x5: CONCEPT Retail Space at Yorkdale, YouTube Promises Brand Safety & More

X5-April10


Oxford Properties launches CONCEPT retail space

Oxford has officially launched its multi-vendor retail space, CONCEPT, in Yorkdale Shopping Mall. The space is built to change, with pop-up stores being rotated every month. The first set of vendors are all food-oriented: Caplansky’s Deli, Eva’s Original Chimneys, Nadias Chocolates, Nugateau, Uncle Tetsu and Pie Squared. At Dx3 2017, teams pitched their products to audience and judges as part of the Canadian Retail Innovation Challenge. The winners of that challenge will be spending a month in this space later this year.

Why This Matters

A concept store like this kills two birds with one stone. For smaller businesses, it lowers the cost of entry into the retail industry. Being in this space at Yorkdale Mall means no long-term leases and no wasted square footage. It also allows them to build their brands to a curious audience. It’s a chance to test the waters. For malls, it fills up space and gives shoppers a sense of variety and, given the rotating line up of stores, maybe even a little fear of missing out.

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Amazon to stream 10 NFL games this season

The National Football League (NFL) and Amazon have signed a one-year $50 million deal to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games next season. Viewers with Amazon Prime will have access to watch these games live online. Amazon beat out Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, who had the deal last year. This isn’t an exclusive deal and the cable networks will continue to broadcast as usual.

Why This Matters

Nielsen has been tracking the slow decline of traditional TV viewership over the last decade. And so far, live sports have been one of the few things propping up ratings for cable networks. After Netflix and similar services like Amazon Prime Video have put such a dent in the market, it was only a matter of time before they would look to branch out into live TV. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have all been working with smaller events and shows to stream live on their platforms. The benefit is real time interaction with other fans, tying in the social aspect of watching TV.

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YouTube offers third party brand safety

YouTube and advertisers have come under fire over the last few months as ads were being served on offensive or extremist content. In the aftermath, many big brands like P&G, Pepsi and Verizon froze their spend on YouTube. Google was quick to react, conducting a full review of its advertising platform and announcing a partnership with third party safety vendors like DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science. DoubleVerify is currently working with GroupM, while WPP and Omnicom are developing their own measures.

Why This Matters

A freeze on YouTube spend would have been a huge blow to both the platform and the media agencies in charge of placing the ads. Agencies are generally able to blacklist websites from their programmatic runs but YouTube’s advertising platform is harder to police. With new videos popping up every second, it’s an almost-impossible task. Google’s fast action could help brands avoid this “crisis” by giving them a layer of safety. This was an issue that needed to be addressed for a while. As more and more advertising money is being poured into digital platforms, other social networks will need to start doing the same.

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Payless files for bankruptcy in the US

The budget shoe chain, Payless, filed for bankruptcy protection last week. Up to 400 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico will be closed immediately as part of a reorganization effort. With over 4,400 stores worldwide, further closures may be possible. This initial move will help Payless reduce its debt by $50 million and give it the resources to increase its online presence.

Why This Matters

Big brands as well as low-cost stores are struggling against online retailers, showing that it’s not necessarily price that dictates sales. Many might see this as a crisis for brick-and-mortar businesses, but it’s more a period of transition as retailers find ways to engage with customers over multiple channels. By putting more effort into improving its online presence, Payless is showing that it takes this transition seriously.

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Starbucks to test mobile order and pay only store

Starbucks is testing out mobile ordering and paying store in its Seattle headquarters, which is available to employees only. This new store will be a proving ground for the concept and could potentially lead to future roll-outs.

Why This Matters

In the last x5, we talked about how McDonald’s is experimenting with this new mobile ordering system. This is a trend that is quickly going to spread across the food service industry as convenience has become a big factor in consumer purchasing decisions. Starbucks has always been focused on convenience and reducing wait times so these mobile-only stores could make their coffee output even more efficient.

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