Groupon will no longer sell discounted goods, instead focusing on local experiences – Blog – 10 minute

In brief: Tough times call for tough measures and that is exactly where Groupon is right now. Share value in the online marketplace is down more than 42 percent in early morning trading after announcing disappointing fourth quarter and full year earnings yesterday afternoon.
The company isn’t blind to the fact, either, and is making changes to right the ship before it is too late.
CEO Rich Williams said he was incredibly disappointed with Groupon’s 2019 performance.“This performance shortfall, coupled with the significant headwinds we continue to face, call for profound change,” he added.

In short, Williams wants to transform Groupon into the local experiences marketplace. What once was a business driver has become a significant drag on the overall operation.
To get there, they’ll have to quickly exit the Goods category and dedicate resources to expanding the local experiences marketplace. The plan is to exit in North America by the third quarter and internationally by the end of the year.
Initially, Groupon was just that – a destination for finding discounts and deals on local experiences. But along the way in search of rapid growth, the company jumped on the consumer goods bandwagon, selling all sorts of products, from pet supplies and sports equipment to electronics and toys. In hindsight, the company should have stayed in its lane.
Masthead credit: Groupon by Casimiro PT. Restructuring by bangoland.

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US and China sign trade deal that’ll help cut down on counterfeit and pirated goods – Blog – 10 minute

What just happened? The United States and China on Wednesday signed what is being described as “phase one” of a broader trade agreement that, among other things, includes measures to combat the prevalence of counterfeit or pirated goods on e-commerce platforms.
Article 1.14 of the trade agreement notes that both parties shall take effective action with regard to major e-commerce platforms that fail to take the measures necessary to combat the infringement of intellectual property rights.
Specifically, China has agreed to revoke the operating licenses of platforms that become repeat offenders while the US has committed to studying additional means to combat the sale of counterfeit or pirated goods.

As CNBC highlights, that last bit can’t be glossed over. Amazon, one of the biggest e-tailers in the world, has been fighting a very real battle against counterfeit goods on its platform for some time now.
Just under a year ago, the e-commerce giant announced Project Zero as a three-pronged approach to help stamp out fakes. Still, the issue persists, with some advocacy groups going as far as to suggest Amazon should be added to counterfeit vendor watchlists. Earlier this month, the Jeff Bezos-led company reportedly vowed to ramp up reporting of bogus listings on its site to law enforcement.
Masthead credit: Colorful purses by David A. Litman

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Hinge opens merch store stocked with Hingie garbs and ‘delete day’ goods- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The dating app Hinge has opened a merch store for newly entwined hearts to mark the day they deleted the app with Hingie memorabilia.
The dating app first introduced its fluffy, accident-prone mascot back in August. Until that point, Hinge had been low key on the number of campaigns it launched.
To act out its self-defeating tagline – ‘Designed to be Deleted’ – in 12 playful scenes, every time singles hit it off, Hingie meets its demise – from burning in a campfire to being attacked by pigeons.
The ad campaign proved to be a hit, increasing Hinge’s monthly downloads by 47%, with an 18% increase in users deleting the app because they found love. It also earned the app 153,000 more Instagram followers.

An extension ‘Designed to be Deleted’, The Hingie Shop offers customers to chance to either celebrate Hingie or destroy him.
Among the online goods, recent deleters or Hinge current users can buy a Hingie pinata, a Hingie bath bomb and a Hingie ring box.
The products also celebrate relationship milestones, where customers can buy a ‘Delete Date’ necklace with their delete day date on a 14-carat gold necklace with real diamonds. All for the price of $500.

There is also Hingie apparel. Fans can buy $120 Hingie branded Vans, a $25 Hingie hat and a $25 pocket tee.
“The Hingie Shop is a response to the overwhelming amount of love Hingie has received since his debut in August,” said Nathan Roth, chief marketing officer at Hinge. “With the success of ‘Designed to be Deleted’, we wanted to provide members with their own way to rep or destroy Hingie, and continue getting people off the app and onto real dates.”

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The direct to consumer department store Neighborhood Goods has raised $11 million – gpgmail


Neighborhood Goods, the direct to consumer department store hawking brands like Rothy’s, Dollar Shave Club, Buck Mason, Draper James and Stadium Goods, has new cash to expand its storefront for e-commerce juggernauts.

The company has raised $11 million in a new round of financing led by Global Founders Capital, with participation from previous investors Forerunner Ventures, Serena Ventures, NextGen Venture Partners, Allen Exploration, Capital Factory and others.

The Dallas-based startup has raised $25.5 million to date and is expanding into a new location in Austin to complement its stores in Plano, Texas and a location in New York, opening soon, according to the company’s chief executive and co-founder Matt Alexander.

The Neighborhood Goods concept, providing a brick and mortar outlet for online brands, is one that dovetails nicely with backers like Global Founders Capital and Forerunner Ventures, which are both longtime investors in direct to consumer startups.

“As we expand our network of brands, we’re so thrilled to have Neighborhood Goods as a core element of our portfolio for them to test, assess, explore and learn about the impact of physical retail as they grow,” said Global Founders Capital investor Don Stalter.

As the company expands its geographic footprint, it’s also experimenting with different online features, like online browsing of in-store collections and the option for physical, in-store pickup of digital orders. Neighborhood Goods also said it will begin offering an analytics back-end for brand partners to provide data on activations and branded events at the company’s stores.


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ThredUp, whose second-hand goods will start appearing at Macy’s and JCPenney, just raised a bundle – gpgmail


ThredUp, the 10-year-old fashion resale marketplace, has a lot of big news to boast about lately. For starters, the company just closed on $100 million in fresh funding from an investor syndicate that includes Park West Asset Management, Irving Investors and earlier backers Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Upfront Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Redpoint Ventures.

The round brings ThredUP’s total capital raised to more than $300 million, including a previously undisclosed $75 million investment that it sewed up last year.

A potentially even bigger deal for the company is a new resale platform that both Macy’s and JCPenney are beginning to test out, wherein ThedUp will be sending the stores clothing that they will process through their own point-of-sale systems, while trying to up-sell customers on jewelry, shoes, and other accessories.

It says a lot that traditional retailers are coming to see gently used items as a potential revenue stream for themselves, and little wonder given the size of the resale market, estimated to be a $24 billion market currently and projected to become a $51 billion market by 2023.

We talked yesterday with ThredUp founder and CEO James Reinhart to learn more about its tie-up with the two brands and to find out what else the startup is stitching together.

TC: You’ve partnering with Macy’s and JCPenney. Did they approach you or is ThredUp out there pitching traditional retailers?

JR: I think [the two companies] have been thinking about resale for some time. They’re trying to figure out how to best serve their customers. Meanwhile, we’ve been thinking about how we power resale for a broader set of partners, and there was a meeting of the minds six months ago

We’re positioned now where we can do this really effectively in-store, so we’re starting with a pilot program in 30 to 40 stores, but we could scale to 300 or 400 stores if we wanted.

TC: How is this going to work, exactly, with these partners?

JR: We have the [software and logistics] architecture and the selection to put together carefully curated selections of clothing for particular stores, including the right assortment of brands and sizes, depending on where a Macy’s is located, for example. Macy’s then wraps a high-quality experience around [those goods]. Maybe it’s a dress, but they wrap a handbag and scarves and jewelry around the dress purchase. We feel [certain] that future consumers will buy new and used at the same time.

TC: Who is your demographic, and please don’t say everyone.

JR: It is everyone. It’s not a satisfying answer, but we sell 30,000 brands. We serve lots of luxury customers with brands like Louis Vuitton, but we also sell Old Navy. What unites customers across all brands is they want to find brands that they couldn’t have afforded new; they’re trading up to brands that, full price, would have been too much, so Old Navy shoppers are [buying] Gap [whose shopper are buying] J. Crew and Theory and all the way up. Consistently, what we hear is [our marketplace] allows customers to swap out their wardrobes at higher rates than would be possible otherwise, and it feels to them like they’re doing in a more [environmentally] responsible way.

TC: What percentage of your shoppers are also consigning goods?

JR: We don’t track that closely, but it’s typically about a third.

TC: Do you think your customers are buying higher-end goods with a mind toward selling them, to defray their overall cost? I know that’s the thinking of CEO Julie Wainwright at [rival] The RealReal. It’s all supposed to be a kind of virtuous circle of shopping.

JR:  We like to talk about buying the handbag, then selling it, but plenty of people will also buy a second-hand Banana Republic sweater because it’s a value [and because] fashion is the second-most polluting industry on the planet.

TC: How far are you going to combat that pollution? I’m just curious if you’re in any way try to bolster the sale of hemp, versus maybe nylon, clothes for example.

JR: We aren’t driving material selection. Our thesis is: we want to stay out of the fashion business and instead ensure there’s a responsible way for people to buy second hand.

TC: For people who haven’t used ThredUp, walk through the economics. How much of each sale does someone keep?

JR: On ThredUp, it isn’t a uniform payment; it depends instead on the brand. On the luxury end, we pay [sellers] more than anyone else — we pay up to 80 percent when we resell it. If it’s Gap or Banana Republic, you get maybe 10 or 15 or 20 percent based on the original price of the item.

TC: How would you describe your standards? What goes into the reject pile?

JR: We have high standards. Items have to be in like-new or gently used condition, and we reject more than half of what people send us. But i think there’s probably more leeway for the Theory’s and J.Crew’s of the world than if you’re buying a Chanel dress.

TC: Unlike some of your rivals, you don’t sell to men. Why not?

JR: Men’s is a small market in secondhand. Men wear the same four colors — blue, black, gray and brown — so it’s not a big resale market. We do sell kids’ clothing, and that’s a big part of our market.

TC: When Macy’s now sells a dress from ThredUp, how much will you see from that transaction?

JR: We can’t share the details of the economics.

TC: How many people are now working for ThredUp?

JR: We have less than 200 in our corporate office in San Francisco, and 50 in Kiev, and then across four distribution centers — in Phoenix; Mechanicsburg [Pa.]; Atlanta; and Chicago — we have another 1,200 employees.

TC: You’ve now raised a lot of money in the last year. How will it be used?

JR: On our resale platform [used by retailers like Macy’s] and on building our tech and operations and building new distribution centers to process more clothing. We can’t get people to stop sending us stuff. [Laughs.]

TC: Before you go, what’s the most under-appreciated aspect of your business?

JR: The logistics behind the scenes. I think for every great e-commerce business, there are incredible logistics [challenges to overcome] behind the scenes. People don’t appreciate how hard that piece is, alongside the data. We’re going to process our 100 millionth item by the end of this year. That’s a lot of data.


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