Happy Wednesday, Futurists!
ICYMI, we announced some big news here on Friday. Because it’s so big (and, let’s be real, half of us have been out for our kids’ spring breaks), we want to share it again.
If you’ve been following Future Commerce for a while, you’ve read our trends report, VISIONS. If you’ve not read it, that needs to be what you do immediately after closing this email. You’ll become smarter, and generally more good-looking, I promise.
This year, we’re bringing VISIONS to life in a bold, new way. We’re gathering some pretty remarkable people to help us cultivate this important piece of content at our very first Visions Summit.
Intellectuals, creators, and patrons have engaged in the discourse surrounding the intersection of culture and commerce for centuries. The Visions Summit is an all-new event for future-minded entrepreneurs, business leaders, and intellectuals like yourselves to draw from and add to this rich lineage. Join us on June 15 in Chicago at the Retail Innovation Conference and Expo as we share findings from our research, examine the ways in which commerce is changing, and speak with people who will reframe the conversation about culture and commerce. We’re not just predicting the future. We’re shaping the future of commerce together.
Five Above and Beyond. Five Below is following Dollar Tree’s lead in updating its pricing structure. The company is introducing “Five Beyond” into its stores to enable expanded offerings at higher price points.
Finish this Sentence... Google launched Bard this week, an experimental generative AI you can collaborate with to help boost productivity and “fuel curiosity.”
More Sights & Sounds. Dick’s Sporting Goods is finalizing its purchase of Moosejaw from Walmart, and we are a little nervous about any forthcoming name changes. Paramount is launching a unified eCommerce site to house a variety of merch from Star Trek to Yellowstone. The former CTO at Shopify just assumed the CTO role at Webflow. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like for the characters from The Matrix to cover Ice, Ice, Baby… well you’re in luck, and it’s shockingly good. Also, possible trend alert… inflatables? And another rage bait account is blowing up... this style of maddening content is a choice.
Anti-Luxury. Telfar Clemens is implementing a dynamic pricing tool on his next fashion drop, to remove the barrier to entry for shoppers. Everlane did this too and they don't do it anymore — and that should tell you all you need to know.
Saving our Soles. We should all be thanking the cool kids for making bulky shoes fashionable. Now we can all wear a pair of Hoka sneakers AND be trendy as well as comfortable — and maybe even cut back on the number of podiatrist visits we schedule over the course of our lifetimes.
More Touch News. L.E.K. Consulting has released its downloadable 2023 US Footwear and Apparel Brand Heat Index report. Foot Locker is reportedly planning to close around 400 stores by 2026, despite strong 2022 earnings.
The Great Wall of Chocolate. Tony's Chocolonely did a big activation in Edinburgh, using over 300 chocolate bars arranged by color for people to try for free.
Coke goes AI. Coco-Cola is giving people the opportunity to create AI-powered digital artwork using Coke icons, and a few of the best pieces will be chosen for display on billboards in New York and London. The campaign is called ‘Create Real Magic,’ and is Coke’s first go at using AI tech.
Destroy or Be Destroyed. Funko is destroying over $30 million worth of its toy and collectible inventory in an attempt to reduce the storage rental costs the company regularly incurs from its excess inventory. According to Funko, these costs diminished the company’s Q4 gross margin by 5.5% points or more.