Stories of the week shaping the future of consumer experiences (CX).
Good morning! I hope eveyrone had an incredible weekend.

Last week was all about the rise of DTC brands across nearly all categories of commerce. This week, we take a different angle, looking to nock these success stories down to 'a level they deserve.'

In addition, we look at shuttering big-box stores, mall beating the odds, and how Facebook continues to be leveraged in mind-blowing ways by political candidates— All in a quick, Monday-morning summary to get your week started right.

See you out there.

-Carter
Publications Close to Home
Fast Five Podcast | Is Macy’s Now The Next Sears?
In this week's episode of the Fast Five, sponsored by Trigo, Chris Walton, Anne Mezzenga, Carter Jensen, and Emma the Intern are all together to discuss Macy's impending store closures and layoffs, a Target & Casper deal gone bad, the new Amazon Echo Show, Staples' new store, and 7-Eleven opening a new checkout-free concept store.

Listen and Subscribe – iTunes | Spotify | Google | SoundCloud
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[Latitude Supercharge] Influencers, Unite! — The Rise of the Collab House in the Land of TikTok
What do you get when you toss 19 young-adult social media influencers together in an LA mansion? You get a collab house. With their ability to amplify the creative power and social reach of influencers, collab houses deserve the attention of marketers looking to leverage the presence of their brands on social media.

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Brands & Retailers
Barons of Crap
Lawrence Ingrassia, a former business editor at the New York Times, presents the pulse-deadening chronicle of a group of millennial businesspeople who managed to squeeze their way into the top echelons of the monied classes, all while leaving the lives of consumers almost completely unchanged or worse off than before.
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Walmarts First-Ever Super Bowl Ad Ironically Highlights The Biggest Trend Retailers Missed For Decades
High production values and the use of the less expensive Bill from Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure in Walmart's Super Bowl ad notwithstanding, order pickup is not a new idea and could be a signal that Walmart is vulnerable to other more important trends in the years ahead.
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Macy's to shutter 125 stores in massive retooling.
The department store is also closing its Cincinnati headquarters, moving macys.com out of San Francisco, and cutting some 2,000 jobs.

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5 experiential store concepts to hit in NYC
From legacy brands to digital natives, retailers are redefining brick and mortar across the city.

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Research & Insights
Dying Malls? This One Has Found a Way to Thrive - The New York Times
Some retailers have turned to extras like virtual-reality headsets and touch-screen mirrors to give shoppers an experience they can’t get online. 

Aventura Mall, a shopping complex between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, is using a nine-story slide.

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The 2020 Election Will Be a War of Disinformation
(This may be old for many but, a good read no matter your political views)

The president’s reelection campaign was then in the midst of a multimillion-dollar ad blitz aimed at shaping Americans’ understanding of the recently launched impeachment proceedings. Thousands of micro-targeted ads had flooded the internet, portraying Trump as a heroic reformer cracking down on foreign corruption while Democrats plotted a coup. That this narrative bore little resemblance to reality seemed only to accelerate its spread. Right-wing websites amplified every claim.
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Social & Technology
Why small retailers are spending more on YouTube
Startup brands in particular are drawn to YouTube because they are finding that some of the platforms’ newer ad formats allow them to more cheaply target certain search terms that are more expensive on Google, and Google has done a better job in recent years of allowing advertisers to build one campaign that can reach users on both YouTube as well as other Google properties.  Additionally, they can typically reach a younger audience through YouTube than Facebook or Google.
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Budweiser flips bottle labels for selfies, social sharing
The AB InBev brand unveiled the SelfieBud label while opening its BudX Hotel, a three-day experiential takeover of a hotel in Super Bowl host city Miami.

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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 CarterJensen.com. 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