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Around the Web: Retail Incubators, Amazon Takedowns & Sephora Sitting Pretty

This week, there was much talk about Amazon’s ability to grow by rolling out new platforms and making acquisitions, beauty’s natural ability to cater to consumers looking for experiences and how mobile wallets could transform luxury retail.

European company, Inga Wellbeing, is giving fashion a purpose by creating functional apparel for hospital settings that also look great. Fast Company discusses the collection, which includes garments designed like wrap dresses and features like full arm openings, interior pockets and garment fronts that unsnap for easy access.

(Related on SJ: Woolmark Co. and Max Mara Develop Wool Denim)

Established retailers are increasingly investing in startups for both altruistic and opportunistic reasons. Fashionista highlighted how apparel companies, like Asos and Nordstrom, have funded incubator programs for emerging entrepreneurs that in the case of technology provides learnings in areas like e-commerce and in the case of fashion offer these companies differentiated products.

(Related on SJ: Financial Roundup: Nordstrom Sales Up on Off-Price, JC Penney Down on Apparel)

While the rest of retail is flailing around trying to figure out how to offer personalization and experiences, beauty is in full swing. The New York Times demonstrated how the industry’s growth over the past year, and highlights how Sephora is capitalizing on this moment with interactive in-store technology and other personalized experiences.

(Related on SJ: Consumer First: A Beauty Tutorial for the Fashion Industry)

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Amazon’s dominance continues to be on everyone’s lips. Recode charts out how the online giant secured 33 percent of the U.S. e-commerce market share last year, meanwhile TechCrunch shared how Amazon’s success comes from its ability to build the tools and architecture  it needs and then turn those into businesses like Amazon Web Services.

(Related on SJ: Report: How Retailers Could Compete with Amazon on Logistics)

Apple Pay is poised to dominate the luxury fashion sphere. Glossy noted how the payment service is focused on growing e-commerce activity but also in-store usage, where it has an advantage over competitors like Paypal, which focuses on online payments. could drive in more e-commerce activity for labels,

(Related on SJ: Online Sales Still Lagging? Check Your Page Load Times)

In a bid to beef up in-store sales, Target is cutting corners on its digital strategy. The Wall Street Journal explained how the retailer has eliminated some in-house startups and turned away prospective deals as competitors like Walmart and Amazon are in acquisition and growth modes.

(Related on SJ: Target Q1 Earnings, Sales Beat Expectations)

Loose Threads evaluated Amazon and Walmart’s differing approaches to acquisitions. Of particular interest, how the e-commerce giant goes after any company it’s interested in, with a case study of how it used its startup Endless and free shipping to snag Zappos.


(Related on SJ: Retail Competition Continues to Hold Prices Down)

The U.K. fast fashion scene is taking over the e-commerce space and consumers’ wallets worldwide. Racked analyzed how etailers like Boohoo stay ahead of competitors due to their speedy turnaround times, manufacturing proximity and ability to fulfill consumers’ style demands on the fly.

(Related on SJ: Retail Roundup: Sainsbury Beefs up Apparel, JCP Poised to Clean Up in a Post Sears Era, and More)