The shipping wars are intensifying.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Amazon Inc. have been battling over the fees they charge consumers for shipping to their homes, with each trying to see how low they can go.Amazon fired the latest salvo across Wal-Mart's bow. Less than three months after Amazon reduced its order minimum for free shipping to $35, in an effort to stave off Wal-Mart’s identically priced shipping policy, the online behemoth has quietly lowered the threshold for free shipping to $25. However, it will take five to eight business days for products to be delivered.Amazon in February 2016 raised its free shipping threshold for non-Prime members to $49. Wal-Mart appeared to have the advantage in January, when it scrapped its $49 Shipping Pass membership fee, replacing it with free two-day shipping for $35 on any order of eligible items, while shipping to stores is free. Previously, the threshold was $50. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer bested Amazon's three- to five-day delivery window for Prime.Online shoppers in studies say the cost of shipping is a pain point in their online experience. Target doesn't charge shipping fees for orders of $25 or more, while Nordstrom has eliminated shipping charges entirely. But retailers that rush to lower or eliminate shipping charges pay a price in profitability.
"Shopping costs are important but so is convenience," said Carol Spieckerman, founder of Spieckerman Retail. "Amazon and Wal-Mart need to balance both. In some scenarios, convenience is actually more important, so focusing on price only can drive margins down without winning the sale in the end.
"The key will be to offer options that address convenience and price without adding unnecessary complexity," Spieckerman said. "Convoluted shopping and pricing schemes are off-putting to shoppers. Amazon is clearly watching and reacting to Wal-Mart — and Wal-Mart isn't just playing defense. Wal-Mart's ongoing challenge will be to offer a clear and compelling alternative to Amazon Prime."
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews