News Cart for Feb 28th

Hey there!

It’s been nearly a month since the last News Cart so we’ve got lots to talk about in this week’s edition!

I’m guessing you’ve read the major stories about the Coronavirus in the media.   For a less-filtered look check out this revealing discussion where ECF members share the impact the virus is having on their factories in China (membership required)

Other news includes U.S. Congress examining sales tax rules., some recent pain for DTC companies, Target making big moves, changes to Shopify’s App Store and lots more.

Hope you enjoy!

– Andrew

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In the News

Coronavirus Hits Supply Chains and Deliveries

Congressional Hearing to Examine Wayfair‘s Effects on Small Businesses 

  • On March 3, a U.S. House subcommittee will hold a hearing called “South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.: Online Sales Tax and Their Impact on Main Street”
  • Hat tip to ECF member Hilary Scott of Halstead Bead Inc. who, along with her husband, Brad, have been strong advocates for businesses affected by the ruling

DTC Brands Hit Rough Patch

  • Casper’s IPO deemed “lackluster” after the company reined in its valuation to less than $500 million
  • Birchbox to lay off 25 percent of its global staff
  • Brandless shuts down operations, becoming SoftBank Vision Fund’s first failure (hat tip to ECF member Bill D’Alessandro)
  • Harry’s merger with Edgewell Personal Care fell apart after the FTC sued to block it

Shopify Launches App Store Ads

  • Shopping cart leader is now allowing app makers to pay for increased exposure

Target Breaks Into Top 10 List of U.S. E-Commerce Retailers

  • Company jumps to the 8th largest e-commerce player in the U.S., up from 11th
  • Its e-commerce business is expected to expand 24% to $8.3 billion this year

A Look Inside Amazon’s First Full-Size, Cashierless Grocery Store

  • Amazon Go Grocery opened Feb. 25 in Seattle
  • Store is 10,400 square feet and stocks roughly 5,000 items

Kickstarter Employees Vote to Unionize

  • On a 46-to-37 vote, Kickstarter became the first major tech company to unionize
  • Leadership initially opposed the move, but said it will “support and respect this decision”

Physical Store Closures Hit a New High in 2019

  • Store closures increased 59% last year, with 9,302 retail stores shuttered as of Nov. 1
  • Largest contributor was Payless ShoeSource, which declared bankruptcy and closed its 2,100 stores
  • Online retail sales in the U.S. expected to rise from 16% to 25% by 2026

Interesting Reads

How Will You Measure Your Life? (Hat tip to Farnam Street) — Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen shares his strategies for finding meaning in life and focusing on what’s truly important.

Things My Friends Are Up To

Sellers Summit 2020 — Don’t miss my good friend Steve Chou’s conference which he describes as “an intense two-day e-commerce workshop”.  Always lots of great speakers and a good time to connect with other merchants.  May 6-8 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Top Forum Discussions

(Membership required to access. Not a member? Apply to join our vibrant community of 7-figure store owners today.)

Looking for Capital and/or Mentorship?

If you’re interested in long-term funding from a team who also has the skills, eCommerce rolodex and battle-tested knowledge to help you grow you need to check out eCommerceFuel Capital.

 Top Jobs

(Compelling opportunities from the eCommerceFuel Job Board. Find your dream job or post your own job opening right here.)

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