Retail Trends For The 2017 Holiday Shopping Season

Retail Trends For The 2017 Holiday Shopping Season

Dear Drew Soho Pop Up

 

The holiday season officially kicks off today. Let me just say, 2017 will go down as the year of the Holiday Pop Up. I have never seen so many.

The big difference is how well-designed and instagram-worthy they have become. Additionally, most are taking a “residency” approach i.e. extended leases for one to six months. Some are also doing multiple locations.

Three recent pop ups worth checking out if you happen to be passing through New York:

Dear Drew (14 Crosby Street, Soho)

Drew Barrymore’s new pop up will run thru April. It was developed by the Barrymore in-house design team and is the most instagram-worthy store in Soho (photo above, and more below)

  • Has a boho-chic, retro vibe (according to store staff, Drew is into nostalgia).
  • Most of the furniture in the store comes from Drew’s own houses.
  • The collection launched on Amazon Fashion last month and includes apparel, handbags, jewelry, luggage, hair tools and loungewear.
  • Bottom Line: It’s super cool, totally worth a trip downtown

Goop Gift (25 Bond Street, Nolita)

Chic and elegant (photos below at the end of the post). I breezed through quickly 3 days after it opened and what registered with me were candles, cool kids’ items, the Grey Goose Martini Bar and an impressive wrapping and personalization station. Also, all the sales staff are dressed in white coveralls.

Open through the end of the year.

The Arrivals – in 3 cities (NYC, LA, San Fran)

This is the second year they have operated pop ups for their outerwear collection.

  •  Gorgeous minimal look, super stylish.
  • All 3 stores were designed by Bower and Lotte Van Velzen (New York-based).
  • The pop ups will be open thru the end of the year. Photos below.

Also doing pop ups: Yankee Candle opened its first pop-up store in SoHo (503 Broadway), thru Jan. 3.  Terrain in Rockefeller Center (planning to check it out today). Amazon is also doing holiday pop-ups at five Whole Foods locations, none in NYC. The pop ups will be manned by Amazon employees and apparently they are getting a lot of flack from nearby mall stores.

Read on below for additional retail trends I’m tracking for 2018. Things are getting more creative but we are still over-stored and many believe we are only in the 2nd inning when it comes to needed store closures. Some experts going so far as to say half the malls in America need to close. The new CEO of Macy’s was just quoted as saying if they were starting out today, they would have no more than 250 Macy’s stores (vs. 700 plus at the moment).

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Preview: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, A Behind-The-Scenes Look

Preview: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, A Behind-The-Scenes Look

 

This is one of my absolute favorite things to do in NYC each year. The actual parade I catch bits and pieces of on TV but Balloon Inflation, I haven’t missed in over 15 years – rain or shine!!

And this year was the best! It was very well-organized and started earlier, in order to end earlier (for security). And the weather was great!

They had also partially blown up many of the balloons on Tuesday night which made for a much more instagram-worthy event.

One, not so great piece of news: there were significantly fewer balloons this year – a whole block less in fact. The retail malaise is even hitting the parade.

Scroll down to see more of the balloons including video of some being inflated – it’s a big group effort.

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RAY DALIO: Brilliant Man, His Book Not So Much

RAY DALIO: Brilliant Man, His Book Not So Much

 

If I recommended Ray Dalio’s Principles to you, I apologize. I’m about two-thirds through and am throwing in the towel.

The first 121 pages (Part 1) are amazing!! In that section, he shares his background, what shaped him, and how he started Bridgewater (the largest and most successful hedge fund of all time).

  • The storytelling around the politics and economy of that time (the mid-60’s) is fascinating. America was at its peak, representing 40% of the world economy (vs. 20% today). He started playing the stock market at age 12, with his caddying money. He also started ordering free annual reports of Fortune 500 companies and digging into each one to understand the intricacies of those businesses. At 12!!
  • And then from 1967 to 1979 everything went to hell in a hand basket. He, along with most others, lost big on the stock market. But the experience shaped his analytical approach.  Every investment was reviewed, in-depth, including what his thesis was, where it missed the mark along with anything else he got wrong or had missed. That practice served him well his entire life. The reviews were initially done with handwritten notes but he was an early adopter of computers and AI. He is a firm believer in the power of the human mind working in tandem with computers. He is adamant that the best decisions are made when the emotion is taken out of the process which only occurs when algorithms are in play.
  • The late-60’s is also when he first became interested in meditation. He was a huge Beatles fan and when they went to India, in 1968, to study with Maharashi Mahesh Yogi, he got hooked. He is frequently quoted as saying his TM practice has benefited him above all else throughout his life because it makes him more open-minded and allows him to think more clearly and creatively.

Which brings me to what has impressed me most about him. He is the most original and creative thinker I have ever run across. If you want to understand his unique way of modeling markets (and thinking in general) read pages 14-25. Mind-blowing.

Unfortunately, the last 300 pages of the book are just dreadful. I NEVER want to read, see or hear the word RADICAL again. Every page is littered with references to being “Radically Open-Minded”, “Radically Transparent”, and “Radical Truth.” At this point in the book, I started to feel that Bridgewater was indeed a radical cult more than a business.

That said, I still find Ray Dalio inspiring and fascinating. Read on below for his 5-Step Process for getting what you want out of life.

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TECH/DIGITAL TRENDS FOR 2018: ARE YOU READY TO GET DYNAMIC?

TECH/DIGITAL TRENDS FOR 2018: ARE YOU READY TO GET DYNAMIC?

 

Isn’t it amazing how in a relatively short period of time, big tech companies like Google and Amazon have become our favorite “household names” while old guard brands like P&G or Coca Cola have become “lost brands?

But, of course, it makes sense – the internet has become as vital as the air we breathe – at least in my household. If the cable is out, nobody really cares but if the internet is down, my whole building goes ballistic.

Here are some stats to back this up:

  • 21% of Americans say they are online “almost constantly,” 42% go online a few times a day (Source: Pew)
  • 55% would be happy to purchase everything online (including a house!)
  • 72% purchase something online at least once a month
  • 60% buy clothing online in a typical month

Heading into 2018, here are 6 trends I expect to become even more ubiquitous. (Note: I’m not reiterating developments I have recently written about e.g. bitcoin or AI).

Read on below.

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Alibaba’s Singles Day: EPIC! Blows Black Friday Out Of The Water

Alibaba’s Singles Day: EPIC! Blows Black Friday Out Of The Water

 

TOTALLY IMPRESSIVE. Much has been written about Singles Day, the anti-Valentine’s Day dreamt up by Alibaba in 2009. I first wrote about it in 2014.

This shopping extravaganza has become the most anticipated online event in the world. It generates sales 2.5 times bigger than the U.S.’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Here are 11 stats that blow me away.

  •  A record $25.3 billion in one-day sales
  • $1.5 billion in first 3 minutes
  • 256,000 transactions per second
  • The first package arrived at its destination 12 minutes after it was ordered
  • The Chinese railway put on extra bullet trains to assist the delivery of 812 million parcels
  • 90% of sales were generated through mobile devices
  • Alipay processed 1.48 billion payment transactions, up 41%, as Chinese shoppers increasingly use their mobile phones as wallets instead of cash
  • Shoppers came online from 225 countries
  • 140,000 brands participated including Adidas, Bose, L’Oreal, Mac, Nike, Levis, Siemens, Unilever
  • This year, for the first time, Alibaba converted 100,000 real stores into “smart stores” with facial recognition cameras and technology tracking what shoppers do and buy
  • The warm up to Singles Day was a 4-hour televised concert with international singers Jessie J and Pharrell Williams, actress Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger) and tennis star Maria Sharapova. Nicole Kidman appeared just before midnight, as the sale started, introducing Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, in his own kung fu film.

More details on this extraordinary shopping day below.

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GEN Z YELLOW Suddenly All The Rage: Why? Snapchat Of Course!

GEN Z YELLOW Suddenly All The Rage: Why? Snapchat Of Course!

Gen Z Yellow on Instagram. Left: Dabito (Nov 5); Upper Right: Manrepeller (Nov 13), Bottom Middle: FionaBologna (Nov 11);

 

Have been noticing tons of YELLOW popping up on Instagram.

I credit Snapchat. They were founded in late 2011 but didn’t reach critical mass until 2015.  All of a sudden Snapchat Yellow was on every Gen Z’s phone!

So ironic, that Snapchat’s signature yellow is popularized through Instagram (its chief competitor and perhaps ultimate destroyer).

While I believe Snapchat is to blame for embedding yellow on our consciousness, I have not seen anybody else make that connection. So who knows? But here are some alternate reasons why yellow is set to become 2018’s color of the year.

Per Man Repeller: Gen-Z Yellow is the natural evolution of millennial pink. It’s both nostalgic and modern. It has zest, energy, optimism.

According to HomePolish: We have to look all the way back to 2014 to trace its origins. That’s when the “Art Hoe” movement was co-founded by Mars and Jam, two young black female artists. Art Hoe is a way of redefining blackness and challenging stereotypes about people of color through art. Some describe it as “a sort of social-media driven Harlem Renaissance.”

I still think it was Snapchat!

See more Gen Z Yellow pics below.

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Fantastic Week! Ward Shelley Tops The List

Fantastic Week! Ward Shelley Tops The List

 

 

This week was amazing. Chock-a-block with great meet-ups and really cool events – if cheese and caviar are involved, how can it not be phenomenal?

But I have to kick off this post with a hot recommendation for NYC friends:

  • Anyone in NYC this weekend please check out my friend Ward Shelley’s The Newcomers. This “durational architectural performance” can be found at 28 Liberty in the Financial District (it’s in the outdoors plaza of that building near Pine and William Streets).
  • It’s free and will be up through Sunday, November 19.
  • It’s part of the Performa 17 Biennial.
  • Watch my video interview with Ward (above) to better understand what it’s about. Ward’s projects are always pretty out there – and this is no exception. And if you do go, make sure you check in with him and the crew. They’ll have been on that rig, not touching ground for ten days – and yet every day moving that contraption they are living on, the distance between each day’s poles.

Read on below for 5 more highlights of this great week.

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Mionetto Introduces a Luxurious Limited Edition Super Dry Prosecco

Mionetto Introduces a Luxurious Limited Edition Super Dry Prosecco

 

If you’re a Prosecco drinker but sometimes wish there was a dryer, more clean and crisp option, this limited edition Cuvee Anniversario is outstanding and absolutely worth checking out – and at $25 SRP, a great value.

And shout out to Mionetto and CreativeFeed for hosting such an informative tasting event last week at Del Posto in NYC.

  • The tasting was led (in Italian) by Alessio Del Savio, Chief Winemaker at Mionetto and translated, with great humor and aplomb, by Enore Ceola, Managing Director and CEO of Mionetto USA.
  • As you can see from all the glasses in the photo above, our tasting was comprehensive and we explored many different stages of Prosecco-making, culiminating in the Cuvee Anniversario tasting.
  • My biggest learning, besides how extraordinary a pristine, bone-dry Prosecco can be, was that Proseccos are NOT AGED. If you do happen to be served a Prosecco that has a strong yellowish hue, send it back immediately, it means it’s old.

Read on below for more on Base Wines, Friendship Wine, and most especially what went into creating the Cuvee Anniversario Prosecco.

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