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The Vue on Sundays – November 11 2018

The Vue on Sundays

Welcome to another edition of The Vue On Sundays, a bi-monthly feature of all the news that’s shaking up retail. Think of The Vue On Sundays as us catching up with the retail industry over coffee and cookies. Everything we discuss will be from the perspective of small-medium businesses and as always, we are open to feedback so please leave a comment or get in touch if you have anything to say! Without any further ado, here’s what we’re talking about this week – 

vue45, vue on sundays, retail roundup, retail news, retail news digest, alibaba, singles day, singles day sales
Photo from The Straits Times

Apocalypse Schmocalypse! Single’s Day Sales Shatters All Records

Today is Single’s Day, aka 11/11, aka the biggest retail holiday, ever. The shopping festival, which was started by the Alibaba group as a sort of ‘treat yo’self’ discount day has emerged to become the most awaited e-commerce event of the year. Last year’s sales surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined and this year, the e-commerce giant clocked a reord billion dollars in um, 85 seconds. So if you’re thinking about a career in retail and people tell you that it’s dead, delete them off your contacts list. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. You can read all the dizzying 11/11 stats on the BBC website, here. Read all the dizzying 11/11 stats in this BBC story.

China introduces AI newsreader

While we’re still on the topic of China, the country has just introduced its first AI newsreaders – digital presenters who were modeller after real presenters and look so real that it’s uncanny, and vow to ‘work tirelessly’ to bring you the news. They aren’t kidding about the tireless part though – these newsreaders can work literally 24/7 and get better with each broadcast. These presenters also create a world of possibility for other markets – especially retail that involves heavy staff intervention, like wedding dress stores. Can you imagine an AI Randy helping women say yes to the dress? We weren’t able to before, but we sure as hell can now. Read the full story, here.

Meet the Plantfluencers

If you’ve got a green thumb, it’s time you get on Instagram and take a shot at becoming a ‘plantfluencer’. A plantfluencer is a horticulturally gifted person who shares their carefully crafted, urban green spaces. These gorgeous settings have evolved from likes to sponsors to book deals and retail stores like The Sill, which combines plant shopping with wine-filled workshops. (The takeaway for traditional retail? Add wine to whatever you’re doing. Really.) Houseplant retail, it would seem, is growing faster than the English Ivy. Read all about it in the New York Times, here

Trash can be really expensive

Just ask the retailers over at the UK, who will pay tens of millions of pounds towards recycling their own waste. The contributions from retailers currently, are a mere fraction, which means that the bulk of the waste generated by retailers, supermarkets and soft drink brands do not get recycled. The larger point here, especially for smaller businesses, is to not merely use sustainability as a catchphrase, but to focus on walking the talk and incorporating sustainability every step of the way. As for businesses that aren’t sustainable…why though. Maybe the implications of waste as detailed by the article will change your mind. 

And that’s all for this week! What have you been reading?

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