Monday, February 19, 2018|
Rigorously defining what luxury now means today, and covering the businesses at the forefront.
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LATEST REPORTS ON LEAN / LUXE

London's Hero connects online shoppers with in-store associates | Hero
Subscriber Comment

Solly Garber: ‘How is it that in 2018, e-commerce STILL only accounts for just nine percent of all US retail?’

Believe it or not, e-commerce represents a tiny sliver of total sales in the US. In the last two years, it’s increased from just seven percent to nine percent — and half of that is Amazon. In order for e-commerce to grow, brands must start solving shoppers’ problems by thinking laterally.

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Year and Day's lifestyle imagery is very much Instagram ready | Year and Day
Launches

🚨 New Brand Alert: Year and Day. How does this brand stack up against the Snowes and Parachutes of the world?

Big players Parachute and Snowe are already several years ahead in the home category at this point, but Year and Day makes a case that they too deserve a place at the table — and fine place settings to match.

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Investors are getting comfy with couches | Burrow
Money

Big Money: Burrow’s $4.3M seed points to a larger trend – VCs are warming up to emerging furniture brands.

With a couple of recent VC-backed furniture busts, no one would’ve blamed VCs for rejecting the furniture space this year. And yet here we are, close to Christmas, and two rising furniture companies — Floyd and Burrow — have both managed to raise two $4M+ rounds. We spoke to Burrow to find out how investors are looking at new furniture brands like theirs in a different light.

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Ana Andjelic holds court on stage | Netlife
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Ana Andjelic: Why visceral storytelling is the next brand-building territory.

Symbolic and visceral, smell is a powerful brand language that convincingly conveys identity and differentiation. It creates a direct, tangible connection between a brand and its consumers.

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Aesop gets it | Aesop
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Marcela Sapone: Smart brands like Aesop have figured out that clever distribution builds brands.

Aesop and others realize that modern brand building lies in meeting today’s new consumer in the places they are: the hotel, the restaurant, the boutique. Now the onus is on CPGs to unlock new channels to break out of stalled growth.

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Ana Andjelic, Jen Rubio, Jessica Graves, and Colin Nagy; Northside Festival panel | Colin Nagy
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Ana Andjelic: The dark side of the direct-to-consumer brand experience.

For every new brand that takes the long view on customer service (fixing a broken product even if it’s the customer’s fault), there are countless more where the customer relationship ends at the moment of sale.

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Alfred CEO Marcela Sapone | Mercedes-Benz
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Marcela Sapone: The modern luxury supply chain is log jammed at the front door of your apartment building.

It doesn’t matter how sophisticated direct-to-consumer brands make their products or supply chains today — if shipments get stacked at the front door of your apartment, that’s a failure. Fortunately, a more thoughtful, seamless future is on the way.

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The battle between sellers and buyers | Complex
Business

One of Grailed’s most loyal users wants to create a more seller-friendly direct challenger.

One of Grailed’s most loyal users says the platform “has developed into a buyer’s site that neglects the needs of its sellers”, and he’s had enough. He’s gauging interest in creating a new site that addresses Grailed’s two biggest problems: high seller fees and lowballers.

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Winners and losers in the Rapha acquisition | Rapha
Money

At $260M, did Rapha’s new owners pay too much?

With the lengthy Rapha sale saga now officially put to bed with this month’s acquisition by Walmart grandsons Steuart and Tom Walton, time has been afforded to reflect back and assess the winners and losers in the deal.

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Co-founders and partners Matthew Growney and Eric Lepleux | Fabulous Brands
Money

Meet Fabulous Brands: A growth capital firm addressing the “capitalization gap” for modern luxury upstarts.

Having just come out of stealth, and with investments in Naadam and True Botanicals, Fabulous Brands is a new $50M fund that’s aiming to provide the growth capital young brands need to get from $5M to $50M in eighteen months.

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$261M worth of pedal power | Rapha
Money

Rapha’s buyout by Walmart heirs marks the first M&A deal for an activewear brand in the modern luxury category.

Rapha’s $261M purchase by Walmart heirs Steuart and Tom Walton puts an end to an ‘on again, off again’ sale saga that stretched across nine long months.

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Clever messaging from CEO David Sobie and team | Happy Returns
Retail

With “Return Bars” and “Returnistas”, Happy Returns is eliminating the hassle of returning online orders by mail.

Happy Returns is a new upstart that’s addressing a new need in today’s e-commerce driven world: Rather than doing returns by mail, customers are able to drop off their online returns at a Happy Bar, and Happy Returns handles the rest.

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Getting closer by the day | Monocle
Launches

Update: Not yet launched, Monocle’s Summer Weekly is already profitable.

Far from being a mere passion project, this is targeting a timely business opportunity – and they’ve got a clear idea of who their target customer is (and where they’re often found in August).

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Solving problems in the nude | Heist
Business

The Nude Project: Heist to crowdsource a skin-tone color palette index, with free and open access to all companies.

Perhaps the most astonishing revelation about nude undergarments and apparel is that, compared to, say, the cosmetics industry – of which there’s an overabundance of nude options – in clothing, there are only a handful.

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Hot off the presses | Monocle
Launches

Scoop: Monocle to release new weekly newspaper on select shelves this August.

We’d heard rumors for several months that a new weekly by the publisher was in the works. In Berlin, editors Andrew Tuck and Tyler Brûlé revealed what they’ve been working on these last few months.

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FROM THE COL/LUMN

London's Hero connects online shoppers with in-store associates | Hero
Subscriber Comment

Solly Garber: ‘How is it that in 2018, e-commerce STILL only accounts for just nine percent of all US retail?’

Believe it or not, e-commerce represents a tiny sliver of total sales in the US. In the last two years, it’s increased from just seven percent to nine percent — and half of that is Amazon. In order for e-commerce to grow, brands must start solving shoppers’ problems by thinking laterally.

READ MORE →
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