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Inside Retail (Nov 18th, 2019)

Hi Inside Retail readers!

I've been reading Disney CEO Bob Iger's book, "The Ride of a Lifetime," so I was pretty interested to read what The Motley Fool called Iger's top accomplishments in his 15 years at Disney. Read more about them in today's issue. I recommend picking up the book and would love to hear your thoughts if you've already read it.

- Cassidy

1. Some Fitbit users are apparently abandoning their devices because they don't trust what Google will do with their health information. One former Fitbit user told CNBC, "I’m not only afraid of what they can do with the data currently, but what they can do with it once their AI advances in 10 or 20 years." Another former Fitbit user said, "I’m not interested in adding my health data to [Google's] systems." Yet another user tweeted to Fitbit, "The aggregation of data possible makes me extremely uncomfortable.” Google acquired Fitbit on November 1 for $2.1 billion. - CNBC

Fitbit users: hit reply and tell me if you've gotten rid of yours, and if so, was it because Google bought it?

2. Dunkin' is phasing out foam cups in New England by December 1. The campaign features billboards saying they are "Consciously Un-Cup-Ling." #DoubleCupBreakup has people sharing pictures of double and triple-layered foam cups they were given at Dunkin' that apparently kept beverages hotter or colder longer. Dunkin' is planning on being foam free by April 2020 and transitioning to paper cups. - CNN

3. October retail sales grew 4.2 percent over last year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The NRF's chief economist said, "despite the gradual slowdown in the U.S. economy, consumers are in a good place," and added "uncertainty around trade policy has impacted consumer sentiment recently." Ecomm sales were up 14.6 percent compared to last year, and food and beverage sales were up 4 percent over last year. Apparel was down 1.7 percent year-over-year, and electronics were also down 3 percent from last year. - CHAIN STORE AGE

4. The HP board unanimously rejected Xerox's takeover bid to acquire the company because the offer was too low and "significantly undervalued" HP. The board wrote in a letter to Xerox that the offer was, "not in the best interests of HP shareholders." HP did not reject the possibility of a merger with Xerox but that it had "great confidence" that it would " continue driving sustainable long-term value." Last month, HP said it would cut between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs by FY2022. - CNBC

5. Streetwear company Supreme was sued last week for allegedly using another company's camo print. Montana-based ASAT Outdoors wrote in its complaint that Supreme "copied [its camo] design and created derivative works of [it] and placed [them] on their apparel, such as hats, pants and jackets to sell on their website and in stores" without permission. The camo print used is allegedly a copyrighted design that is "owned and registered" by ASAT. ASAT sells camo to Walmart and specialty hunting and sporting goods retailers. - TFL

6. The Motley Fool took a look at what it ranked as Bob Iger's seven "biggest moves as Disney's CEO." Iger has led Disney for 15 years. Although the Disney+ launch is fresh in our minds, some of Disney's other milestones under his leadership include acquiring Pixar in 2006, which brought "Toy Story," "The Incredibles" and "Monsters Inc." under Disney. It also put Steve Jobs on Disney's board because he was CEO of Pixar at the time. Disney also bought Marvel for $4.2 billion in 2009 and Lucasfilm for $4.1 billion in 2012. Disney also opened a theme park in Shanghai in 2016, and purchased 21st Century Fox in 2017, which closed this year and included ownership of "X-Men," "The Simpsons" and "Avatar." - MOTLEY FOOL

7. Japanese fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo is using Google image recognition to help recreate outfits seen online. Uniqlo created an app called StyleHint that works like Instagram where users can upload photos of favorite outfits. The app uses Google's Cloud Vision to analyze the clothes in the pictures and match them with similar pieces from Uniqlo.  - FAST COMPANY

8. Marie Kondo launched an eCommerce shop with items that spark joy. Kondo said, "the shop came about because I always like to share how I tidy every day, and in the process of doing that, I always ask myself, 'Well, why do we tidy in the first place?' The answer is to live a life that sparks joy." Kondo first gained global attention from her lifestyle show on Netflix called "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo." The eComm collection is 150 pieces ranging in price point from $10 to $300. The shop includes kitchenware, bath, and home decor items. - FORTUNE

9. Ford debuted an electric Mustang SUV called the Mustang Mach E on Sunday that is expected to hit showrooms next year. Ford chairman William C. Ford Jr., told the NYT, “I hope this will show we are now deadly serious about electrification.” Electric vehicles currently account for only 2 percent of the market, with Tesla owning 80 percent of those cars. Ford is hoping the nostalgic cult following of the Mustang will help drive sales. The Mach E has a standard range of 200 miles before needing a charge. Ford has 12,000 charging stations across the country and is also offering an upgraded 300-mile option. The base price point is $45,000 and a tax credit of $7,500 drops the price down to the same range as Tesla's Model 3. - NYT

10. Bud Light is launching hard seltzer next year because people are drinking less heritage brand beer. The National Beer Wholesalers Association's chief economist said, "We have a demographic situation that the beer industry has never had to deal with before." To meet that changing demo, Bud Light Seltzer will launch next year in four fruit flavors. It will have 100 calories and five percent alcohol. - CNBC

Keep up on news about brews with our twice-weekly Inside Beer newsletter.

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.

This newsletter is edited by Bobby Cherry, senior editor at Inside and a Pittsburgh-based freelance journalist who also curates Inside Pittsburgh. Reach him at bobby@inside.com.

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