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Weekly Insights May 6, 2016

Executive Summary

  • We attended a breakfast this week hosted by the Retail Marketing Society, where retail industry titan Allen Questrom was the keynote speaker. According to Questrom, the US is “overstored,” millennials may be more like their elders than the industry believes, and fast-fashion concepts such as Zara and H&M have created excitement in their physical stores by offering a constantly changing product assortment.
  • A new report from Forrester Research says that US online sales will surpass half a trillion dollars by 2020. The figure represents an increase of 56.9% from Forrester’s 2015 estimate of $338.1 billion. Amazon’s retail business represented 60% of all US online sales growth last year. Growth factors included a stronger economy, retailers gaining more repeat business from customers and a strong omni-channel push.
  • British fashion Internet pure play ASOS has launched a new fashion accelerator program in partnership with Wayra, the startup accelerator of Spanish telecom company Telefónica. The accelerator is seeking “mature startups with a proven track record of developing technologies, products and services” in the field of fashion, as it hopes to complement ASOS’s existing online fashion business model.
  • According to a recent survey from J.D. Power and Tencent Auto, only 9% of 5,000 Chinese consumers polled said that they feel very positive about the prospect of unmanned mobility. By contrast, nearly twice as many US consumers reported positive responses to autonomous vehicles.

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