Stories of the week shaping the future of consumer experiences (CX).
I hope everyone had a great weekend.

There are a ton of great things packed in the email below. Take special note to the two 'OmniTalk - Fast Five' videos included — Each cover some fascinating topics from the demise of Brandless to some of Amazon's most recent innovations. 

You can subscribe to the podcast here. (A great way to catch up, weekly, in the car or during a workout.

Beyond that, some great reads around modern shopping malls, brands breaking through the hype, and Gen Z's Instagram Shopping addiction.

Thanks for being a subscriber! See you out there.

Publications Close to Home
Fast Five Podcast | RIP Brandless & Fourpost
Chris Walton, Anne Mezzenga, Carter Jensen and Emma the Intern are together again, in this week's edition of the Omni Talk Fast Five sponsored by Trigo, to discuss the end of Brandless and Fourpost, Pinterest upping its e-commerce game, Starbucks' new plans for airports, and one of the biggest WTF's of all time -- Dirty Lemon is now in Walmart?

Listen and Subscribe – iTunes | Spotify | Google | SoundCloud
Watch Now
Fast Five Podcast | Richter Scales, Frank the Tank, & Walmart's Earnings News
In this latest episode of the Fast Five, sponsored by Trigo and Insignia, Chris Walton, Anne Mezzenga, Carter Jensen, and Emma the Intern discuss Walmart's tough earnings report and what it could portend for the future, Bed Bath & Beyond's new turnaround plan, one of the worst promotions ever from IKEA, a Pier 1 no one will miss, and Amazon's move into healthcare.

Watch Now
[Latitude Supercharge] Blending Digital & Physical Spaces: How Omnichannel Experiences Elevate Modern Retail
If eCommerce could beat brick-and-mortar in a head to head fight, then Amazon would never have invested in their own physical retail locations. But they did. The thing is, omnichannel — the blending of digital and physical retail — provides the opportunity for modern retailers to offer the best of both worlds and deliver increased value to customers. In an era of declining sales for physical retailers and the rise of eCommerce giants, omnichannel provides the best option for retailers to not only survive but to thrive in the coming decades.
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Research & Insights
Dying Malls Seek Second Life as Entertainment Destinations.
For years, analysts have talked about the retail apocalypse, and how in an e-commerce age, the future of malls would be around an experience economy: food halls, “fitness clusters” of gyms and spas, programming, and other events that give online shoppers a reason to show up in person in their communities. Many commercial landlords and mall owners have responded, introducing pop-up shops and events, yoga classes, and other means of attracting foot traffic such as standbys like Sears, Pier 1, Kmart, Walgreens, and Macy’s locations

But the growth of companies like Scene75 signifies something different, as the very idea of malls as gathering places seems nostalgic in an increasingly online age. Americans aren’t just shopping at home, they’re more likely to stay at home, period. 

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What Happens To Your Mail-Order Mattress After You Return It
"Earlier this year, I noticed something curious: four Craigslist ads, selling the same brand of mattress, using nearly the same text, at the same location, but illustrated with different photographs. Let’s just say it doesn’t take a crack journalistic mind to suspect something odd was happening..."
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Brands & Retailers
Gen Z and Millennials Have Emotional Ties With These Brands
According to a Brand Intimacy 2020 Report from agency MBLM that examines brands based on emotion, 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. are swooning over Xbox and PlayStation. (Gen Z prefers the former, while millennials prefer the latter.)

The other top brands that tugged at Gen Z’s heartstrings overall are (in descending order): Spotify, Sephora, H&M, American Eagle, Venmo and Louis Vuitton. Millennials are infatuated with (in descending order): Amazon, Target, Ford, Jeep, Apple, YouTube, Xbox and Nintendo.

Read More
Casper Aside, Consumer Brands are Thriving
10 Lessons from the Brand Winners and Losers of the Past Decade...

"Rather than digitally native, our belief is that today’s customers demand that brands reach them where they are — whether it is a hunter buying a Yeti cooler at Cabela’s, an Allbirds customer shopping at an outdoor mall, a Dolls Kill customer going to Coachella, or a college student buying Kylie Cosmetics on her phone between classes."
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In Airports, Retail is Thriving
Since e-commerce took off, all but the best stores have watched the number of shoppers slow to a trickle. Foot traffic continues to drop at suburban malls in the US and on UK high streets, while even historically frenzied shopping days such as Black Friday have quieted down as more consumers do their buying online.

One segment that’s flourished by drawing record numbers of shoppers into physical stores, however, is airport retail. Because air travel is more accessible than ever to the average person, hordes of tourists are commuting through airports with time to kill and money to spend before flights.

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What Can DTC Challengers Learn From Brandless’s Demise?
Tabloids are attention grabbers! They are a great way of promoting primary content. Tabloids are commonly used to display top stories or showcase popular items.
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Social & Technology
How Gen Z is using Instagram to shop.
Instagram is becoming a go-to destination for consumers to shop, especially Gen Z. But with so many brands vying for attention, it’s not always easy to convert customers.

Gen Z is known to be a mobile-first generation, growing up with smartphones and social media platforms at their fingertips, but physical retail is still a big part of how this younger generation discovers brands and products. A 2018 study from Criteo found that 80% of Gen-Z shoppers look forward to going to physical stores, though 75% said they prefer to make most purchases online.

Read More
Instagram is transforming how we buy engagement rings.
Millennials' shopping habits and social media use are flipping the fine jewelry industry on its head.

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Thanks for being a subscriber to Spark— Would love to catch up in-person if you have the time in the coming weeks. Feel free to reply to this email or send me a text - 651.269.2863. More info on my current work is available at See you out there.
CJC, LLC. 900 Summit Ave #303 Minneapolis, MN 55405 USA
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CJC, LLC. · 900 Summit Ave #303 · Minneapolis, MN 55405 · USA