Inside Ecommerce - October 14th, 2019

Inside Ecommerce (Oct 14th, 2019)

Cat Advent calendars / Jonas Brothers Coors Light / Japanese rice vodka / Libra issues

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1. Trader Joe's will make a cat Advent calendar this year. TJ's VP of merchandising said in the grocery chain's podcast that the cat Advent calendar features "magical treats made of salmon and seaweed and cats actually love seaweed." The last treat is a large fish. Trader Joe's did not share when the calendar will release, or whether there will be another for dogs. Last year's dog Advent calendar sold for $6. Check out this list of other facts about Trader Joe's. - ROMPER

I just bought pumpkin dog treats from TJ's this weekend. Hit reply and tell me how you're getting your pets ready for the holidays!

2. The Jonas Brothers will release a limited edition batch of Coors Light which features their faces on the label superimposed on the Rockies like a weird Mount Rushmore. Joe Jonas wrote on Instagram that he had the "Best. Day. Ever" at the brewery making the beer. His wife immediately trolled him saying, "Really? The BEST day EVER!? Interesting... ." Apparently the Jonas Brothers are huge fans of Coors Light, so much so that they ran out of it at Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra's wedding last December. The JoBro beer will taste the same but fans can look forward to their faces being incorporated into the cold activated label. The Jonas Coors Light launches mid-November in Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Philly, and Tampa. - DELISH

3. Japan's House of Suntory, known for winning World's Best Whisky in 2015, is now making vodka from 100 percent white rice. Haku Vodka is made from "pure, white Japanese rice [which] is respected as a luxury. It’s the ultimate symbol of Japan,” said Suntory's senior specialist for gin and spirits. White rice is fermented with koji rice and then filtered through bamboo charcoal. Haku's senior U.S. brand ambassador explained the vodka was created because "global appreciation for Japanese culture and craftsmanship is on the rise." Haku launched in the U.S. and sells for under $30. - MEN'S JOURNAL

4. Nike bought a tech startup named TraceMe that was founded by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Nike confirmed the acquisition in an email to TechCrunch and said it "acquired TraceMe to supplement the company's content strategy on Nike-owned platforms." TraceMe was an app that helped fans interact with pro athletes. It also created a platform called Tally where teams and venues could create marketing activations around sporting events. It was valued at $60 million in 2017. - TECHCRUNCH

5. California's governor signed a statewide ban on manufacturing and selling new fur and made California the first state to create a fur ban. PETA's EVP said, "Today is a historic day for animals in California." The law does not ban new leather and shearling, and excludes fur used for religious purposes, Native American tribes, and that which was obtained by hunting with a valid license. Used fur can still be sold. The law takes effect in 2023. - CNN

6. Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Stripe, and Mercado Pago pulled out of Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra due to political pressure and heightened regulatory scrutiny. A Visa spokesperson said it will pay attention to "the [Libra] Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations," and that it was interested in using the cryptocurrency in emerging markets. Two Democratic members of the Senate banking committee reportedly wrote to Mastercard, Visa, and Stripe saying, "if you take this on, you can expect a high level of scrutiny from regulators not only on Libra-related payment activities, but on all payment activities.” Money laundering and the overall stability of the financial industy are some of the concerns. PayPal dropped out of the Libra Association the first week of October. - FINANCIAL TIMES

7. French fashion label Chloé and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) formed a three-year partnership to fund gender equality programs. Chloé's CEO said, "contributing to girls education will give them more chances to fulfill their dreams." Chloé will raise money through a capsule collection of jewelry and a t-shirt that will launch in March on World Women's Day and all proceeds will go to UNICEF. - WWD

8. LVMH reported a 25 percent drop in sales in Hong Kong in the three months ending in September compared to last year, when there were no political protests. The statistic foreshadows a changing retail landscape in Hong Kong that could include many luxury store closures. One analyst told the South China Morning Post that, "In the short term, there won’t be any closures, so brands will wait till the end of the year or Chinese New Year to see how the situation evolves, and if there’s a significant drop they will take measures such as renegotiating leases, selective reduction of selling space, closures." - SCMP

9. Tiffany & Co. launched its first multi-category men's collection called Tiffany Makers 1837. Chief artistic officer Reed Krakoff said, "men are wearing jewelry and definitely spending much more time on their personal appearance, so it felt like the right idea and the right time." The collection extends beyond jewelry to include luggage, barware, games, and money clips. Tiffany partnered with Dover Street Market Los Angeles to launch the collection with a special edition signet ring. The men's range is also available online and in Tiffany stores. - HIGH SNOBIETY

10. Madewell partnered with resale marketplace ThredUp and is selling "The Madewell Archive" of refurbished pre-owned jeans. "Madewell [is] on a mission to create the longest, most sustainable lifespan for our denim," said Madewell's head of merchandising. Each pair of jeans will sell in store for $50, compared to a new pair of Madewell jeans that cost $130. The pre-owned ones will be curated, washed, and displayed beginning today in Austin, Chicago, Nashville and New York. California stores will get the collection starting next month. Madewell filed for an IPO last month when it spun off from struggling parent company J. Crew. - FASHIONISTA

Written and curated by Cassidy Mantor, a brand storyteller with a decade of retail marketing experience including in-house at Nike and Oakley. Occasionally she writes a “think piece” about fashion law for the American Bar Association. She is happy to be based in coastal Virginia except when there’s a hurricane. She can be found on LinkedIn.

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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