Image: Amazon

1. How Coronavirus Changed the Retail Landscape: The sudden shift in consumer habits changed the profit picture for retailers in the S&P 500. eBay  had the biggest increase in its profit margin in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, according to an analysis of FactSet data. Other winners were automotive and discount chains, which managed to boost profitability despite the higher costs of operating in a pandemic. – Read More on the WSJ

2. The Truth About HENRY: The values and aesthetic codes of HENRY (i.e., “High Earner, Not Rich Yet” individuals) are simply bourgeois mass consumerism repackaged for a smaller addressable audience. HENRY myopia ignores a wide swath of consumers with disproportionate spending power, while neglecting the values and aspirations of the consumers most likely to drive disproportionate spending power in the future. – Read More on Just Throwing it Out There

3. India to extend surcharge on taxes on luxury items, tobacco: The surcharge on luxury goods, which varies from 12% to 200%, is part of the national goods and services tax (GST) introduced in 2017, and was due to expire in 2022. – Read More on Reuters

4. Elsewhere in luxury … Mercedes-Benz to Slash Costs 20% in Next Five Years: Mercedes will move its vehicles upmarket in an attempt to boost profit amid weak demand and rising investments in electric vehicles. The automaker stopped selling sedans in the U.S. to focus more on sport-utility vehicles, which are more profitable and make up a larger share of new-car sales in Europe and the U.S., and says it will continue to “move capital to luxury and high-end products.” At least some luxury brands in the fashion space are likely to follow suit, as we previously noted here.Read More on the WSJ

5. USPTO releases report on artificial intelligence and intellectual property policy: Across all IP topics, a majority of public commenters expressed a general sense that the existing U.S. intellectual property laws are calibrated correctly to address the evolution of AI. However, commenters appear split as to whether any new classes of IP rights would be beneficial to ensure a more robust IP system. – Read More on the USPTO

6. RETRO READ: AI Programs Are Creating Fashion Designs and Raising Questions About Who (or What) is an Inventor. “The USPTO has not made any determination concerning who or what actually created the invention claimed in the application.” It merely held that it an inventor must be a “natural person” – whether that be a scientist like Thaler or a real-live fashion designer. – Read More on TFL