Yesterday, March 8, marked International Women's Day -- celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
📱Social media companies are taking note. Facebook is celebrating women and history and boosting modern women through a new tool for entrepreneurs. #SheMeansBusiness Community Finder which can help female entrepreneurs engage and discover community. For example, they can search for "mom entrepreneurs" or "women in tech" or "women in robotics" and Facebook will show results from pages, groups, and people who are in those communities.
🖌Google commissioned 12 women artists to create visual stories about moments they were inspired by women for their Doodles. Specifically, each story represents a moment, person, or event that has impacted their lives as women. While each artist tells a unique story, the themes are universal, reminding us of how much we often have in common.
But, this day is also having an impact on retail businesses, too. No longer destined to simply celebrate purely with messages, many brands are incorporating this moment into their advertising, copy, promotions, and even their product. Here is a sampling of those garnering headlines:
🍔 McDonald's completely flipped. Literally. In honor of International Womens' Day, one California location of the fast food franchise flipped its iconic arch from an 'M' to a 'W.' While the physical logo change actually transpired at one specific location, their digital assets and logos would be changed throughout their social channels.
👶🏼Earlier this week, Mattel unveiled 17 new “role model” Barbies for the occasion representing it's biggest global effort to date, honoring female icons including Amelia Earhart and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson. Modern-day figures like Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim also got their own look-alike dolls.
🏆During the Oscars on Sunday, a Nike ad starred tennis superstar, Serena Williams. In the spot, she proclaims "there's no wrong way to be a woman."
🚚 Walmart was inspired to think outside the box on Academy Awards 2018. They partnered with three women, Dee Rees, Melissa McCarthy and Nancy Meyers to direct 60-second short film spots that aired during the 90th Oscars to promote the Walmart delivery box.
Whether commanding the frontlines or the boardroom, from retail to technology, we're inspired and motivated by the millions and millions of women who help make our work world go round. Thank you for all that you do every day!
The Shiftonomics Crew
Shiftonomics News ⚡️
📈 Department Stores on Upswing | Via: retaildive.com
Department stores are getting a handle on margins, pulling back on promotions and managing inventory more effectively, despite margin-squeezing e-commerce growth, according to Moody's analysts.
Dillard’s, Kohl’s and J.C. Penney all saw improvement in the range of 40 to 55 basis points, according to Moody's. Although Macy’s gross margin declined 16 basis points, its merchandise margin did improve, according to the report. Nordstrom’s margin decline was driven by higher occupancy costs related to its April 12 opening of a Men’s New York City store, although its merchandise margin remained flat.
Nordstrom Pushes Hard Into Digital | Via: Geekwire.com
Like every retailer, the pressure is exceedingly tough as Amazon pushes them into thinking about how to properly and successfully execute digital strategies. Today, Nordstrom announced that is has closed on two acquisitions, retail tech company BevyUp and MessageYes. With the purchase, Nordstrom will boost its ability to sell product digitally as well as message and communicate with consumers via mobile messaging. It's also an acqui-hire play, as the retailer will get about 30 employees with deep experience building these products.
💰Square Up, Cash Out | Via: engadget.com
Earlier this week, Amazon announced they were thinking about pushing into the checking and banking world. Today, Square says they'll now support paychecks and check deposits directly into the Cash app.
The Big Idea 🤔
🎉The Future is Fab | Via: wired.com
Manufacturing remains a big talking point in our ongoing political climate, and also is often at the center of the debate around cities and states looking to figure out where their economy is going -- and who will be producing what. This week, "Wired" looks at the fabulous world of "fab firms" -- small, local studios that are equipped to design and build things using cool, raw materials.
📚How Half Price Books Is Bucking the Retail Closure Trend | Via: seekingalpha.com
Is there anything more 'experiential' than physically walking into a bookstore and hunting for a favorite used book you've got to read? This exact scenario is one that is fueling the success of one of the country's biggest chain of used bookstores. Half Price Books, based in Dallas, Texas, is doing what other retailers aren't -- opening new units. And considering they're operating in one of the verticals that has been absolutely hammered in the last decade because of digital disruption, their model is proving that experience and strategy are paying dividends.
🛏 Dorms For Adults? Only in SF! | Via: nytimes.com
Days of dorms in SF. As record numbers of residents pour out of San Francisco because of high rents and skyrocketing cost-of-living, one startup looks to solve the housing crisis with dorm living. Starcity looks to change that by offering fully-furnished rooms between $1,400 and $2,400 a month, with access to shared communal areas including bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens, Wi-Fi and utilities. Special events and activities provide more "meaning" for residents who typically earn between $40,000 and $90,000 a year. If you're wondering how successful this idea can be, look no further than their waitlist. Currently, Starcity has 36 units in three buildings and a waitlist of 8,000 people.
👟 = 🍕 Pumped For Pizza | Via: Engadget.com
Proving they're trying to be more of a tech company than a pizza chain, Pizza Hut started promoting sneakers that will allow you to order a pie with by a single pump. They're called, no joking, "Pie Tops." No word on when they'll be available. Also, no word on if they'll be spotted (or can be activated) from the hardwood.
🎸 Austin Tech Scene Rocking Because of Women Leaders | Via: linkedin.com
The Texas capital has become one of the country’s top tech hubs — and it’s doing so with powerful female leaders blazing a path. LinkedIn’s Caroline Fairchild took a closer look at the city’s burgeoning startup ecosystem through the success of Heather Brunner, CEO and chairwoman of WP Engine, which just raised $250 million for her Austin, Texas, tech company — the biggest infusion in a decade for a local startup and the third largest funding round for a female CEO or founder ever, anywhere. While Brunner shows how the city is welcoming more female talent, it is also increasingly becoming an important player in innovation nationally, with between 1,700 and 2,200 startups raising more than $900 million in venture capital in 2016. As thousands of tech leaders from across the country descend upon Austin for its famed annual SXSW conference, what is the local startup elite getting right that perhaps their peers elsewhere could learn from?
Heard Around The Web 💬
🌞Goodbye, Daylight Savings! | Via: sun-sentinel.com
😎 A sunshine state of mind. Florida may join Hawaii and a chunk of Arizona as states that don't observe Daylight Savings Time. A bill is headed to Gov. Rick Scott's desk after clearing Senate approval yesterday, 33-2. The later daylight would be a boon to outdoor businesses who rely on sunlight for beach and sports activity.