After weathering some rough times -- including problems with its search engine -- Etsy is doing well, a turnaround attributed in part to CEO Josh Silverman. "Since taking the reins in May 2017, Silverman has moved to improve search, payment and checkout, and shipping—the nuts and bolts that build customer trust. Etsy has also managed the difficult feat of increasing the share of each sale that it keeps for itself without driving sellers away," according to Fortune.
Want a Frappuccino? Soon you'll be able to get one delivered to your front door, courtesy of Starbucks Delivers, powered by Uber Eats. The program "began rolling out in fall 2018 through a pilot in Miami and is currently available in 11 U.S. markets. Starbucks will continue to introduce delivery to new markets, achieving national coverage by early 2020," according to Chain Store Age.
"Four of the world’s largest automakers have struck a deal with California to reduce automobile emissions, siding with the state, and against President Trump, in a bitter fight over one of the president’s most consequential regulatory rollbacks," according to The New York Times. The four car companies are Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen.
Iconic candy bar Butterfinger "has experienced a sales turnaround since relaunching early this year with a new recipe and a new look, according to executives at Oakbrook Terrace-based Ferrara Candy," reports the Chicago Tribune. "It is among several legacy brands getting a reboot since Ferrara’s parent company, Italy’s Ferrero Group, purchased Nestle’s U.S. confectionary business last year, helping reinforce Chicago’s reputation as the nation’s candy-making capital."
After a "boom unlike any other in modern history." the auto industry now faces a slowdown, according to The New York Times. "Car dealers around the country said that the upgrade cycle they rode to rich profits in recent years appears to be ending and that they are seeing fewer buyers despite offering discounts and other incentives." So, "dealers say they are ordering fewer vehicles from manufacturers." The shift "could weigh on the United States economy. The auto industry is the largest manufacturing sector and makes up about 3 percent of gross domestic product."
A Forbes story that proves there can be many sides to an issue: After being denounced by Twitter users as "toxic," "harmful," and "fat-shaming." Pourtion had its product -- plates that "measure serving sizes on a scale of 'skinny jeans' to 'mom jeans' -- pulled from Macy's, its sole retail outlet. Backlash started, and the company recently tracked "more sales today than any other day" on its website.
Fashion designer Stella McCartney "is calling on consumers to protect the planet with her fall 2019 campaign," according to WWD. Included in spots are Amber Valletta, members of the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion and primatologist and chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall.
One potentially worrying trend for brands as the campaign to whittle the field of Democratic presidential possibilities continues: Some candidates are "taking shots at big companies on the campaign trail, testing which messages resonate with voters and creating adversaries out of legacy companies that don't have much political wiggle room to fight back," according to Axios. "The companies most likely to be called out are the ones facing criticism over the minimum wage, jobs, taxes and competition — like Walmart and the big tech companies."
"The good news is that VR and AR are officially big enough to be like any other medium at Comic-Con. The bad news? A lot of it just isn't going to make much of an impression," writes Peter Rubin in Wired. He provides a critical look at just which VR and AR experiences stood out (one was a Batman-themed CGI deal) , and which didn't. The lesson for marketers: "Hey, your thing has AR functionality? Oh, you just mean that when I look through my phone, I see something that isn't there. Does it ... do anything? No? Thanks anyway."
Want to be closer to the movie (currently, "Fast and Furious") and TV (most famously, "The Wire") star some swoon for? Consider an item from Idris Elba's unisex line, with a price point starting at $16.50, that includes tees, hats, sweatpants and hoodies. First premiering with a sold-out stint in his native U.K., Elba's 2HR SET, "named after his passion for music and the standard set time for his DJ endeavors" is now available online, notes The Hollywood Reporter. Designs include tops reading ""Don't Stab Your Future," "which refer to an increase in knife crime in the U.K. and that he …