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Around the Web: NAFTA’s Flaws, Amazon’s Role and What’s Really Ethical

This week, scholars delved into what a better NAFTA would look like, Amazon’s “flywheel” philosophy continues to take retailers by storm and debate picked up over what actually constitutes “ethical.”


Since 2013, Ulta has climbed to the top of the beauty sector with its competitive strategy—including revamping its loyalty perks program, taking advantage of brick-and-mortar spaces and investing in data to better understand its consumers. (Glossy)

Related on SJ: Turnaround Specialist Michael Appel on the Three C’s: Capital, Culture and a Consumer Focus

New York City’s garment district is facing an uncertain future. Designer Nanette Lepore shared her perspective on how the potential relocation to Sunset Park in Brooklyn could deplete the garment district’s rich history and industry potential. (The New York Times)

Related on SJ: Why ‘Made in New York’ Could Revive US Apparel Manufacturing

There isn’t a single term to describe Amazon (e-tailer, innovator to name a few), but the company’s “flywheel” philosophy is placing it ahead of the pack. By axing prices to attract customers, boosting sales to grab more consumers and profiting from economies of scale, Amazon remains king in the retail apocalypse. (Quartz)

Related on SJ: Amazon Launches Instant Pickup, Lands in Trump Crosshairs

NAFTA is undergoing major revisions and experts have input on what a better version of the deal would look like. Scholars said NAFTA should do better at looking out for laborers, retain people who can’t compete with international workers and tax companies based on where they sell their products. (The Atlantic)

Related on SJ: Trump Says US Will “Probably” End Up Terminating NAFTA

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Negative consumer experiences could be detrimental to companies, as shown with food tycoons like Chipotle and Subway. Venture capitalists said if a brand is tarnished, retailers could find it hard to make a comeback on social media platforms. (The New York Post)

Related on SJ: Social Means Serious Business for Top Ranked Amazon, Walmart

While consumers snap up sustainable products and brands boost transparency, it could be difficult to see what’s truly considered “ethical.” Ethical-shopping insiders suggest that artisans should have a voice and earn a fair living wage—enough to pay for housing, food and living necessities—for a business to be genuinely considered ethical. (Racked)

Related on SJ: Infographic: What do Consumers Really Think About Sustainability Anyway?

The battle between and Alibaba—China’s e-commerce monarchs—continues. With’s nearly $400 million investment in e-luxe site Farfetch and Alibaba’s new Luxury Pavilion platform, both tycoons are trying to claim their share of the nation’s online luxury market and entice consumers to buy more high-end products. (Jing Daily)

Related on SJ: Deloitte: In Luxury, LVMH Still Rules the Space