If not for its deep-pocketed parent, Store No. 8 might go unnoticed or get lumped together with the hundreds or thousands of other tech incubators. But Store No. 8 is backed by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., so the stand-alone entity based in Silicon Valley is sure to get a lot of attention.Some of that attention will be deserved if Store No. 8 accomplishes half of what it says it will. Store No. 8 is designed to incubate, invest in and partner with entrepreneurs, early-stage start-ups, venture capitalists and academics to innovate in areas such as robotics, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence. These start-ups within Store No. 8 will be "ring-fenced from the broader [Wal-Mart] organization, so they have the room to grow and develop," the retailer said.Store No. 8, described as an innovation hub formed by the world's largest retailer, was revealed by Marc Lore, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart global e-commerce, on Monday at Shoptalk's conference in Las Vegas.The Store No. 8 web site can sound lofty. For example, "We have created an innovation ecosystem where new ideas can thrive outside the existing definitions of retail. We have a unique vantage point that allows us a view into the heart of America to connect with what people want. The ideas we develop here are our big bets that have potential to change the world."It's easy to see how Store No. 8 fits into Wal-Mart's strategy. Executing at scale is one of the retailer's strong suits. Wal-Mart, which has been amassing a portfolio of upscale e-commerce sites facilitated by its $3.3 billion Jet.com acquisition in August, also wants to learn how to optimize the customer experience in stores and online.The retailer has a road map for its online business that is helping guide the innovations it will bring to market at scale for the next 18 months. Store No. 8 has a much longer outlook. It's not looking into innovations and incubation opportunities for technologies that will be deployed next quarter or next year. Rather, Store No. 8 has a three- to seven-year horizon, which will allow it to explore technology that's nascent today, but "may fundamentally change the way we do e-commerce," the company said.Wal-Mart noted that it's difficult to run an operation of its size and scale, remain focused on all of the necessary elements of execution while at the same time be on the lookout for and invest in and incubate in a meaningful way the next generation of technologies.Store No. 8 is being led by veteran retail entrepreneurs G. Seth Beal and Katie Finnegan, who are building a team "with the expertise to bring radical innovations to the physical, digital and virtual retail experiences, acting as a force driving commerce forward at a time when emerging technologies influence all aspects of consumers’ lives," the company said.Beal is senior vice president, incubation and strategic partnerships for Wal-Mart U.S. e-commerce, which includes his role as principal for Store No. 8. Finnegan held merchandising positions at J. Crew and worked at Jet.com.Other technology that could come out of Store No. 8 includes innovations in last-mile delivery, including drones and autonomous vehicles, and intense personalization.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)