Weekly Round-Up

A roundup of the industry news and insight that got SoundOut HQ talking this week.

The secret to successful product category launches

Vogue Business looks at how emerging brands are riding on the buzz of a single hero product, all the way into major retailers. Many emerging brands that found success through a hero product are swiftly expanding into new categories to reach more customers and flesh out assortments.


Fashion’s fight to phase out plastics

Eco-friendly and natural alternatives to plastics like hangers and buttons are in demand.

Much of the push comes from public pressure and the rising tide of sustainability goals that companies have committed to.

For now, more eco-friendly alternatives still tend to cost more than virgin plastic.


Nike to end supply agreements with indie retailers

Nike has thrown the future of dozens of independent retailers into doubt by terminating their supply agreements, as the world’s most powerful sports brand takes greater control of its distribution.

Nike’s cull is part of chief executive Mark Parker’s global push to reduce the number of retailers it uses, and instead funnel that business through its website and its own network of stores.


YouTube rolls out AR Beauty Try-On app for all brands

The augmented reality app was launched in a limited capacity in June, allowing users to virtually try on different shades of makeup with their smartphones.

Previously users were required to find video tutorials created by its in-house production outfit FameBit, but now the social media giant is expanding the Beauty Try-On app’s availability.

It has now been made available to brands globally in beta, meaning customers will be able to virtually try on products from brands including MAC and NARS while browsing YouTube, and buy products without ever leaving the app.


Asos Marketplace expands its charity shop boutiques in sustainability push

Asos is expanding its charity shop offering on the Asos Marketplace following a successful launch over the summer.

Save the Children and the British Red Cross charity boutiques are set to be added to the online retailer’s marketplace this Autumn, and will trade alongside Barnardo’s, Traid and Oxfam Festival Shop which launched in May.


Asos profits dive 68% despite sales smashing £2.7bn

Asos profits have plunged by 68 per cent to £33.1 million in the year to August 31, despite sales increasing 13 per cent to £2.73 billion.

In a year that has seen the online fashion retailer issue two profit warnings, Asos said it placed 72.3 million orders, with sales in the UK growing the most – up 15 per cent.

Meanwhile, sales in the EU saw a rise of 12 per cent, and US sales rose nine per cent.


Missguided and Boohoo ads banned for being “socially irresponsible” and “overly-sexualised”

The online fast fashion retailers have each received complaints over recent advertising campaigns, leading the ASA to ban them ever being run again.

Boohoo’s latest email marketing campaign featured a model wearing a beige jacket with the phrase “Send Nudes” written in bold fonts over the top.

Meanwhile Missguided’s recent TV advert, aired during the break of Love Island on ITV, has been banned for presenting “women as sexual objects”.


Amazon’s AI powered image search tool StyleSnap launches in the US.

Amazon has introduced its AI-powered visual search feature to the UK, nearly six months after launching in the US.

StyleSnap, a visual search tool integrated into Amazon’s app which allows fashion shoppers to search for items by uploading photos, was first announced in June during Amazon’s Re:MARS conference in Las Vegas.

Using the Amazon app, UK users can now take a picture of items they like and be presented with a range of similar products available on Amazon’s marketplace, with factors including “brand, price range, and customer reviews” taken into account.


SoundOut Spotlight

RETAIL: Burberry launches its first video game B Bounce, experimenting with gaming as a promotional tool.

BRAND: Dominos x Google Pixel team up for their own, greasy version of an influencer ‘unboxing’

SOUND: Bring Me The Horizon have launched a Spotify data-driven collection of personalised merch.

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