Weekly Round-Up

A round up of the industry news and insight that got SoundOut HQ talking this week

UK retailers call for action as store closures soar

Retailers and unions are calling for urgent government action to help struggling high streets as new data shows the number of shops, pubs and restaurants lying empty is rising at the fastest pace in nearly a decade. About 16 stores closed their doors every day in the first half of 2019 while only nine opened, resulting in a net decline of 1,234 chain stores on Britain’s top 500 high streets according to analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and high street analysts the Local Data Company (LDC).


Harvey Nichols dips a toe into the circular economy

UK department store Harvey Nichols is rolling out an after-care programme that invites customers to bring in shoes and bags for refurbishment within 18 months of purchase. Many repaired pieces go on to be resold, so such packages offer high-end retailers an entry point into the secondhand market.

There is some evidence that these programmes increase customer loyalty and footfall to bricks-and-mortar locations.


Gucci goes carbon neutral in attempt to tackle climate crisis

The planet has gone too far, says CEO Marco Bizzarri, as he outlines greener strategy. As the fashion industry continues to address its role in the climate crisis, Italy’s most valuable luxury brand has said it has become an entirely carbon neutral company.


Nike CEO Mark Parker on the future of retail

In the wake of the Nike’s acquisition of demand sensing firm Celect, Mark Parker talks to Fast Company about the evolution of retail and why Nike doesn’t shy away from taking a stand on controversial issues.


H&M launched H&M Music as it seeks to support independent artists

H&M has launched a new music service as part of its H&M Membership digital loyalty programme, aiming to help support independent artists.

H&M Music, launched last week, will give members the opportunity to discover new artists, give them access to exclusive live events and receive other music related rewards.


Zalando trialling AI-powered 3D sizing tech to reduce returns

Zalando is trialling AI-powered 3D scanning technology to accurately measure the size of its items and reduce return rates.

Returns have become an increasingly costly problem for Zalando especially in its largest market Germany, which has the highest return rate in Europe seeing more than half of all online purchases returned.

The online retail giant is already employing “fit models” to try on hundreds of items a day in order to collect accurate data points on how they fit, according to Vogue Business.


SoundOut Spotlight

BRAND: Cadbury's Dairy Milk launched a new campaign heartwarming enough to rival a John Lewis Christmas ad. There’s a Glass and a Half in Everyone was created with Age UK to shine a light on old age loneliness.

RETAIL: Dominos x Liam Hodges. A new capsule collection from the Domino's pizza and luxury streetwear designer Liam Hodges looks to be the cosiest, most sought after collab of the season.

SOUND: Don’t Call Me Angel Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Ray. Three icons unite in support of the Charlie's Angels reboot.

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