Retail Round-Up, Vol. 1


Today, I’m debuting a new series called the Retail Round-Up, wherein I’ll be sharing my favorite fashion/retail-focused news, products and interviews of the week.

1. Follow The Thread 2. Gap 3. Harvard Business Review
1. Follow The Thread
2. Gap
3. Harvard Business Review

1. Follow The Thread: Last week, I debuted the first three episodes of Follow The Thread, a podcast I co-host with my fashion-fluent friends Rachel D. and Amanda. Our latest episode is all about Donna Karan’s resignation from her eponymous label and the implications for the evolving role of fashion designers. And just to spice things up, we talk about Karan’s influence on women’s workwear. (Some of us unabashedly wear elastic pants to our offices.)

2. Gap’s Investor Day: If you care about shopping, you ought to be interested in the retail business. It’s that cold, hard calculus that shapes the advertising you see, chooses the factories manufacturing your clothes and determines if a sale will go from 20 to 50% off. Many of the biggest retailers are public companies, which means they have oodles of fascinating information available to the public. I encourage you to start listening to these companies’ investor webcasts, such as this one from the Gap. Do you want to know why Piperlime closed? Or why Banana Republic’s quality suffered? Or why Old Navy seems to be killing it in every department — particularly price? You’ll hear all about it in these webcasts.

3. Amazon’s Lousy Sale: By now, you’ve heard that Amazon’s “Black Friday” sale was a total flop. Turns out, no one is terribly excited about saving money on their dish detergent. Harvard Business Review has a fascinating story about some reasons why Amazon made such a hubballoo about the sale. (Hint: The company wants to over-take brick-and-mortar stores completely. They also needs more low-volume Prime customers to make up for the huge losses in shipping costs.)