1. CNBC: E-commerce start-ups to watch
It feels like just yesterday that commerce on the Internet was stale and dominated solely by two of the earliest entrants – Amazon and eBay. Omni-channel retail (reaching customers wherever they shopped – whether in store, online or on their phones) was all the rage and, in fact, was one of the major trends that drove several investments in Metamorphic's first fund as big retail budgets flowed online.
2. BloombergView: Robots Won't Rule the Checkout Lane
To see why robots aren't going to wipe out everyone's job anytime soon, look no further than the annoyed and bewildered customers confronting store self-checkout units squawking, "Unexpected item in bagging area" and "Help is on the way."
While many department store chains have struggled to adapt to digital consumers, the ahead-of-the-curve Neiman Marcus is promising to continue to meet them where they live as it goes public. The Dallas-based chain has already introduced a mobile app, beacon technologies, in-store pickup of online orders and even an innovation lab to help shore up its bricks-and-mortar business with omnichannel strategies.
4. MediaPost: In Omnichannel Twist, Sephora Takes On Birchbox
Sephora is reportedly diving into the subscription beauty-box business, with Women’s Wear Daily reporting it will introduce Play!, a competitor to Birchbox. And while it’s already a crowded field, experts say it’s a logical next step for Sephora, in the same way it makes sense that Birchbox has begun opening physical stores.
Jet, the online e-commerce startup led by Diapers.com co-founder Marc Lore, is preparing to speak with prospective investors on a new Series B funding round that would be tied to a valuation of at least $2 billion, Fortune has learned.
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