Week in Review: Prime Day is Coming, Prime Day is Coming!

The biggest news this week was probably Amazon’s announcement that they would launch Prime Day, its own selling holiday. July 15 (which is Prime Day, and the eve of its 20th anniversary) will be Amazon’s version of Alibaba’s Singles Day celebration, but the Prime Day deals will only be open to those with Prime memberships… which means the Prime membership drive is on in full force.

There’s speculation that Amazon is doing this to fend off membership-only discount marketplace Jet.com, which is now in beta and could soon be open to the public. And while Jet.com can be seen as a domestic threat to Amazon’s stranglehold in the U.S., Alibaba is making a play to take on Amazon as a global marketplace powerhouse.

So will July 15 be a major news day for the ecommerce industry, or will Prime Day be much ado about nothing? The may Amazon is promoting the heck out of Prime Day with radio and TV spots to go along with other multimedia advertising, Prime Day could be huge. Although having the selling holiday during back-to-school time could be seen as a plus, you also must consider that retailers are also offering deep discounts in July to clear out inventory and get ready for Holiday 2015.

Now, for the Week in Review… here’s what you may have missed in the news this week:

Marketing

share-this-icon-75X75It appears sales of the Apple Watch may be tanking… J.Crew Group, Inc. will launch J.Crew Mercantile stores, which will feature a collection of value-driven merchandise with classic J.Crew style for women, men and children… Lenox Corporation has been selected by the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 to develop special commemorative gifts for Pope Francis’ historic visit to the United States in September 2015… DICK’S Sporting Goods will be opening its first All-American Sports Center on Thursday, July 23, in Mobile, AL… Staying at a Virgin Hotel? Need a pair of jeans? Gap will deliver fashion right to your roomWilliams-Sonoma’s PBteens brand is teaming with AwesomenessTV to produce an original six-episode DIYseries titled Revved Up Rooms, featuring popular YouTube star Meg DeAngelis

Ecommerce

Add-To-Cart-Icon-75X75Toys R Us will develop and manage its ecommerce platform in-house, and say good-bye to eBay Enterprise. ToysRUs.com, BabiesRUs.com and FAO.com are expected to launch in 2016 using Oracle ATG ecommerce software…An Unbound Commerce same-store index of over 350 mobile commerce sites shows that year-over-year aggregate mobile revenue increased a very healthy 51.57% in the second quarter of this year… eBay is in talks to sell its eBay Enterprise end-to-end ecommerce unit to private equity firm Thomas H. Lee for close to $1B, according to Reuters. The PE firm reportedly outbid other potential suitors in an auction process; eBay wants to close the deal before spinning off PayPal on July 17. … Batteries Plus Bulbs has expanded its omnichannel capabilities with a new dynamic ecommerce platform… Premier audio, infotainment and software services company HARMAN has launched multiple ecommerce sites on the Demandware cloud platform… The parts and service retailing segment of the automotive aftermarket is also witnessing a wave of digitization as dealers recognize the value of ecommerce tools… NoMiddleman.co launched a new concept in home furniture that brings variety and savings of up to 50% by eliminating traditional importers and resellers… Following a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign, The Underwear Expert has launched its highly anticipated Curated Underwear Club… Cafe Britt, the Costa Rican company known for their gourmet coffee and direct delivery model, has launched a new version of its website

Shipping and delivery

shipping-delivery-75X75In the age of Instagram, appearances are everything and brand packaging is no exception. This blog post will give you great insights into how premium packaging can be used to grow your brand, reach new shoppers and retain a loyal customer base… A new report from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) found that issues around both the tightening of delivery and warehouse capacity, fueled by an improving economy, as well as a chronic trucker shortage, continue to impact supply chain costs, with retail being one of the hardest hit sectors… With the massive growth in ecommerce, merchants are looking for ways to make their order processing and distribution run more efficiently, and many are looking to automation as a part of the solution. Learn about what innovative companies are doing in this regard… More and more retailers are looking to omnichannel as a way to combat the Amazon juggernaut. Here are 3 steps that any company can implement, no matter where they are in their omnichannel journey… Looking to retain loyal customers? Try using premium packaging

Cross-border

global-ecommerce-icon-75X75

Looking to sell cross-border? Here’s how Tech Armor got started… Apple Pay has a chance to win the mobile payments way. Adyen says 36% of all global mobile payments are now made on an iPhone… SingPost and Alibaba Group have entered into joint strategic business development framework to improve efficiency and integration in ecommerce logistics. Alibaba will invest up to approximately S$92 million (US$67.85 million) in Quantium Solutions International for a 34% stake in  that company, which os a wholly owned subsidiary of SingPost… Alibaba also announced it has invested in Mei.com, China’s leading flash sales platform for luxury and fashion products… Luxury product seller Secoo.com’s anniversary celebration sale was held July 7-9, and had the theme “Secoo sells luxury items at prices no one dares to sell at.”… Flipkart started rolling out image search on its mobile app to revolutionize the shopping experience, using ViSenze technology for visual search and image recognition. Here’s why Flipkart recently shifted to only having a mobile ecommerce site to only having a mobile app… Tiffany & Co. named Philippe Galtié as its Senior Vice President – International, effective August 17…

Mergers and Acquisitions

mergers-and-acquisitions-75X75TSG Consumer Partners LLC has acquired Backcountry, one of the largest online specialty retailers of outdoor gear and apparel, from Liberty Interactive Corporation. Backcountry founder Jim Holland will continue to own a stake in the company following the transaction… Reuters is reporting that private equity firm Sycamore Partners is a bid for department store chain Belk in the range of $3 billion to $3.5 billion. Belk said in April it had hired Goldman Sachs to help it “explore all options” aimed at enhancing shareholder value…

Financials

financials-icon-75X75Levi Strauss & Co.’s second-quarter net revenues declined 6% on a reported basis and grew 1% on a constant-currency basis…. The Buckle saw flat sales in June… Walgreens Boots Alliance’s net sales in the third quarter increased 48.4% to $28.8 billion compared with the same quarter a year ago, but that’s largely due to the inclusion of Alliance Boots for the entire current quarter… Furniture and mattresses, home appliances, consumer electronics and home office products seller Conn’s, Inc. reported $102.6 million in total retail net sales for the month ended June 30, an 11.9% increase compared to the same prior year period…

… And more

newsSKECHERS USA, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Steven Madden Ltd. for selling footwear that infringes on the SKECHERS GO WALK product line as well as other popular SKECHERS product lines…. Embattled apparel seller American Apparel announced the next phase of its strategic turnaround plan, including a redesigned fall merchandise line, approximately $30 million in cost-cutting initiatives, and key additions to its leadership team… Ascena Retail Group has updated its financial outlook for the quarter and fiscal year ending July 25, primarily to reflect its recent decision to accelerate its planned merchandise transition at Justice and to incorporate lower than expected top-line performance at Justice and dressbarn

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