It looks like Amazon is definitely moving into 7 W. 34th St., but it’s still unclear whether they’ll be opening that rumored brick-and-mortar store.
Rumors surfaced back in October that Amazon was opening a physical retail store in NYC. The store, according to a detailed Wall Street Journal report, would be located at 7 W. 34th St., and open in time for the holiday season — perfect for buying your BFF that Fire Phone they definitely never wanted.
At the time, an Amazon spokesperson wouldn’t confirm whether the rumors were true or false, simply telling Betabeat, “We have made no announcements about a location in Manhattan.”
Let's Go Shopping
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.
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.
Cloud storage titan Dropbox announced this morning that it will be opening an NYC office before the end of the year, and has already begun the process of moving.
“We’re seeing enormous growth across the board, and New York is a great because it’s a microcosm of the broader market,” Ross Read More
ECommerce Rules Everything Around Me
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.
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.”
Blog So Hard
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.
Hip to Be Square
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.
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.