1. Alibaba adds another giant to its growing list of partners: Coty cuts deal with Alibaba to court Chinese beauty shoppers. The beauty company and online giant are teaming up on interactive vending machines in malls of major Chinese cities, as well as on initiatives with beauty and hair salons, and lets Coty tap into Alibaba’s data on domestic consumers. – Read More on Bloomberg
THE MOST INTERESTING THING about Alibaba? Its Luxury Pavilion, where Chinese millennials are spending upwards of $159,000 each year on everything from Le Mer face cream to Burberry bags.
2. Brandless CEO Explains Why SoftBank’s Vision Fund – which has invested in Uber (and all of its ride-hailing competitors), WeWork, Slack and General Motors’ self-driving unit, backed her brand: “There are opportunities as new consumers are coming into the [online] market and modern consumers are shifting their consumption habits … It’s not just about the products that we sell. It’s also about the future of supply chain, the future of distribution and, really, the future of brands.” – Read More on the Observer
3. RETRO READ: Brandless is Not Really Doing Away with Branding, according to a recent trademark filing (Minimalist-inspired branding is still branding, after all), and … a look at how consumers outgrew traditional branding. “We simply might not need - and certainly do not engage with - branding in the same way as we used to.”
4. Custom everything: the slow, painful death of mass-market goods: “Mobility, consumer expectations, and technology are evolving exponentially, and there is huge appetite for low-friction user experiences, on-demand delivery, and personalized manufacturing. These are the technologies that are completely reshaping this century's consumer behavior, and they point to the slow, painful death of mass-market goods.” – Read More on AdAge
5. Madewell President Libby Wadle on Size Inclusivity and Building A Retail Community: “The extended sizing in the inclusivity movement that's going on is one of the most exciting things to happen to fashion. Forever, there has been a lack of plus-sized, larger sized, extended sized clothing. A lack of clothing for women of all shapes and sizes—even though, the fact is, the average woman falls between size 16 and 18 in America.” – Read More on Forbes