Week in Review: UPS Invests in Deliv to Learn About Same-Day Market


UPS took a big step this week by leading a $28 million investment round in same-day startup Deliv, with the stated purpose of learning the intricacies of its business model, especially how it has succeeded in the retail space.

While some question the move, saying Deliv is pulling back too much of the kimono to an ostensible competitor, it makes perfect sense for UPS to dive deep into the burgeoning same-day market, which is seeing a frenzy of investment and new entrants.

The investment gives UPS a seat on the Deliv board as well as a minority stake, and access to the inner workings of its mall-based, crowdsourced operations. It also will help it figure out how to address the market, which could be a difficult trick under its current union-based model. Rival FedEx, which doesn’t have those constraints, offers same-day delivery to Neiman Marcus and others in 18 U.S. markets.

Here’s a look at this weeks’ other news, commentary and events that shaped the direct-to-customer world… and more.

– Introduction by Mike O’Brien, Senior Editor of Multichannel Merchant


share-this-icon-75X75Under Armour will feature soccer, gymnastics and social media into a global push, the brand will feature many of its athletic endorsers in social media campaigns…

Sephora featured Burberry cosmetics in its Instagram posts in an effort to build awareness to Burberry’s entry-level cosmetics and give followers a different perspective on the runway experience.

J.C. Penney plans to sell items for a penny as part of its new marketing campaign, it is launching its new slogan, “Get Your Penny’s Worth.”

Thirstie, an alcohol on-demand delivery company adopted a content to commerce strategy using its digital magazine, “The Craft” to engage users to keep them back on track.


Add-To-Cart-Icon-75X75Abercrombie & Fitch has revamped its mobile application and site with commerce-first tactics using color to drive urgency among other tactics.

Target said its fourth-quarter digital sales rose 34%, and fulfilled 30% of its digital orders were fulfilled through the combination of order pickup and direct-to-guest shipments.

Women’s contemporary jewelry and accessory retailer Charming Charlie has selected Yottaa to optimize, accelerate, and secure the company’s online retail application.

Bigcommerce announced the availability of 67 new fully-responsive themes designed to help merchants fully express the power of their brands and grow their businesses.

Schuler Shoes saw success in site navigation and search capabilities by implementing a search and navigation plugin.



shipping-delivery-75X75For the first time since 2013, Amazon has raised the order value threshold for non-Prime customers to qualify for free shipping, from $35 to $49. This makes it half as much as the annual $99 fee to join Prime – which is the entire point.

Hoping to scuttle the deal as its attempt to buy the Dutch carrier was in 2013, UPS has challenged FedEx’s planned $4.8 billion acquisition of TNT Express NV, through the auspices of Brazil’s regulatory agency, which approved the deal.

Amazon’s new 855,000-square-foot distribution center outside Columbus, OH, is expected to be up and running this fall, in time for the next holiday peak season.

Shorr Packaging announced the opening of its new distribution and warehouse facility in Atlanta.

Sports Authority plans to close a distribution in Denver, affecting 72 positions.


… And more

newsOnly 18% of retail CEOs say they have eliminated operational silos and are delivering seamless omnichannel shopping experiences for their customers, according to the third annual JDA survey.

The Estee Lauder brand was acquired by Kilian, a Paris-based prestige fragrance brand.

Kohls plans to close 18 underperforming stores in 2016, open seven smaller format stores, two off-aisle test stores and 12 outlet locations.

Rakuten said it plans to shut down its marketplaces in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia marketplaces, effective next month. In their place, the company will introduce a consumer-to-consumer marketplace mobile app, called Rakuma, in Southeast Asia.

Online lingerie brand, Adore Me will open its first physical store in New York City in April, in effort to compete with Victoria’s Secret.