March 7, 2019 by Sujay Seetharaman

1. Mulberry opens new flagship store on Alibaba

Luxury retailer Mulberry has reportedly opened its new flagship store on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion. According to Retail Gazette, Mulberry saw about 100,000 visitors to the store on the first day and a total of 300,000 visitors during the first week of its opening. “Launching the Mulberry flagship on Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion is an important step in growing our Chinese customer base and further developing the brand in key international markets,” Mulberry chief executive Thierry Andretta said.

2. Amazon ends its experiment with pop-up stores is ending its experiment with pop-up stores by shuttering all 87 of them. This announcement comes just a day after Kohl’s CEO Michelle Glass said during Kohl’s quarterly earnings call that it is looking to transform its relationship with Amazon from a pop-up strategy to a more robust wholesale relationship. All pop-up locations including the ones in Kohl’s, Whole Foods, and Malls are expected to shutter by the end of April this year. The retailer plans to instead focus more on expanding Amazon Books and 4-star concept.

3. Walmart to make returns easy

Walmart announced that it would soon have “customer hosts” located at store entrances to whom shoppers can return purchases. According to Business Insider, Walmart US CEO Greg Foran said ‘You’re soon going to be able to do a refund right at the front door of a Walmart store’. He also said that the technology for refund – including cash – will be available at the point of return.

4. Dollar Shave Club expands product assortment

Men’s lifestyle brand Dollar Shave Club has expanded its product assortment, introducing $5 deodorant sticks and $5.50 wipes. The company already made its push beyond razors by selling toothpaste and cologne post its acquisition by Unilever. According to Retailtouchpoints, Dollar Shave Club is deepening its use of member profiles in 2019, leveraging data regarding age, ethnicity, and location to develop a series of product recommendations for shoppers. CEO and Co-founder Michael Dubin says that with this information, Dollar Shave Club is likely to move into Skincare, Dandruff shampoo, and Anti-aging products in the future and these products will be targeted at people in their 20s all the way up to those in their 70s.

5. Alphabet is launching Shoppable ads on Google Images

Alphabet is reportedly launching shoppable ads on Google Images, a move that will allow shoppers to make purchases directly from their search results. According to Retailtouchpoints, the tech giant has found that 50% of online shoppers say images of a product have inspired a purchase. The concept is currently being tested with select retailers on a small share of traffic, and is focused on broad queries like “home office ideas,” “shower tile designs” and “abstract art.” Google plans to roll out the feature to additional categories and retailers in the coming months. According to Curalate, 76% of consumers have purchased a product they saw in a brand’s social media post.

Sujay Seetharaman

Market Analyst @ PipeCandy

Currently donning the Researcher's hat. Talks to himself.