Welcome to the week’s end, futurists.
We’re gearing up for a hot, hot August. If you can believe it, we’re only three business days away from pumpkin spice season in the United States.
“It’s far too hot outside for Pumpkin Spice,” said an FC subscriber via a private DM chat. Perhaps that’s why Starbucks’ growth has been in the iced drink category over the past few years.
In a world facing rapid climate change, it’s only fitting that consumerist tendencies mark seasonal changes. In the northern hemisphere, we can expect the leaves to change much later this year; while holiday decor goes on sale earlier and earlier, year after year.
We mark the calendar’s change to September by the annual Spirit Halloween takeover of a recently-defunct crafting or home goods store.
“Our life is punctuated by trips to the store,” as Brian wrote in the Archetypes Journal last year.
Despite what you may feel, this year’s pumpkin spice isn’t coming any earlier than usual. Your drink is likelier to be iced this year. And the weather is much, much hotter than it has ever been.
Our seasons are defined by what we buy.
Commerce is our culture; in any weather.
P.S. Next week we’re going to offer up 30 limited-edition, hand-numbered archival-quality prints of our VISIONS Volume IV poster, by acclaimed artist Chandler Reed. Supplies are extremely limited and will be offered to Advisory Panel members first, with VIP subscribers following thereafter. Check out a preview of the poster here on Chandler’s Instagram.
An Insta First. After adding Alaska to its area of service, Instacart is officially the first online marketplace that accepts SNAP payments in every U.S. state.
“Suits” Gets New Life. Netflix licensed Suits, the early 2000s show starring Meghan Markle, and since being made available, the show has been streamed over three billion minutes in four weeks — a Netflix record. This move has shown the superpower of Netfilx's retention ability and could be a preview of the company’s future strategy.
Our Take: Too bad Markle’s other projects (including the now-defunct podcast, Archetypes) couldn’t reach the same heights. No worries, Future Commerce has its very own Archetypes podcast. This week’s episode features Ian Leslie, the Hero archetype, and his triumphal return as CMO to Industry West after a long sojourn. Listen to our newest episode right over here.
You CAN Do That on Fake Television. Fashion is going wild for spoof TV shows. Last year for New York Fashion Week, Collina Strada made a parodied episode of The Hills. And JW Anderson a QVC-esque teleshopping show in 2019, complete with elevator music.
Curbside Coffee. Target is adding the in-store Starbucks menu to its list of items that can be ordered for curbside pickup. The company is hoping this offering will boost business, as shoppers are spending more money on experiences.
Our Take: The future of commerce is having a brand experience, delivered outside of the brand experience, in the parking lot of another brand, by employees of another brand? Do we have that right?
Nostalgic McCameos. McDonald’s is hitting nostalgia from a different angle this time and rather than throwing back to one of its own characters from the past, the company is going to offer the “As Featured In Meal.” This meal will celebrate the fast food restaurant’s cameos in pop culture, such as Loki and Seinfeld. As part of the promotion, the company is also partnering with British streetwear brand, Palace, on a small collection of wearable merch.
Friendly for the Senses. In a super cool move, Walmart is testing out specific shopping hours on Saturdays during the back-to-school rush that are sensory-friendly. From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., radios are off, lights are dimmed, and TVs are muted with stationery images displayed on them. The company says this is an effort to make a calmer and quieter experience for customers with sensory disabilities.