Hi, Everyone!

I often get the question, "What are good publications to watch/look to?" Especially when it comes to the retail industry, and it's the intersection with technology.

For my personal use, I have created a system that harvests top articles every day from this specific focus, allowing me to catch up on reading during downtimes and weekends. It's pretty slick... At least I think so. :)

Here is why I bring this up — I am thinking of turning this list into a public, searchable database. Would this be something that would be of interest to you? How would you like to receive the content? Email? Text? Website? 

Based on feedback, over the next few weeks, I will be building out this tool and would love to have a few people give it a test run. Let me know if this is something you would be up for trying!

Thanks for being a supporter of this email and this work!

- Carter

Publications from Carter

[Latitude Supercharge]

Toys are fun, but toy shopping is even better — how experiential retail is changing the toy industry post Toys R Us

When Toys R Us collapsed, it left more than just a gaping hole in the 25 billion dollar toy industry. It left retailers of all sizes wondering what went wrong for such a recognizable and large company to fail. Clearly, something went awry.

For all the ambiguity, however, one thing remained certain — customers of today were not responding to the retail model of yesterday. Ecommerce, namely Amazon, had seen to that.

Full Article on Medium

[OmniTalk Podcast]

Fast Five: Nordstom And Walmart Turn Up the Heat On Returns & Grocery Delivery

A quick take on Patrick Doyle's incredible tech-focused work throughout his tenure at Domino's. Buzzword-filled, yes, at times. But, more importantly, he delivered on the experience innovation that his customers really wanted.

See the post on LinkedIn | Watch the video of the entire episode.


[OmniTalk Podcast]

Fast Five: Nordstom And Walmart Turn Up the Heat On Returns & Grocery Delivery

A new podcast is live for your listening pleasure — “Fast Five: Nordstom And Walmart Turn Up the Heat On Returns & Grocery Delivery”

The gang is together again to talk a Starbucks Pickup Store, Walmart’s unlimited grocery delivery, Nordstrom Local accepting competitor returns, AiFi’s new store, and Chris’ fan boy crush on Patrick Doyle.

You can listen and subscribe to our podcast here – iTunes | Spotify | Google | SoundCloud



[Retail Spotlight]

Neighborhood Goods raises $11M, plots third store

Neighborhood Goods, which opened its first store in November last year, curates its product selection and includes items from a number of direct-to-consumer companies. Many DTC brands, including Allbirds, Casper, and Adore Me, have recently been expanding into brick and mortar stores, a strategy that has been a critical step in obtaining consumer trust.

In its announcement, Neighborhood Goods hinted at how the company will use its new physical spaces to enhance customers' shopping experience. In addition to the Austin store plotted for 2020, the company will open its second location in New York's Chelsea Market later this year, which it says will be "similar to a boutique-style layout" to encourage product testing and customer acquisition.

Via RetailDive

[Retail Spotlight]

Showfields Imagines A New Kind Of Department Store Combining Retail With Theater

Perhaps New York City’s retail scene hasn’t seen anything as new and fresh as Showfields since the Story store opened on 10th Avenue back in 2011. The four-story Showfields is envisioned as an “immersive retail experience,” combining popup shops with art exhibitions, theatrical experiences, community events and food-drink hospitality.

Showfields is positioned as “the most interesting store in the world,” which is a big promise, but one that it may well live up to, if not only to its customers but most especially to those in the retailing community looking for ideas that help push the envelope in what a brick-and-mortar store can be.

Via Forbes

Consumer Experience [CX]

[Consumer Experience]

Apple’s Fifth Avenue Facelift Addresses Critique That It’s Hard to Shop There

Apple Inc. has been renovating its iconic store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for almost three years, and when it opens to the public on Friday customers will likely notice new aesthetics, including 20-foot trees, plant walls and skylights that bring daylight into the subterranean space. But the most popular change may well be two new entrances, subtly placed on the north and south side of the store across the street from the Plaza Hotel.

Easing egress is a tacit nod to complaints that Apple’s stores had become hard to shop because they’re busy and difficult to navigate thanks to the competing needs of shoppers looking to hang out, get their gadgets fixed or actually buy something. Now locals and mission shoppers can come and go without having to deal with throngs of tourists flowing through the glass cube entrance that made the store a retail landmark and one of Apple’s busiest.

Via Bloomberg

[Consumer Experience]

You can now order Postmates at Yankee Stadium

The days of gnawing on rubbery hot dogs or peanuts during a baseball game are long over. From Fenway Park to Camden Yards, most MLB stadiums are packed with a wide range of food options. But for the Yankees fan with a craving for something different, Postmates today has announced an exclusive partnership with Yankee Stadium. The food delivery app already has a similar partnership in place with the Dodger Stadium.

The service, called Postmates Live, will allow fans to order right from their seats and then retrieve their food at designated pick-up points in Section 113 and 116 of the stadium. The service is only available in those two sections as of today, but will roll-out to additional areas in time for the 2020 season.

Via Engadget

Tech & Social

[Social + Tech]

Snapchat introduces 3D camera mode to add dimension to selfies

Snapchat continues to up its selfie game, and today it’s introducing a new camera mode that it says makes selfies more 3D-like. Starting today, people with an iPhone X or newer can use “3D Camera Mode” to capture a selfie and and apply 3D effects, lenses, and filters to it. People who receive or take these Snaps, even if they don’t have an iPhone X, can move their phone around to get a better sense of the dimensions. A Snap spokesperson says the company will eventually support additional devices.

Snap first introduced the idea for 3D effects with Snaps when it announced its latest version of Spectacles, which include a second camera to capture depth. The effects and filters add things like confetti, light streaks, and miscellaneous animations.


[Retail + Tech]

Shopify to acquire robotics startup 6 River Systems for $450M

Since the initial announcement of Shopify's fulfillment network in June, the e-commerce platform has accelerated investments in the new offering. On an earnings call in August, Shopify's CFO said the company will bring seven warehouses online in 2019, and over the next five years, it plans to invest $1 billion in its fulfillment network.

Matt Murphy, a partner at venture capital firm Menlo Ventures, which invested in 6RS, described logistics and fulfillment as a "critical level of competition for an e-tailer," he wrote in a blog post. Supply chain services are becoming especially important for marketplaces and e-commerce platforms to compete with Amazon, as it builds up warehouse technology and its logistics network. EBay also announced plans this summer to launch a fulfillment service in 2020.

Via RetailDive

The Next Step
Customized research, presentations, training and formal reports are available upon request. Please reply to this email or send me a note to get in touch.

Thank you for giving the first few rounds of "Spark" a shot.
Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.
What is Spark all about?
Consumer Connections - Beyond stereotypical social and e-commerce platforms, we look to focus in on new and emerging ways consumers are connecting with each other and brands. These stories are then summarized and paired with actionable next steps for marketers, brand leaders and really, all who are curious.​

We write these pretty fast so please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors. We're trying.
Topics this week were quoted or directly sources from a variety of sources.

Copyright © 2019 CJC, LLC.

The information listed within has been sourced from the noted publisher.

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