Salesforce CEO Benioff goes on a multi-million dollar shopping spree.
Amazon is setting up a new headquarters; Will it be in DC?
Why doesn't anyone want to work for Target?
Apple is creating lifestyle products that you can't (or won't) live without.
Highlights from Shop.org 2018:
The innovation lab outpaced last year's conference by far.
Body related technology was a major focus. Amazon's acquisition of Body Labs earlier this year seems to have paved the way for a lot of new technology.
There was a lot of interesting shelf-technology. Specifically, some cashierless stores using tech to update in-store displays on the fly.
Tusk Ventures put together all the businesses for the conference. Brian congratulates them on a job well done.
2018 is a True "Content is King" Market:
Benioff also recently purchased Time Magazine for $190MM
StockX is utilizing content well: they have a Youtube channel and compelling written material on their site.
Shoes are all the rage right now thanks to content creator extraordinaire/artist Kanye West (Adidas) broad release of Yeezys
The risk these companies are taking seems to be paying off: Nike's stock has actually reached an all-time high, despite calls for a boycott.
Also, Phillip channels Donald Trump from The Apprentice, and it's pretty terrifying.
Head to Toe Tech Enabled Clothing: The Future of Fashion and Health?
Apple is totally invested in the entire body, and is creating products that can report total body data.
Phillip says it's time to take a drink to the future.
The new Apple Watch, Series 4 includes an FDA approved EKG feature that will allow for the first over the counter electrocardiogram that can be saved in the health app for a doctor to view later.
The new Apple Watch's fall detection feature can potentially save lives, when turned on it can check in after it detects a fall, and even call emergency services.
Another brand doing some crazy things with body data: ZoZo a company based in Japan, is using body data from a "polka dot suit" and selfies to give Stitch Fix measurements to customers so they can have near perfect fit clothing.
Phillip and Brian predict that full-on technology enabled clothing could be a reality in five years.
Partnerships Between Tech Companies and Fashion:
"Textile Tech" is now a thing, with companies working to make their customers lives easier.
With the Nike Epic React sneaker release, the company changed the construction of the sole to be optimal for all sizes.
Tech is being woven into everyday life, and it's changing the way consumers view both fashion and technology.
Brian says that this head to toe tech phenomenon is allowing for users to build their own mini Iron Man suits.
Apple: Is the Company Prepared for the Future?
Apple, the world's first trillion dollar company, is uniquely skilled at creating products absolutely essential to everyday life.
Apple needs to partner with the right brands.
Phillip can't live without Alexa and really wishes Siri would step it up as a virtual assistant.
Brian contemplates switching from Android to IPhone.
Apple did just announce an A12 bionic chip that could decrease energy usage by 50%. This is a total technological breakthrough.
While Apple may be able to create data centers in the palm of consumers hands within 3-5 years, there is still a question of what their competitors, namely Walmart, Amazon, and Google will come up within that time period. It really could be anyone's game.
Amazon's Second HQ: Is Politicking Ahead?
Business Insider speculates that Amazon will set up its second headquarters in Washington D.C.
Phillip and Brian agree that all business get political eventually to protect their interests.
Up until now, the President and Amazon haven't quite been on the same page about, well pretty much anything. In fact, President Trump has taken some real swipes at the retail giant. Could this change in 2020? If the President was granted a second term, perhaps.
Amazon's probably been stealthily lobbying for years on regulations, will it's rumored location change bring their advocacy into the light?
Why Can't Retail Companies Hire For The Holidays?
Target had its best quarter ever, and yet like other retail companies is having trouble staffing up.
A lot of retailers are having severe problems staffing up for the holiday season, possibly due to record-low unemployment.
Retailers need 757,000 holiday employees this year, which is up 100,000 from the previous year, and they just cannot round out the numbers.
Possibly due to this gap in the market, retailers have had to lower standards, which Brian's wife learned when she tried to shop at Macy's and found the staff there lacking in professional courtesy(to put it mildly).
Since retailers are being forced to compete for workers, they are now beginning to offer unheard of incentives. Macy's is going to be offering "path to growth incentives", Kohl's will have discount days for associates, and JCPenney, whom none of us knew still existed, will be providing eligible part-time workers 401Ks, paid training and paid time off. This is a considerable departure from the way retail has operated for a long time.
Also, the retail apocalypse? Still not a thing.
This shortage will actually lead to more jobs in the retail tech economy, as retail continues to both innovate and automate.
Retail Tech is moving fast, and Future Commerce is moving faster.