Wedding Season

‘Brideside’ Is Basically the Warby Parker of Bridesmaid Dresses

A bridal party styled by Brideside. (Brideside)

Weddings might be inherently traditional, but that doesn’t mean the industry is devoid of #tech. Zola made an app that’s basically Tinder for wedding gifts. Brides are wearing Google Glass as they walk down the aisle. Oh, and this job exists.

But wait, there’s more! Last week, Betabeat learned about Brideside, an online retailer disrupting the way women shop for bridesmaid dresses. Similar to the way Warby Parker has its much-praised Home Try-On program, Brideside lets bridesmaids browse dresses online, and then physically try them on in the comfort of their own homes. Read More

Let's Go Shopping

Birchbox Opens Brick-and-Mortar Retail Store in Soho

The inside of the store. (Instagram)

You frequently see brick-and-mortar businesses start selling their wares on the interwebs, but it’s less common to see it work the other way around.

But that’s the case for Birchbox, the New York-based subscription service that sends customers monthly boxes of beauty and lifestyle products. The company — which scored $60 million in funding back in April — announced yesterday the opening of its first physical store in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, at 433 West Broadway. Read More

3D printing

Military Vet Opens 3D Printing Store in Washington Heights

Mr. Castanos smiling for the camera in 3D Heights

Something really cool is happening in Washington Heights—like, a thousand times cooler than that random MTV reality show from last year.

Military veteran Jerry Castanos—who spent eight years in Afghanistan and eleven years, total, overseas—recently opened a 3D printing store in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, where he grew up. The store, aptly named 3D Heights, is located on Broadway between 172nd and 173rd Streets, and is run by military veterans and local community members. Read More

ECommerce Rules Everything Around Me

Retailers Really Sad They Can No Longer Advertise At You For Free Via Gmail

She's pulling in a mill as we speak. (Photo via Getty)

Gmail’s new inboxes have elicited many an aggravated response from users who expect the free service to be exactly the way they want it at all times and never change. And now, retailers are weighing in with their own tales of woe and disappointment.

To be specific, ecommerce types are “up in arms,” the New York Times reports, about the fact that their endless stream of junk mail is now relegated to a folder labeled “promotional.” Read More

They're Watching

Department Stores Now Using Your Smartphone To Track Your Every Move

Oh, cool. (Screengrab: RetailNext.net)

This spring, Nordstrom watched its customers skulk around the department store on-camera and tracked their habits through cell phone signals, as if life were just one big game of The Sims, the New York Times reports. Nordy’s ended the experiment in May, because touchy customers complained for some reason.

But the Times mentions retail analytics company RetailNext in the story, and that company’s site names a host of retailers that use its technology, including Bloomingdale’s, American Apparel and Verizon. Read More

Blog So Hard

Fatshion Police: How Plus-Size Blogging Left Its Radical Roots Behind

cropped334aefc5c4769312_H_M_Inclusive_Spring_2011_collection_-_1

The rag trade has never been terribly kind to larger ladies. Plus-size women quickly learn where they can and cannot shop, as most clothing companies simply decline to do business above a size 14. And the bigger you get, the more doors slam shut. Entire malls must be written off.

And that’s just assembling enough clothing to cover yourself on a daily basis. Staying on trend can seem downright Sisyphean. Did you want one of those chambray shirts that were so popular this year? Well, don’t expect Vogue to help you find it. Either it’ll turn up at one of the handful of outlets that deal in fashionable plus-size clothing, or you’re just going to have to do without.

In short, it’s a wasteland. And traversing it is a series of humiliations. Read More

Hip to Be Square

Are Square and Dwolla Teaming Up to Disrupt Visa and Mastercard?

Ben Milne, CEO of Dwolla. (Photo: Lanyrd)

Visa and Mastercard have long dominated the retail payment business (after all, when was the last time you saw someone flaunting a Discover card?). But now, Dwolla*–which recently launched an NYC office–and the San Francisco-based Square may be collaborating to knock the two legacy institutions off their pedestal.

Quartz reports that there may be a deal in the works between the two–one that would benefit both merchants and customers. Square provides a way for businesses to process credit card payments without clunky POS systems; Dwolla allows users to instantaneously transfer money with a flat fee of $.25. By teaming up, the two could really give the dominant credit card processing companies a run for their money. Read More