Dote. Wish. SHEIN. Depop

Teenagers today are known as the generation born with a phone in their hands.

They’re also the generation with up to $143 billion in buying power, according to a 2018 report by ad agency Barkley. And they’re entering a back-to-school season that will see more purchasing on smartphones than ever, a survey by Deloitte said. Sixty percent of shoppers plan on using smartphones to browse and buy apparel, electronics and school supplies before returning to school.


Philadelphia and VW ads banned for gender stereotyping

Television advertisements from US food giant Mondelez and German carmaker Volkswagen are the first to be banned under new UK gender stereotyping rules.

A ban on ads featuring "harmful gender stereotypes" or those which are likely to cause "serious or widespread offence" came into force in June.

The first banned ad, for Philadelphia cheese, showed two fathers leaving a baby on a restaurant conveyor belt.

The other, VW ad, showed men being adventurous as a woman sat by a pram.


As Customers Begin to Shop Through Voice Assistants, What Can Brands Do to Stand Out?

The Internet has overturned how people shop and reshaped the retail industry. Voice assistants are about to unleash another revolution.Digital assistants will use algorithms to compare product specifications, make suggestions, and do comparisons, so that customers can find “the longest-lasting battery pack” or “the cheapest bag of flour.”

If digital assistants with trustworthy recommendations become a significant source of sales, they could chip away at all but the strongest product brands. Competition will become even more brutal as consumers switch between only one or two verbally suggested options offered by digital assistants – one being their own private label or another low-cost product. Companies that have negotiated with retailers for shelf space up to now will have to find ways to convince the digital assistants to put their products at the top of verbal searches.


Spotify to increase prices by 13%

A trial period will see Spotify raising the price of it’s family plan in Scandinavia. It is thought that raising prices could increase revenues in markets where it already has a strong presence, such as Northern Europe, amid increasing pressure from Amazon and Apple’s streaming services.


Amazon looks to shed ‘evil corporation’ image

Amazon will begin gifting unsold items to charity as part of a new donations programme dubbed Fulfillment by Amazon Donations.

Charities will receive items from third party sellers who store their goods in Amazon’s fulfilment centres in the US and the UK, it said in a blogpost.

This comes after reports emerged that Amazon destroys millions of unsold items every year, with one French documentary estimating that 3 million items were destroyed in the country last year, a number expected to be higher elsewhere.


SoundOut Spotlight

RETAIL: Nike launches a Spongebob themed collection of trainers. They collection is as delightfully mad and colourful as a yellow sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea. nike.com

BRAND: Hinge has set itself apart from the competition with their first international campaign. Willing to die for their users Hinge are positioning themselves as the “dating app designed to be deleted”. youtube.com

SOUND: Normani ‘Motivation’. It’s been a big week for pop releases: Taylor, Miley and Jorja Smith. But it’s Normani’s nostalgic ode to all things 00’s R&B that broke the internet. youtube.com

Copyright SoundOut 2019