more articles by

Cale Guthrie Weissman

  • AUG 03, 2020

    Modern Retail Talk: Forrester’s Sucharita Kodali on why retailers should be experimenting

    On the latest episode of our Modern Retail Talk series, we spoke with Forrester's Sucharita Kodali about what she's observing in this brand new climate. The pandemic, she said, "set the retail industry back about five years." The good news, however, is that "there should be a fairly decent rebound."

  • AUG 03, 2020

    ‘No brainer’: Marie Claire launches sampling business to boost revenue and data practice

    Women’s lifestyle title Marie Claire is getting into the sampling business with the launch of Beauty Drawer. The first 5,000 members to sign up will receive samples of anti-aging cream from the launch partner, beauty brand StriVectin. With retail on lockdown "Working in skincare, samples are the number-one way to get people into a product."

  • JUL 30, 2020

    Amid Congressional scrutiny, Amazon posts 40% growth in third quarter

    Amazon saw huge profits in its most recent earnings report. This comes even after the company say three months earlier it would likely spend all of its current profits on coronavirus-related costs. Even so, the company saw record sales and continues to skyrocket. But tensions with third-party sellers still remain a pressure point.

  • JUL 30, 2020

    The natural wine industry is facing its own reckoning

    A natural wine importer had vowed to draft an ethical contract to which all business partners will sign. Companies have long claimed to be ethical, but are now being asked more fervently to practice what they preach. A looming question underneath it all is how much of this talk about transparency and ethical business practices is used to shield from future scandals or as marketing jargon.

  • JUL 24, 2020

    Modern Retail Talk: How Instagram darling Fly By Jing handled an unprecedented demand surge

    For this week’s Modern Retail Talk, Fly By Jing founder and CEO Jing Gao speaks about her trials and tribulations during the coronavirus. When quarantine in the U.S. first began, Gao said, “sales tripled overnight.” This was thanks to past work the company had been doing: "brand exposure, influencer seeding, paid ads." They all "paid dividends," she said.

  • JUL 23, 2020

    How a 17-year-old raised awareness about Trader Joe’s branding practices

    A teenager's petition created a public outcry about Trader Joe's private label branding. The company, as a result, has renewed its pledge to discontinue its practices. While the grocer has said it would do this for years, now may be the time it's actually forced to change.

  • JUL 21, 2020

    The great retail rent strike

    Stores aren’t dead, but they aren’t exactly alive either. As stores across the U.S. are currently in phased reopenings, many retailers are still in disputes or negotiations over rent payments during Covid-19 closures and are discussing ways to rethink payments for a future with dramatically lowered foot traffic. While some have been able to negotiate with landlords and receive discounts on rent, others are facing landlords playing hardball, who are citing their own mortgage payments. 

  • JUL 20, 2020

    While growing an empire, Shopify manages to play nice

    As more merchants have gone online, Shopify has only benefited. But its growth strategy has changed; it’s no longer the turnkey e-commerce platform for everyone, but the invisible giant trying to take control.

  • JUL 17, 2020

    ‘You can’t just export the strategy’: How Muji’s US expansion faltered

    Japanese retailer Muji announced that the U.S. arm of its business will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Muji currently has 18 stores in the United States, and is reportedly mulling scaling back that footprint. It's certainly not the only retailer facing similar hardships, but the Japanese company has had its own set of problems since before the pandemic.

  • JUL 14, 2020

    ‘A lack of marketing flywheel’: BigCommerce’s S-1, annotated

    BigCommerce filed its S-1 earlier this week, providing a little more visibility into how its business works. Since 2009, BigCommerce has provided digital commerce services for merchants. It touts customers including Woolrich, Camelbak, Clarks and Gillette. While it's true that digital commerce is accelerating at an unprecedented clip, the platform faces stiff competition from companies like Shopify.

  • JUL 10, 2020

    Modern Retail Talks: Why brand packaging is an essential — and overlooked — element

    For this weeks Modern Retail Talk, Lumi co-founder and CEO Jesse Genet discussed how she approaches the difficult issue of figuring out how to best package a product. Her company works with brands like Curology and Empathy Wines. The secret to good packaging, she said, involves a lot more than just finding a good-sized box and putting the item in it.

  • JUL 10, 2020

    How Walmart’s new subscription program is trying to compete with Amazon

    Walmart is reportedly planning to launch a new membership program this month. Called Walmart+, it will reportedly cost $98 a year and offer fast home delivery and other perks. Those other perks -- as well as the price tag -- are where Walmart is trying to differentiate itself from Amazon. But the question still remains whether or not it will be enough to compete with the 800-pound gorilla.

  • JUL 08, 2020

    How e-commerce platform Elliot fell back down to Earth

    E-commerce platform Elliot raised millions of dollars and hyped itself for month. But when launch day came around, everything went kaput. How did such a highly anticipated startup end up this way?

  • JUL 02, 2020

    Modern Retail Talks: How Neighborhood Goods is strategizing store reopenings

    For the inaugural episode of our new and improved Modern Retail Talk series -- where we feature a new founder/retail expert every week to discuss a specific issue pertinent to the new reality we're all living in -- Modern Retail (digitally) sat down with co-founder and CEO Matt Alexander about how the company is strategizing its reopening, and what it's learned over the last few month. 

  • JUL 01, 2020

    Why Uber is looking toward a potential Postmates acquisition

    Uber is considering acquiring Postmates, according to news reports. This is likely a move by Uber to get more marketshare. But Postmates presents some interesting possibilities. For one, the courier app has partnered with non-food companies, like Old Navy. Which is to say that Postmates presents an opportunity to grow Uber's delivery presence in directions beyond just food.

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