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ANNOUNCING: The Visions Summit — June 15, 2023 in Chicago

PLUS: “Cetus Lupeedus, that’s a bad name”
March 17, 2023

This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, futurists.

This year we bring our annual trend report, VISIONS, to life in a bold, new way, by bringing remarkable people together to contribute to and cultivate this important piece of content at our first Visions Summit.

Intellectuals, creators and patrons have engaged in discourse around the intersection of culture and commerce for centuries. The Visions Summit is an event for future-minded entrepreneurs, business leaders and intellectuals to draw inspiration from, and add to, this rich lineage.

In June, we will convene at the Retail Innovation Conference and Expo to share our Report, examine the ways in which commerce is changing, and speak with people who will reframe the conversation about culture and commerce in ways that help us to future-proof our businesses.

P.S. As we head into the weekend, we’re giving you the opportunity for extra credit! 

  1. A quick read. Operations has historically been the team of “no”, but our guest author this week, Kris Gösser, tells us how retail and eCom ops teams are using technology to say “yes” more often. 
  2. An insightful listen. Do best practices create repeatable, enjoyable eCommerce sites? Or do they homogenize user experiences? Yes and yes, and that’s a good thing. Listen to our challenging conversation with Kravet’s own Jesse Lazarus on this week’s podcast.

Listen to our announcement of the Visions Summit on the podcast. Our newest episode with Alicia Esposito of Retail Touchpoints breaks down the need for retail innovation, and how it’s driving excitement with customers and operators alike. It’s worth the listen!

Your AI Wingman. Microsoft announced its new AI-powered assistant, Copilot. Copilot will help 365 users create documents, emails, and more, and will live in users’ sidebar —  much like the beloved Clippy (god rest his soul).

Sway Files Suit. Sway Fitness, the supplement brand license of the "Sway House" (an influencer cadre) is suing members of Sway House for breach of contract. "Sway Fitness says the Sway House stars breached contracts by failing to create content supporting the brand and by promoting competitors." GNC didn't sell enough product and by contract were able to return for a refund. They claim GNC failed to move the product due to a lack of engagement and posting on social media, and the bar was very low.

More Sights & Sounds. Retail sales in the U.S. dipped .4% from January to February. Spotify is debuting an AI DJ, just for you. ChatGPT4 is making an escape plan for fun and for the destruction of society. And the best printer of 2023 is apparently just the plain old brother printer that everyone already has, because… “it’s fine.”

Christian Cowan

A Dipsy Dilemma. Continuing the BRBification trend, a pair of bright green Teletubbies boots by NY-based designer Christian Cowan (listed at £2,000) are leaving shoppers in a very divided state, ranging from such extremes as “Need” all the way to “I’m calling the police.” The recent spate of “you can’t unsee this” footwear continues our long-running reporting on Dadaism and Maximalism.

“An Ocean of Possibilities.” Expo West showed a trend of seafood innovation this year, such as Scout Seafood Snacks that contain yellowfin tuna in oil with different varieties of crunchy toppings, tapping into the sustainability of the ocean as a food source.

My Kellanova Girl. Kellogg’s announced in June that it would split off the global snack division of it​​s business into its own entity. The company has finally chosen a name for it, and it’s giving big-time Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century vibes. "Kellanova" will house Pringles and Cheez-Its among other snack brands, and may have also recently lost to Creighton in the Big East Tournament.

A Volcanic Summons. Scrolls from the Herculaneum Papyri, the vast library buried under volcanic ash in 79AD, are now being virtually unwrapped with the help of AI and a particle accelerator, making the carbon-based ink detectable. Now the general populous is being recruited (with a handsome grand prize of $150,000) to help solve the puzzle of these ancient texts via The Vesuvius Challenge.

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