Retail consolidation is happening, and it really is survival of the best fit.
Phillip really wants Alexa to stop trying to figure him out.
Amazon raises its minimum wage to $15, but are workers really benefiting?
Shopify launches a glorified Apple Genius Bar in Downtown LA.
Adobe has an uphill battle in integrating its acquisitions into a seamless ecosystem.
Traditional Retail is Making Moves in Pretty Much Every Direction:
DSW, (everyone's favorite place to buy trendy ankle boots), has along with Authentic Brand Group has made a deal to acquire Camuto Group for 375MM. DSW will contribute 200MM to this deal.
In news that will shock almost no one: Sears (a company that has somehow survived for 132 years) has filed for bankruptcy, and is simultaneously trying to tread water.
Sears has already shuttered thousands of Sears and Kmart stores, and its future remains uncertain, to say the least.
Levi Strauss has posted massive gains (10% for Q3), This news must be very exciting to lovers of high-quality jean jackets everywhere.
Should Everyone Just Feel Sorry For Billionaire Bezos?
Amazon raises its minimum wage to $15, and yet some are suspicious of the retail giant's sudden goodwill.
Amazon has faced prior criticism for its treatment of warehouse workers, including insane production quotas, too short break times, and a "big brother environment at work. Some of these stories sound like they are from a different century.
And some of the criticism may be warranted: NBC News is reporting that Amazon is cutting bonuses and stock options to those same warehouse employees. This allows Amazon to enjoy the political benefit, and public adoration, while still being able to undercut employees.
While Amazon has received praise for the minimum wage hike from former critics including Senator Bernie Sanders, it is still being hit with criticism for the cutting of benefits.
Phillip and Brian lament that poor Jeff Bezos cannot seem to catch a break
Shopify LA: Just Another Apple Genius Bar?.
Shopify has set up shop in a brick and mortar space in downtown LA, the location choice being a mystery to most.
According to Philip and Brian, this store is more proof of concept than anything else.
Shopify putting its footprint down in a physical space seems to come at a time where digital and native brands are realizing they need to move beyond digital.
Shopify LA seems to operate similarly to the Apple Genius Bar. Merchants can come to the store for IT support and ask questions about Shopify's offerings.
Shopify seems also to be using this store to reposition themselves: many users would describe Shopify as an e-commerce platform or use terms that include "digital commerce".
Instead, TechCrunch (and perhaps Shopify themselves) describe Shopify as "provider of payment and logistics management software". Does this sound like rebranding to anyone else?
Will Shopify Ever Set Up a "Shopify 4-Star"?
Since Shopify has set their new brick and mortar space to be more "Apple Genius Bar" than anything else, will Shopify ever set up a retail space similar to Amazon 4-Star?
Moving from digital to a physical retail space would allow for Shopify to showcase the best of their merchant's products.
Brian makes the case for Shopify not wanting to have to compete with Amazon.
Philip argues that Shopify's competition wouldn't even be Amazon it would be Etsy.
What would really set Shopify apart if they would enter into a physical retail storefront, would be an element of product discovery mixed up with a really creative in-store experience.
A lot of e-commerce merchants are realizing that reinventing brick and mortar and giving customers a really innovative in-store experience may be the way to really up their commerce game.
Can Adobe Create a Seamless Ecosystem Through Its Acquisitions?
Adobe is working hard to compete with heavy hitters SAP, Oracle and, Salesforce.
One way Adobe is trying to accomplish this feat is through all of its acquisitions.
Through various strategic acquisitions, Adobe is trying to create a seamlessly integrated ecosystem with all of its working parts and acquisitions working together.
Adobe most significant mindshare is through their creative cloud.
CEO Shantanu Narayen spoke at Magento EU all about Adobe's transformation from a deployed software model to a cloud-based company that is able to iterate faster and deliver software on a perpetual basis.
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