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ONLINE BATTLE BEGINS FOR HOLIDAY DOLLARS: Amazon.com already gained a major step on its rivals by linking with the U.S. Postal Service for Sunday deliveries in New York and Los Angeles, raising the ante on shipping dates. But after several years of online retailers unveiling numerous bells and whistles to attract shoppers — from free shipping to online gift lists — this year is more about sticking to the basics.
GOOGLE’S SCHMIDT INVESTS IN RETAIL TECH: Innovation Endeavors, the venture capital fund founded by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, played the role of lead investor for Index, a retail software company that aims to bring the personalization and data measurement of e-commerce to the brick-and-mortar world. Index received $7 million in Series A funding.
MACY’S JOINS FORCES WITH SHOPKICK: The “magic” of Macy’s is being enhanced by Shopkick’s app, which uses ShopBeacon, a proprietary software that reminds shoppers who enter Macy’s stores of location-specific deals, discounts and recommendations.
MY-WARDROBE.COM SOLD: The British online fashion retailer My-Wardrobe.com was sold to Growth Capital Acquisitions Limited in a prepackaged administration deal, where the company effectively entered bankruptcy procedures and was then immediately bought.
SYDNEY FASHION WEEK ADDS E-COMMERCE: While revealing changes to its Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia lineup for 2014, IMG said it plans to add a new two-day consumer-focused showcase to supplement the trade event, as well as an e-commerce initiative that will offer shoppers spring 2014 merchandise straight off the runway.
AUFEMININ.COM INVESTS IN MYLITTLEPARIS.COM: European Web site Aufeminin.com, owned by Axel Springer, is taking a 60 percent stake in MyLittleParis.com effective Jan. 1. Financial terms were not disclosed.
MICHAEL KORS TOPS FACEBOOK GAINERS: Michael Kors was the big winner on Facebook last month, according to Stylophane’s latest ranking of the fastest-growing brands on the social network, which reported that Kors — currently at almost 10.1 million “likes” — gained 797,347 in October.
L’WREN SCOTT LAUNCHES MOBILE APP: L’Wren Scott has launched L’app, a free mobile app now available for iPhone and iPod Touch. The app offers an inside look at Scott’s inspiration and design process, featuring images culled from the designer’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
NONPROFIT FLASH-SALE SITE LAUNCHES: Hucksley is out to combine commerce and charity. The new San Francisco-based flash-sale site gives 25 percent of its profits to nonprofit organizations.