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FACEBOOK TO BUY WHATSAPP MESSAGING FIRM FOR $16B: Facebook is flexing its financial muscle to buy a greater portion of consumers’ digital lives. The social-media giant said it would pay $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash, to acquire messaging company WhatsApp.
MICHAEL KORS’ FASHION WEEK TRACTION ON INSTAGRAM: Analytics firm Nitrogram said the Michael Kors brand ranked third highest in terms of new Instagram followers for Feb. 8-14, New York Fashion Week.
WAL-MART HITS $10B MARK ONLINE: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted a drop in fourth-quarter profits and a weaker-than-expected outlook, but trumpeted an online milestone. The retailer said its global e-commerce division hit sales of more than $10 billion last year, including acquisitions.
BONOBOS LANDS AT BELK, EXPANDS IN SHIRTS: Bonobos proved to be a brand on the move, kicking off a retail partnership with Belk and making some fresh additions to its shirt business, a category coming into its own at a company built on bottoms.
CALVIN KLEIN LAUNCHES #MYCALVINS: Calvin Klein’s latest campaign — the multitiered digital program “show yours. #mycalvins” — is a nod to its underwear with the classic “Calvin Klein” logo waistband, which garnered cult popularity in the Eighties and Nineties.
GROUPON DISAPPOINTS: Groupon’s stock took a hit, falling 21.8 percent to $8.04 Friday after the company said stock compensation and acquisition-related costs helped push it to an $81.2 million net loss in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. Last month, the company bought the flash-deal fashion business Ideeli for $43 million.
FENDI PLANS RUNWAY DRONES WITH GOOGLE: Fendi is working on a new catwalk experience and detailed its plans to broadcast its fall show live on Thursday with cameras installed on drones flying over the runway. The luxury house is collaborating with the creative department of Google; the drones are powered by Parrot.
HEARST MAGAZINES INTERNATIONAL MAKES DIGITAL HIRE: Hearst Magazines International tapped Gary Ellis for the new position of chief digital officer. He will be responsible for the content, technology and overall business strategy for Hearst’s global Web and mobile products.